Monday, August 01, 2005

Foreign Policy?

President Bush appointed John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations today, using the vehicle of the recess appointment to bypass the Senate, where his nomination had been stalled for five months. For the uninitiated, the Constitution gives the President the authority to make appointments at his discretion during periods of time when Congress is not in session. These appointments are not subject to scrutiny, and are valid until the end of the current Congress. The intent was to give the President to ability to fill urgent vacancies in a streamlined manner. What this President has done is to thumb his nose at the Senate in general and the opposition in particular. In my struggle to remain objective, I cannot find any way that this move builds any kind of consensus inside, or outside, of the United States.

By selecting Bolton, we have sent the United Nations an individual with little credibility to elucidate our foreign policy (just what exactly, our foreign policy is, is a topic even the most informed have trouble putting a finger on). Bolton was in the thick of the misinformation battle that lead to the mess that we're in the middle of now. We have essentially told the United Nations that not only do we have no regrets for our actions of the last three years, we don't even want to consider alternatives. And, by the way, we're going to dictate to you how you do your business. Great way to improve our image abroad.

So now, in a time that cooperation between opposing factions should be more important than ever, we get this. How much of this will weigh on the impending confirmation process of Judge John Roberts? I'm no rocket scientist.

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