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John Bolton Is The Perfect Washington Man
The Federalist ^ | June 22, 2020 | Ben Domenech

Posted on 06/22/2020 6:28:39 AM PDT by Kaslin

Bolton is a thin-skinned and snarky figure who succeeded in convincing a surprising number of smart people in Washington that he is somehow serious and statesmanlike.

In the good old days of the internet blogosphere, there was a running bit at Jeff Goldstein’s blog Protein Wisdom which provided a name for John Bolton’s prominent mustache – “Regis”, a globe-trotting nuke-loving Hamas-bashing sexually aggressive bon-vivant with lush whiskey-tinged follicles. The image is ridiculous of course, but it is not far from the image the real John Bolton paints of himself in the absurdly entertaining pages of his book, the inaptly named The Room Where It Happened.

First, let me say that I love this book. I love everything about it. It is true unadulterated fan-fic for Bolton lovers everywhere. He is always right. He is always noble. His purposes are always true. Anyone who disagrees with him is an idiot, or possibly worse. Edward from Twilight has more flaws than this iteration of John Bolton, the mustachioed hero who can do no wrong… except to be, at a critical moment, surrounded entirely by idiots.

If you don’t believe me, just read the reviews from others who have welcomed most if not all of the quite profitable books by insiders excoriating the president released in the past several years.

From The New York Times review:

Underneath it all courses a festering obsession with his enemies … The book is bloated with self-importance, even though what it mostly recounts is Bolton not being able to accomplish very much. It toggles between two discordant registers: exceedingly tedious and slightly unhinged … When it comes to Bolton’s comments on impeachment, the clotted prose, the garbled argument and the sanctimonious defensiveness would seem to indicate some sort of ambivalence on his part—a feeling that he doesn’t seem to have very often.

From The New Yorker review:

Bolton mocks, disparages, or clashes with Steven Mnuchin, Nikki Haley, Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, Mike Pompeo, and others, all within the book’s first hundred pages. By the end of the nearly five-hundred-page book, Bolton also criticizes Mick Mulvaney, Jared Kushner, the entire White House economic team, many of his foreign counterparts, and, although he shares their misgivings about Donald Trump, the House Democrats who impeached the President.

This is Washington score-settling on an epic scale. Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, “had no idea what he was talking about.” Haley, who served as the Ambassador to the United Nations, is a self-promoting pol who sucked up to Trump’s family. Mattis, the former Defense Secretary, is a bureaucratic obstructionist who deluded himself into thinking that an “axis of adults” could manage the unmanageable President. Pompeo, the Secretary of State, who would emerge as the great internal enemy during Bolton’s seventeen-month tenure, is an untruthful hypocrite who flatters Trump to his face while dumping on him privately…

The book does, however, amply confirm Bolton’s reputation as a fierce infighter with an inflated view of himself and a willingness to blame others for just about everything. He is clearly a flawed narrator and colleague.

From The Washington Post review:

A veteran bureaucratic infighter, Bolton dishes dirt about everyone he doesn’t like, and it’s a very long list. [After noting his dismissal of Nikki Haley, Michael Flynn, and Jared Kushner] But it’s Jim Mattis who’s Bolton’s favorite punching bag. Every dozen pages there’s another shot at the former secretary of defense . He’s “looking for excuses not to do much of anything” in retaliating against Syrian chemical weapons use; he would “predict gloom and doom when he didn’t get his way” on policy; he used “spite” as a common tactic, prompting Bolton to observe “they didn’t call him ‘Chaos’ for nothing.

Bolton is the hero of nearly every anecdote in the book. Indeed, for a memoir that is startlingly candid about many things, Bolton’s utter lack of self-criticism is one of the book’s significant shortcomings. Nearly every policy discussion is an opportunity for Bolton to say that he was right, people should have listened to him, he knew it would never work, he was vindicated. His only problem is that, having burned so many bridges with this book, Fox News may not give him a future platform to explain how right he is.

Ah, yes, how terrible that would be for the number of American lives saved by not just going everywhere and doing everything that John Bolton would like to do. The totally unsurprising thing is that follows after all these pointed critiques is that many of these same commentators will then move on to “but as unreliable a narrator as he is, as much as he reveals himself to be a venal score-settler, Bolton has revealed a deep and unexpected truth about Donald Trump which must be appreciated!”

Now for all my plaudits, as a book, I have to say this is quite bad. It is dry, convoluted, and catty in a depressingly repetitive way. One of the repeated elements of the book is Bolton self-references. “They said this, then I showed them the error of their ways with this super smart Tweet” makes a frequent appearance. There is little here to indicate success in anything but tweeting during his 18 month tenure – his views are typically ignored or run into the rocks when they encounter the president, and often earlier. After each of these failures Bolton sinks into a passive aggressive funk for a few sentences. It amounts to a chapter by chapter rendition of Seinfeld’s “The Jerk Store”, over and over again.

