September 14, 2006

Senator Frist Expects the Bolton Nomination to Reach the Senate Floor. What Does He Know that We Don't?

Carroll Andrew Morse

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is using his political action committee website (VOLPAC) to organize grassroots support for confirming John Bolton as America's United Nations ambassador…

Nearly five years after 9/11, we are well into an epic, generational struggle. A struggle that pits freedom against tyranny ... hope against fear ... democracy against Islamic radicalism. The men and women of our Armed Forces are fighting with heroic resolve ... and they deserve to be supported in their mission by diplomats willing to call evil by its name, able to rally our friends and allies behind the global expansion of freedom and democracy, and unafraid to passionately pursue reform of our dysfunctional international institutions.

That's why we need John Bolton's leadership at the United Nations. Unfortunately, his recess appointment expires in January of 2007 ... so we must act now to confirm him permanently.

This month Senate Republicans will do everything they can to break Democrat obstruction and give John Bolton the fair up-or-down vote that he was denied last year. But we need your help to turn up the heat on the Democrats by flooding their offices with your calls in support of Ambassador Bolton and the President's agenda for reforming the waste and incompetence of the United Nations.

Assuming that Bolton’s nomination gets through committee and that he has the support of all 55 Republicans in the full Senate, then at least 5 Democratic votes are needed to break a filibuster and allow Bolton an up-or-down vote.

Senator Frist is asking people from states represented by Democratic Senators to call their Senators and urge that Bolton be confirmed. To assist in this effort, the VOLPAC site lists Washington office numbers for every Democratic Senator. The contact number for Senator Jack Reed is (202) 224-4642. If you have the opportunity to make a call to Senator Reed (UPDATE: although he has already declared he will vote against Bolton), be polite to the staffer you speak with and be concise in your expression of support.

The implication here is that Senator Frist expects the Ambassador Bolton's nomination to reach the Senate floor, even though it still has not passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A committee vote scheduled for last week was postponed due to Senator Lincoln Chafee's unwillingness to support Bolton. Does Senator Frist have some inside info leading him to believe Bolton will get through committee, or is he just willing to risk the embarrassment of advocating for a nomination that could still be killed by a committee controlled by his own party?

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

"Hi, you've reached the office of Senator Lincoln Chafee. Nobody is here to take your call. Please leave your name and a short message at the beep."


"Hey Linc, it's Bill. Bill Frist. You know, I lead the party that just paid million of dollars to save your pasty white keister from the ACTUAL Republican? Yeah, we're calling in the marker. You're going to suddenly have all the answers you need to your 'questions' and vote him out of comittee or you're on your own in the general. You hear me, sparky? Have a nice day."

Posted by: Greg at September 14, 2006 12:51 PM

Nothing irks me more than the strategy of denying an up-or-down vote through fillibuster.

We elect our Senators to stand up and cast a vote. It may not be popular. It may take some backbone. But it is their job, plain and simple.

I applaud Senator Reed for at least standing up and publicly stating that he will vote No. I disagree with his vote, but at least he's not hiding behind a fillibuster.

What are our legislators, if they will not stand up and be counted

Posted by: johnb at September 14, 2006 1:14 PM

Dear JohnB,

The right to fillibuster was intended by the Founders. At one time, there was no such thing as cloture. However, that proved unwieldly.

My problem with the system is that no one actually fillibusters anymore. IT used to be, take the floor, follow the rules, wait for pressure on the other side to give in or your voices to give out.

Now, we've taken the tradition out of it and created a supermajority (60 votes) necessary to pass anything in the Senate. That is not what the Founders intended.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at September 14, 2006 2:07 PM

Hell has just frozen over. I agree completely with what Bobby just said.

Hell, I'd pay money to sit and watch Teddy Kennedy sway for hours while he talks drunken gibberish.

Posted by: Greg at September 14, 2006 3:18 PM

{Comment deleted. Commenter should read this posting, then try to actually contribute something next time.}

Posted by: Rino Cooke at September 14, 2006 3:37 PM

Megadittos to Bobby. I'd like to see them reading from the phone book every now and then, too.

Here's the dirty little secret: A Chafee NO vote on Bolton would not necessarily scuttle the nomination. In that eventuality, there would be a 9 to 9 tie on the 18 member committee. It would actually still go to the Senate floor, but with "no recommendation." It's also possible that he could also abstain from voting, thereby causing a 9 to 8 vote, and a "positive" recommendation to be sent to the Senate floor.

Posted by: Will at September 14, 2006 3:38 PM

First Laffey next Billy Harsch!

Posted by: Rino Cooke at September 14, 2006 3:38 PM