Bolton sunk… for now

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Wow, go see Laura Rozen for the details, but George Voinovich (R-OH) just sided with the Democrats in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to delay a vote on John Bolton’s nomination to the UN ambassadorship for two weeks. Good news. There are a lot of seamy details on Bolton just coming to light, including Bolton’s possible use of NSA intercepts “to wage war against rival officials in the State Department.” Moderate Republicans led by Richard Lugar tried to cut off debate, but Voinovich came out of nowhere to stop them. Again, good news.

From what I gather, Voinovich is something of a moderate on foreign policy, or at least what passes for a moderate in Republican circles. Back in 2003, he publicly encouraged the Bush administration to go to the UN for help with the war in Iraq. And that’s what this is all about. Can moderate Republicans who still believe in multilateralism wrest control of their foreign policy from the likes of John Bolton and his allies, including Dick Cheney? Two of the famous “moderates” on the Senate Committee—Lincoln Chafee and Chuck Hagel—have shown no such desire to confront the Bush administration on this issue. But if they don’t take a stand now, they have no hope whatsoever of pushing Republican foreign policy in a saner direction. (Heck, Chafee didn’t even vote for the president, so why is he voting for the president’s wild-eyed, anything-but-moderate nominee?) Perhaps that’s not what Voinovich’s vote was about, but it’s certainly something he ought to consider.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend