Monday, April 25, 2005

Robert Novak: The Bolton fiasco.

Politics: This pretty much sums up the position Voinovich and the RINOs put the GOP in.

The grim outlook for Bolton constitutes a major victory for the adversarial style practiced by Senate Democrats, with Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut taking the lead. Bolton's undeniable conservative ideology has antagonized the State Department's liberal cadre and its senatorial defenders. His hard line on Fidel Castro has alienated Dodd, whose long-term goal has been normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations. Yet, Dodd on Tuesday made the astounding statement that his opposition to Bolton "has nothing to do with substantive disagreements," only his personal characteristics. ...Voinovich, displaying the grand senatorial style, admitted he had not attended previous committee hearings on Bolton and what he knew was based only on what he had heard Tuesday from Democrats. Chafee, indicating that he too was switching on Bolton, gushed about how thrilled he was to hear a senator change his mind after listening to another senator. Those comments could invite future demagoguery from Democrats. Republicans always expect the worse from Chafee, who said he wrote in a vote for the senior George Bush for president in 2004. But Voinovich took the party by surprise. That surprise validates the opinion of senior Republican senators who consider this administration's congressional outreach the worst they have seen. The only serious Republican defense of Bolton Tuesday was made by first-term Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota. This passivity not only leads Democrats to believe they will prevent John Bolton from going to the U.N. but also shows them the way to replicate this triumph.

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