Bolton and Trump: Together at Last
I have nothing left to say about John Bolton that will do my blood pressure any good. He is Trump with a brain and an image-conscious “crusty ol’ veteran” moustache. He is an armchair quarterback in a game played with other people’s sons and husbands. He is — sorry to be so blunt and cruel — a Fox News expert commentator.
Last September, I wrote this about him, in part:
John Bolton, like a lot of his neoconservative allies, is a very smart and well-spoken man who never met a war he didn’t like — unless someone was asking him to fight it.
Here is what he wrote in his Yale University 25th reunion book, explaining why he joined the Maryland Army National Guard to avoid the Vietnam draft:
I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.
Bolton clarified his remark in a subsequent interview:
…by the time I was about to graduate in 1970, it was clear to me that opponents of the Vietnam War had made it certain we could not prevail, and that I had no great interest in going there to have Teddy Kennedy give it back to the people I might die to take it away from.
Oh, fine. Bolton “considered the war already lost,” so he decided it wasn’t worth his trouble to make an appearance. Don’t you enjoy those Mark Twain-esque ironies, “I confess I had no desire to die,” and “I had no great interest in going there”? Right. So let other Americans die in those rice paddies in your stead, because you don’t feel like it.
Great, just what the White House needs: another reality TV tough guy — all “alpha” and “big stick” when the risk will be borne by others, all beta and excuses when the cameras are off. He and Trump should get along just fine.
I wonder how the cult will rationalize the “neocons'” favorite defense analyst as part of Trump’s swamp-draining miracle. Undoubtedly the same way they have rationalized every lie, betrayal, and “shooting on Fifth Avenue” since the fall of 2015: “MAGA,” “The Wall,” “But Hillary,” “Lyin’ Ted.” Blind faith is blind faith. The whole issue turns on whether your faith happens to be invested in a god or a fraud.