The Latest on John Bolton Battle: Bolton Could be Appointed Deputy and then Made “Acting Ambassador” with Pay Cut

-

bush,chafeedisplay.jpg
(Lincoln Chafee with former President George H.W. Bush and his late father, Senator John Chafee)
So far, there has been no sign that the Bush administration’s considerable efforts to get Ambassador John Bolton confirmed are yielding any success in changing the environment currently blocking him.
But the White House has considered a shocking plan to keep the Ambassador in his position at the UN that may not involve a second recess appointment to his current position — which would mean that he could not be compensated, may not be eligible for travel funds, may not be able to actually use government facilities for his work, and would possibly be time limited to a certain number of days that he could remain in this position, even if largely stripped of all taxpayer support.
The White House is studying appointing Bolton as one of the deputies at the United Nations, specifically the “political deputy.” This position also carries the title of Ambassador, as do four other slots at the US Mission to the UN. Bolton would take a pay cut, and would then be made “Acting Ambassador” and chief of mission.
Those I have bounced this news off in the diplomatic community are stunned by even the conceptualization of this strategy and have a hard time believing that the administration would allow itself to appear in such a desperate position to retain Bolton.
I have no indication that this course is “likely.” I only know that it is on the roster of options being considered about Bolton.
Senator Richard Lugar, according to some sources close to him, is irritated with the administration’s failure to “service” this nomination appropriately and effectively. Bolton is not Senator Lugar’s cup of tea so to speak — but Lugar decided some time ago to support the administration’s request and to do his best to get the nomination to the floor of the Senate for a vote.
But Lugar hates “messiness” and believes in thoughtful, deliberative legislative process that reflects honest debate about the nominees from the executive branch. Lugar reportedly believes that the administration was surprisingly sloppy in preparing the way for the Bolton nomination — and the mere fact that two Republican senators have been the key road blocks to Bolton’s nomination inside the Committee is all the evidence that Lugar needs that the administration belly-flopped on this one.
There was almost a third Republican voice poised against Bolton in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last year — and that was Senator Lisa Murkowski, whose statement and passionately articulated concerns about Bolton rivaled Voinovich’s Committee statement opposing Bolton. My sources tell me that the administration has done nothing to assure that Senator Murkowski’s position on Bolton has remained firm and to address concerns that she too had about him a year ago.
For the record, Murkowski has indeed reported that like last year, she would ultimately vote for Bolton — but it is lukewarm support. The administration has not fully accepted the fact that even among its rank-and-file, enthusiasm for John Bolton continuing in his position is lukewarm.
That’s not the kind of environment where “50% plus one” tactics work well — and leaks that the White House is willing to endure virtually any cost to keep Bolton in place while not at the same time tending to the explicit concerns of Senators in anything other than ad hoc and highly reactive ways offends the sensibilities of not only Richard Lugar but of a good number of the Republican senators on the Foreign Relations Committee.
There are only a few legislative days left before Congress breaks before the November elections. It is still highly unlikely that the White House can engineer a quick vote on Bolton — but it is not impossible.
The only time that this battle could lurch forward is if Senator Chafee does yield to the pressure from the White House and communicates his intention to Lugar that he will vote for Bolton.
There is a Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting on Tuesday, September 26, at 2:15 pm in S-116 of the US Capitol. In the public announcement of the meeting, there is an ominous line at the end of the announced agenda:

Additional items may be added. . .

