Andy Card is on the “White House is infallible” kick and thinks that all of the problems that are churning right now — from the issue of confirming judges and John Bolton to Tom DeLay surviving — are the fault of Democrats. He made a big pitch to Dems this weekend to just work together with the Republican majority and stop stopping things.
Andy, could it be over-reach? Could it be that the John Bolton choice offends the sensibilities of so many on the side of the aisle that he was just a dumb choice?
Why can’t the White House admit mistakes, step back, and come back with something that is better for the nation. Why is admitting error and improving on it so feared by your office? Couldn’t that be a good example for our young people here in this country? and for others around the world?
Here is what an editorial had to say in the Citizen-Times of Asheville, North Carolina had to say about the misnomer of partisan bickering over Bolton:
The nomination remains in committee because GOP leaders dare not call a vote. The panel is made up of 10 Republicans and eight Democrats, which means the defection of one Republican would result in a tie vote, blocking the nomination from going to the Senate floor. At the moment, at least three Republicans are concerned about Bolton.
The committee, which already has held confirmation hearings, has taken the unusual step of conducting further interviews. Among those who committee staffers will interview is Thomas Hubbard, the former ambassador to South Korea, who has publicly challenged Bolton’s characterizations of his views before the committee.
Others include a former deputy director of central intelligence, a former assistant secretary of state and the State Department’s top biological weapons expert. All three reportedly have clashed with Bolton because of the latter’s attempts to mold intelligence to serve political ends.
Bolton’s defenders claim his blunt style gets things done. “We need at the United Nations a strong voice,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in defense of Bolton. In fact, that bluntness is more apt to get nothing done, or to make a delicate international situation more dangerous.
While silent in public, former Secretary of State Colin Powell is reported to have counseled against Bolton in private. Powell’s British counterpart, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, reportedly demanded to Powell in 2003 that Bolton be removed from negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program because his attitude was making it impossible to reach an agreement.
In a response typical of the White House’s blame-the-messenger response to criticism, spokesman Scott McClellan claimed Senate Democrats were trying to block reform at the U.N. Even if that had any validity, it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t explain why committee Republicans Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and George Voinovich of Ohio are concerned.
The administration has given the Senate no choice. Bolton must be rejected.
There is at least another week of investigation, questions, and interesting John Bolton stories ahead. By then, perhaps Andrew Card and his staff will realize that “toughness” one way or another is not the issue here.
I’m all for effective private toughness — but to be celebrating a table-pounder and screamer and confusing that style as effective is a wrong-headed notion that deserves to be challenged.
— Steve Clemons