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, May 26, 2005

Another of Reid's Retreats on Bolton?

The motto, one is led to believe, of Harry Reid and the Senate Democratic leadership is reculer pour mieux sauter. According to this view, the succession of humiliating defeats [1] on nominations like Alberto Gonzales and John Negroponte [2] and bills like the tort reform and bankruptcy bills is, paradoxically, proof that the strategy is working.

Nothing is important except the judicial nominations; everything else has to be let through for fear that the Dems would be seen as obstructionist.

Well, thanks to the Fab Fourteen, we have three of the most despised of those noms going through more or less on the nod. With the nuclear option almost bound to be resuscitated when SCOTUS noms come up for confirmation.

And, it seems, in the current climate of Christmas 1914 - with the Dems and GOP (or some of them) getting out of their trenches for a seasonal game of soccer, the Dem hierarchy thinks it would be bad form to take on Bolton.

Perhaps the most hated (by Dems) nominee to come up in this session, with all sorts of complaints about his personal conduct coming out of the woodwork, on top of a public record which shows him to be no diplomat.

(That's the point: his appointment is a deliberate poke in the eye to the rest of the international 'community' who believe in the UN and multilateralism and all that commie jazz.

Like Caligula and the horse. Only, of course, Caligula sent the whole horse [3].)

Barbara Boxer, that liberal champion, had placed a hold on the Bolton nom which she was adamant about keeping in place until USG disgorged various pieces of information requested - that was May 15.

Yesterday, she was singing a different tune. The hold was off, though the information from USG was still outstanding:
Her decision came after conferring with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's top Democrat, Joseph Biden of Delaware, and after the resolution of a sharply partisan battle over Senate filibusters that has seemed to take some of the wind out of the opposition to Bolton.

Now, Boxer was pleased to disregard decorum and shake her tail-feathers over the Ohio electoral votes at the start of the session (to a preposterous amount of liberal knicker-wetting and hullaballoo).

Ever since, my impression is that she's been keeping a lowish profile, until the Bolton hold. Was she leaned on by the Dem leadership?

(Is she planning to run again in 2010? If not, she has no excuse for not sticking to her guns, surely?)

The cloture vote is due at 1800 ET - all of this is in flagrant breach of my self-denying ordinance on breaking news! There is still time for rabbits to be pulled from hats.

And in the real world...

  1. Reid has only 45 troops to command - he can't be expected to win simple majority votes, but he can win party-line cloture votes with four senators freed to vote their consciences (or contributors' interests) via catch and release. And he has not done so.

  2. I'm inclined to give the Dems a pass for giving Rice a pass: filibustering a Secretary of State nomination so early in the session would perhaps have set a too-confrontational tone.

  3. No opportunity should be missed to work in this gag. Was Huey Long (April 9 2003) the first guy about which it was said? I doubt it, but see no evidence online on the point (without really looking...).


Boxer, speaking in the debate today, has retailed the Bolton horror story.

But the Dem complaint against Voinovich - if you hate the guy that much, why let the nom out of committee? - applies equally, mutatis mutandis, to Boxer.

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