Chafee's legacy

Well, at least, as Nixon might have put it, we won't have Lincoln Chafee to kick us around any more.  But to turn down John Bolton!  What can he have been thinking?  To deny appointment to an advocate for American policy as effective as John Bolton, well, the word betrayal comes to mind. 

Why doesn't Chaffee like Bolton?  No answer.  No reasons.  Because there aren't any. Many of us harbor substantial doubts as to the efficacy of the UN, but Bolton at least got it to produce resolutions against North Korea and Iran, no small achievements given the cynicism and double dealing endemic to it. 

His pre-UN role in establishing the Proliferation Security Initiative should by itself have commanded the gratitude of the nation.  It was the PSI that caught out Qaddafi's nuclear program.

President Bush seems to have operated on the assumption that no Republican is a bad Republican, so he has expended considerable capital on Senate apostates like Specter, and, particularly, Chaffee.  To no good effect.  It unbalances the party and its message to expend effort on people who do not support basic Republican ideas. 

And the Judas role played by Chaffee when it would have been so easy - let alone the right thing to do - to support Bush's nominee in this case.  We are in the middle of one of the most consequential wars in the history of the Republic, against one of the most ruthless and resourceful enemies.  John Bolton was a warrior in that struggle, advancing the cause every day.  Now he is laid low by much much lesser men who if they are remembered at all, will be remembered for their cravenness, their mindlessness, their betrayal of the interests of the country.

It was for good reason that Churchill said that democracy was the worst form of government except for all the others.  We will survive this setback.  But let's not forget the Judas who gave it to us.