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John Wayne's Holster: The Keyes to UN Reform
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Friday, July 29, 2005

The Keyes to UN Reform

Senior administration officials announced today that President Bush will likely appoint John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations while the Congress is in recess. White House press secretary Scott McClellan essentially confirmed this, saying that "It's important that we get our permanent representative in place…This is a critical time and it's important to continue moving forward on comprehensive reform."

If the President does indeed follow through and appoint Bolton, I think he would be making a costly mistake. I believe John Bolton should have been confirmed. After all, he is committed to carrying out the President's mission of UN reform, and he is certainly qualified to serve in that capacity. Unfortunately he was not confirmed. As such, I have some concerns as to how effective he can be. Will he be taken seriously by other UN Diplomats who most likely will not want to hear what he has to say? Why should the diplomats pay him any mind when they know he may not serve as ambassador after the beginning of the next session of Congress (Jan 2006)? They can simply wait him out.

This could also backfire on President Bush. He has recently appointed Judge Roberts to the SCOTUS. He will likely make additional appointments, as it is expected that Chief Justice Rehnquist, and possibly others, may retire in the upcoming years. If Bush by-passes Congress and appoints Bolton, he may face problems with his judicial appointments. Although the Republicans are in the majority in the Senate, they do not have a margin large enough to break a filibuster. Of course there is the wild-card of the nuclear option, but that is a path which they must tread only if absolutely necessary – and then very carefully.

Bush should have withdrawn the Bolton nomination after the second failed confirmation attempt. In his place, Bush should appoint Alan Keyes. Alan Keyes is a seasoned diplomat and his views are pretty much in line with those of Bolton. Keyes’ view of the UN can best be summed up in his own words from the 1999 GOP debates in Iowa when he stated, "I look at an organization that is unrepresentative, elected by no one, where dictators and tyrants have the same right to send representatives to make substantive decisions that will affect our jobs and livelihood in a fashion totally contrary to our constitution...The question is whether the US should belong to an organization that violates our constitutional principles." Click here for a more comprehensive view of Keyes’ position on the UN.

Like Bolton, Keyes recognizes that the UN has strayed from its intended mission and is in grave need of reform. Keyes already has experience in the UN, where he served as Ambassador to the Economic and Social Council. If the President is looking for someone with strong leadership abilities who is committed to reform while preserving US sovereignty (something that the UN would like to subvert), then he need look no further.


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