1. The 'damaged goods' label is just sour grapes. Bolton and the full faith and confidence of the President who will be President for the next three and a half years. That's what counts.
2. He wouldn't be damaged goods if the Democrats hadn't filibustered the nomination.
3. Now that he is the US ambassador, its time for the Congress to close ranks and give him their full support.
The Washington Post editorial today gets it right:
PRESIDENT BUSH was within his rights yesterday to install John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations by recess appointment. Mr. Bolton's nomination has been pending a long time, and a majority of the Senate probably would have voted to confirm him. Yet Senate Democrats denied him an up-or-down vote, holding out for the administration to release more material related to Bolton's past work...Using that power to circumvent the normal advice-and-consent process is politically provocative and should be quite rare. But having thwarted the usual process under which the Senate gets to vote on a president's nominee, it takes a bit of chutzpah for Democrats now to cry foul at Mr. Bush's decision to exercise his other option.
...Moreover, Democrats are correct in noting that Mr. Bolton, by dint of the recess appointment, will go to the United Nations under less than optimal conditions...But, again, whose fault is that? Democrats had every chance to muster the votes to defeat the nomination; they couldn't do it. If Mr. Bolton is now heading to New York without the Senate's imprimatur but with a figurative asterisk beside his name, that's only because, having failed to defeat him, a minority refused to lose gracefully.