Bolton’s ways of presenting his ideas would seem rather questionable to others operating without his alpha male acuity. At one point he drafts up a one-page plan, all by himself, to solve all the problems with immigration policy in America. It includes firing not one but two cabinet members. He is astounded and frustrated that no one seems to be super into it. Trump folds the paper up and puts it in his pocket, so now Trump bears the blame for not advancing such well-honed policy perfection. Bolton’s one pager is discarded, and the nation suffers for it.

Bolton’s frequent problem is that the reasoning behind the president’s positions are, in his view, either very silly or very craven. But when placed side by side with what Bolton, Mattis, or other more hawkish members of the team want to achieve, the president’s argument is often far more in line with the priorities of most Americans.

Trump asks repeatedly why the United States is losing so many lives in fighting wars others should fight, and expresses frustration at the mounting financial costs. Bolton quotes Trump saying about Afghanistan: “Another six months, that’s what they said before, and we’re still getting our asses kicked.” In context, Bolton is astonished. In public opinion, it’d be hard to disagree. But then, that puts this position as a craven attempt to win re-election by recognizing the deep unpopularity of Bolton’s position. The audacity.

For a text that has been presumably pored over so much, the book is also rife with odd editorial and factual mistakes, with misspellings of the names of key individuals and at least one anecdote that makes no sense whatsoever with what I know personally to be the truth. Pompeo and other government figures have called him a liar regarding his renditions of particular quotes – I can’t speak to that. But whatever Bolton’s primary approach to compiling notes for this book, relying on recollection and note-taking that never includes a scene where the protagonist/author makes an error is rather unbelievable, even for as perfect a specimen of man as John Bolton.

Bolton closes the book by (what a twist!) citing himself, with a multi-page quote from a book review he wrote in 2014 for “American Review”, a now-defunct Australian publication. He compares himself prior to the quote to Bob Gates, the universally respected former Secretary of Defense for both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and claims that Gates faced slings and arrows “similar to those now directed at me”.

For some reason, Bolton leaves out the portion of that article where he wrote: “Had I been George W. Bush, I would not have picked Gates as defense secretary, and had I been Barack Obama, I would not have kept him.” Bolton then proceeded to lambaste Gates’ entire philosophy of service and duty.

Well. That’s just who John Bolton is.

As I wrote at the time he was hired in 2018, Bolton is a deeply odd, thin-skinned, and snarky figure who succeeded in convincing a surprising number of smart people in Washington that he is somehow serious and statesmanlike. This book and the profitable process by which he came to write it will doubtlessly decrease that number. As a parting shot, it has the temporary satisfaction of score-settling and the happiness brought by a two million dollar advance. But there should be nothing unclear about it: this is a parting shot by a man leaving the room for good.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: book; bookreview; johnbolton; media; middleeast; mikepompeo; trump; usforeignpolicy; washington

1 posted on 06/22/2020 6:28:39 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

The LSM is full-on Boltgasm this morning.....

2 posted on 06/22/2020 6:32:26 AM PDT by Mopp4
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To: Kaslin

Whatever Bolton once was, he has now devolved into a frustrated, bitter, depraved man. He knows full well that his actions are aiding the demented leftist Biden and the communists who control him to achieve power and ultimately destroy the American nation. No punishment is too severe for Bolton.

3 posted on 06/22/2020 6:33:54 AM PDT by allendale
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To: allendale


4 posted on 06/22/2020 6:36:41 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Bolton.....a zero of a man.

5 posted on 06/22/2020 6:39:12 AM PDT by Fishtalk
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To: Fishtalk

BTW, As I talk to myself, I am pretty sure Bolton didn’t testify before the impeachment schlubs was because he didn’t want to be charged with perjury.

6 posted on 06/22/2020 6:40:23 AM PDT by Fishtalk
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To: Kaslin

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

I gave John Bolton, who was incapable of being Senate confirmed because he was considered a wacko, and was not liked, a chance. I always like hearing differing points of view. He turned out to be grossly incompetent, and a liar. See judge’s opinion. CLASSIFIED INFORMATION!!!

8:34 AM · Jun 22, 202

7 posted on 06/22/2020 6:41:39 AM PDT by McGruff
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To: Kaslin

Bolton is a disgrace.

A screaming, out-of-control war monger who took an eager part in the utter failure of our war in Iraq.

I won’t call him liar, but his heart is so twisted and mind so perverted that his version of truth is not something most Americans would recognize.

This serpent puts to bed the notion of a “Team of rivals” or some such crap about putting idiots is positions of power.

8 posted on 06/22/2020 6:51:22 AM PDT by CharleysPride (Bring Luke Denman and Airan Berry home!)
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To: Kaslin
Re-posted from another thread this morning ...

John Bolton's role over the years has been completely misunderstood by an awful lot of people on both sides of the political aisle ... and deliberately whitewashed by others. There's far too much focus on his role in various positions in government over the years. The REAL focus should be on what he's been doing BETWEEN his government jobs.

I had this guy pegged years ago as a malignant, pernicious, globalist @sshole. I'm not complaining or being vindictive about this, but I took plenty of crap from a lot of people right here on FR when I said so years ago.

