Up Or Down Vote Fantasyland Whine By Bush
Over the last few years, the Republicans have stretched the phrase “up or down vote” so far that it has deformed political reality into a shape that is beyond all recognition. In George W. Bush’s official statement complaining about today’s resignation of Ambassador John Bolton, for example, Bush said, “I am deeply disappointed that a handful of United States Senators prevented Ambassador Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate.”
The “handful of United Sates Senators” that George W. Bush refers to as preventing John Bolton from receiving an up or down vote were, in fact, the Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, who voted not to endorse John Bolton’s nomination for the ambassadorship back in 2005. After that vote, the full Senate was prepared to take an up or down vote on John Bolton’s nomination to become Ambassador to the United Nations, but it looked as if Bolton would be voted down. So, Bush made a recess appointment of John Bolton to the ambassadorship, evading the normal Senate confirmation process.
It was George W. Bush who circumvented the normal procedure through which a nominee receives an “up or down vote” in the Senate. This occurred because John Bolton’s qualifications were called into question even by the Republican majority that controlled the Senate at the time. Progressives won’t use this ridiculous kind of “up or down vote” distortion in arguments about judicial nominees.
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