The man that even a lock-step Republican-controlled Senate was twice unable to confirm as UN Ambassador has resigned rather than face a third confirmation defeat, since a recess appointment (the confirmation-process equivalent of tying a pork chop around a child's neck so the family dog will play with him) stopped being an option for President Bush, apparently Bolton's only remaining enthusiast in the administration.
Bolton's nomination has languished in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for more than a year, blocked by Democrats and several Republicans. Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a moderate Republican who lost in the midterm elections Nov. 7 that swept Democrats to power in both houses of Congress, was adamantly opposed to Bolton.
Critics have questioned Bolton's brusque style and whether he could be an effective public servant who could help bring reform to the U.N.
President Bush, in a statement, said he was "deeply disappointed that a handful of United States senators prevented Ambassador Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate."
"They chose to obstruct his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time," Bush said. "This stubborn obstructionism ill serves our country, and discourages men and women of talent from serving their nation."
The "I know you are, but what am I" compulsion of Republicans to attribute their own failings to their opponents is well-documented (see, for example: Kerry, war hero, Swift-boating), but this is a plum, even by those standards.
Disruptive? Stubborn? Obstructionist? Please. The Senate is a band of amateurs next to The Mustachioed One.
Everyone has their favorite Bolton-inspired moment; here's mine: Angered that the US had lost its traditional seat on the UN Human Rights Commission in 2001 -- because of its Middle East policies, its opposition to the International Criminal Court and to land mine bans and to widespread availability of AIDS drugs (and that was just in 2001; Abu Ghraib, GITMO, and "extraordinary rendition" were yet to enter the popular lexicon) -- Bolton demanded that the permanent members of the Security Council should also be permanent members of the human rights arm.
Yes, that would have made those two beacons of human freedom and dignity, Russia and China, members of the newly renamed Human Rights Council for all eternity.
(Of course, Bolton's own special infernal circle was reserved in his name the day in 2000 when he spoke those famous twelve words.)
And any fans left out there can rest assured that the un-disruptive, un-stubborn, non-obstructionist Bolton will leave government service like the class act he's always been:
[T]wo independent sources in the U.S. Mission said that Bolton was ready to leave, write a book, and hit the speaking circuit to blast the Bush Administration for abandoning ultra-conservative foreign policy principles.Lovely. But he shouldn't have to leave his office empty-handed. We have this lovely parting gift: an official p3 "Good Riddance" Bumper Sticker.
He can put it on his SUV, right next to his "Honk If You Love Torture" sticker.