Friday, May 27, 2005

Republicans ticked off about Bolton delay.

Politics: Wha... you mean the new lovely dovey Senate was a farce and the Democrats can't be trusted? Shocking.

Senate Democrats refused to end debate on John R. Bolton's nomination to be U.N. ambassador yesterday, extending the contentious issue into next month and angering Republicans only three days after many had heralded a bipartisan breakthrough on judicial nominees. Some Republicans expressed confidence that they can confirm Bolton eventually, but yesterday's action seemed to stun party leaders and undermine talk of a newfound comity stemming from Monday's brokered deal on judges. "The honeymoon is over," Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) said sharply as he left the floor moments after senators voted 56 to 42 in favor of ending debate on Bolton's nomination. The vote fell four short of the 60 needed to halt a filibuster and move to a confirmation vote, which would require only a simple majority in the 100-member chamber. ....Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), who appeared dour as yesterday's 35-minute roll call took place in an unusually crowded chamber, called the results "very, very disappointing." Earlier in the day, he said on the floor, Reid had given a speech calling for "comity and cooperation." "But tonight, after the Democrats have launched into yet another filibuster of a presidential nomination. . . . those words seem empty and hollow," Frist said. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) told reporters that Democratic leaders had assured Frist that he would get 60 votes to end debate if he tried. But Reid spokesman Jim Manley said the Democratic leader "told Senator Frist this afternoon he did not have the 60 votes needed, and urged him to consider holding off on the vote" while Biden and others pressed the administration for the requested documents. ....White House press secretary Scott McClellan said, "Just 72 hours after all the goodwill and bipartisanship in the Senate, it's a shame to see the Democratic leadership resort back to a partisan approach." ....Freshman Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) also voted for "cloture" but said he would vote against confirmation, in apparent protest of the administration's inclusion of Ellsworth Air Force Base, the state's second-largest employer, on a list of recommended base closings. He said of Bolton, "I don't think he's the best man for the job." Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a Bolton supporter and one of the 14 who signed the agreement on judicial filibusters, said yesterday: "Maybe this was just a bridge too far at the end of the most stressful week in recent memory. . . . The spirit that we were trying to create has been damaged." Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), also a Bolton supporter and one of the 14 negotiators, said the Bolton vote had "no linkage" to the deal on judges. It was about "the mystery of the unknown" in the requested documents, he said."

I'm not too worried about Thune as all politics are local and he is talking to his state. But this is getting ridiculous. The blame falls on the Republican Senate leadership and the White House. The Democrats have not done or said anything that is a surprise, but you constantly get the feeling the GOP is getting outflanked at the big issues. The Senate is full of people who think they should be President and more than happy to spit in the faces of the party to act like a "maverick." The White House needs to do more to assert some sort of control and tell GOP Senators to cut the crap.

But on the bright side, Lindsey Graham looks like an idiot after his pompous behavior earlier this week.

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