I have no information on whether the administration’s latest efforts to cook up a Middle East initiative have impressed Chafee or not.
After the back room shoving around of Palestinians by the White House after the President’s speech at the UN this week, Chafee ought not to allow himself to get snookered by an administration that it is not ready to be fair-minded in efforts to get a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.
But one must consider all possibilities. The administration could secure a deal with Chafee and hold this as a closely held secret.
Lugar could add Bolton’s vote to the business meeting next Tuesday afternoon knowing Chafee’s possible switch — and this could be voted out of Committee. It could then be brought to the Senate Floor as early as Wednesday or Thursday — when a battle over cloture will ensue.
Those opposing Bolton on the floor have a number of tactics they can use to stall and delay a vote on him on the floor — but Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist would see this as a top priority and hold up much of the nation’s other business to pound this through (we suspect).
The drama would be high, and the tension between parties intense. But the discomfort inside each of the parties would also be serious. Many Republicans don’t like this kind of brinksmanship over someone with a track record like Bolton’s. And Democrats will really pound Senator Chuck Schumer for his earlier stated position to support cloture on a Bolton vote and for his conflating the substantive concerns about Bolton with the question of American support at the UN for Israel’s interests.
What Schumer has failed to understand is that Democrats and Republicans alike have been stalwarts for Israel’s needs and interests at the United Nations. For Schumer to extend to John Bolton groveling praise for his Israel efforts over-personalizes what Bolton has done and robs his own party of its considerable level of commitment to Israel’s security and place at the UN.
More later, but those interested in the Bolton battle must remain vigilant this week. There is a “sneak play” that could unfold on Tuesday, and it could happen before anyone knew the Bolton vote had been teed up again.
I don’t think Richard Lugar will like such tactics. But despite the discomfort of all of this for him, he still sees his job as getting the administration’s choice to the Senate floor to a vote.
Let’s hope that Senator Lincoln Chafee does not get too easily seduced by the White House’s late in the day Middle East talk.
As Chafee said during the July 27th hearing with Bolton, the Senator stated that despite Bolton’s assurances that he believed in a viable, two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine standoff, Chafee argued that the distance between the administration’s actions and rhetoric was great and that the administration had precious little credibility in this policy arena.
Stay tuned.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

26 comments on “The Latest on John Bolton Battle: Bolton Could be Appointed Deputy and then Made “Acting Ambassador” with Pay Cut

  1. Gus Aviv al.jawi says:

    gerakan kobuki harus di arahkan ke nuansa islam

    Reply

  2. xenical without prescription says:

    Xenical (Generic Xenical, Orlistat) blocks some of the fat that you eat from being absorbed by your body. Xenical (Generic Xenical, Orlistat) is used in the management of obesity including weight loss and weight maintenance when used with a reduced-calorie diet. Xenical (Generic Xenical, Orlistat) may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
    http://www.rxwanted.net/generic-xenical.html

    Reply

  3. learn marketiva says:

    あなたのお金をここに投資し始めなさい:
    Marketiva
    Marketiva は良質のオンライン点のforexの交換サービスを貿易業者に与えることを専門にする金融サービス株式会社である。熱心な財政の専門家およびテクニカルサポートの人員のチームで外貨の市場で交換している顧客を小売りするために、Marketivaは市場メーカーおよび主なcounterpartyとして全体的に作動する。 Marketivaは主力産業として起工のインターネットの交換のプラットホームおよび優秀なカスタマーサービスに依存によってそれ自身を確立した。
    Marketiva の代表団はインターネットの力を利用し、特別に有効な交換用具および顕著な顧客サポートをforexの貿易業者に与えることである。 Marketivaを使用しているForexの貿易業者は世界、使い易さ、柔軟性および信頼性のために有名にされるStreamster™ソフトウェアで前陣高度のオンライン小売りの外貨の取引を楽しむ。
    世界中の機会の提供
    私達の代表団(Marketiva)は伝統的に閉められていた金融センターおよび施設で作動している貿易業者のような等しい条件の下で金融市場で貿易へ世界中で個人に機会を提供することである。
    個々の貿易業者が独立した、知識がある交換の決定をするのを助けるためにはMarketivaは複数のタイプ・オブ・サービスを完全に無料で提供する: 高度の図表になるシステム、毎日の研究のレポート、市場のでき事警報、巧妙なディスカッション・フォーラムおよび他の複数の自由な付加価値サービス。 Marketivaはまた作戦で実験し、彼らの交換の技術を増進し、生きている交換の机ことをで売買する前にシステムを親しくなることを貿易業者が各顧客口座内の事実上の交換の容易にするために机を提供する。
    あなたがMARKETIVAに入れることができる多くの利点

    Reply

  4. learn marketiva says:

