John Bolton as Secretary of State

December 7th, 2011 at 4:13 pm David Frum | 30 Comments |

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Newt Gingrich’s suggestion that he’d offer the top diplomatic job to the famously rough-edged Bolton reminds me of the shrewd English definition of a gentleman: one who never gives offense unintentionally.

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30 Comments so far ↓

  • kirk

    Everyone in the Gingrich administration will have a [like] button. He’s on deck until someone else gets more [likes].

  • F.Citizen

    Pandering Blowhard Sprays Red Meat and Egotistical Self-Serving Twaddle From Every Orifice. In Other News…

  • seeker656

    I have to admit becoming frustrated and discouraged with the Democratic Party at times, but the thought of the Republican Party as an alternative is just unthinkable.

  • ottovbvs

    I thought Bolton was one of Frum’s fellow neo cons.

    • ConnerMcMaub

      Frum was a speechwriter, not a policy person. David obviously differs from the Bush administration on many policy points but I don’t know whether or not he should be considered a neocon. I wouldn’t call Secretaries Rice, Gates, or Powell neocons, though it could be argued for at least one of them.

  • Saladdin

    Doesn’t matter as Newt isn’t going to be the nominee. It’ll be Mitt and he’ll nominate Liz Cheney.

  • Graychin

    Who was it who interim-appointed John Bolton to be our UN Ambassador?

    I can’t remember. Do you remember, Mr. Frum?

  • Lonewolf

    A rare opportunity for advancement; this would give Mr. Bolton the chance to be equally reviled in his home country, as he is around the globe.

  • armstp

    Gingrich continues to drive right… now that he is the front runner I suspect he will go even more shockingly right…. the more looney the better from him. it will drive the Republican establishment nuts and increase his support with these fictional primary voters

    Bolton is a neocon dream. I not sure how much diplomacy he has, so State might not be the best match. However, maybe Gingrich should make him the dual head of CIA and the Pentagon. Why stop half way and not go all the way…?

  • Oldskool

    So far Rs are stuck with someone as vindictive as Shrub or someone who ain’t ready for prime time. Decisions decisions.

  • Okie Exile

    Is it me, or is the GOP becoming more focused on giving an “up yours!” to Obama, Democrats, the global community, RINOs, and pretty much anyone who isn’t them, than demonstrating effectiveness and leadership? Giving up trying to swing anyone to their cause, and just stoking the flames within their own camp higher and higher?

    • Baron Siegfried

      Sadly, that has become their default position. At this point, they have conflated national survival with the President’s destruction. And they don’t care either way; if the country is willing to re-elect Obama, to them this is proof that the country is irredeemably corrupt and infected with socialist cooties, and therefore deserves to be destroyed. That way, they can take over and rebuild society as they see fit. If they win, then they can destroy the nation and rebuild as before.

      From what I can tell, the only plan that the republicans have is “whatever Obama is for, we’re against it!”. Even policies that they proposed are denounced is President Obama favors it. This is not the ‘loyal opposition’, this is obstructionism carried to a nihilistic extreme, a willingness to burn down the world to achieve their ends.

    • valkayec

      +1 ^ Oh vey, you must have been reading my mind lately!

  • LFC

    If John Bolton became Secretary of State, would he have to learn how to say “f*** you” in 38 different languages or would he just say it in English and tell all those inferior people to learn our language?

  • Banty

    John Bolton as Secretary of State would be one of those Canada Events.

    As in … an event that would motivate me to move to Canada.

    If not that – it would be a Take to the Street Event. As in, sooner or later I could not stand it any more, and would join the inevitable protests.

  • heap

    for humor value, might as well drop this here.

    Title 18, Part I, Chapter 29, Section 599 U.S.C.

    Whoever, being a candidate, directly or indirectly promises or pledges the appointment, or the use of his influence or support for the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    The first human-walrus hybrid as Secretary of State, why not?

  • medinnus

    …isn’t a candidate promising a job like that a violation of federal law?

    Oh wait – I forgot. Laws are for those who make less than nine figures a year.

    NB – Thought I’d remembered reading that somewhere:

    Title 18, Part I, Chapter 29, Section 599 of the U.S. Code says:

    Whoever, being a candidate, directly or indirectly promises or pledges the appointment, or the use of his influence or support for the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

    Moreover, Newt did this in front of cameras – guilt is not even debatable.

    EDIT – Hey, if Newt is convicted of a felony, then the establishment GOP has nothing to worry about, right?

    UPDATE – Banty got there first – I missed it on my first read-through.

  • jakester

    I was just beginning to muster some respect for the old fox and he endorses that dork?
    It seems like 90% of the conservatives’ positions or ideas are based on ticking of liberals, or anyone else with a brain, than on any solid analysis or reasonable goal

  • valkayec

    Okay, it’s obvious that Newt is pandering again to get the neo con vote as in saying whatever is necessary to increase his income or public ratings. Remember what his second wife said about him re: the presidency in her interview. He has no morals or ethics.

  • andydp

    In two back to back Op Ed pieces in the WSJ Ambassador Bolton called for the bombing of Iran and another Middle East Country (It was a while ago so I don’t remember.) I DO remember it was basically the same piece with the country’s name changed to “protect the ignorant.” (<<sarcasm alert)

    On to Speaker Gingrich: From a posting on the WSJ Law Blog:

    "Eighty-four ethics charges were filed against Speaker Gingrich during his term, including claiming tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes. Following an investigation by the House Ethics Committee Gingrich was sanctioned. Gingrich acknowledged in January 1997 that “In my name and over my signature, inaccurate, incomplete and unreliable statements were given to the committee”. The House Ethics Committee concluded that inaccurate information supplied to investigators represented “intentional or … reckless” disregard of House rules. The special Counsel concluded that Gingrich violated federal tax law and had lied to the ethics panel in an effort to force the committee to dismiss the complaint against him."

    (comment by the poster: He has always been about the money.")

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/12/08/gingrich-already-naming-his-cabinet-but-is-that-legal/?KEYWORDS=john+bolton+bomb+iran

    I'm certain Ambassador Bolton is willing to send members of his family into "Harm's Way". That's why he is not hesitant to call for pre-emptive strikes.

    Once again, for the benefit of the "bomb anyone" crowd I will cite the last stanza of Siegfried Sassoon's "Suicide in the Trenches".

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

    Full poem here:

    http://www.bartleby.com/136/17.html

  • chephren

    I remember Frum’s enthusiasm for Bush’s appointment of Bolton as Ambassador to the UN. He wrote an approving response to this decision in, I seem to remember, the National Review.

    Bolton’s “rough-edged”, intentionally offensive qualities were just great in David’s estimation then. If not now, what has changed?