Tuesday, May 24, 2005


We are not yet prepared to tell you whether last night's Senate compromise represents a triumph, a disgrace, or the best that Democrats could hope for -- the latter two, it strikes us, are not mutually exclusive -- but we can tell you with some authority that our distinguished colleague Patrick Nielsen Hayden of Making Light/Electrolite has assembled an impressive range of opinion here. We are also prepared to reveal that we are having an awfully hard time wrapping our imperial melon around the new spirit of Senatorial Bipartisanship, in which Democrats seem poised to hasten the confirmation of odious rodent John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador --
Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, lifted a procedural hold she had put on the nomination in an unsuccessful effort to wrest more documents on Bolton from the administration.

"We're disappointed that we didn't get the information from the administration," said Boxer's spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz.

But she said Boxer had agreed with Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, to let the nomination come up for a Senate vote.

The agreement on Bolton came a day after Senate Republicans and Democrats reached a compromise to end years of roadblocks against Bush's judicial nominees.
-- while Republicans, albeit Republicans who were fer Bolton before they were agin' him, do their level best to scuttle his chances:
The Ohio Republican whose opposition to John R. Bolton nearly stalled his nomination in committee circulated a letter on Tuesday urging colleagues to vote against Mr. Bolton when his name reaches the Senate floor, possibly this week . . . .

"In these dangerous times, we cannot afford to put at risk our nation's ability to successfully wage and win the war on terror with a controversial and ineffective ambassador to the United Nations," [Sen. George R.] Voinovich wrote. He urged colleagues to "put aside our partisan agenda and let our consciences and our shared commitment to our nation's best interests guide us."

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