Lincoln Chafee: Taking a Principled Stand on Bolton

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Senator Lincoln Chafee impressed just about everyone during the recent testimony of John Bolton before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He pushed Bolton for hard answers to important questions, and did not yield when Bolton tried to duck and swerve Chafee’s queries.
Chafee is worried about American foreign policy and the absence of a clear plan in the Middle East. He thinks that the administration has done nothing credible in recent years to push forward a “viable, two state solution” in Israel-Palestine affairs.
Today, Chafee told Senator Lugar that he would not support John Bolton as things stood. He would vote no if pushed. This has been glossed over now by Senator Chafee’s staff and others as being a prolonged period of purgatory for Bolton because Chafee has “unanswered questions”.
But the vote was delayed — and it is now certain to be delayed beyond the September 12th primaries in Rhode Island. After Senator Chafee wins, which TWN hopes he does, the Senator’s hand is even freer to vote his views and conscience on Bolton.
There is still uncertainty among the Senate Foreign Relations Committee members as to whether Chafee’s opposition to Bolton is “hard” or “soft”, but clearly the administration did not read this blog’s perception that Chafee was deeply troubled by Bolton’s diplomatic failures and did nothing to respond to Chafee’s articulated concerns.
If the vote on Bolton in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee occurs on September 14th, or the following week, and passes through Committee to the Senate floor, there will be a new range of concerns deployed by Senators who are not members of the Committee. This may involve a filibuster.
The Senate wants to go out of session by September 27th — so thus far, for those who remain steadfast in their opposition to Bolton, things are looking good.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

14 comments on “Lincoln Chafee: Taking a Principled Stand on Bolton

  1. tower defense says:

    Just look at the wasteland that Israel reduced Lebanon to. Bolton is in position at the UN for one purpose only, and that is to render the UN ineffective in opposing the policies of both Israel and the United States. If Lebanon is the ONLY “mission accomplished” that Bolton can lay claim to, his presence at the UN has paid huge dividends for the zionist/neo-con alliance.

    Reply

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  3. Mary Louise says:

    I really like Lincoln Chafee and I hope he (and Tom Kean, Jr.) win in November!!!

    Reply

  4. bob h says:

    Note that the excellent Chris Dodd vows to lead a filibuster on Bolton.

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  5. ahem says:

    Once he gets the primary, he’s votin’ for Bolton.
    No, he isn’t, because if he wins the primary, he’s still in a fight for his political life. I hope that his opposition is principled; I’ll take it if it’s simply expedient.

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  6. Pissed Off American says:

    Hey, check it out, someone passed out a box of gonads in Washington today. But don’t get your hopes up, its happened before, and everytime these guys get their balls sewed back on they use disolving stitches and the damned things just keep falling off…..
    http://americablog.blogspot.com/2006/09/senate-democratic-leadership-threatens.html

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  7. velvetdays says:

    I could understand this post better if it were May, 2005. But this strikes me as absurd on it’s face. The jury isn’t still out on Mr. Bolton, nor should it still be out on Senator Chafee. I’m simply bewildered by this- here, now. Bolton is a trainwreck.

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  8. Easy E says:

    Off Subject: With today’s release of Pre-9/11 OBL tape, Al Jazeera has joined Fox & CNN has propaganda arm for administration.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060907/ap_on_re_mi_ea/al_jazeera_bin_laden_tape
    The sheeple will think its current. Amazing.

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  9. Pissed Off American says:

    Bolton could drop dead today and it would not undo the damage he has already done. Just look at the wasteland that Israel reduced Lebanon to. Bolton is in position at the UN for one purpose only, and that is to render the UN ineffective in opposing the policies of both Israel and the United States. If Lebanon is the ONLY “mission accomplished” that Bolton can lay claim to, his presence at the UN has paid huge dividends for the zionist/neo-con alliance.
    And even with Bolton gone, our credibility with the world community is beyond repair. If a true diplomat was to replace Bolton at the UN, which is doubtful, he would still be unable to turn back the clock and return us to the stature we once held. This Administration’s modus operendi is to thumb its nose at world concensus, and Bolton’s ouster, or Chaffee’s after the fact posturing, is not going to change that behaviour.
    It becomes more apparent to me, everyday, that many of these political mnachinations are just charades, designed to give the American people the illusion of a government that is still mindful of our Democracy and the rule of law. The truth is, this Administration is going to do as it damned well pleases to do, just as it has done now for five and one half years. And Bolton is just one symptom of a far graver threat to us than his position at the UN represents.
    What do you people think these God damned maniacs will REALLY do if their hold on power is threatened, and there is a chance that thier actions, crimes, and policies of the last six years will be subjected to actual legal examination due to a Democratic takeover of the House?? There is NO WAY they can allow that to happen, because if the TRUTH is allowed to infect the majority, than the masses will be screaming for Bush’s and Cheney’s prosecution and incarceration. They MUST, at all costs, retain control.
    Many of you think that I am beyond the pale. Paranoid. A conspiracy theorist. I have often times stated that I think these people behind this Administration are going to do a false flag terrorist attack if their hold on power is threatened.
    Tell me, if it continues to seem as though the American public is ready to throw these crooks out, and we have a major terrorist event just prior to the November elections, how many of you would be willing to say with conviction that you believed that our current government had nothing to do with the attack?

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  10. Steve says:

    Chafee has rolled over for the Bush Administration on a distressingly high number of occasions, including on the first vote to discharge Bolton from committee. But progressives too easily forget that he was the sole Republican to vote against the war in Iraq. There’s principle, and a decent amount of seriousness on foreign policy, in there somewhere.

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  11. ChicagoJason says:

    Wouldn’t Chafee also be free to vote his conscience if he loses the GOP primary?

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  12. susan says:

    He may be a decent man, but my concern is that we take control of the senate; we need seven seats.
    When your opponent is struggling to stay afloat, hand him an anvil. I hope Chafee goes down.

    Reply

  13. Steve Clemons says:

    I respectfully disagree Punchy. Chafee’s performance at the Bolton hearing was a big risk for him — and it was principled and tough. What Chafee did today is consistent with his position then.
    best, Steve Clemons

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  14. Punchy says:

    No offense, Mr. Clemons, but this:
    “Chafee is worried about American foreign policy and the absence of a clear plan in the Middle East. ”
    is not the reason, IMO, that he’s opposing Bolton. As you elude to, he’s covering for his indy base in RI. Once he gets the primary, he’s votin’ for Bolton. He’s a weasel and a political shrew…

    Reply

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