    あなたのお金をここに投資し始めなさい:
    Marketiva
    Marketiva は良質のオンライン点のforexの交換サービスを貿易業者に与えることを専門にする金融サービス株式会社である。熱心な財政の専門家およびテクニカルサポートの人員のチームで外貨の市場で交換している顧客を小売りするために、Marketivaは市場メーカーおよび主なcounterpartyとして全体的に作動する。 Marketivaは主力産業として起工のインターネットの交換のプラットホームおよび優秀なカスタマーサービスに依存によってそれ自身を確立した。
    Marketiva の代表団はインターネットの力を利用し、特別に有効な交換用具および顕著な顧客サポートをforexの貿易業者に与えることである。 Marketivaを使用しているForexの貿易業者は世界、使い易さ、柔軟性および信頼性のために有名にされるStreamster™ソフトウェアで前陣高度のオンライン小売りの外貨の取引を楽しむ。
    世界中の機会の提供
    私達の代表団(Marketiva)は伝統的に閉められていた金融センターおよび施設で作動している貿易業者のような等しい条件の下で金融市場で貿易へ世界中で個人に機会を提供することである。
    個々の貿易業者が独立した、知識がある交換の決定をするのを助けるためにはMarketivaは複数のタイプ・オブ・サービスを完全に無料で提供する: 高度の図表になるシステム、毎日の研究のレポート、市場のでき事警報、巧妙なディスカッション・フォーラムおよび他の複数の自由な付加価値サービス。 Marketivaはまた作戦で実験し、彼らの交換の技術を増進し、生きている交換の机ことをで売買する前にシステムを親しくなることを貿易業者が各顧客口座内の事実上の交換の容易にするために机を提供する。
    あなたがMARKETIVAに入れることができる多くの利点
    MARKETIVAの貿易は1 2 3のようにとても容易……である。 そして放しなさい。

    Reply

  5. marketiva says:

    marketiva, my marketiva, belajar marketiva, learn marketiva
    di sini
    di http://www.belajarmarketiva.com

    Reply

  6. MP says:

    Charles quoLINDBERGH, CHARLES. 20th century American aviator, writer.
    Wednesday, August 23, 1939
    “We are disturbed about the effect of the Jewish influence in our press, radio and motion pictures. It may become very serious. [Fulton] Lewis told us of one instance where the Jewish advertising firms threatened to remove all their advertising from the Mutual system if a certain feature were permitted to go on the air. The threat was powerful enough to have the feature removed.”
    Thursday, May 1, 1941
    “The pressure for war is high and mounting. The people are opposed to it, but the Administration seems to have ‘the bit in its teeth’ and is hell-bent on its way to war. Most of the Jewish interests in the country are behind war, and they control a huge part of our press and radio and most of our motion pictures. There are the ‘intellectuals’ and the ‘Anglophiles,’ and the British agents who are allowed free rein, the international financial interests, and many others.” (The Wartime Journals)
    Posted by Charles at September 23, 2006 05:02 PM ted: ”
    Charles, I don’t know from your post whether you find Lindbergh worth emulating in our day or you are quoting these passages as a cautionary tale (as I would be doing). But it is amazing to me how much of CL had to say then is being parroted today…even, from time to time, on this blog. You know, Jews control it all and aren’t loyal to the USA.

    Reply

  7. Eli Rabett says:

    I believe all ambassadors need Senate confirmation.

    Reply

  8. Kathleen says:

    Frank,
    How right you are. How could I have forgotten that? I think Bolton’s gone on to render other services to his Demander-In-Chief.

    Reply

  9. Carroll says:

    Considering the complicity of Congress at this hour, what now remains is the people. And we do not go gently into the darkness.
    Posted by elementary teacher at September 23, 2006 03:47 PM
    >>>>>>>
    Amen, ET..Amen.
    I use to read TPM but it got too one sided in it’s featured writers…it was more opinion than the kind of insider workings we get here at WN…But I will go check it out again and look for your post.

    Reply

  10. ET says:

    I miss Mr. Valdron so I’ve been going over to the TPM Cafe. I started to post there under the name Ticia.

    Reply

  11. Charles says:

    LINDBERGH, CHARLES. 20th century American aviator, writer.
    Wednesday, August 23, 1939
    “We are disturbed about the effect of the Jewish influence in our press, radio and motion pictures. It may become very serious. [Fulton] Lewis told us of one instance where the Jewish advertising firms threatened to remove all their advertising from the Mutual system if a certain feature were permitted to go on the air. The threat was powerful enough to have the feature removed.”
    Thursday, May 1, 1941
    “The pressure for war is high and mounting. The people are opposed to it, but the Administration seems to have ‘the bit in its teeth’ and is hell-bent on its way to war. Most of the Jewish interests in the country are behind war, and they control a huge part of our press and radio and most of our motion pictures. There are the ‘intellectuals’ and the ‘Anglophiles,’ and the British agents who are allowed free rein, the international financial interests, and many others.” (The Wartime Journals)

    Reply

  12. elementary teacher says:

    Which brings up the issue of why people obey. A monolithic theory of power assumes that the power of a government is a relatively fixed quantum. If that were true, however, such power could only be controlled by the voluntary self-restraint of rulers.
    I do not accept a lot of the framing of the issues about Bush: under girding the whine is a set of monolithic premises. Consider the words of French writer Etienne de La Boetie, in speaking of the power of a tyrant:
    “He who abuses you so has only two eyes, has but two hands, one body and has naught but what has the least man of the great and infinite number of your cities, except for the advantage you give him to destroy you.”
    Considering the complicity of Congress at this hour, what now remains is the people. And we do not go gently into the darkness.

