News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Bush's Bolton appointment may backfire in world view

President Bush put on his Texas 10-gallon cowboy hat as soon as Congress recessed for the summer and resumed his distorted view that the world needs a good stampede.

Lightning bolts are good for doing that, so the president gave John Bolton his recess appointment as U.N. ambassador Monday and sent him off to New York City to present his credentials.

That event puts the president back in the mode that other nations can take the Bush Doctrine or they can go to the devil.

Mr. Bolton's known anti-U.N. background and the storm he brewed back in Congress probably will produce lightning bolts meant to reform.

World feelings toward the United States are tender these days after President Bush went to war in Iraq against the advice of the United Nations and world leaders.

Opinion polls around the world show the United States low in favored nation status. People who once grieved with us after 9/11 no longer do so.

Mr. Bolton might be a splendid ambassador, but he's got a sackful of skepticism to overcome before he is effective.

President Bush talks about bi-partisanship, yet he failed to be forthcoming when Congress wanted more information about Mr. Bolton during confirmation hearings.

Then, without the consent of the Senate, he made Mr. Bolton the first U.N. ambassador ever to get a recess appointment. Congress failed twice to confirm Mr. Bolton because of his extreme views. So the president went around the balance of power set forth in the Constitution.

World leaders gather for a U.N. summit in six weeks, at which time they will consider sweeping changes at the United Nations. Nobody is sure at this point how the bombastic Mr. Bolton will conduct himself if the proposed reform measures don't go to the president's liking.

Ideally, he will be on good behavior because we don't need the world angered further right now.

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