Monday, April 18, 2005

Politics: Bolton

The Rude Pundit sums up thusly:
John Bolton, Crazy Man:
Has anyone actually come up with a reason to vote for John Bolton for the United States Ambassador to the U.N.? Other than, you know, he was nominated by President Bush, whose popularity is sinking so fast that Hell can't get his shit room built fast enough for his inevitable coke-driven murder/suicide rampage. And Bolton apparently once or twice didn't piss on the heads of foreign leaders. The Rude Pundit is no wise and true Republican Senator, but isn't it kind of an insult to be told to support someone who, at minimum, is mean, aggressive, and egomaniacal, or, to be really honest, is as crazy as a shithouse rat? In fact, a shithouse rat would be a more sensible choice for the U.N.

Frankly, I can't get all that worked up about Bolton. I know he's an undeserving loyalist completely unprepared/unqualified for his nominated position, but I'm used to that with Bush... Beating him back will just lead to Bush choosing some other fucker from the bowels of the Reagan or Nixon Administration to take his place. If Bolton goes down in flames, great. But right now, the Democrats have bigger fights on heir hands and/or reasons to keep their powder dry.

UPDATE: Here is the best piece I've read on Bolton. Highlight:
Ambassadors practice diplomacy, and one part of diplomacy is getting people to do what you want them to do. There are, in general, three ways to do this. The first is pure persuasion: convincing the other party that they should do what you want them to do. The second is to offer them inducements for doing what you want. The third is to threaten bad consequences if they don't do what you want.

John Bolton would have a much more difficult time than most people engaging in pure persuasion. He has, after all, said that the UN doesn't really exist, that its actions should be largely dictated by the US, that no other country should have a seat at the Security Council, and that the US should use it when it suits our purposes and otherwise ignore it. [...]

Inducements are out: Bolton has said "I don't do carrots", and his record suggests that we should take him at his word. But that leaves only threats in his diplomatic repertoire; and working with only one of the three available tools of diplomacy is like wrestling with all but one of your limbs tied behind your back. [...] There are times when we should use threats, but the idea of having no other means at our disposal is really not a good one.

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