If word out of the White House is to be believed, John Bolton will receive a recess appointment early next week, despite growing evidence that he may have lied to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The President appears willing to ignore growing outrage and make Bolton his Ambassador. If he does, he will thumb his nose at the Senate and do serious damage to his future agenda.
Those aren’t my sentiments, but rather those of Republican stalwart Trent Lott:
Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., also thinks Bush will make Bolton his interim appointment, but he doesn’t think it’s a good idea.
“I suspect he will, but I do think it’s a little bit of a thumbing of the nose at the Senate, which will cause you more problems down the road,” Lott said. “We are a co-equal branch; he doesn’t get to make his choices in a vacuum.”
…Lott said Bolton would be “weakened and temporary.”
“He could serve what, 17 months, unless he was subsequently confirmed, which I don’t see any chance of,” Lott said.
Clearly the latest revelations are beginning to rattle even stalwart Republicans and erode their support for Bolton.
If, as Mr. Lott says, Senators do not want the President to make a recess appointment, the solution is simple. The Republican leadership should give the President what he wants — an up-or-down vote — and they should do it today before they go into recess.
Senator Lott and other Republicans have the power to show their President what happens when he “thumbs his nose” at them. They can act today, joining Senators Voinovich, Thune and their colleagues across the aisle to defeat decisively Mr. Bolton’s nomination. That would settle the matter once and for all.
— Charles Brown