Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Pick your lessons and the nomination of John Bolton.

I know you folks are going to find this hard to believe, but in my younger days I was something of a rebel. I was full of rage against the machine. So in an argument, I would continue long past the point of any possible return, because I did not just want to get my way, but I wanted my opponent to acknowledge the unquestionable rightness of my position. That type of thinking was especially true with my ex-wife. Before the marriage spiraled down to the abyss in its later years, we would have some spectacular arguments, because I was just hell bent to "prove" to her that I was right and by God she was going to acknowledge that I was right. ( Which most of the time I was by the way.^-^). Only slowly, did I come to realize that it did not matter if I was right, because she did not care. So in the last few years I simply adopted the estranged husband's path of choice, avoiding conversation entirely.

What it points up is some advice I got a long time back from a mentor. You have to know how to pick your fights. You cannot win the all , and you only have so much energy to give. Thus you cannot waste that energy on issues that don't really matter in the great scheme of things. I had to learn that lesson the hard way I am afraid. Now, however it stands me well. You have to know if you can go the distance, long before you step into the ring.

Look at the mess about John Bolton. Yesterday while I was working out, I watched the news talking about the Senate's failure to bring his nomination to a vote. The Senate has tried to vote twice for cloture and to bring his nomination to the floor. Democrats are overjoyed in that they seem to be succeeding in blocking his nominee. The President left open the option of appointing him in a recess appointment. Even if he does, I still am not sure this was a fight the Democrats really wanted to pick.

President Bush wants Bolton because he will supposedly talk tough and reform the UN. Problem is the UN is unreformable. It likes being what it is, because for those who are in its organization, working for it, the UN is an extremely good deal. I know because I have applied for a series of UN jobs in the last year......all ignored most probably because I am white, male and an American. ( Go to their web site and look at their pay tables some time. You'd want the organization to stay the same too). So what this is really about is public relations: President Bush giving the impression he is doing something to work with the international community, after "snubbing" them for years. Its also about proving that he has "political capital to burn" and he will get the folks he wants into government. He is, after all, the President. So maybe he should get his way.

And that is why, I believe, that this was the wrong fight for Senate Democrats to win. All it does is make them look petty in the end. Like me arguing with my ex, its about showing the President that "they" are right. Just like my ex though, George W. Bush does not care. Plus, as we all know, what goes around comes around and there is going to come a time when they have someone they want to see moved on and Senate Republicans are going to go all out to crush them. Last time I checked they still control the Congress.

They ought to let Bolton go. The real fights to pick are with the Presidents policies. There's meat there, not in hamstringing Bolton or judges. The American people are able to see through that. To me the fight over the Bolton nomination shows how far gone the leaders of both parties are. The Democrats have yet to understand that they have to come back from la la land and get in touch with "real people and their issues". Eric and Dean on their blogs have a great discussion about how to get the discussion of issues back on track. Right now the parties are too focused just on "winning"; something , anything, just so long as it makes either George W. Bush or the Democratic leadership look like dirt. It ignores the old adage to stay focused on your mission. For the President it's to get his bills through Congress and for the Democrats its to become relevant again. I worry though, that its not possible with this bunch, its personal with them. In the end its the US that loses.

Like I said, you've got to know how to pick your fights. And this is not one they should have picked. If the Democrats could find a real issue, not a nomination and force a defeat on the President a lot of people would cheer. I'd be one of them. But it won't be about this.

Speaking of knowing how to pick your fights I am continuing to follow the adventures of Sarong Party Girl and her nude pictures. Its been talked about here, here, here, and here. Now SPG is saying:

"Just leave me alone.Any article about me as a 'nude blogger' after yesterday's ST does not come with my support or agreement. There's nothing I can do I suppose, and it's probably going to be pretty naff. But whatever. Just so you know, I never agreed to anything. Besides, how could I? When they don't come clean with you what exactly will be published?IM SICK AND TIRED OF THIS BULLSHIT."

End result? Now in we are a world where I cannot see SPG's breasts, but I can see Phil's ! How screwed up is that?!

Pick your fights.



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