Whatever you may think of the John Bolton nomination, you have to admit it’s careening off course for the strangest of reasons–Bolton is said to be (gasp) rude, something nobody else in Washington has ever, at any time, been accused of being.
Yesterday, I blogged on Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan’s suggestion that Bolton’s grooming program is so deficient that he might deserve to be rejected as our next U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. on those grounds alone.
“Bolton might well argue that appearance has nothing to do with capabilities. But it certainly can be a measure of one’s respect for the job,” Ms. Givhan harrumphed. But it looks like the Senate is choosing to focus on Mr. Bolton’s alleged churlishness rather than the “geek glasses” that so offended Ms. Givhan.
Yes, the Senate is roiled by rumors of rudeness.
Shockingly, Bolton is said to have sought to have underlings who disagree with him transferred to other job slots–again, something nobody else in Washington would dream of doing. He is alleged to have put his hands on his hips and scowled when dealing with people he doesn’t like.
The most horrifying (indeed, so horrifying that Daily Kos, one of the premiere lefty blogs, headlined its account of the incident “Horrifying, personal John Bolton story”) accusation came from a woman named Melody Townsel. Ms. Townsel was working on an AID project when she and Bolton disagreed about something. What happened next is the subject of a letter Ms. Townsel has sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Here is the most lurid passage in the Townsel letter (the entire letter is available on Kos):
“Mr. Bolton proceeded to chase me through the halls of a Russian hotel — throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and, generally, behaving like a madman.”
The American Thinker has taken note of Mr. Bolton’s alleged rudeness:
“Well, golly gee, we just can’t have a not-nice person like John Bolton representing our nation in the most august body known to mankind. What would the other diplomats think of someone who might have occasion to be brusque at times? Why, he might even have the gall to talk sternly to one of those United Nations peacekeepers who have their own interpretation of ‘spreading the love’ in foreign lands.
“We need nice people to represent the United States in the UN. Look at what our magnanimity has done for our reputation there. But this Bolton guy! This guy is definitely not nice, and I can tell you that from personal experience. As soon as I’m done with this, I’m writing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to relay this story to them. I’m hoping to get a letter back from Sen. Kerry or Sen. Biden. Wouldn’t that be the tops?! But I digress.”