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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Has the tide shifted?

"David Brooks thinks that the tide has shifted in John Bolton's favor because, through testimony, it has become clear that Bolton was arguing on the basis of policy to defend the President's policies against those in the State Department or elsewhere who opposed them. That was his job.
The other thing the transcripts reveal is that many fights over clearing speeches were not about intelligence - they were about policy. The speech-clearance process was the policy-making process. Often when Bolton was pushing back at his colleagues, he was trying to defend the president's policies from dissenters at State.

For example, Larry Wilkerson believed that America's Cuba policy was "the dumbest policy on the face of the earth," as he told GQ. He disagreed strongly with the idea of imposing sanctions on arms proliferators, as he told Senate investigators.

So when he challenged Bolton, Bolton would bend on most matters, but not on policy.

As Wilkerson himself told the Senate investigators: "There were some problems, on a number of occasions, with Under Secretary Bolton's proposed remarks. I found him to be, at that point, basically receptive to my changes that were culturally sensitive. ... I did not find him to be receptive when we talked about policy changes, fundamental policy changes in his speeches."

That's because Bolton's job was to stand up for the president's policies.

The momentum has shifted on the Bolton nomination because John Bolton turns out to be a more complicated figure than earlier portrayed. It's become clear that earlier tales of him chasing women down hallways are unreliable. It's become clear that while he's abrasive, he is professional. If Senator George Voinovich reads these transcripts before he votes, I'm sure Bolton will be confirmed.
I just doubt that Voinovich is doing the due diligence that is required of the thoughtful senator he aspires to be."

From Betsy's Page


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