Topic: Breaking News
Nominees: Bolton In and Roberts in the Wings
John Bolton has been discussed often in these pages, most extensively in My Favorite Diplomat, and his Shadow from March 13, 2005 - the Sunday after he was nominated to be our next ambassador to the United Nations.
Monday, August 1, he finally made it.
Controversy persists as Bolton heads for U.N.
Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent, Monday, August 1, 2005; 11:12 AM
One of the details -
And this -
And this -
Well, it's done. And much has been said, here and all over, so no more need be added.
Reactions? Ian Williams at SALON.COM with this:
But conservative Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs giggles, "Those popping sounds you hear are the exploding heads of lefty bloggers." Really? Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos shrugs - "Bush thinks he's flashing the middle finger at Democrats, but in reality he's setting back his own cause for reform at the United Nations. ? But this administration has done nothing but give F.U.s to the world community for five years running. This is simply par for the course."
And there's the usual sarcasm like this - "At a time when America itself and this administration especially have a serious credibility gap and reputation for bullying in the world, it's good to know that the Bush administration is addressing that by sending a man who has a credibility gap and reputation for bullying to the U.N. as our top diplomat."
Yeah, well, whatever.
How is this seen abroad? There is much on the net that you can easily find, but in the little world of As Seen from Just Above Sunset there is this from a friend in Brussels - an Australian woman who has worked in Paris for decades and has never visited America (odd the good friends one makes long-distance) -
Yeah, well, it's the neocons' wet dream - Bolton will go up to Manhattan, storm in and call everyone he sees a fool, liar and cheat, and tell them their whole organization is bullshit. Maybe he'll punch someone - probably some woman ambassador from some country of medium-brown folks. Americans - so put upon and misunderstood (we're really nice folks) - will cheer. Given the results of the 2004 elections, this is precisely what slightly more than half the country wants. For all the reformist rhetoric, the objective is clear - destroy this organization, because they hate us. Destroying the Social Security system isn't working out. Iraq as a Jeffersonian democracy with a Wal-Mart in every town, and a Starbucks on every corner, isn't working out. This may.
But it's done. We shall see how this plays out.
What about the other nomination - John Roberts for the open Supreme Court position?
Monday, August 1, Christopher Hitchens has some really interesting things to say about that.
Hitchens is odd, and I will admit that when I came across this I was sure it was Hitchens -
But it was John Hinderaker over at Powerline. Well, sometimes it is hard to tell, given Hitchens' writing on the war we have going - or now this "struggle," as they seem to have renamed it.
But as much as Hitchens has hitched his star to the idea of a good war against really bad people, in spite of mounting evidence that this particular ground and air war may have been the wrong action at the wrong time for the wrong reasons, and may be leading us to disaster - he does get himself worked up about religion. He is on the far side of skeptical on such matters.
And the nomination of John Roberts does bother him.
Quit tiptoeing around John Roberts' faith.
Christopher Hitchens, SLATE.COM, Posted Monday, August 1, 2005, at 1:27 PM PT
Here's what bothers him:
Yes, that is curious. Roberts would step aside - recuse himself - in any case involving matters the Church takes seriously - death penalty cases, abortion cases, church and state matters like the isplay of the Ten Commandments and the Pledge of Allegiance stuff? Surely, he didn't mean that. That would make him pretty useless.
But the evidence is that he actually did say that.
Was he trying to play it safe? If so, bad move. Hitchens:
Will someone ask, or will the Senate play nice?
Hitchens, who had previous excoriated the pope (see Papal Power: What no one else will say about John Paul II from late March), says you have to treat Catholics as a special case. Why?
So it's not anti-Catholic discrimination to ask the question. It's logical.
Hitchens also points out Roberts would make the fourth Catholic on the court, joining Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas.
A big deal?
Consider this: (my emphases)
Yep, it would be heresy. And, since the last election, our evangelical, Christian Republican Party (the party of the kick-ass and take-names avenging Jesus, bringer of death to the bad guys) has appropriated the Catholic Church as its ally ? and the Holy See in Rome loves the role. These folks control the Senate. Roberts is in. If he does the Church's work he does the work of the evangelical right. Recusal isn't necessary. It's a moot point.
Hitchens doesn't like the idea. But then his latest book is Thomas Jefferson: Author of America. You might have caught him last week on the PBS "Charlie Rose Show" saying how proud he was to be a naturalized American citizen and how much he admired Jefferson.
Poor guy. Welcome to the fun house.