Monthly Archives: April 2005

The Threat to Establishment Prescriptions

Editorial in Opinion Journal lays out the real agenda behind the anti-Bolton forces.

Below is a clear description of the “liberal internationalist” and “realist” schools of foreign policy:

The deeper explanation [for the hostility to Bolton] is that he set out to explode the consensus views of the foreign-policy establishment–and succeeded.

This was the consensus that held, or holds, that North Korea and Iran can be bribed away from their nuclear ambitions, that democracy in the Arab world was impossible and probably undesirable, that fighting terrorism merely encourages more terrorism, that countries such as Syria pose no significant threat to U.S. national security, that the U.N. alone confers moral legitimacy on a foreign-policy objective, and that support for Israel explains Islamic hostility to the U.S. Above all, in this view, the job of appointed officials such as Mr. Bolton is to reside benignly in their offices at State while the permanent foreign service bureaucracy goes about applying establishment prescriptions.

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The Forgotten Rachels

A wretched example of the left’s moral equivalence sickness.

Retaining the Ability to Function

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” I always thought Fitzgerald was being ironic, but after reading Maureen Dowd today, I’m not sure.

At one point she calls John Bolton “a ruthless ogre who tried to fire intelligence analysts who disagreed with his attempts to stretch the truth on foreign weapons programs.”

Then a few lines down she slams Bush for giving George Tenet a Medal of Freedom after he “presided over the two biggest intelligence failures in modern history.”

So Bolton is an ogre for disagreeing with and challenging State Department intelligence bureaucrats, and Bush is an incompetent for not challenging CIA intelligence bureaucrats.

In reality, the contradiction is irrelevant to partisans like Dowd, who only know one thing for certain: Whatever it is, it’s Bush’s fault.

I'll Take the Hair Plugs, but Hold the High Moral Tone

In a column in the online Wall Street Journal, available to subscribers, the incomparable Joseph Epstein “reams a new one” for the insufferable Joe Biden:

As for the first objection, the charge of [John Bolton’s] mistreatment of subordinates: In the indelicate phrasing of Sen. Joseph Biden, Mr. Bolton’s penchant, when confronting a subordinate, is alleged to have been that of “reaming him a new one,” and is “just not acceptable.” I myself always find Sen. Biden least acceptable when, as in these hearings, he shifts into high moral dudgeon.

Following Sen. Biden’s career over the years, I have always found him one of those politicians who has the precious gift of easily persuading himself, as Tocqueville once put it, that his “advantage and the general weal conformed.” Whenever I hear the Senator from Delaware in his accusatory mode, I always think of something Tocqueville never got around to saying: that one may have hair plugs or a high moral tone, but surely one ought not to be permitted both.

Black Rednecks?

Thomas Sowell on rednecks.

It's the Hateful White Teachers

Jonathan Kozol: America’s most influential- and wrongest- school reformer.

Thanks to Robert Cherry.

That's Enough for Me

Lawrence Eagleburger cites good reasons for sending John Bolton to the United Nations.

Here’s my favorite:

On Dec. 16, 1991, I [Eagleburger] spoke to the U.N. General Assembly on behalf of the United States, calling on the member states to repeal the odious Resolution 3379, which equated Zionism with racism. As I said then, the resolution “labeled as racist the national aspirations of the one people more victimized by racism than any other.” That we were successful in obtaining repeal was largely due to John Bolton, who was then assistant secretary of state for international organizations. His moral outrage was clearly evident as he brilliantly led and managed the successful U.S. campaign to obtain sufficient votes for repeal. The final vote, 111 to 25, speaks volumes for the success of his “direct” style.

In a Vowel Mood

Mark Steyn holds forth on Cardinals Biden and Voinovich.

It's the Parents

Interesting City Journal article examining why black kids fail.

High Tech Lynching?

New York Times columnist Frank Rich is a left-winger whose stance is to hysterically warn of threats where none exists while ignoring those that are all too real.

His latest boogeyman is Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist who is making an appearance today at a televised rally critical of the judiciary. The rally’s theme is that attacks on Bush’s judicial appointments are really attacks on “people of faith.”

Rich, in his typically hyperbolic way, equates Frist with George Wallace. But I don’t understand why you can’t criticize judges. The judiciary is one of the three branches of government, and Rich has been unstinting in his attacks on the executive and legislative branches under Republican control. At least, the president and members of congress have to run for election. Judges not only don’t have to submit to the humbling experience of having to ask people for their votes at regular intervals, Rich would shield them from criticism as well (though not when they decide as they did in Bush versus Gore).

Apparently Rich believes that judges should be protected from such indignities in the same way Joe Biden and John Kerry would have us believe subordinates should be protected from disapproving superiors like John Bolton. In other words, Rich’s hysteria is completely phony.

The fight over judges is really a fight over abortion, and judges who are religious are assumed by inquisitors like Charles Schumer to be hot to bring down Roe versus Wade. So yes, “people of faith” are being filibustered by Senators who are beholden to the powerful pro-abortion lobby.

Frank Rich wants us to believe that Frist and company yearn for a fundamentalist theocracy in America which would deprive us of the “joyous vulgarity” of having Janet Jackson’s boob thrust upon us at the Super Bowl. He sees no danger in the corrupting influence rap “music” has on kids, nor does he seem concerned over the use of neoconservative as a code word for Jew. Those are things we should worry about.

As for criticism of judges? Be not afraid.