More Schadenfreude: John Bolton, Trump, and DeSantis for President
By Hal Brown
I used two John Bolton caricatures by the great DonkeyHotey
in my blog today. I like the one on the right showing his incredible growing mustache. Mustache Maximus. How much bigger can you make it before it goes off the page?
The story on HUFFPOST showing in the lower left above has nothing to do with John Bolton' s presidential announcement. Bolton is quoted saying that Trump “is the luckiest man in American politics" and that "this ought to be disqualifying to both of them" referring to the current and former president.
Also from HUFFPOST:
Bolton, a fierce Trump critic, predicted that the significant legal differences between the two cases would "get lost in the fog.” Now, he finds it hard to believe that Trump can be prosecuted for the Mar-a-Lago documents, regardless of the circumstances.
“I don’t see how a criminal case goes forward at this point,” Bolton said. “I just think it’s such a cloud over the prosecution.”
Why HUFFPOST featured John Bolton in this article seemed odd to me at first but then I realized he is the only other announced candidate for president unless you count Ye.
When I saw this it was news to me even though it broke a week ago. I haven't been paying attention. I did a web search and found out that this wasn't exactly breaking news:
I clicked on the article on the right above based the word "ridiculous" in the title which was what I was thinking:
I am bolding the sections of the quotes below which I thought we telling.
|Click above for article|
Earlier today, John Bolton officially entered the 2024 U.S. presidential race with an announcement to the British media. Bolton, who was George W. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations during the Iraq War and Donald Trump’s national security adviser until he was fired via Twitter, insisted in his Good Morning Britain interview that this is not a joke or a shameless attempt to sell more books and boost his speaker fees. “I wouldn’t run as a vanity candidate,” he said. “If I didn’t think I could run seriously, then I wouldn’t get in the race.”
Here's the interview:Trump called Bolton one of the dumbest people he's ever worked. Trump fired him in Sept. 2019 after they clashed on positions on N. Korea and Afghanistan. Bolton said that Trump's support within the party itself was in permanent decline.
The New York Magazine Intelligencier article concludes:
Is it possible that there are a few Republican voters who hate Trump, love U.S. military intervention, and think Ron DeSantis is insufficiently mustachioed? I suppose so. But Bolton winning the 2024 GOP presidential nomination feels less plausible than the idea that he’s dabbling in comedic performance art.
These are quotes from the NY Post article:
“If I don’t see that, I’m going to seriously consider getting in,” Bolton said at the time, later adding: “I think to be a presidential candidate you can’t just say, ‘I support the Constitution.’ You have to say, ‘I would oppose people who would undercut it.’”
On Friday, Bolton told the British broadcaster that he specifically wants to derail Trump, who has called his onetime subordinate a “liar,” a “dope” and “a disgruntled boring fool.”
Here's a one sentence article which has 985 comments which you can read here.
Bolton had made his aspirations known in December last year, when he suggested that he would run for president if no other candidate from the Republican party comes forward to slam Trump for his remarks on terminating the US Constitution. “I’d like to see Shermanesque statements from all the potential candidates. If I don’t see that, I’m going to seriously consider getting in,” he told NBC, adding that Trump’s statement should be enough for his disqualification for public office. ‘“I think to be a presidential candidate you can’t just say, ‘I support the constitution’. You have to say, ‘I would oppose people who would undercut it’,” he added.
Bolton served as Trump’s national security adviser between April 2018 to September 2019. Previously, he believed that he didn’t bag the secretary of state post as Trump was not a fan of his mustache. Later on, in September 2019, Bolton left the Trump administration and said that he had quit. On the contrary, Trump said that he had been sacked from the job.
The Trump mustache rejection fits with this story: Trump Rejected Nikki Haley as Running Mate Over ‘Complexion Problem’.
While the country, possibly much of the world, is waiting with baited breathe for Ron "The Fairly Sane High IQ Malignant Narcissist Culture Warrior" DeSantis (read "Gov. DeSantis’ attack on New College isn’t about philosophy; it’s about votes")
to declare that he's going to take on Donald "Bizzaro World" Trump I suppose HUFFPOST didn't have anyone else to quote in their article.
A few days ago I wrote about the Schadenfreude I experience watching McCarthy and the MAGA marauders in the House trying to deflect questions about George Santos.
I think that if we end up with a three-way primary season with Trump, DeSantis, and Bolton going hair to head to mustache it will be equally delightful to watch these three snipe at each other.
I wouldn't dismiss Bolton's candidacy as a joke the way New York Magazine did in calling it ridiculous. His announcing it on British TV could have been a savvy PR ploy if he thought he would get more extensive coverage in the United States by giving a long interview in England.
A significant number of Republican voters may be sick of Trump's 20 of the same worn out tricks pony act and the increasing evidence he has become a ranting, raving, delusional drunk uncle. DeSantos and his culture war may not play well outside of Florida and deeply red states populated by a large number of bigots and morons.
Despite his mockable mustache John Bolton may look like the only adult left in the GOP candidate waiting room. In fact if MAGA Republicans give him a chance they may become enamored with the mustache. Leaving out Hitler, there are many examples nine of whom who are known not only for their accomplishments but also for their mustaches are shown below:
Bolton's reputation as a proponent of the U.S. being an aggressive international actor may play well with Republican voters. For example read:
He begins: Among the many unwelcome legacies of Donald Trump’s random walk through foreign and defense policy during his presidency, the resurgence of isolationism and know-nothingism in the Republican Party is among the most distasteful and dangerous.
And he concludes: Isolationism has never entirely disappeared from the Republican Party’s fringes, and the Democrats’ leftist marches are perennial habitats for this virus.
Trump, however, fostered a toxic environment within which the virus spread. More prosaically, years of neglect have left us with inadequate supplies of existing weapons, demonstrated currently, for example, by the pressure to supply Ukraine with anti-tank Javelin missiles without completely depleting our own arsenals.
New weapons systems to outpace China in all combat domains are critically needed, to say nothing of what we and our allies need elsewhere in the world. In particular, we need a dramatically expanded, modernized Navy to deter and contain China in the vast Pacific and Indian Ocean expanses.
We have wasted decades by not expanding and improving our national missile-defense assets, a requirement defensive by definition and one that even isolationists should be willing to support.
Dominance in space and cyberspace is essential not just for military purposes but to keep the homeland alive and functioning during crisis or conflict situations. And as was evident well before Covid but has been inescapable since, we need resilient, sustained American production capabilities for national-security requirements, with no reliance on insecure foreign supply chains.
The damage from isolationism is already evident, starting with the retreat from Afghanistan, a blundering, bipartisan flight from reality. This unforced error, the epitome of Trumpian isolationism, reflects disdain for the interests sacrificed.
The pursuit of U.S. interests remains the foundation of conservative national security policy. These interests are concrete: defending our territory and people; guarding commercial interests; access to resources; and reliable protection for our allies.
Among the unwelcome legacies of Trump’s presidency, the resurgence of isolationism is among the most dangerous. The GOP must urgently overcome it or there's little hope of advancing a larger agenda. Now is the time, no matter how difficult the fight.