Friday, May 27, 2005

Bolton Back On Ice

Well, Democrats have the temerity to actually expect the Bush administration to give senators the information they've been asking for on John Bolton and, in the absence of those documents, have stalled the vote on his ill-advised nomination to be U.N. Ambassador.

The Republican leaders, conservative columnists and right-wing bloggers are already whining about “obstructionist Democrats” and how we're breaching the agreement reached by the “Gang of 14” just this week.

"The honeymoon is over," Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) complained, moments after senators voted 56 to 42 in favor of ending debate on Bolton's nomination. Sixty votes are required to close such a debate.

"We are not here to filibuster Bolton -- we are here to get information," Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said on the floor shortly after the vote was taken.

"I have absolutely no intention of preventing an up-or-down vote on Mr. Bolton," said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), who led the opposition to Bolton. According to Biden, the move to stall the Bolton vote is intended “ tell the administration that they cannot dictate to the United States Senate. Maybe they'll take notice, but the administration is so arrogant, you can't be sure."

Will this be enough to have the Republicans again threatening Democrats with the “nuclear option?” Who knows.

But Democrats know that it's outrageous for the White House to refuse to release documents that are central to the Senate's advise-and-consent charter – but wholly consistent with the arrogance that has characterized every aspect of this administration.

One has to wonder whether Bush and Karl Rove know that the information requested by Democratic senators will sink the Bolton nomination if it sees the light of day.

Side Note: Ben Nelson (Nebraska), Mark Pryor (Arkansas) and – you guessed it – Mary Landrieu of Louisiana voted with the Republicans in their failed attempt to deny Democrats the information they have requested and end debate.

The Landrieu dossier of weaselly behavior is growing and she is rapidly approaching Lieberman territory.