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July 31, 2006
No Bolton Filibuster: Schumer

Chuck Schumer confirmed that he may change his position on the confirmation of John Bolton and now considers a filibuter "unlikely", removing one of the key struts to Harry Reid's obstructionism during Bolton's last confirmation attempt. Bolton's defense of Israel appears to have changed his mind:

A Democratic filibuster of John Bolton's nomination as United Nations ambassador is "unlikely," Senator Schumer said yesterday.

Mr. Schumer supported an effort last year to block Mr. Bolton's nomination from gaining a full Senate vote, but he confirmed that he is considering changing his position. ...

Mr. Schumer said he had not made a final decision on which way to vote and that a lot of Democrats were also contemplating their position. The Democrats would need the support of 41 of their 45 members in the Senate to block Mr. Bolton's nomination. Three Democrats crossed over to oppose a filibuster last year, meaning that a shift of even a few senators would signal Mr. Bolton's confirmation. "I think that if you count the votes, a filibuster is unlikely," Mr. Schumer said.

Mr. Bolton has served as the U.N. envoy for nearly a year after President Bush appointed him during a congressional recess last August. Mr. Bush could reappoint Mr. Bolton again at the end of the year, but some have said it is important for the ambassador to have legislative backing, especially with a war in the Middle East.

Schumer still had to get in a few digs at Bolton, reminding everyone of the bogeyman Democrats built out of the current ambassador to the UN. Schumer talked about the "good part of Bolton" and the "bad part of Bolton", but had trouble explaining the latter. He said that Bolton had a "go it alone" attitude that has come across in his efforts on Iran and North Korea.

Huh? The last time we heard from the Democrats on this issue, they blamed the Bush administration for its multilateralism, not for a "go it alone' attitude. John Kerry demanded that we cut out the other four nations in the six-party talks and start dealing direct with Kim Jong-Il. Democrats across the party have complained about "outsourcing" the negotiations with Iran to the EU-3, which insisted on leadership in those talks because they already had diplomatic relations with Teheran. France, Germany, and the UK also have economic ties with the mullahcracy and thought they could leverage that into concessions from the mullahcracy.

I'm happy that Schumer has decided to stop playing partisan politics with foreign-policy positions, which clearly fall into the purview of the White House and have tenure limited to that of the president's term. Hopefully, his caucus will follow his lead and quit acting like petulant children. However, it would also be nice if they could finally make up their mind about whether multilateralism is a virtue or a vice and get their stories straight forthwith.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 31, 2006 7:19 AM

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The UN Security Council has expressed “extreme shock and distress” at an Israeli air strike that killed 52 people, mostly children, and called for an end to the violence. US ambassador John Bolton, seen here, led opposition to any stronger... [Read More]

Tracked on July 31, 2006 8:31 AM


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