Monday, April 25, 2005

Hangin' Tough

The John Bolton nomination for UN Ambassador continued to descend into new levels of absurdity with the vote being delayed last week due to certain Senators' belief that he doesn't work and play well with others. In the hyper politicized, ego driven world of the Senate, that passes for statesmanship, the national interest be damned.

Republican George Voinovich merits particular notice for crawling out of the woodwork to make sure the new UN ambassador makes a habit of saying "pretty please" when asking for crushing economic sanctions on rogue nuclear states. Voinovich had this to say, before voting to delay a vote on the Bolton nomination.

"I've heard enough today that I don't feel comfortable about voting for Mr. Bolton," Voinovich told the rest of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, expressing concern about reports that the nominee had bullied subordinates.

"I think one's interpersonal skills and their relationship with their fellow man is a very important ingredient in anyone that works for me," he said. "I call it the kitchen test. Do we feel comfortable about the kitchen test? I've heard enough today that gives me some real concern about Mr. Bolton."

Senator Voinovich never really tells us what the "kitchen test" is. Given the privilege US Senators are accustomed to, I suspect it has something to do with the hired help serving his meal in a timely fashion without getting uppity.

Oh sure, Voinovich is probably just another folksy, common man from Washington DC, that's certainly what he'd like us to believe. But I hope he's never subject to the whims of a petty, self-aggrandizing Senate confirmation hearing, with people like George Voinovich sitting in petulant judgment of him. Because no matter how much your employees would love to have you hanging around in their kitchens, there's always someone out there you can dig up to testify about a lack of interpersonal skills. The case for the prosecution against Voinovich will likely be based on this incident (via the LA Times):

In 2002, [Voinovich] drew national media attention when he boycotted a Capitol Hill hearing where a member of the Backstreet Boys, a teen-oriented singing group, testified about coal mining.

During Voinovich's hearing, I can almost hear the gasps from Christopher Dodd and the press when a sobbing Howie Dorough testifies that the subtext of "We've Got it Goin' On" is actually the horror of black lung disease. Followed by Howie's icy glare in Voinovich's direction and the sneering taunt: "Backstreet's Back! (All right!)".

And maybe it won't stop there. Perhaps Voinovich has shown this anti teeny pop prejudice before. A little digging may produce a full panel of tearful, bloated, goateed, 40-year-old former boy band members testifying on how George Voinovich treats his fellow man. Maybe we'll find out about how he boycotted the testimony by N' Synch on the horrors of racial intolerance. His dismissal of New Kids on the Block speaking on the heartbreak of lactose intolerance. His ignoring of 98 Degrees, speaking on the heartbreak of bad singing intolerance.

You see where this is going Voinovich? For your own good, get the John Bolton nomination to a vote ASAP. Don't make me contact Vanilla Ice (please).

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