Don’t you just love this NY Times headline? ‘Tis the season to sing Handel’s Hallelujah chorus. Would you excuse me if I knock out a few rounds while rejoicing at the news that a would-be dragonslayer has himself been slain?
It may be some very small sign of (emerging?) pragmatism that discouraged Bush from the Cheney-supported, hare-brained scheme of removing Bolton’s position from the purview of Congress by creating an alternate title for him that allowed him to remain at the UN and continue being paid for his services. Perhaps along with it they could’ve created some kind of alternate neocon universe in which Bolton’s ramrod straight personal and political style would’ve actually been appreciated, instead of universally (except among neocons) hated:
White House officials began exploring whether the president could somehow bypass the Senate to keep Mr. Bolton at the United Nations, perhaps by naming him to be Mr. Bush’s special envoy or to some other post that would not require Senate confirmation.
…Vice President Dick Cheney backed exploration of some way to bypass the Senate. But that course was almost certain to inflame tensions between Congress and the White House, and in the end, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bolton gave up…
Mr. Bush could give Mr. Bolton a second recess appointment, but under the law he could not be paid for his work.
Administration officials…said that they dropped the idea of circumventing the Senate by appointing him to a special position at the United Nations because they did not want another fight.
“That would have been too much for the Senate,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. “I suppose it could have been done, but it would have undermined Bolton’s authority at the U.N.”
Isn’t it just like Grandpa Cheney to try to figure out a way to subvert constitutional order, checks and balances, and democratic principle by suggesting such an end-around the Constitution. Maybe the old buzzard will be the next one to go? I should only live so long. I haven’t broken out a bottle of champagne yet, even when the Dems won Congress. But to see Dick pack up & go home with his tail between his legs (well no, Dick would never have his tail between his legs but he’d leave DC a humbled, bitter, brooding old man for sure), now that’d be worth some bubbly.
We’ve gotten rid of our own Butcher of Baghdad–Rumsfeld. We’ve gotten rid of the DOD guy who brought us Abu Graibh and defended it to the hilt before Congress–Stephen Cambone. Now, we’ve gotten rid of Bad Boy Bolton. Who’s next?
Of course, now speculation will turn to his replacement. The Times suggests the current Iraq ambassador Khalilzad, which sounds credible. I heard a wild (and delicious) suggestion on Day to Day of Brent Scowcroft. George Mitchell seemed even more preposterous.