If Ambassador Bolton is refused an up-or-down vote by the Senate, I will join Claudia in the necessary fund-raising drive to collect and donate his salary to him.
I heard a lecture by the New York Times’ James Traub at the Newberry Library in Chicago yesterday that convinced me Bolton is the greatest thing to happen to the U.N. since Ambassador Kirkpatrick. If Lincoln Chafee’s seemingly infinite mediocrity prevents Bolton from having an up-or-down vote in the Senate, President Bush should again use his recess appointment power to keep Bolton at his post. ( I believe but am not certain that President Clinton followed this path with Bill Lann Lee.) Bolton would then serve without formal pay, but as Claudia notes, there are thousands of Americans willing to help keep him at his post if the president is willing to do so. Some third party would have to emerge as a trustee for the donations so that Bolton was unaware of who had donated to the cause, but that’s the detail stuff. President Bush has an opportunity to signal seriousness when it comes to his authority over the Executive Branch. I hope he does so.