[Marxism] FLASH! Bolton confirmation vote postponed til May 9th!

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 19 16:46:52 MDT 2005

(Those who haven't had an opportunity to listen to today's
Democracy NOW! will want to listen to it. Excellent infor-
mation about Bolton. One of the interview subjects thought
there was a 45% possibility that Bolton's confirmation vote
could be postponed. Now it's been put off until May 9th!

(There's lots of material on the Bolton connections to
Cuba at the blog of Steven Clemons, who Amy Goodman
interviews. Lots of excellent Cuba-related stuff there:

April 19, 2005
Senate Panel Postpones Vote on U.N. Nominee

WASHINGTON, April 19 - The Senate Foreign Relations
Committee postponed a vote today on the nomination of John
R. Bolton to be ambassador to the United Nations after a
Republican expressed reservations and Democrats demanded
more time to look into what they said were serious
questions about his fitness.

The decision to postpone, made by general agreement at the
end of a contentious session, means the nomination will not
be considered again until the week of May 9, after the
Senate returns from a recess that will begin April 28 or

The postponement guarantees that Mr. Bolton's nomination
will be hotly argued before the committee again in May,
perhaps with the nominee himself present, and on the floor
of the Senate - assuming that the committee sends the
nomination to the floor.

The delay was decided upon after a heated debate over
accusations that Mr. Bolton, acknowledged by friends and
critics alike to use sharp and sometimes fiery language,
had acted abusively toward subordinates and others, going
so far as to try to punish people for giving him
intelligence assessments he did not like.

Since Republicans have a 10-to-8 advantage on the Foreign
Relations Committee, it would not have been surprising if
the panel had endorsed Mr. Bolton today, even if all
Democrats had voted "no," as expected. But when a
Republican, Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio, said he
"just did not feel comfortable" voting until he had more
information, the committee chairman, Richard G. Lugar of
Indiana, and senior Democrats agreed to put the matter off.

Whether President Bush's choice to be the United Nations
envoy is in danger of being defeated - or whether there
might be behind-the-scenes pressure from Republicans to ask
him to stand down - may not be known for some time. But it
seemed obvious today that even with 55 Republican votes in
the Senate, the nomination is shaky.

Indeed, another Republican on the Foreign Relations
Committee, Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, said the
complaints against Mr. Bolton "cry out" for more
investigation. Mr. Hagel said he had been prepared to vote
today to send Mr. Bolton's nomination to the full Senate
but "that doesn't mean I will support his nomination on the

Mr. Bolton did pick up crucial, if tepid, support from one
Republican who had previously expressed doubts, Senator
Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. "The president gets to
choose his team," Mr. Chafee told The Associated Press.
"Most importantly for me, he's going to be on a short leash
with a choke collar."

Mr. Bolton, a former under secretary of state for arms
control, was a controversial choice for the United Nations
post from the outset, since he had spoken disdainfully of
the international organization. And over the past several
days his critics have brought up episodes in which he was
accused of bullying subordinates.

Today's committee session was unusually tense, with the
normally soft-spoken Mr. Lugar showing irritation with
Democrats at one point. "We were not born yesterday," he
said. "Republicans want to vote for John Bolton. There are
10 Republicans here."

But one after another, Democrats urged delay.

To vote today, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts said,
would be "voting in the blind." Senator Joseph Biden of
Delaware, the ranking Democrat on the panel, said he had
real doubts about Mr. Bolton's credibility. And Senator
Christopher Dodd of Connecticut said Mr. Bolton's record
proved "he has no right to be promoted to a job at this

If Mr. Bolton should fail to gain endorsement by the
committee, his nomination would not automatically be
doomed. There are parliamentary moves that his backers
could use to try to force his nomination to the Senate
floor, but his prospects there would be uncertain.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

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