Friday, October 14, 2005

One Senator's power

Robert Novak wrote in .... The 17th-century Polish institution of the liberum veto, where objection by one deputy in Poland's Diet could defeat any proposal, lives in spirit in today's U.S. Senate. Voinovich, a two-term senator after serving as mayor of Cleveland and governor of Ohio, let it be known last week that he was changing his vote from "present" to "no" on Bolton. That means the nomination will not even get out of committee to face a filibuster on the Senate floor.

That is a problem with RINOs.
That rules out even bringing up Bolton's renomination in committee. Voinovich's problems with Bolton began last May when he wandered into a Foreign Relations Committee hearing and swallowed whole Democratic deconstruction of Bolton orchestrated by Sen. Christopher Dodd. The White House had expected any Bush U.N. nominee to face confirmation trouble prior to the 2004 election. But the president named John Danforth, a prestigious former U.S. senator, for a five-month U.N. stint to avoid a campaign deluge. Bolton's long record of criticizing Fidel Castro made him a special target of Dodd, a champion of "normalizing" U.S.-Cuban relations. But why did Voinovich heighten his opposition? Serving under a recess appointment, Bolton has gotten high marks at the United Nations, as he has in previous government positions. One old hand in the U.S. Mission at Turtle Bay told me that while Bolton can be "blunt," he is smart, very well informed and faithfully follows instructions from Washington. Voinovich declined to talk to me about why, in the face of that record, he has lowered his opinion of Bolton. Fellow Republican senators who have asked him have received no explanation.
Unfortunately he was up for election in 2004, so he will not face the voters again until 2010
Being a U.S. senator means never having to explain yourself. No wonder respectable citizens flinch at accepting a job that subjects them to senatorial mercy.

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