Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Bolton vote

John Podhoretz at The Corner nails down the meaning and the effect of the Bolton vote yesterday.

Politics is about perception, and the perception among Democrats is that President Bush is on a downward slide. If the opposition to John Bolton’s nomination began as a foreign-policy critique, it has now become a simple matter of power politics. The Democrats have decided that blocking Bolton is the test case of their continuing relevance. The president will almost certainly have to make a recess appointment for Bolton, and he might as well declare publicly that the Democrats are acting in bad faith and that he is acting to fill a critical job because the opposition party is playing politics with a critical foreign-policy job. No more negotiating over the Syria documents or the names of the intelligence officers. That’s a Democratic dodge and a dangerous one where the separation of powers is concerned.

I would only add that for me this is where hard-ball politics gets interesting. The liberal perception is that Bush’s is weak and weaker, as time goes by. They think they smell blood. There are continual references in the MSM about his lame-duck status, low poll numbers, and so on. If I am right about Bush and his people, this is where they will begin to take advantage of the lack of esteem in which they are held. Now begin to use (as they have many times in the past) their underestimation of him to his advantage. This counterattack will reveal itself in other ways, not just on Bolton. We should be prepared to be surprised. And the Demos will be unprepared, I’ll wager.

Discussions - 5 Comments

One definiton of neurosis is repeating the same behavior over and over again and expecting a different outcome (which never comes). The Democrats have been "misunderestimating" Bush for 5 years now and are so convinced of their own moral, intellectual, and ethical superiority that this is unlikely to change.

The House vote on U.N. funds last week ought to serve as some measure of a bell-weather in this Bolton matter. There was no big public outcry over the House’s percieved arrogance toward the U.N., and I believe several Democrat broke ranks to vote for the red-state induced rebuke at business as usual in the U.N. I would think this would lessen at least the political dangers Bush faces with a recess appointment.

As for the "separation of powers" issue, aren’t the Senate Democrats trouncing on meaning of "advise and consent," not to mention the huge historical precedent in this filibuster matter? Why is that the GOP is always the first to blame on this matter (even within the party)? Are you guys still so daggone afriad of what WaPo and the Times are going to say? Sheesh, lets get over it already get on with governing the country!

My corrected version of the above post:

The House vote on U.N. funds last week ought to serve as some measure of a bell-weather in this Bolton matter. There was no big public outcry over the House’s perceived arrogance toward the U.N., and I believe several Democrat broke ranks to vote for this red-state induced rebuke at business-as-usual in the U.N., that I would think this might lessen, at least, the political dangers Bush faces with a recess appointment.

As for the "separation of powers" issue, aren’t the Senate Democrats trouncing on the meaning of "advise and consent," not to mention their discounting of the huge historical precedent in this filibuster matter? Why is it that the GOP is always the first to blame on this matter (even within the party)? Are you guys still so daggone afraid of what WaPo and the Times are going to say? Sheesh, lets get over it already and get on with governing the country!

I agree with Marc. Stop with the hand-wringing and get on with it...did caution ever win any great victories?

The answer to the Democrats fillibustering Bush’s nominees is the routine use of interim appointments. It should be understood that if the Senate recesses without acting on a Bush nominee there WILL be a recess appointment in every case.

For judiciary vacancies Bush can assemble a cadre of conservative lawyers willing to take multiple assignments so distasteful to the Democrats that they will bring Bush nominees to a vote.

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field
 

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL: http://nlt.ashbrook.org/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/6792