    Reply

  13. Carroll says:

    You know though we have more than Bolton problem, more than a just this Adm problem…there are too many people in this goverment who are either “personally” carried away with being tough guys or more than willing to deliver any threats the adm thinks up.
    I caught part of an interview with Armitage the other day on his alleged threat to bomb Pakistan into the “stone age” if they didn’t cooperate with the US.
    Musharraf of course could be stretching the truth because he now realizes he might be a little too closely aligned with the US for his own good. But watching Armitage and his replies I tend to think this swaggering kind of threat is exactly what he probably did say. One of his replies to the question is in this article:
    http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/15584115.htm
    “Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age,” he quoted Armitage as warning Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, who was in Washington when the attacks in New York and Washington took place. …
    Armitage denied ever making such a threat in a telephone interview on Thursday with McClatchy Newspapers. “I didn’t command any airplanes,” he said.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    He didn’t command any airplanes?..what the hell kind of answer is that? But he did admit to the old you are either with us or against us theme and telling Ahmed that “history begins today”.
    The hubris of these people is astounding…now history begins and ends when they say so.

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    I ditto Beth and kathleen..
    But I don’t know that Bolton makes any difference in the long run…we do have to fight all the short term battles, but this adm has another two years to stomp the UN into submission or pull out.
    If it seems crazy to suggest the US would leave the UN then just think about everything else they have done that once seemed unthinkable.

    Reply

  15. undecided says:

    Why is it that two of the individuals who represented Bush’s interests in the Palm Beach recount in 2000 now hold ambassador-level positions at the U.N.?

    Reply

  16. elementary teacher says:

    “Torture isn’t about and for our enemies, then, so much as it’s about and intended for us.”
    Same ploy was used constantly in South Africa under the apartheid regime. It happened to me. While standing next to you — say, a white English-speaking liberal — the Afrikaner pointed his hunting gun steadily at a “kaffir” all the while talking to you. Message: you don’t walk my talk, my gunpoint shifts to you, got it, chappie?
    PS. Instinctive liberal response: Don’t shoot, I’m English!

    Reply

  17. beth says:

    Steve, I hate to say it, but I think you are being bamboozled by these “moderate” republicans. After the travesty of the latest move by the Senate to allow Bush 43 to essentially negate our commitment to the Geneva Convention and rule of law, I no longer trust any of these guys. It’s sad, really, but I don’t anymore. The “reasonable center” is complicit in this movement to turn our country into a nation that no longer supports the rule of law. Not only are they complicit, they enabled it to happen. Perhaps this is just a bad day, a bad week, but I am ready to wash my hands of them all.

    Reply

  18. Frank says:

    What has Bolton done to enjoy such support from Bush?? John Bolton is the mustachio that pounded on the door and lead the disrupting charge of radicalized patronage seeking Bush supporters, mainly lawyers mustered from around the country, into the Florida ballot counting room in the 2000 presidential election. Remember?? It was captured on TV. It showed a fanatical sickening zeal on his face when leading similar fanatics rushing through the door in the effort to halt ballot counting. He certainly was handsomely paid off for his efforts through a second nomination by that buffoon in the white house. The past has shown Lugar falling on his statesmanship sword for Bush. Will it happen again..But then, rubber stamps are rubber stamps, and I won’t hold my breath for statesmanship trumping party loyalty by Lugar

    Reply

  19. FaceOnMars says:

    I can’t help but suspect Bolton’s presence in the UN would serve a long term “inside goal” of the administration. To be more precise, a goal of an inner circle of the administration. Seems we’re currently “out of the box” in so far as bringing a politically compromised individual through the process at this point in the game. So, logic would seem to indicate a motive working behind the scenes. Either this motive is a political tactic of sorts, or part of a larger agenda – which had been formulated a long time ago. So, Bolton is either a distraction in the political landscape or a cog in a much larger plan by the cabal. It is the latter where I’d place my chips. It kind of scares me; they’re obviously on a track to pound the idealistic circle peg into the square hole of reality, but I just don’t know how far – and at what cost – they’re willing to go?

