Confirm Bolton

Joel Mowbray

5/11/2005 12:00:00 AM - Joel Mowbray

Tomorrow, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee takes up the most important Congressional vote in the still-new second George W. Bush presidential term: whether or not to send John Bolton's nomination to the full Senate.

Democrats have waged a relentless assault on Bush's nominee to be the next ambassador to the UN, not for his blunt criticisms of the world body, but for his supposed meanness.  They're on the verge of succeeding; all they need is one of the committee's 10 Republicans to side with the 8 Democrats to block Bolton.

That?s where you come in.  Townhall.com and ConfirmBolton.com (a new blog to which this columnist contributes) both provide ordinary Americans the ability to have their voices heard by the Senate.  (Townhall's action center is here.  ConfirmBolton.com?s is here.)

Not only does ConfirmBolton.com give you all the necessary information to help your voice matter, it also rebuts Democratic attacks and makes the case for confirming John Bolton.  Among the contributors are David Keene, Frank Gaffney, Gary Bauer, Andy Cochran, and Cliff May.

The battle to confirm John Bolton promises to be a seminal moment for conservatives and could set the tone for the rest of the second Bush term. John Bolton is a conservative?s conservative. 

When Bolton was an intern in the Nixon White House, John Erlichman gathered the interns to tell them they had to work for Nixon?s re-election.  The young Bolton responded, ?Work for him? Hell, I don?t even know if I?m going to vote for him!?

John Bolton over the past four years has easily been the most-hated figure at the Department of State, but not just because of his stalwart support for President Bush.  The undersecretary for arms control got under the Foreign Service?s collar because he knew how to consistently outmaneuver them, despite being outmanned.

His entire network of allies at State could be counted on one hand, while in the other corner (and everywhere else) stood the 10,000 members of the Foreign Service. Yet the reason we have the much-praised Proliferation Security Initiative and intercepted the shipment of centrifuges that brought Libya to its knees is simple: John Bolton is a better bureaucrat than most bureaucrats.

So not only will he be an effective spokesman against the cesspool that is the UN, he will likely implement some actual reform, which is what he did over a decade ago in leading the repeal of the resolution that equated Zionism with racism.

Despite this, Democrats and diplomats are working in tandem to torpedo a superbly qualified candidate without a single critique on substance?and they might just get away with it.  The media has largely withheld indignation when reporting that Senators are concerned that Bolton might be a ?bully.?

Since when has a group with less credibility on an issue ? this is akin to Fidel Castro vilifying someone as a ?pinko commie? ? been taken at face value?

Remember the Democrats? initial line of attack: we can?t send someone who says nasty things about the UN to the UN. That was a losing argument.

To the extent the public actually cares about the UN, they hate it.  There is little defense of an institution that helped Saddam skim some $21 billion and includes on its human rights commission the likes of Cuba and Saudi Arabia, so their original tack got no traction.

But when they shifted to the ?mean? argument and made it repeatedly and loudly, the opposition finally started to jell. And the pliant press played along, absent any mention of the giant glass house sitting in the room.

Yet if everything alleged by Democrats is true, then, at worst, John Bolton is mean.  The character assassination witnesses they?ve dragged out have been overt anti-Bush partisans, such as the head of Mothers Opposing Bush and Carl ?conservative to the core, but not too conservative to cut checks for Charlie Rangell and John Kerry? Ford.

As the Foreign Relations Committee takes up the Bolton nomination tomorrow, they need to carefully examine the credibility of each of his detractors. 

The list of Bolton accusers includes the head of Mothers Opposing Bush (who is also a serial plagiarizer), a man who sided with someone later convicted of spying for Castro over Bolton on a question relating to Castro, and someone who had exactly one three-minute conversation with Bolton and bases over 90% of his opinion on gossip.

Although the Democratic case is flimsy, all they need is one Republican to flip?and they have three possible candidates: Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), and, of course, Sen. George Voinovich.