Senator Leahy is opposed to John Bolton but seems to want to convey that in the end John Bolton is going to squeak through. This comment is not only wrong-headed but undermines the very hard work and serious effort expended by the many outside the Senate who have been doing battle on the Bolton nomination — and undermines Leahy’s Senate colleagues Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Barbara Boxer, and others.
I do not want to make gratuitous comments about Leahy now, but I do want to say that there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with a political party that keeps conceding defeat before the battle has begun — or wants to forfeit the possibility of winning when in fact those OPPOSED to John Bolton have been the ones WINNING this effort.
The Republican leadership seems to have the opposite habit of issuing edicts about victory when in fact they are losing, or at least, have been stalled. We have punctured several rounds of myths spun by the White House about likely victories on Bolton throughout this process.
Leahy made comments that are unsupportable — and in off-the-record conversations with some who work closely with the Senator — they are as surprised and miffed as TWN is right now.
The battle we are waging is over JOHN BOLTON — not Senator Patrick Leahy. But for those of you who feel so inclined, don’t let me keep you from calling his office at 202-224-4242.
Other contact information for Leahy is here.
If you do contact him, be respectful. Senator Leahy is a good guy on most issues, and I hope he will retract his statement or recognize in an alternative statement that there are moderate Republicans in play, who might defect from the White House (or at least there were before Leahy’s comments).
But Leahy forgets that if two disagreeable Republican judges are confirmed this week, moderate Republicans and nearly all Democrats will have to demonstrate independence on some front from the wannabe-monarchists at the White House — and Bolton will be the best bet for them to oppose on SOMETHING.
But if SENIOR SENATE DEMOCRATS don’t stop conceding these battles early, NO MODERATE REPUBLICANS will have the courage to join the effort against Bolton.
It’s highly irritating. I do not feel that Leahy has undone our fundamental chances of continuing to block Bolton until the White House provides the requested NSA intercept information and the documentation on Syria policy, but he has harmed the momentum that was clearly on our side.
I hope he reconsiders. I have placed my own calls.
— Steve Clemons