Let's not dwell on the past . . .
We have a lot of moms who are concerned about everything from the deficit to air quality, particularly in North Texas.
-- Melody Townsel, of Mothers Opposing Bush, last summer.
John Bolton put me through hell -- and he did everything he could to intimidate, malign and threaten not just me, but anybody unwilling to go along with his version of events. His behavior back in 1994 wasn't just unforgivable, it was pathological.
-- Melody Townsel, last week.

Who is Melody Townsel? Did she retreat from politics to raise her children as she was quoted in the New York Sun?

When asked why she did not make this matter public in 2001, when Mr. Bolton's nomination for his current post as undersecretary of state was being considered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, she said that at the time she had retreated from politics and was raising young children.

(Link from Power Line, via InstaPundit.)

At the time, she would have been working for a Dallas PR firm named Alexander Ogilvy:
Five Executives Gain Senior Vice President Position At Alexander Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

Melody Townsel, Dallas

Since joining Alexander Ogilvy in the summer of 1999, Melody Townsel has made significant contributions to clients including Netpliance, ManagedStorage International, Ineto and eCertain, and to the growth of the Dallas office. Her 12 years of international experience in Eastern Europe, South America and Asia gives her a keen global perspective and an ability to provide counsel on media relations, business models and financing events.

She's also listed as doing PR work (involving "whistleblower" issues) for this legal public relations firm, and runs her own firm, whose website describes her as "generating more than 1.5 billion financial and consumer impressions." (I guess "impressions" is insider language for advertising.) Her PR work is described going back as far as 1998, but nothing is said about politics -- least of all leaving politics to take care of children. So I'm puzzled over the claim. I do know that for some people, there's no inconsistency at all between politics and raising children. And eventually, Ms. Townsel found her "return" to politics when (according to the Sun) she "helped organize the Dallas chapter of Mothers Opposing Bush."

And the Mothers Opposing Bush certainly has no problem mixing child-raising with politics. Here's a comment by "the woman" (whoever she may be) who "started" Mothers Opposing Bush in Dallas:

I'm the woman who started it all here in Dallas - you would not believe the press and death threats we've received here because a two-year-old girl took a swipe at a Bush punching bag. Tell your friends to join the MOB. As for the Richardson mom, please tell her to email mobdallas@hotmail.com and come join us!
Posted by: MOB Dallas on June 17, 2004 03:18 PM
A two year old takes a swing at Bush?

Now that's what I call raising 'em right! Teach your child early to stand up to the prezzident!

Why, that's absolutely precious, and I'm glad the Internet is here to preserve such moments. Here's the photo itself (taken from a link at this post):


For her part, Ms. Townsel stated that her daughter never punched the Bush bag, and condemned the punching bag stunt in this letter to the Dallas Morning News.

Mothers Opposing Bush member responds

Re: "Respecting Fundamentals-Punching bag stunt oversteps partisan bounds," yesterday's Editorials.

I'm one of the Mothers Opposing Bush, and my daughter attended Sunday's event in Reverchon Park. While there, she made a new friend. She ate a red, white and blue cupcake. She bounced with the other kids in the Bounce House.

What she did not do-and all but two or three of the 30-plus kids who attended did not do-was play with the punching bag that one mother brought on her own initiative to the event.

Should the bag have been there? No. Were our children encouraged to punch it? No, as your own reporter can attest.

I'm dismayed by the photo you've published twice. It is grossly unrepresentative of the spirit of the play date that we attended.

You use the word "obnoxious" in your editorial, and decried strident partisanship. I couldn't agree more. Why? Because, as of yesterday morning, I'd received more than 250 hate calls. They used the "f" word, death threats, threatened visits to my home-and one threatened my child.

I joined the Mothers Opposing Bush because I want to protect my daughter from a future defined by an administration that has waged war and hampered health care and environmental concerns. I'm a sadder, wiser Mother Opposing Bush today-and, thanks to death threats, more committed than ever.

Melody A. Townsel, Dallas

Yeah, I agree that the punching bag stunt overstepped partisan bounds. Maybe even parental bounds.

I hope it was unrepresentative of the event, because I don't think it's right to drag children into stuff like that at an early age. You'd think a parent sensitive enough to leave politics to take care of children might think twice before organizing an event where this took place, much less taking her child along, but hey. At least the organizer denounced it after it happened!

And none of this matters now anyway. The election is over.

The real issue now is whether Mr. Bolton yelled and threw papers in 1994.

(So where do these hypocritical bloggers get off digging up the past?)

AFTERTHOUGHT: Assuming the above letter to the editor is accurate, I think it's worth asking whether or not Melody Townsel was in fact the principal organizer of Moms Opposing Bush in Dallas. Otherwise, how would she have become the recipient of: "250 hate calls", "death threats", and even a threat to the very child she says she gave up politics to care for?

MORE: Regardless of how accurate the charges turn out to be, the Townsel letter certainly seems to be effective! From this DailyKos thread, some strong sentiments are being voiced about Bolton:

"The man's a thug."

"I hate these fuckers with every fiber of my being. I hope that in the grand scheme, these jack-asses that have hijacked our country get their due..."

...in hell.

"mentally ill"


"belligerent, violent, mendacious. Happy to terrorize anyone who stands in his way.

Oh, yes, and a misogynist."

"the leadership of the Nazi party. Mostly thugs and criminals. Need I say more?

9/11 was the Neocons' Reichstag fire."

"Unregistered Sex Offender

"Would you want this guy anywhere near your children?"


Does this mean they don't want him to be the UN ambassador?

UPDATE: Roger L. Simon is skeptical, and he has more -- including (via a comment) this letter from Melody Townsel's employer.

And Captain Ed accuses Republican leaders of "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory," by ignoring the evidence about Ms. Townsel. He's so tweaked by their handling of this that he's refusing to give them anything: "Not. One. Dime."

UPDATE (04/21/05): My thanks to the National Review's Eric Pfeiffer, for citing this post in today's excellent Beltway Buzz column. Mr. Pfeiffer has more on the Bolton affair here -- as it turns out, Bolton supporter Jayant Kalotra (who wrote the letter cited earlier) is a generous Democratic contributor.

I suspect there will be more.

MORE (04/26/05): I guess I got that last prediction right.... To all who enjoyed reading about Melody Townsel, I have a new post about the latest Bolton accuser, one Lynne Finney. (She's an old hand at raising Hell....)

AND MORE (04/26/05): More dirt has been dug up against Melody Townsel. She stands accused of plagiarism twenty years ago, except unless I am wrong, she's the one who has accused herself, while trying to blame "Republican" dirt diggers.

posted by Eric on 04.18.05 at 03:05 PM


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Let's not dwell on the past . . .:

» Bolton Nomination from The Common Room
Eric at Classical Values has an extensive background information on Melody Townsel, the woman who seems to have derailed the Bolton nomination by her accusation (made for the first time to the commission in the last week or so) that several years ago B... [Read More]
Tracked on April 21, 2005 12:58 PM


The truth is that Melody Townsel is the unstable person here. She was not liked by her comrades in Kyrgistan who she made disparaging comments. She hired her friends for two week stints so she could visit with them while she was in remote Bishkek. In Bishkek all funds had to be handled in cash... see no banks with automatic tellers were there. So huge amounts of money were kept within the office safe. It was under her management that a large sum of money ($40,000) went missing from the safe. This U.S. financed project never located the missing money. Now the question is, did Bolton chase her down the halls because his company's money went missing, or did the money go missing during Bolton's visit? There is more to this story than meets the eye... but one thing is certain, Ms. Townsel is not a stable person.

Vitruvius   ·  April 25, 2005 1:31 PM

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