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August 02, 2005

I Love Mark Steyn

If you're not reading Mark Steyn's political columns every chance you get, you're missing out on the most worthwhile political commentator since...since...well, since ever. Here's a taste:

[There have been] months of ever more desperate disparagement by Senate Democrats eager to nail [John Bolton]. By April, they were reduced to complaining his body language, as I discussed in The Chicago Sun-Times:

Boy, this confirmation battle over John Bolton, the President's plain-spoken nominee for UN ambassador, is really heating up. Senator Barbara Boxer, the Democratic Party's comely obstructionist, has charged that Bolton needs "anger management lessons".

I don't know about you, but nothing makes me want to hurl a chair through the window and punch someone's lights out like being told I need anger management lessons. So I was interested to hear about the kind of violent Boltonian eruptions that had led Senator Boxer to her diagnosis. Well, here it comes. (If you've got young children present, you might want to take them out of the room.) From the shockingly brutal testimony of Thomas Fingar, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence Research:

Q: Could you characterize your meeting with Bolton? Was he calm?

MR. FINGAR: No, he was angry. He was standing up.

Q: Did he raise his voice to you? Did he point his finger in your face?

MR. FINGAR: I don't remember if he pointed. John speaks in such a low voice normally. Was it louder than normal? Probably. I wouldn't characterize it as screaming at me or anything like that. It was more, hands on hips, the body language as I recall it, I knew he was mad.

He was "standing up" with "hands on hips"! Who's he think he is - Carmen Miranda? Fortunately, before Bolton could let rip with a "pursed lip" or escalate to the lethal "tsk-ing" maneuver, Fingar was able to back cautiously out of the room and call the FBI anger management team, who surrounded the building and told the deranged diplomat to come out slowly with his hands above his hips.

Well, I haven't been so horrified since ...well, since David Gest split from Liza Minnelli and launched a multi-million dollar suit for damages because she'd beaten him up. As "The Daily Show"'s Jon Stewart observed, "There is no conceivable amount of money worth telling the world that you were beaten up by Liza Minnelli." Likewise, whatever one's feelings about the UN and Kofi Annan and multilateralism, there's nothing that could get most self-respecting men to appear in front of a Senate committee and complain that John Bolton put his hands on his hips. At least, Liza allegedly beat David to a pulp. True, she'd recently had two hip replacements, so if she'd slapped her hands on her hips, she'd have fallen to the ground howling in agony, and David could have run for his life. Or, indeed, strolled for his life, given that she was overweight, barely five foot tall and a decade his senior. But my point is: even David Gest might have balked at complaining about hands on hips.

Still, in the ever accelerating descent into parody of the Senate confirmation process, nothing is too trivial. By the time Senator Boxer and co are through huffing about the need for anger management lessons, Two-Hips Bolton will be able to walk into every saloon in Dodge and the meanest hombres will be diving for cover behind the hoochie-koochie gals' petticoats before his pinky's so much as brushed his waist.

Nuts and Bolton

Posted by Jeff at August 2, 2005 02:44 PM

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