There are few men in public life I have admired more than John Bolton. To take just one example, I am grateful for his successful work in the administration of the first President Bush to overturn the UN’s vile “Zionism is a form of racism” resolution. See pages 40-43 of his memoir, Surrender Is Not an Option.
Bolton suffered the Democrats’ remorseless campaign of defamation against him to prevent his confirmation as our ambassador to the United Nations upon his appointment by the second President Bush. I wrote about the role of the New York Times in this campaign at the time in “Déjà vu, all over again.”
I thought Bolton provided stalwart representation of the United States at the United Nations following his recess appointment as our UN ambassador by the second President Bush and have said so here before. I noted that Bolton was one of our all-time favorite speakers in our small local chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition when he made time to speak to us in early 2012.
More to the point, I also celebrated Bolton’s appointment as National Security Advisor by President Trump. I’m sure I seized on the occasion to post the photo I had taken with Bolton just before we took off from Fort Lauderdale on a 2014 National Review cruise (below).
I was wrong. I find Bolton’s publication of his new memoir deeply dishonorable. In my opinion, it reflects poorly on his character. Former Bolton NSC deputy Fred Fleitz spoke for me this past January in his FOX News column “Ambassador Bolton, withdraw your book.” Fred commented further in an appearance on Martha MacCallum’s FOX News show last week, but I think his column nails the relevant point.
I think that President Trump has been a spectacular president on the foreign policy issues Bolton has addressed and that I have cared about over the years. I think that a return to the Obama years and worse with Joe Biden would be deeply destructive to our national interest.
Presidential elections present a binary choice. On what issue that Bolton has addressed over the years would Biden be superior to Trump? I can’t find one in Jonathan Swan’s Axios interview with Bolton.
Last week it was reported that Bolton had expressed his intent to vote for Biden. Bolton asserted the report was mistaken. Rather, he stated, he intended to “figure out a conservative Republican to vote in [sic].”
Well, that’s stupid, and that’s one thing I never thought I’d say with respect to Bolton. Again, I was wrong.