Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bolton Too Mean, Roberts Too Nice...

This week President Bush used the recess appointment to install John Bolton at the U.N., over complaints that he is intimidating, rude, confrontational, etc. Never mind that in a dysfunctional organization buried in rape and financial scandal might need a firm hand on our end, his alleged poor treatment of subordinates makes him a bad choice.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said it is important that Bolton, who earned a reputation for a confrontational and intimidating style, work with his diplomatic counterparts in "a spirit of give and take."
One assumes Kofi does not mean "give" as the U.N. staff gave in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Congo, or "take" as U.N. staff took money in the Oil for Food scandal.

Now John Roberts is under the scope, and apparently he's so nice it's creepy somehow or it's a reason to distrust him.
I would humbly submit that we should take a closer look at his preternatural niceness. It seems a little too nice to be nice. His behavior raises serious questions about whether he is a sly conservative.
I'm left wondering what the "correct" level of niceness would be, but I also know that it makes no difference. The discussion has nothing to do with intellectual honesty, it is simply a weak attempt to come up with something, anything, to paint these people as weird, or as disguising their true selves. It's about as relevant and honest as Jonathan Chait's criticism of Bush's physical fitness.

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