Bolton - Countdown
Posted by Suzanne Nossel
I think Bolton's finished. As reported in this morning's New York Times, Dick Cheney has resorted to the argument that troubled Kevin Drum: that there are plenty of other jerks who hold high office in Washington. But not too many of those are in Category 4. The law draws a distinction for Category 4 - an employee at will can be fired for any reason - including the color of his tie or bad taste in music - but cannot be dismissed on grounds of race, gender, or whistleblowing. The same line applies here.
I don't see how Bolton comes back: allegations and witnesses are piling up - including several like Colin Powell and former Ambassador Thomas Hubbard - who have public credibility; Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - not exactly the bleeding edge of the Republican party - is now wavering; there is a mandate to further investigate and another three weeks ahead during which it appears very likely that more of the same facts will come out; based on what Hubbard and others have said there is talk that Bolton may have spoken untruths during the hearings that have been held thus far.
How does Bolton crawl back? Lorelei wrote here a few weeks ago about Stepford Wonks. It will be interesting to see whether we witness any Stepford Senators - independent-minded members committed to getting to the bottom of the charges against Bolton who get called to the White House and come out with all traces of skepticism wiped away. That's what happened to Representative Charlie Norwood in 2001 when, after a 4 hour meeting at the White House, he agreed to withdraw a bill he had championed that would have introduced a ground-breaking patient's bill of rights.
We ought to be on the look out for more of the same.