Liberal Grace

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bolton and Big Baby Bush

Bolton is only in office because Bush disdains the rules.

John Bolton, who will be resigning after a recess appointment is another example of why we need public financing of elections: we need to wrestle politics away from the privileged classes and open it back up to the working and middle classes -- to people who come from cultures which value playing by the rules.

As you may remember, the Democrats and a few common-sense Republicans realized that it's a really bad idea to send an ambassador to the UN who has publicly expressed his disdain for the body. Also, it's just common sense that you don't give a diplomatic position to someone who clearly is very un-diplomatic. (to put it politely.)

So, the Bolton nomination was dead in the water.

A different president -- one who respects the rules -- would simply have nominated a different ambassador from the long list of qualified, eligible Republicans -- candidates who hadn't expressed hostility towards the U.N. and who showed some signs of personal diplomacy.

But not Bush! Old Boy! He gave the Senate the finger! I'm sure the GOP leadership all sniggered over their Dom PĂ©rignons that night.

No doubt, the original intent (something conservatives claim they value) of a recess appointment wasn't as a loop hole around Senate confirmation. Instead, it was a practical provision, to be used respectfully, if a position had an urgent need to be filled during an era when the Senate took much longer recesses.

I have no doubt that Bush saw the recess appointment rule as a "loop hole" which is how the privileged classes look at rules.

(In fairness, it should be noted that this provision has been abused from the beginning. But it has just gone crazy in the last few years. The record holder is Ronald Reagan with 243 as a workaround to a Democratic Senate. Bush has done 106 which is remarkable since he controlled the Senate. Clinton did 140.)

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