This is kind of related to my post yesterday, faulting the president for not challenging inaccurate media reports critical of his record.
Normally, I don’t review books until I’ve finished them. But, this morning, while reading Surrender is Not an Option, I came across something which really gets at why Republican poll numbers have tumbled in the president’s second term. But, first, one quick point, I have planned a joint review of Bolton’s book and Norman Podhoretz’s World War IV as each addresses some essential aspects of the War on Terror. I’m assuming, of course, that the second half of Bolton’s book will be as strong as the first.
When talking about his ill-fated confirmation hearings, Ambassador Bolton notes the dishonesty of the Democratic charges against him, nearly all of them created out of whole cloth. On one day, April 19, 2005, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee “faced an unrelenting barrage of criticism from Biden, Dodd, and Kerry, lasting for over an hour, while the Republicans sat and listened.” They just sat and listened while then-Committee Chairman Richard Lugar gave in to Democrats’ demands to keep delaying a vote on confirming that highly qualified diplomat.
As Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman put it:
The Democrats came in loaded for bear, and we just sit there and get discouraged. Our silence was taken as acquiescence in their charges, and we just looked awful.
But, Republicans wouldn’t have looked so awful had they responded to the Democrats’ attack, pointing out that their bile had little (or no) basis in fact.
Makes Senator McCain’s efforts on behalf of this good man stand out all the more. While most Republicans refused to stand up to Democratic misrepresentations about a conservative nominee, the Arizona Senator fought for his confirmation.
Why is it that so many Republicans remain so reluctant to stand up to Democrats who misrepresent our ideas and insult our leaders? The American people might have a better opinion of the GOP if our leaders took more time to defend the party and its ideals.