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How can you tell when a negotiating partner acts in bad faith? When their demands escalate every time you suggest a compromise. The Senate Democrats have done exactly that in their fight to extend the filibuster on the confirmation of John Bolton to the United Nations. After seeing Pat Roberts try to get the White House to confirm that Bolton had not used his access to check on a short list of names, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd countered by adding more names to the list:
Senate Democrats have prepared a list of approximately three dozen "names of concern" and are asking the Bush administration for assurances that John R. Bolton did not misuse his access to highly classified intelligence to seek information about them. ...
A copy of the letter was provided to The New York Times by a Congressional Democrat. A Republican Congressional official expressed surprise at the number of names said to be on the Democratic list, and noted that Democrats until now had expressed concern about Mr. Bolton's dealings with fewer people. The proposal "seems to move away from a good-faith effort toward resolving this issue," the Republican official said.
Democrats succeeded last month in blocking a Senate vote on Mr. Bolton, and they have said they will continue to oppose any decision until the administration provides more information about a dispute concerning Syria that involved Mr. Bolton and about the intercepted communications. They say they need the information to help them judge whether Mr. Bolton misused his access to the N.S.A. reports, from which the names of American individuals and companies are ordinarily deleted.
Of course, all this does nothing but provide a ruse for the Democrats to continue with their obstructionism. The two leaders of the Intelligence Committee, Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, have already reported to the Senate that Bolton did nothing wrong in his requests for information about the specific individuals. The Harry Reid-led radicalism of this Democratic caucus has decided to break out the filibuster (more on that below) to prove that the Democrats have some relevance, even though voters relegated them to minority status in both houses of Congress largely because of their obstructionism in the last session.
No one expects any Democrats who don't support Bolton to change their minds if the names don't match their ever-expanding list. Despite their reasonable rhetoric, this is nothing more than a fishing expedition and a stall tactic allowing them to continue obstructing Senate business. Unlike judicial confirmations, the UN ambassador's position isn't a lifetime appointment and is expected to explicitly represent the administration's policy.
The administration should not budge from forcing them to vote on Bolton's nomination, and if necessary, leave the UN ambassadorship unfilled while pointing to Democratic stall tactics as the reason we have no top-level representation at Turtle Bay. After all, the Democrats have spent the last four years telling us we need to work more closely with the UN. Let them explain how to do that without an ambassador.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on June 11, 2005 9:19 AM
» Bolton Compromise from Don Singleton
I disagree. I think the President should just announce he wants a vote NOW, and if the Senate adjournes without giving Bolton a vote, he will recess appoint him. [Read More]
Tracked on June 11, 2005 10:01 AM
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