Thursday, May 12, 2005

John Bolton Hearings

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is meeting as we write this to debate the nomination of John Bolton as Ambassador to the U.N. The committee is made up of 10 Republicans and 8 Democrats (so a party-line vote goes to the majority party) and if he clears this committee he will then go to the full Senate for confirmation. Coverage can be seen on CSPAN3.

This guy is widely considered to be a bully, to have been complicit in manipulating intelligence to help sell Bush's march to war and, if his own words are to be believed, to have utter contempt for the U.N. In other words, he's a classic Bush nominee.

The committee actually has some pretty reasonable Republicans sitting on it, including Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and George Voinovich of Ohio. All of them have expressed reservations about Bolton but the administration has decided that losing this nomination would be a major blow and so has expended some political capital to keep the Republicans in line. As of this writing, the latest headlines have read Voinovich Slams Bolton but OKs Senate Vote and Chafee Says He'll Reluctantly Back Bolton. In other words, despite their reservations, they will allow this guy's nomination to go to the floor of the Senate and let the full body decide. What will happen there is still in doubt, as the Democrats still have the filibuster at their disposal...well, for now they do. And hey, ya never know, Larry Flynt's latest piece of investigative journalism into John Bolton's sex life {shudder} may catch on and stop Bolton's nomination cold.

The committee is scheduled to vote at 3:30pm EDT/12:30pm PDT.


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