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6/09/2005

Follow the Bouncing Thune

Just thought it might be fun to take a look at the long, strange trip around John Bolton that John Thune has taken.

First, on Hardball on April 19,

THUNE: I think you have to look at issues of conduct as they relate to the level of professionalism that a person brings to the job. If it‘s because that person is demanding and they are making people work hard and that‘s—that‘s probably OK.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: That is not the charge here. The charge here is, he is forcing people to do things they don‘t want to do.

THUNE: And those are issues that are being reviewed and looked at.
But I think, again, if you look at his record, he has been confirmed previously. And he is a guy who shakes things up. And I think the U.N. needs that.

So I guess Thune thinks Bolton is a good man for the job.

Then from the Argus Leader,

"Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Thursday that he would vote against the nomination of John Bolton to be ambassador to the United Nations, hinting his vote is a protest against the Pentagon's recommendation to close Ellsworth Air Force Base.

But he did support his party on the vote that mattered most Thursday.

Republicans needed 60 votes to end the Democratic procedural delays and move to an immediate final vote on Bolton's confirmation. Fifty-six senators - including Thune - voted to end the stalling, four shy of that threshold. Now the final Bolton vote will probably not take place until June.

Thune said Thursday that saving Ellsworth is 'inseparable from my work' in the Senate.

'It is part of the fabric of every day of our agenda and the things we are trying to accomplish here,' Thune said Thursday. 'It's something that has become a great preoccupation of mine now.'

Asked whether his opposition to Bolton was because of his qualifications or the base-closing plan, Thune said dryly: 'I'm concerned about our diplomatic posture as a nation, and I'm concerned about our defensive posture. These issues are not unrelated.'"

So I guess now that Ellsworth is about to go, Bolton may not be the best man for the job, and he is somehow "not unrelated" to Ellsworth's closing. Sort of like that old George Carlin bit when he says he likes to reply, "I'm not unwell" when asked how he's doing.

Of course Thune wasn't concerned enough to vote against cloture on the nomination, just concerned enough to register a meaningless vote against Bolton once he reaches the floor, if he ever does.

This one makes me laugh. From "The Hill"

“'I don’t think he’s the best person for the job,' Thune said of Bolton yesterday. 'People can ascribe whatever they want to [this decision]. What I’ve said is, I take our foreign-policy posture very seriously and I take our defense posture very seriously. The base issue is something extremely important to me.' He added, 'I’m going to do anything and everything within my power, and use all tools at my disposal' to get Ellsworth off the base closure list.'"

Really John? You're going to do "anything and everything within your power"? I guess that comes down to an empty threat to vote against a nominee, that if he get to the floor, will pass with or without Thune, and fighting a losing battle to delay Ellsworth's closing until the troops come home from Iraq and other places overseas. Is anyone else troubled by that plan by the way? As if these guys need further enticement to find MORE places around the world for us to spread the gospal of King George at the point of a gun.

I wonder if Rapid City and all the people West River who will lose their jobs when Ellsworth closes will view these feable, a day late and a dollar short attempts as Thune doing anything and everything within his power to keep Ellsworth open?

Sadly, I'm sure some will.

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