Quoth Sir Harry: “How bad do you want Bolton, George?”
The tally left Bush facing stark choices — most of which could leave him appearing weak at a time he is facing sagging poll numbers and fighting lame-duck status six months into his final term.
Wielding a seldom-used power, he could install Bolton during the Senate’s upcoming July 4 recess without the chamber’s approval. Under the Constitution, the so-called recess appointment would only last through the next one-year session of Congress — in Bolton’s case until January 2007.
Should Bush decide against that, he could withdraw the nomination or authorize further concessions to Democrats who are demanding access to information, some of it classified, about Bolton before they stop stalling.
Even before the vote, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., predicted the Senate would block the nomination again — leaving Bush in a ticklish situation.
“The president will have to make a decision whether he wants to send this flawed candidate to the United Nations,” Reid said.
Say it with me, kids.