In another bruising defeat for the president, UN ambassador John Bolton has tendered his resignation signaling how diminished George Bush's influence in Washington really is. Gone are the days of "cowboy diplomacy" and rubberstamp congressional oversight.
Bolton, who was appointed by dint of a politically unpopular maneuvering that allowed the president a "recess appointment" that installed his pick temporarily without congressional approval, was roundly criticized for his brash personality and management style and his inability to foster collaborative relationships with other nations. That temporary term is drawing to an end and it was clear that Bolton couldn't attain approval, especially when the Democratic majority takes over in January. So the Moustache took a bow and handed in his papers.
Bush said he was "deeply disappointed that a handful of United States senators prevented Ambassador Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate."
"They chose to obstruct his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time," Bush said. "This stubborn obstructionism ill serves our country, and discourages men and women of talent from serving their nation."
It's no surprise the Crybaby in Chief has resorted to his tired old name calling, what may be surprising to some though is that he can't pin it exclusively on the Democrats. Bolton's nomination stalled in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for more than a year, blocked by Democrats and several Republicans, including the recently defeated Lincoln Chafee who is rumored to be pondering a party switch in protest of the extreme right's hijacking of the GOP.
Does all this signal an end to Bush's agenda? That depends on the moxie of incoming Democratic freshmen and the leadership's ability to enforce discipline. One thing is sure, Bush is now officially a lame duck.