Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bolton Is Toast

It's one thing for the lame duck Senate in the waning days of Republican control to contemplate confirming George W. Bush's second nomination of the execrable house-wrecker, John Bolton, to be U.N. ambassador. It's quite another for them to pick between Bolton and a patently superior alternative candidate who is a widely-respected Republican.

And that's just what's happening in Washington as Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Or) and Jim Walsh (R-NY) promote 30-year veteran congressman Jim Leach (R-Ia) for the post which effectively is ambassador to the world.

"I can't think of any American better qualified to represent our interests before the United Nations," Walsh is saying. "He is the most diplomatic politician I have ever met,'' says Blumenauer.

As we noted in our post-election 'surprises' item, Leach actually expressed relief when he was narrowly defeated for reelection earlier this month. For decades, he's been a steadfast, moderate voice of reason in a political party that's been hijacked by reactionary extremists. But Leach's diplomatic personality and the persuasiveness of his reasoned arguments have won many fans from both sides of the isle.

The former career Foreign Services officer and current chairman of the House Banking committee also is under active consideration for the soon to be vacant position of President of the University of Iowa. Much as the university might want him, the nation needs him more.

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