Stygius: Thwarting the Senate; undermining a reform program


Since the White House has made noises about wanting a UN Ambassador before the United Nations’ session opens in September, they’ve created a phony pretext for the recess appointment — the time demand — when in actuality they’ve spent the whole summer running out the clock.
The Record, a New Jersey paper, has a superb editorial on Bush’s “snubbing the Senate” if he recess appoints John Bolton:

He couldn’t do it the right way, so President Bush is apparently about to make John Bolton ambassador to the United Nations the wrong way – in what’s known as a recess appointment.
It’s a sign of defeat, since Mr. Bush couldn’t get his choice confirmed, even by a Republican-controlled Senate.

It’s a president’s prerogative to recess appoint, but has there ever been a case where one has done it after the Senate has so clearly, and so effectively, done its job of advice and consent? When an appointed Bolton would go to New York under not one cloud, but several, what better evidence is there that the Article II nomination process worked?

But his reputation precedes him, and he could have very little influence at the United Nations. That may be a good thing in this case, but it deprives the United States of a strong and credible voice at the world body at a crucial time. A world summit will be held at the United Nations headquarters in September. A respected ambassador can accomplish a great deal, including pressing for substantive internal reform.

Suzanne Nossel wrote a few weeks ago on the consequences of having a UN Ambassador with so little political support from his own country. Congress has long played an integral role in the United States’ relationship to the UN; thus, thwarting the Senate to send up an illegitimate ambassador is exactly the wrong way to begin a UN reform program.
The Record concludes:

All the controversy apparently hasn’t fazed Mr. Bolton. The Washington Post reported recently that he has asked to have the State Department office used by U.N. ambassadors doubled in size – because he expects to spend more time in Washington and less time at the United Nations than his predecessors.
If he wants to stay in Washington that badly, he should find another job.