Who's playing politics?

Who's playing politics?

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By Joe Conason

April 22, 2005 | In defense of John Bolton's nomination as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, the White House is once again exploring the boundaries of 'reality-based' perception. The Bush administration and its allies are pretending that opposition to Bolton is strictly partisan and political. Yet what must be clear to anyone observing this process is that Democrats alone could scarcely have stalled Bolton, let alone inflicted what may be fatal damage to his nomination.

Indeed, despite unanimous Democratic misgivings about Bolton's rigid ideology and undistinguished record, he would be on his way to Turtle Bay by now -- except for the serious doubt and strong dissent expressed by Republican legislators and diplomats about his conduct, competence, honesty and temperament.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Scott McClellan attributed the problems encountered by Bolton to 'ugly' tactics by Democrats, whom he accused of 'playing politics' on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a charge he repeated in his usual robotic style when reporters questioned his false narrative. 'The accusations that are being made [against Bolton] are unsubstantiated,' he insisted at the White House press briefing. 'Again, Democrats continue to raise them.' Then on Thursday morning, the president echoed his spokesman's complaint, demanding that the Senate 'put aside politics and confirm John Bolton to the United Nations...'

... Politics" may actually be driving the Republicans who oppose Bolton, both within and outside the Senate. Their reasons to reject him might be idealistic, pragmatic or even opportunistic. In every case, however, they no longer feel automatically obliged to swallow whatever the White House is serving. And their independence can only be encouraged by Bush's declining public approval ratings, currently languishing well below 50 percent, with a substantial majority of citizens worried about the country's direction.

From the beginning, the president's advisors have pretended not to see or hear dissident Republicans. That insulting arrogance, which mirrors Bolton's own behavior, may well be the ultimate mistake in this misbegotten episode..."

The Bushwahs actually recognizing reality?

The Republicans no longer willing to bend over EVERYTIME Bush's mouth opens and passes along Karl Rove's schemes?

What could possibly be happening here?

Could it be that Bush, so arrogant in his knowledge that he doesn't need to run for election ever again, forgot that the Republicans in congress still do, next year, for example.


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