The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Dem Senators giving Negroponte a free pass

In the demonology of the American left, few of those still in public office have a name as black as John Negroponte.

Yet, it seems, Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have decided to let the guy's nomination as Iraqi Ambassador through on the nod.

A prime opportunity for the Dems to energise the base, divert the media's attention from those damned ribbons - or do I mean medals? - and have themselves a bit of fun. And they make it a formality.

Democracy Now has Senator Christopher Dodd (D:CT) telling the committee:
Since this is a non-traditional confirmation hearing, I was trying to recall a similar kind of a hearing. We haven't gone the extent that the finance committee did a number of years ago when our former colleague Lloyd Benton was nominated by President Clinton to be Secretary of the Treasury...They actually voted him out before they started the questions. We're not going that far, John, here, but in a sense, what I'm getting at here, it's obvious that this committee is going to confirm your nomination...I don't think anything that you are going to say is going to dissuade any of us that you should not be the choice and get this job done.

I've seen a ceremonial first pitch thrown out with more vigour!

An NPR piece yesterday managed to discuss Negroponte without mentioning Latin America, death squads, Battalion 316 or anything of the sort.

And, on the spearhead of the liberal media fightback, Al Franken's show on Air America, again, nada. (That I recall.)

Not that razzing the guy about Honduras is going to stop him getting confirmed. And, since (as I understand) Negroponte's Latin adventures were widely aired during his UN Ambassador confirmation in 2001, perhaps the Dems didn't like to be seen repeating themselves. (Politicians repeating themselves? They hate that.)

But, with Kerry for the moment floundering, covering fire from the Hill might have helped.

If those Senators had gone hog-wild on Negroponte's ass, it would even have given the Massachusetts liberal a chance to be the voice of moderation...


Matthew Yglesias in American Prospect (April 26) blames

  1. Kerry for not giving a lead - on Negroponte or any other foreign policy issue;

  2. Congressional Dems for waiting for Kerry to give them a lead;

  3. the media for waiting for Congressional Dems to give them a lead.

I've seen suggestions that even Dems are figuring that Kerry is running to lose to leave Hillary Clinton a clear run in '08. You can see where they might get that idea.

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