In a perfect world, the underdog stands up to the schoolyard bully who has taken his lunch money for the last time. In the movies, the good guy stands up to the bully, he fights back, and wins.
But sadly, in real life, the schoolyard bully often prevails.
Such is the story with the inevitable resignation of John Bolton as United Nations ambassador.
In this case, the schoolyard bully was in the form of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Consider the audacity of an committee that didn't have the guts to even allow the process of confirming someone by a vote, the ultimate American experience. Since the Senate Foreign Relations Committee knew that a full Senate vote would likely result in Bolton's confirmation, they wouldn't budge. Besides, there were prominent Democrats who threatened to filibuster any attempt to vote for or against him.
So much for democracy, say the Democrats.
President Bush bypassed Congress and appointed Bolton in a bold effort to try to deliver to the U.N. the right man for the right time. But with Bolton's term set to expire and Democrats in control of Congress, the handwriting was on the wall. It was time for him to step down.
Sadly, John Bolton was exactly what this crumbling, corrupt, miserable organization called the United Nations desperately needed. It was Bolton who was credited with pushing Secretary-General Kofi Annan to create an ethics office in this ethically challenged institution (remember the "food for oil" program?). It was Bolton who pushed for having the U.N. adopt international accounting standards and new rules for financial disclosure by top U.N. officials.
In fact, U.N. expert Edward Luck of Columbia University said that the U.N. Security Council respected Bolton "for his intelligence and his competence and his work ethic."
But evidently, those aren't the kind of qualities that Democrats think would make for an effective U.N. ambassador.
In a world that is becoming more and more perilous with concerns about Iran and North Korea, not to mention the Middle East, John Bolton was a brief glimmer of hope for that old building along New York's East River. He went to work trying to change the ridiculous, massive bureaucracy of the U.N. and clean up the corruption that has become a staple of activity within its walls.
Apparently, that frightened Democrats.
Luck said that Bolton came into the post with a reputation as a "U.N. basher." Excellent. The U.N. ambassador needs to carry a big stick if there's ever going to be a chance of reforming this organization. If any place in the world needs "bashing," it's the United Nations.
But Democrats don't like big sticks.