In the face of what was surely blistering pressure from his Party, Voinovich stood up and said "Wait a second! These are some serious allegations, I'm not comfortable voting on this yet. We need to further examine this candidate." [or words to that effect]
Well, of course, he is now subject to smears and campaigns from the wingnut right. All for the crime of taking his job seriously instead of merely serving as rubber-stamp for the President. From MovingAmercaForward.org's ad [my emphasis added]:
Wife: "Honey, were you watching C-SPAN today? Did you hear how disloyal Senator Voinovich was to Republicans and President Bush? Voinovich stood with the Democrats and refused to vote for John Bolton, the man President Bush has chosen to fight for the United States at the UN."
[...] "but then shows up at the last minute and stabs the President and Republicans right in the back."
[...] "how could Voinovich side with the Democrats in smearing John Bolton?
Husband: It seems like Senator Voinovich has become a traitor to the Republican Party."
Jesus. Can you believe that crap? A traitor? It's not like Voinovich voted Bolton down, he just wants further analysis. Well, the Republicans can have none of that, it gets in the way of running a theocratic dictatorship.
The site then asks for donations to run the ad, and supplies links to contact Voinovich's staff. Fortunately, in their mad dash of slander, the links they put up are bad, so hopefully it will spare the Senator's office some of the vitriol. I went over to Voinovich's site and sent along a little "thank you" for his efforts.
I am not a constituent, not even a Republican, but I owe you my gratitude, Senator. You exhibited great courage in doing the right thing by asking for further debate on the nomination of John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador. Facing great pressure from your Party, you did this country a great service. I wish both Parties had more members of such character.
I hope you decide to oppose Mr. Bolton's nomination after closer examination of his record and reputation. Mr. Bolton is not worthy of this nomination. His record as a bureaucrat is incompatible with the position of U.N. Ambassador, and his reputation as a person is unbecoming of any higher office at all.
Thank you for your courage and consideration.
Bolton will now have to appear before the panel again in mid-May, by which time more and more dirt will surely surface, lessening his chances of confirmation. Bush has gotten greedy and cocky with power, but cracks are beginning to show among his supporters in Congress. Like the Kerik nomination, it's beginning to look like he can't just snap his fingers and get what he wants. At least not every time...