Bush Should Have Fought for Bolton

“What takes place in the Security Council more closely resembles a mugging than either a political debate or an effort at problem-solving.”

– Jeane Kirkpatrick
Former U.S. Ambassador
to the United Nations

The death of Jeane Kirkpatrick at age 80 saddens those of us who remember her tenacious spirit, towering intellect and fierce patriotism. It also brings to mind the alarming rate at which we are losing the leaders who brought us out of the dark era of the Cold War. Reagan is gone. So is Pope John Paul II. Margaret Thatcher is frail and aging. These were leaders who knew that liberty is a gift from God to be defended by free men and women everywhere. They also understood that most of the rest of the world does not share that view.

One who does share that view is John Bolton, who, for the last 18 months has been serving as our interim ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton was nominated to the position by President Bush in March 2005. Democrats, always spoiling for a fight with this president, filibustered the nomination. Thanks to the tortured rules of the U.S. Senate, a 60-vote “supermajority” is required to break such logjams. Thus, debate on the Bolton nomination drug on through that spring and into the summer. Finally, when the senate adjourned for its August break without giving the nominee an up-or-down vote, Bush exercised his presidential prerogative to give Bolton a recess appointment. That appointment is about to come to an end.

Contrary to the worst fears of liberal Democrats and Lincoln Chaffee, for the last year and a half John Bolton has been an excellent representative for U.S. interests at the corrupt, ineffectual United Nations. He has defended his country against the outrageous accusations of some of the world’s worst thugs, dictators and fanatics. He was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this year because he recognized and warned us early on about the dangers inherent in a nuclear Iran. He should have been confirmed by the outgoing GOP senate this month. Instead, this good and decent American patriot has been forced to give up.

While it is true that Bolton submitted his resignation, it is also clear that had the president been willing to fight for his nominee, Bolton would have been hard pressed to say no. Bush should have forced to the Democrats to go on record against the Bolton nomination. Unfortunately, since the midterm elections, this president has signaled his willingness to cave in to Democrats on virtually everything. It’s as though he has concluded that the American people rescinded his presidency when his party lost control of Congress. Someone should tell him that’s not how it works in Washington. He still has two more years left on the second term with which he was entrusted. He should act like he still has a mandate to govern. Democrats never assume their policies have been repudiated just because they lose an election. They go right on flexing their muscles in the corridors of power (assisted, of course by their cheerleaders in the mainstream media), while pretending that governing is their birthright.

So America is losing John Bolton at the United Nations. Who will we get to replace him? Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D.-Me.), once described as the most partisan man in Washington, has said he is available. Democrats would love that. Then we could simply capitulate to the forces of the Left and meld into the “World Community.” Then we wouldn’t have to be bothered with ever again fighting for American sovereignty.

The supply of John Boltons and Jeane Kirkpatricks is finite, especially in this era, and it will be hard for the president to find another one, even if he is inclined to do so, which I doubt.