Thursday, March 31, 2005

Bolton Nomination to UN

As debate for Mr. John Bolton’s nomination as US Ambassador to UN rages, it will be wise for Democrats to keep few things in mind. The basic point is being depleted in their strength and firepower, Democrats need to be choosey in picking up their battles. It will be wise for them to avoid filibuster in this case. I think Senator Russell Feingold line of thinking is on a solid ground here – generally speaking President should get all the freedom in choosing his ambassadors and his officers. Only in extreme case does one need to object such nominations.

It is quite understandable that objectively Mr. John Bolton is obviously not a best choice for America in representing it’s interest at the world body. He has been way too critical of UN and his past remarks hardly give any impression that he cares for UN. To that very same world body we are asking Mr. Bolton to attend. So it is quite natural for people to have doubts in their minds.

It is for this reason there is this Congressional confirmation process and Democrats can vote against this nomination in block. Throw in some Senator Boxer style statements at Secretary Rice confirmation process or Senator Clinton rebuttal to Fed Chairman Greenspan in one of hearings and then you get all the right political points what Democrats need. But they do not need to filibuster here and waste that precious little ammunition left with Democrats. They can use it for other fights. By registering their “nay” votes; their objections are well taken, registered and in case any Republican also agrees with them it might even block the nomination. All the better without loosing the political capital. Congressional Democrats really need to be careful in picking their battles and nomination of Mr. Bolton to UN is not worth it even if the choice stinks. Besides UN is still in very early stages of building it’s credibility, if at all that process has started or not. Hence, the effectiveness of this world body in furthering American interests is still questionable. Beyond all this, Democrats will be get another chance in replacing the nominee down the line when political balance goes in their favor. All in all, not a worthy fight to pick up.

Umesh Patil
San Jose, CA
March 31, 2005.

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