Be Careful What You Wish For Re: John Bolton
The President’s foes are licking their chops over what they anticipate will be a huge take-down of Trump by his former National Security Advisor…
But don’t be so sure. John Bolton is not a diplomat. He is not a truth-teller. Nor is he particularly sane. (Which is part of why he got the Trump job in the first place.) We guess to his credit, Bolton was about disruption way before disruption was a thing. And like Trump, he only used that talent to tear things down and bust things up. Like scuttling a deal with North Korea in the early days of the George W. Bush administration, which was much closer to reality than anything Trump’s come up with.
Bolton’s also ostensibly waiting for a ruling by a judge on whether he can even testify before Congress, because the White House says he can’t. But that’s kind of ridiculous because Bolton’s not part of the White House anymore: he was fired. And there have been lots of situations in the past where he’s just gone and opened his big mouth regardless of what people said, so why not now? (A ruling by a judge yesterday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify probably gives Bolton even more leeway, although if the Justice Department chooses to challenge that ruling — and they will — there are lots of other courts to weigh in on it, all the way to the Supreme Court, which at the very least may delay it until it’s no longer timely.)
In Bolton’s case, the purpose of delaying may be to save everything juicy for an upcoming book (for which he just reportedly signed a juicy contract). So in any case, any big info from Bolton is likely to come after the fact. Giving him some cover that he didn’t actually betray anyone.
What we’re trying to say is you’re extremely naive if you expect John Bolton to behave the way you want him to behave. Or even as a person would or should behave after Trump and the White House shafted him so badly. Because John Bolton only cares about one thing: John Bolton. And what makes him feel better and smarter than anybody. And what will make him look best, and bring in the most money for his PAC. And get people to buy that damn book he’s writing. (After all, before Trump elevated him, Bolton had fallen to a point where he was little more than an errand boy for Ultra-Conservative moneyman Robert Mercer). So we again call your attention to the main image on his Twitter feed which we grabbed and pasted above: it’s all images of himself. Even Trump isn’t that unabashedly vain.
So all the stuff we’re hearing about meetings Bolton was involved with, and what he said: don’t necessarily expect him to back them up and/or expand upon them. Heck, even though Trump fired him, it would not be beyond the pale for Bolton to provide testimony in support of things Trump was trying to do. If he thought it would advance him or his interests.
Why should we be taken seriously on this? No reason. (And in fact, we hope we turn out to be completely wrong). Except…at the risk of tooting our own horn, we did speculate a couple of weeks ago that President Trump didn’t really care if Ukraine’s President actually investigated Biden and Democrats, as long as he announced an investigation. Now that’s turned out to be completely true (based on the testimony of Trump’s Ambassador to the E.U.), and everybody’s acting like it’s a huge revelation. It’s not. It’s how Trump operates.
Bolton operates by being belligerent, rude and pissing people off. He says and does outrageous things to stay relevant, and hasn’t broken that pattern ever during his career. Which is why so many people are so surprised he’s keeping his mouth shut now.
He spent most of late last week and the weekend making cryptic “stay tuned/more to come” pronouncements on Twitter. And some poor souls in the media swallowed that bait whole, speculating Bolton was about to dish about Ukraine and Trump. Except he didn’t. Instead it became some gripe about the White House refusing to give him back his Twitter password. But all the misplaced attention egged Bolton on to the point where he started crafting Tweets designed to toy with the gullible because while they appear to hint at potentially significant stuff, they’re actually completely devoid of meaning, like this:
- So speak up!
- Speak up about what, exactly?
Bolton’s absolutely not reliable. As the New York Times puts it: “Mr. Bolton’s intentions and desires are unclear”. Ya think?
Remember, his hatred of Obama, and then those going after Trump, whom he spent years volubly lambasting in appearances on Fox (and built a career on), could still be strong enough to compel him to play the role of fly in the ointment, regardless of what Trump did to him, rather than the avenging angel so many people want to swoop in and destroy his former boss.