Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Bolton update: Will a courageous Republican please stand up, please stand up?

The Bolton vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is coming Thursday. The Times reports that Bolton has indicated, in a response to a written question from John Kerry (who strongly opposes his nomination), that a policy-maker should be able to "state his own reading of the intelligence". Uh, really? Is it really for the U.N. ambassador to interpret intelligence reports? Is it even for the president to interpret them? Isn't that what experienced intelligence analysts are for? Oh, except when they contradict policy-makers with the facts. Remember that the truth holds no place in Bush's faith-based reality.

Now it's all up to the moderate Republicans to do the right thing. The White House, however, is lobbying hard for a straight party-line vote to send the nomination to the floor. Indeed, the Post reports, one of the moderates, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, has stated that he will vote for Bolton. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska will likely do so, too. Which means it's going to come down to George Voinovich of Ohio, whose last-minute reservations prompted this three-week delay. He has yet to make up his mind, he claims. We shall see. I suspect the White House will get its way. For more analysis, see here.

As I've argued here before (here, here, here, and here -- wow, I dislike this guy!), this is an incredibly important vote. It's time for Bolton to go down. But who will have the courage to cross the aisle?

Bookmark and Share