There were two sets of high-fives going around Tuesday, first as the Dodgers came back from 0-6 against the Brewers to win in the 10th, and then when that most elusive of creatures, a Republican conscience, sent the John Bolton hearings into extra innings. Surprising everyone, Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio, a conservative not known to be wavering, announced that he wasnt sure about sending the man who infamously remarked about diplomacy, I dont do carrots, to be our ambassador to the United Nations, and the vote was postponed. Now that we have at least another two weeks with Bolton, heres his spotted CV in words. Diplomacy is not an end in itself if it does not advance U.S. interests. If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldnt make a bit of difference. There is no such thing as the United Nations. Many Republicans in Congress and perhaps a majority not only do not care about losing the General Assembly vote [on going to war with Iraq] but actually see it as a make my day outcome. Indeed . . . this will simply provide further evidence to many why nothing more should be paid to the U.N. system. On Boltons certainty about Iraqs WMDs: We estimate that once Iraq acquires fissile material whether from a foreign source or by securing the materials to build an indigenous fissile-material capability it could fabricate a nuclear weapon within one year. On the discovered lack of Iraqs WMDs: Unquestionably, the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has led some people to question our good will and our credibility. Bolton by his peers: Do I think John Bolton would make a good ambassador to the United Nations? Absolutely not . . . He is incapable of listening to people and taking into account their views. He would be an abysmal ambassador. Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff for Colin Powell, Boltons previous boss Hes a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy. Carl W. Ford Jr., conservative Republican and former assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research, on Boltons role as a serial abuser who tried to fire/intimidate an intelligence analyst who disagreed with him (and was right) about Cubas nonexistent germ warfare program. I have been troubled with more and more allegations, revelations, coming about his style, his method of operation . . . We cannot have that at the United Nations . . . We need a uniter. We need a builder. We need someone who will reach out to our friends and our allies at the United Nations. Chuck Hagel, Republican senator, about the Bolton nomination My conscience got me. Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio, on his defection from a party-line vote on Bolton.
I dont know if Ive ever seen, in a setting like this, a senator changing his mind as a result of what other senators said. The process worked. Its kind of refreshing. Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee, a moderate, on the delayed vote.