Now, we are getting somewhere! President Trump's decision to replace General H.R. McMaster with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is a terrific choice. His toughness and clarity of vision are remarkable. He rejects appeasement and will not let facile optimism deter him from the course he knows to be sensible and correct. His understanding of real politick is profound and he has a no-nonsense view of the world. He is the opposite of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
At the U.N., Bolton excelled not only in speaking out for the United States but in working to cleanse the institution of its invidious corruption. He worked very hard to expose graft and to create a genuine prosecutor's office in the U.N. organization. When the son of Secretary General Kofi Annan was implicated in corruption connected with the Oil-for-Food program in Iraq, he was quick to expose the potential wrongdoing and to demand reforms.
His reputation — as a hard-charging advocate — was formed by his uncompromising commitment to integrity and justice and his unvarnished advocacy for the United States. Bolton is just the kind of man Ronald Reagan would have appointed.
Unfortunately, the combination of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and McMaster as national security advisor forced President Trump to operate with a team that would have better suited a president like George H.W. Bush or even Jimmy Carter. These men, and the people they brought with them to their jobs, smack of appeasement and American weakness.
Now that Trump has is real supporters in these key positions — Mike Pompeo and John Bolton — he is prepared for aggressive confrontations with Iran and North Korea. And for strong measures to get our allies in line behind us.
But they cannot do the job alone. The State Department is filled to the brim with appeasement-oriented bureaucrats put there under President Obama. While Trump has moved to replace most of them, the Democrats in the Senate are sitting on their hands, stringing out the confirmation process as long as they can.
The Democrats are not objecting to the Trump nominees, nor can they block them. But they are using every second of the 30 hours of debate they are allowed once the nominations are brought to the floor. The new under secretary of state for management, Eric Ueland, for example, was appointed by Trump almost a year ago. He has twice been approved by the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, once in 2017 and again 2018, but his nomination has yet to be brought to the floor. The Senate agenda is so crowded with endless "debate" on uncontroversial nominees that Trump cannot get his people in place.
More and more Senators are demanding that the Senate rules eliminate the minifilibusters these lengthy confirmation debates entail. Particularly now, with the game afoot with Iran and North Korea, Trump needs his people in their new offices. The Senate should change its rules to allow them to be confirmed at once.