I have been at a foreing policy conference with a few people — including Andy Moravscik and G. John Ikenberry of Princeton, Charles Kupchan of Georgetown, Michael Cox of the LSE and other really smart folks — but I’m heading back now.
The battle over Bolton is only at the 16 mile point in a 26.2 mile marathon. There are a lot of twists and turns ahead. The government has defied Richard Lugar…and yes, he seems not to care publicly — but don’t be so sure that is the case privately.
There is much to do — and the fact that the White House has shown a rather grotesque and flamboyant disregard for Senate Democrats and offended the sensibilities of moderates (whether they are willing to say that or not) is actually useful.
This is not a time to lose hope or get disheartened about whether Bolton will be confirmed or not. The fact is that the situation is 50-50 in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee still. What we have been hearing are good tactics in a game of psychological warfare.
All that aside, I want people to know that there is no option but to fight for reasonable and enlightened American foreign policy positions. I think that this is the way to cultivate Hagel, Lugar, Voinovich and the rest.
In any case, I wanted folks to know that I’ll be back in action tomorrow with quite a lot of analysis — and a new vignette about Bolton’s diplomacy which again showed his disdain for allies and multilateral negotiations.
More later. . .
— Steve Clemons