Thursday, September 14, 2006

Rhode Island Democrats

Appointed United Nations Ambassador John Bolton must poll very badly among Rhode Island Democrats:
[I]n the 13 months since he was sent to New York, Bolton has surprised some critics with a more consensus-building style than they expected. Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio), who played a central role in blocking the nomination last year, reversed course this summer, declaring himself impressed by Bolton's performance -- seemingly clearing the way to confirmation.

Chafee put a halt to that last week by saying he would not vote for Bolton until after the administration addresses questions on Middle East policy that he had sent in a letter to Rice. Taken aback, White House officials hoped that it was merely a tactic to put off a controversial vote until after the primary, while preparing contingencies in case it was not.

Even with a "no" vote from Chafee, the Foreign Relations Committee could send the nomination to the floor on a tie vote, but Republicans would probably face a Democratic filibuster.

The general argument against Bolton is that he's too tough, too much of a hothead and thus will make America even more unpopular than we are if that's possible. If Senator Chaffee is so concerned about popularity, he's not showing much concern for it in his own political party.

Speaking of American popularity, Anne Applebaum had a column debunking the myth that we were ever popular:
But it's also true that this initial wave of goodwill hardly outlasted the news cycle. Within a couple of days a Guardian columnist wrote of the "unabashed national egotism and arrogance that drives anti-Americanism among swaths of the world's population". A Daily Mail columnist denounced the "self-sought imperial role" of the United States, which he said had "made it enemies of every sort across the globe".
Do we ever remember ourselves the way we really were? Long time ago (in blogging time) I noted a WaPo column -- either by David Ignatius or Fred Hyatt -- on that same theme. Bill Clinton, it was supposed, was so charming that the world loved America and Americans, but what the column made clear was that the world loved him. While he visited nations abroad, leaders would smile and shake his hand for the camera, and probably after the cameramen had gone home. And then when each were safely ensconced in their versions of the White House, they would do the opposite of what Clinton had wanted.

It was nothing personal, I'm sure.


Blogger Mike in S.A. said...

John Bolton has been our most effective Ambassador to the UInited Nations in recent memory. Naturally, the Democrats, RINOs, an others like them would prefer to have someone who constantly apologizes for being an American. Pathetic.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Luther said...

Personally I feel as a whole the UN isn't a very effective, if not useless, organization.

I must admit I don't really know much about John Bolton but when I have heard him speak I think he always makes sense and I agree with his statements.

Putting my personal "liking" him aside, is he actually more effective than most UN Ambassadors? Or just more outspoken? And if he is more effective then how are we measuring this? Or is this just a gut feel? This is truly just a question - as I don't know enough about him or any prior Ambassadors to know which ones were actually more effective than others.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Fair question. I'd read that yes, he was actually effective, but of course can't call it to mind.

I'm a very busy and important person, you know!

6:12 PM  

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