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He Wishes He Had John Bolton's Reputation.

This weekend, while watching The Interpreter, with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, ruminating upon the UN's Human Rights Commission re-electing serial abuser Zimbabwe to a three year term, it hit:

Although the smear campaign against John Bolton has become increasingly absurd, wouldn't it be nice if it were all true? Wouldn't it be great if John Bolton were the caricature the left is making him out to be, of a rabid rageaholic who nearly bites heads off of unsuspecting bureaucrats? Isn't that precisely what the United Nations needs, someone to knock some heads together, someone to call out certain fellow democracies for their moral ambivalence, someone to rip fear societies a new one?

The United Nations should be a force for good in the world. It has been reduced to, at best, an enabler of tyrants, and, at worst, run by them.

Joseph Epstein wishes he had John Bolton's reputation:

If I could begin my life again I should like to arrange things so that the word got out that I am a fairly decent fellow, not entirely charmless, but with a mean streak that, wrongly provoked, has been known to run to violence. "I know a guy," I shouldn't at all mind having it reported of me, "who once saw Joseph Epstein so angry he strangled a bulldog."

Without in the least wishing it, John R. Bolton, the undersecretary of state who is President Bush's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, has acquired, without going to the trouble of strangling that bulldog, the reputation I so desire. Whether he deserves it or not--a point still in the flux of controversy--Mr. Bolton is now, thanks to the Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, being publicized as a veritable James Cagney (in "The Public Enemy," where he smashed the half-grapefruit in Mae Clark's face), Jack Palance (in "Shane") and Joe Pesci (in "Goodfellas" and "Casino"), or as the hottest of all hotheads in the field of diplomacy.

While Bolton is probably more even-tempered than most Senators, his reputation has now been sealed as someone you don't want to cross, especially if your name is Jacque--or Hans.

In the beginning of all this nomination tribulation, it seemed that Bolton might be weakened, even humbled, by the disproportionate scrutiny. That's really all the Democrats, certainly not foreseeing the Voinovich betrayal, wanted to do all along. Folks like Biden and Kerry wanted to communicate to the world that Bolton has less-than-unanimous support back home, that November's election didn't really signify a fundamental shift in the way Americans view their place in the world. "It was all a blip, world, and we'll still play by your rules. Here is our gift to you, a neutered ambassador."

Now, this scrutiny, this delay, may end up being Bolton's greatest gift, his most effective asset. He will go to the United Nations, and people will quiver and quake before his anticipated wrath. He will speak, and people will expect thunder. And when he does speak, and his words are reasonable, lucid, succinct, and rational, the world will wonder "who is this man? He isn't the man we've been reading about these past several weeks. He's not so bad."

But one day, when something absurd happens at the United Nations (and it will), Bolton, backed by the reputation he has earned over the past few weeks, will only have to furrow an eyebrow and raise his voice a bit, and people will know that America means business.

It's easy to wish that Bolton were as ill-tempered as Senate Democrats describe him. It's easy to imagine him walking into the UN and quite literally ripping the appendages off of the representatives of brutal dictators, utilizing them as weapons to pummel the enablers and equivocators.

John Bolton just is not that guy.

Isn't it nice, however, that the world, thanks to the Democrats, now thinks he is?


The American people, according to the latest Fox News poll (click for full .pdf), don't believe a confrontational management style should disqualify a presidential nominee:

Click for larger version, or check out the original .pdf.

Posted by Will Franklin · 30 April 2005 11:15 PM


it's that media of extremists.

i won't call it a liberal bias because i think the downfall of western civilization as we know it, lol, is that the media only gives a damn about extremist minority voices.

i blogrolled you. good stuff! :)

Posted by: m&m at May 1, 2005 12:11 AM

It is absurd!...Of course it is liberal bias!...It is the envy that the GOP is in the majority!... It is typical political garbage from the Liberal Democrats!... The Dems. want to keep the un in the United Nations. Bolton is way too Pro American for the Dems. to grasp!...They have to spin it that way.
They don't have anything else!...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at May 1, 2005 08:59 AM