August 02, 2005

Bolton Recess-Appointed to the UN

Democrats are foaming at the mouth that the President recess-appointed Bolton to the post of UN Ambassador. You can almost hear the same arguments they cooked up during the filibuster deal; they want to appeal to history, to the Constitution, to fair deliberations and they want to sound high-minded when they do it. Of course, the Constitution is the place where recess appointment powers were spelled out:

"The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session." - Article 2, Section 2

Presidents use recess appointments all the time, so it would be hard for the Senators to condemn the move; every Senator wants to be President, and he'd be hard-pressed to run a whole presidency without a single recess appointment (part of what moves senators to up or down confirmation votes is knowing the nominee could get recess-appointed later). Justice Brennan was originally recess-appointed to the Supreme Court; were his decisions during that period any less valid because he had to wait for Senate approval? Will Ambassador Bolton not represent the President's views just because the Senate took too long to get to an up or down vote? No and no.

Bolton is going to do his job just fine. It's absurd that Democrats want a UN Ambassador to handle the UN with kid gloves at a time when the organization's deep-rooted scandals, corruption and irrelevance are coming to light. You don't give a UN reform job to a kiss-ass diplomat who loves the status quo any more than you would ask a corrupt small-town Alabama sheriff to oversee the civil rights office of the Justice Department in 1965. Finding someone to make the UN feel happy in this time of systemic scandal and organizational impotence would be akin to finding a fox to guard the fox den.

We need a sheepdog to hold back the foxes at the UN and the wolves in Iran, North Korea and elsewhere. Bolton seems to have a natural predilection for speaking his mind even when it's unpopular. This is the time for just such a person to be abrupt, up-front and abrasive about the UN's innumerable shortcomings.

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