Another Freeper posted a response to a post I made on an old thread about John Bolton from 2018. A link to this thread is posted here -- and my posts on this thread are worth reading (especially Post #60 and its reference to the links there):

John Bolton: The Wisdom of This Choice Is Made Clear in the Panic of Liberals

At the risk of sounding self-aggrandizing ... I never bought into the bullsh!t that has been peddled incessantly in conservative circles about this @sshole for years.

Anyone who thinks John Bolton has become a traitor and turned on President Trump with the publication of his book hasn't been paying attention. He was never working as the National Security Advisor in the first place. Even as the National Security Advisor he was working all along for the same foreign and corporate interests that have been paying him for years in between his government jobs.

You want proof of this? Just take a look at this video clip:

Why John Bolton Wants a Fringe Group to Rule Iran (NYT News)

I have no interest in vouching for the accuracy of a New York Times report, but the content of the video clips presented there is beyond dispute:

1. John Bolton gave that speech in July 2017. Who employed him at that time, and -- more importantly -- what were the sources of his employer's revenue?

2. That speech was given to a group called the Mujahedeen Khalq -- known by their English abbreviation MEK. This is a group of Marxist Iranian dissidents living in exile who had been pushing for an overthrow of the Iranian regime for decades.

3. The MEK had been designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. government until 2012. Why would John Bolton be giving a speech in 2017 to an Iranian dissident group that had been designated as a terrorist group for the entire duration of time he had ever served in the U.S. government before then?

4. The MEK is still considered a terrorist group by BOTH the Iraqi and Iranian governments TODAY -- most likely because the MEK's militia had been sheltered in Iraq by Saddam Hussein after they fled from Iran.

5. Wait a minute ... Hasn't John Bolton been an unapologetic cheerleader for every U.S. military action against Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime in Iraq -- even to this day, after thousands of American lives (of people unrelated to John Bolton, of course) and trillions of dollars have been pissed away and Iraq is still a dysfunctional Islamic sh!t-hole?

6. And here's the biggest question of all, folks ... Why was John Bolton giving a speech to the MEK in July 2017 in which he promised: "Before 2019, we here will celebrate IN TEHRAN!"

If you want to know why John Bolton wrote his anti-Trump screed, just find the answer to a simple question:

Who paid him to give that speech to the MEK in 2017?

9 posted on 06/22/2020 6:58:25 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("We're human beings ... we're not f#%&ing animals." -- Dennis Rodman, 6/1/2020)
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To: Kaslin

Bolton’s book is online here:

As I was reading the first part of the book, I kept yelling “Please, President Trump, do _not_ hire this Deep State hack.”

During the rest of the book I was screaming “Fire him—now!”.

At the end of the book I was more relaxed—my thoughts:

“Thank you for excreting this coup plotting turd.”

10 posted on 06/22/2020 7:12:05 AM PDT by cgbg (Kneeling is a half measure--lefties need to dig a six foot hole and bury themselves in it.)
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To: Fishtalk

Barry Soretoro resents that comment.

11 posted on 06/22/2020 7:17:42 AM PDT by epluribus_2 (He, had the best mom - ever.)
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To: Kaslin

Go after him with the full force of the law. The street thugs who grew up without fathers have a better excuse for their behavior. Let his newfound leftist buddies try to save him.

12 posted on 06/22/2020 8:22:34 AM PDT by Socon-Econ (adical Islam,)
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To: Kaslin

Bunch of careerist bureaucrats and cowards. All of them have zero capability of maintaining value oaths

13 posted on 06/22/2020 8:23:57 AM PDT by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security in hatse:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
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To: Kaslin

What a way to end a career being a bitter old man

14 posted on 06/22/2020 9:11:56 AM PDT by MAKOTHEDOG
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To: allendale

He knows full well that his actions are aiding the demented leftist Biden and the communists who control him to achieve power and ultimately destroy the American nation. No punishment is too severe for Bolton.

The so called civilized American Indian tribes practice “shunning” of traitors and criminals.

He should be “shunned” the rest of his miserable life!

15 posted on 06/22/2020 9:34:44 AM PDT by Grampa Dave ( Can I trust that you and I will take the red pill and vote for Trump, this November!)
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To: Kaslin

Allow me to translate the comments here...John Bolton is a bad terrible evil ignorant person who DARED to criticize Donald Trump! Fr PC requires No one ever Criticize The Great And Powerful Trump!

“Bolton is a thin-skinned and snarky figure who succeeded in convincing a surprising number of smart people in Washington that he is somehow serious and statesmanlike.”
Including I suspect one Benjamin Domenech.

16 posted on 06/22/2020 2:22:37 PM PDT by Valin
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To: Kaslin

JB’s work history is that he couldn’t seem to hold a job long.

17 posted on 06/22/2020 3:40:37 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Paladin2

Yes, and isn’t that telling? It should have been noticed, when he was vetted for a position in the administration.

A work history like Bolton’s, is the same as the romantic history of one of those people who have a string of short-term relationships, which always ended because the other’s were at fault - supposedly.

18 posted on 06/23/2020 1:47:42 AM PDT by BlackVeil ('The past is never dead. It's not even past.' William Faulkner)
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