Yesterday, Barack Obama succeeded in pushing US foreign policy further down the crapper. The Senate voted to confirm two monumentally unqualified party hacks and bag-people as ambassador.
The Senate, rejecting an impassioned plea from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. John McCainSenate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard52% (R-Ariz.), on Tuesday confirmed two major Obama campaign contributors for ambassadorships to Hungary and Argentina.
The confirmations of Hollywood television producer Colleen Bell to Budapest and Noah Mamet to Buenos Aires had sparked unusual controversy — including a letter in opposition from 15 former presidents of the American Foreign Service Association, the union of career diplomats — after their faltering performances in their confirmation hearings.
Bell stumbled when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. John McCainSenate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard52% (R-Ariz.) asked her what America’s strategic interests were in Hungary, which has become a difficult posting in recent years as the government cracks down on dissenters.
McCain implored the Senate to vote against the nomination. He said he understood that “rewarding supporters to cushy jobs in the Caribbean is something both parties do.” But “this is a very important country where bad things are going on,” he said. McCain said that Bell’s experience “has been producing the television soap opera ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’” and that she is “totally unqualified for this position and this country.” (She has managed the on-and-off-again romantic tension between Ridge and Brooke for decades though …)
Giving ambassadorial positions to prominent political supporters has a long tradition and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing so long a there is a modicum of competence and the posting isn’t a challenging one. And career foreign service officers are often no better as ambassadors than amateurs. No presidential friend has single-handedly set off a war. The foreign service can’t make that claim. Those are not the facts here.
The critical nominee is Colleen Bell. Bell is a soap opera producer who bundled or donated nearly three million dollars for Obama. She is to be posted to Budapest. Budapest is not only a NATO ally, but one that is being wooed by Russia and seems poised to slip into Putin’s brand of neo-fascism. (reported on at RedState) Not only is Hungary making life increasingly difficult for anyone not getting …read more