    Reply

  20. steve duncan says:

    “…. belly-flopped on this one ….”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    What haven’t they belly-flopped on?

    Reply

  21. profmarcus says:

    steve… you know, i know, we all know that there is absolutely NOTHING the bush administration would not do to get their way… they have proven time and again that a non-negotiable requirement for certain positions is that they have the right (litmus-tested) people in positions they consider critical… appearing “desperate” has never stopped them from doing anything they have set their minds to… if, indeed, a move against iran is in the offing, it is essential that they have an ideological zealot at the u.n., one who is tried and true and carries the approved dogma in his very dna… of COURSE, they want bolton to stay, and, of COURSE, they will do whatever it takes to keep him there…
    i admire and respect your knowledge, perspective, and diligence and that you take pains to share your insights along with important information that might not otherwise be visible… i am often amused, however, that you seem to keep exhorting the bush administration to see the world through what you, i, and most of the rest of the world consider a rational template… the bush crowd is all about power, money, control, and global hegemony, and whatever tactics are required to obtain them can and will be used… that is the ONLY template through which to view their actions… national security, diplomacy, whatever skills or issues have been the coin of the realm in past administrations, carry no weight with bushco…
    http://takeitpersonally.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  22. Kathleen says:

    Hmmmm, how fascinating that Busholini is so dedicated to John Bolton.
    I wonder what Bolton knows or was a party to, to engender such devotion? I’d say his fingerprints are on the Yellowcake from Niger forgeries and they have some leftover stolen Niger Embassy stationary to use for Iran.
    I’ve been asking Dems to get up and walk out if they are asked to vote on Bolton before the SFRC receives the documents they requested, rather than particpate in a farce.
    We need to get our own stealth play together, ASAP, like a formal objection to Bolton’s credentials being accepted by the UN on the grounds that he was not duly appointed and does not support the UN Charter, period.
    Does Busholini really want to have that embarrassment? But then again, the man has no shame, at least not yet.
    I’m on board for going directly to the UN with our objections. Let’s go to the mat on this one.

    Reply

  23. km4 says:

    “A nation reaps what it sows”.
    Chalmers Johnson, author of “Blowback”
    How fitting in light of the torture news. Now we have these hypocritical pondscum chickenhawk Republicans still looking for way to appoint ‘political commissar’ Bolton.
    Simply disgusting being that Bushco has largely abandoned a reliance on diplomacy, international law, multilateral institutions and resorted much of the time to bluster, military force, and financial manipulation in carrying out its foreign policies.

    Reply

  24. Marcia says:

    “As Chafee said during the July 27th hearing with Bolton, the Senator stated that despite Bolton’s assurances that he believed in a viable, two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine standoff, Chafee argued that the distance between the administration’s actions and rhetoric was great and that the administration had precious little credibility in this policy arena.”
    If this were the only arena in which the administration “had precious little credibility” the situation would not be such a disaster.
    Is there any arena in which this governmant retains any credibility whatsoever?
    How can there be any serious analysis of policy at all when reading tea leaves would give as much information as the “reading between the lines.”
    Their policy is simple, win the next election, whatever it takes. One election at a time, hammer the domestic agenda that is reduced to wiretapping, torture,and scaring the rabble–the American people.

    Reply

  25. susan says:

    Steve, I realize that Bolton is already damaged goods, but in this created position, doesn’t it seem obvious that he will be ignored by most of the other nations’ reps?
    The rest of the UN realizes that he is not really the US’ representative to the UN, but rather George Bush’s representative. If he were to be propped up as you describe here, it seems to me that he would have absolutely zero diplomatic credibility, and I honestly can’t see how any other representatives would have any reason to listen to or support him.
    Or mayby this is the plan all along? Bolton’s self fullfilling prophecy of the “obsolete” UN?

    Reply

  26. liz says:

    So Chafee holds the key to Bolton? I hope Chafee threw that key away. It would certainly be a warm fuzzy for a Republican to A)Keep his word B) that the word meant something substantial and C) A republican held out for the good of AMERICA.
    Those are the stakes and the players…… On your mark… and good luck folks.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *