Yup, that didn't last long. The new era of "bipartisanship" in Washington ended promptly at 1:22 EST Thursday -- when the White House sent John Bolton's nomination as UN ambassador back to the Senate. After seeing the nomination fail twice before, the White House hopes to push Bolton through a lame-duck Senate before the Democratic majority takes office in January. As Steve Clemons noted, the White House made the move a mere 14 minutes after President Bush and Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi concluded their remarks to the press following a lunch meeting purportedly focused on how to work together. Thankfully, defeated Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee signaled that he would continue to oppose Bolton, dooming the nomination for a third time.
Meanwhile, it started to dawn on much of Washington that the President's nomination of Bob Gates to replace Don Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense would have to make it through a Democratic-controlled Senate, a prospect the President himself did not seem to be considering when he offered the job to Gates on the Sunday before the mid-term elections. Suddenly, the ghosts of the Iran-contra scandal had returned. As one TPM reader noted, "Who better to mend fences with a newly empowered Congress than someone whose claim to fame is involvement in a secret operation specifically forbidden by Congress?" -- TPM Reader D
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Not Long At All