If Democrats weren't afraid to admit the real reasons they are obstructing the nomination of John Bolton to be our next United Nations ambassador, they wouldn't be interposing such embarrassingly lame objections as "John Bolton once yelled at an insubordinate subordinate."
But they are afraid, because their true objections have nothing to do with Bolton's temperament or even his temper, other than that it has sometimes been directed at wimps advocating the wimpish policies liberals adore.
Democrats oppose Bolton's nomination because Bolton is a no-nonsense proponent of President Bush's foreign policy, is critical of the direction -- though not the existence of -- the U.N., and is bullish on America.
You see, Democrats refuse to accept the public's rejection of their foreign policy and national security message in November and are acting like they are the ones with the mandate. Here they are asserting a mandate with 47 percent of the vote, and they complain when President Bush claims one after winning a clear majority.
Since they refuse to acknowledge President Bush's victory, they surely don't want to allow him to appoint officials who would carry out his agenda. Mr. Bolton would do that, and do it aggressively and unapologetically, thus he must be opposed -- at all costs.
So if Democrats want to talk about Bolton's dressing down of Christian Westerman for his rank insubordination in trying to subvert Bolton's position concerning Cuba to the CIA, by all means, let's bring it on.
Indeed, Bolton should have tarred and feathered the guy if reports of what he did -- not just undermining Bolton, but later lying about it, then complaining like a sissy after being properly rebuked -- are even half true.
Democrats ought to be made to explain why Bolton was wrong for upbraiding Westerman and how they would have handled the matter differently. Perhaps Senators Clinton, Kennedy or Biden should be asked to give us a seminar in how not to display one's temper when one's subordinate undermines one's work.
Better yet, maybe they should explain how Bolton's alleged reprimand of Westerman was less genteel and civil than their routine exhibitions of disrespect toward President Bush's judicial nominees, or Secretary Condoleezza Rice, or Mr. Bolton, for that matter.
And while conservative Republicans are about the business of taking on these Senate Democrat hypocrites over these bogus temperament issues, it might not be a bad idea for them to call to the carpet those in their own party, like Senators Voinovich and Hagel, whose consciences have been touchingly aroused. It would mightily please the conservative senators' constituents if they would show a little indignation on the floor of the Senate, not just at the obstructionist Democrats, but the pretend Republicans as well.
But after accommodating the Democrat charade to inquire into these "stunningly" irrelevant and diversionary allegations against Bolton, the Republicans should flush out the Democrats on their true agenda and force a robust, quite public, and very conspicuous debate over their real objections to Mr. Bolton.
Instead of always being caught with their pants down and on the defensive, Republicans should take the offensive and make Democrats confess that what they're really exercised about with Mr. Bolton is that he: 1) doesn't want to abolish the United Nations but make it effective again under American leadership; 2) is not a disciple of their idea of multilateralism, meaning he doesn't think we should subordinate American interests to the whims and corruption of countries like France and Germany; 3) doesn't share their idolatry of Fidel Castro and Cuban Communism and doesn't believe we should cater to the tyrant; 4) is an ardent advocate of American sovereignty; 5) is an unabashed foreign policy hawk; and 6) is not an ally of anti-Bush, globalist, pacifist, liberal career bureaucrats at the State Department.
If and when this substantive debate occurs, Democrats ought to be forced to explain why they believe Bolton's criticism of the United Nations is a disqualifier to his ambassadorship. Why is his criticism of the U.N. tantamount to his hating the U.N. any more than their constant trashing of America vis a vis other nations is proof of their lack of patriotism? Couldn't we just once turn their specious logic against them?
Yes, this is a fight Republicans should welcome and one, along with the one over judicial nominations, they should take to the American people. President Bush won, and unless congressional Republicans in sufficient numbers start acting like it, they might as well not be there. It's not enough for them to vote in favor of Mr. Bolton and the president's other eminently qualified nominees. It's time they got vocal and doggedly aggressive in their defense of these men and women who have been sacrificed at the altar of the Democrats' politics of personal destruction.