JOHN BOLTON'S NEW BOOK
Several media outlets obtained advance excerpts (translation: the publisher leaked them) of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book, "The Room Where It Happened." Considering that the book is the object of a lawsuit over the author not getting it vetted for the removal of classified information, as required by law, the leaks appear to be both contemptuous and illegal. (Pay attention, Hillary: revealing classified information can harm America and help our enemies figure out where it came from so they can call in the firing squad to kill our sources, so it IS a big deal.)
But what do laws mean anymore, in an era when we no longer enforce them and courts rewrite them to mean something they were never intended to mean? So here are some of the alleged “revelations” that will give the talking heads on the anti-Trump news channels something to hyperventilate about, now that “Russian collusion” is deader than vaudeville.
Of course, I haven’t yet read the book, since only excerpts have been released. But my initial impression from the excerpts is that it appears to be one of those “disgruntled ex-employee” books in which the departed staffer trashes his former boss for getting everything wrong by not taking his sage advice or making decisions the way he would have (Here's a tip. If you want a President who does everything the way you would do it, do what I did: run yourself.) Several of the stories are completely at odds with Bolton’s previous statements, or have been flatly denied by other people he claims were in “the room where it happened” with him.
On his radio show yesterday, Mark Levin cited several stories that don’t jibe with what he knows personally, like Bolton’s alleged opposition to Trump pulling US troops from the Syrian border (a “controversial” decision that later looked pretty smart.) Levin said he was so concerned about what would happen to the Kurds that he called Trump. To his surprise, Trump took the call in his office, put Levin on speaker phone, told his aides about Levin’s concerns and asked what they would say to him. He said Bolton replied that if he wanted to put on a uniform and go fight in Syria, he should feel free to. Doesn’t sound like he was urging Trump to keep troops in Syria. Levin noted that even Bolton’s bio in the book is misleading, as it says he “accepted the position of National Security Adviser.” Levin says he was there at the time, and Bolton “begged for that job,” calling in every contact and favor he had to lobby for it.
Also, most of these charges read like a rehash of the same scare stories and "insider" trash-talk we've heard for years but that have since been debunked by reality. For instance, we were told that Trump would start World War III, and now the same critics attack him for his reluctance to send in the Marines. Bolton would have us believe that Trump thought it would be “cool” to invade Venezuela, but I don’t notice any US troops in downtown Caracas, do you?
Bolton also claims Trump wanted to dump Mike Pence for Nikki Haley in 2020. Yet every rumor of him dumping Pence has been strongly refuted by Trump, who’s had nothing but praise for Pence. Bolton claims that Trump buddies up to dictators in a way no other President ever has. Really? Has he ever sent any of them a planeload of US taxpayer dollars? Bolton claims Trump was subservient to China and begged President Xi to buy US farm products to help his reelection. But as Trump later pointed out to Sean Hannity, there’s never been a President as tough on China as he has been. Besides, why would China want Trump to be reelected when his opponent is China appeaser Joe “We own his son” Biden?
And there is apparently plenty of pearl-clutching in the book over Trump not following long-established diplomatic norms, which is a large part of the reason why he was elected in the first place. For example, Bolton reportedly slams Trump for upsetting the established policy that free trade would make China more capitalist and eventually freer and more open. That’s the scenario still believed on Wall Street and at swanky Beltway cocktail parties, but out in Flyover Country where Trump was elected, we saw that China was cleaning our clock and stealing our jobs, and that sending them money wasn’t making them more like us, it was just making us more dependent on them while making them better-funded (and therefore more dangerous) oppressive, expansionist, totalitarian communists. If you can give someone Hong Kong and it doesn’t make them capitalists, then they are irredeemable communists.
I hate to say this, since I’ve always respected John Bolton, but this book appears to be an irresponsible betrayal of both loyalty and duty. It will embolden the enemies of the President and our nation, while making it much harder for this and future Presidents to consult with advisers or speak privately with other world leaders, since the prospect of their private comments being made public by a mole with a book deal and an ax to grind will always be hanging in the background. This book has the unpleasant smell of a deal made by a yes man who discovered there was more money on the “no” side.
Even some liberals expressed shock at the news that Fulton County DA Paul Howard Jr. was charging Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe with 11 counts over the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, including felony murder, which carries the death penalty. The other officer involved in the DUI arrest gone wrong, Devin Brosnan, is facing three charges. Howard claimed that Brosnan had agreed to turn state’s witness, but his attorney denied that.
Howard said that after reviewing eight videos of the incident from various angles, investigators had determined that Brooks “did not pose an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or officers." I’ll bet police officers wish they were able to do that - taking several days to review the situation from all angles - rather than having to determine their chances of dying on a split-second’s notice from the angle of looking at a weapon pointed at them in the dark.
While it was tragic that Brooks died in this way, and a case can be made that charges are warranted, the claim that it’s a murder worthy of the death penalty implies that Brooks was a blameless victim. If he had simply complied with the police, he’d be alive today. But he started fighting and punching them, he grabbed a taser from a cop, ran away, fired it at least once at Rolfe and was aiming it again when Rolfe shot. The argument that it isn’t a lethal weapon will undoubtedly be disputed by Rolfe’s attorney using Howard’s own words, since the DA recently accused police of using a lethal weapon – tasers – against protesters. They will also likely point out that Brooks could have tased the cop, then grabbed his real gun, which is why cops react so forcefully to someone trying to tase them.
The charges enraged Atlanta police so much that there was an unusually high number of alleged "blue flu" no-shows on the job last night. Indeed, why would any officer want to show up for work these days? It’s such an obvious case of over-charging that it makes little legal sense, unless the DA hopes to make the charges so intimidating that Rolfe will agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge and avoid an explosive trial with a possible acquittal that could set off riots. If that happens, I hope they don't expect the police to deal with them.
WORTH A LISTEN
I don’t often recommend watching speeches in Congress these days, but Wednesday brought one by Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley that is a must-hear for Christian conservatives. It concerns the outrageous Supreme Court ruling, joined by alleged conservative Justices Roberts and Gorsuch (Gorsuch even wrote it) that refines the ban on “sex” discrimination in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include “gender identity,” a concept that wasn’t even contemplated until decades after the law was written.
It is effectively a surrender to the left, since if judges can interpret the plain language of laws to mean anything they choose, then we no longer have a representative republic, we have rule by unelected judges and bureaucrats. Outrageously, Senate Republican leaders seem to be fine with that, brushing off the ruling as “the law of the land” (say, aren’t YOU supposed to make those?) and showing no interest in passing legislation to correct it. The Chamber of Commerce/Wall Street branch of the GOP is also fine with that, since they don’t care about social values issues anyway, and find them a bit of an embarrassment among their liberal country club friends. Hawley has some important words that they need to hear, and that Christian conservatives and other social values voters really need to hear.
Incidentally, since I think it’s suicidal to ignore your opponents, I also read this take on the same subject by a liberal Washington Post editor.
It’s infuriating because it makes the lazy and bigoted assumption that being opposed to letting the LGBTQ agenda steamroll religious rights, the law, the Constitution and basic biology is born purely out of personal animus toward gay people. But it’s worth reading to hear the arrogant attitude of the left toward millions of people they know nothing about and never even talk to. It boils down to “Why can’t you just take the crumbs we throw you and shut up?” Remember this the next time WaPo runs an article lamenting how some people just don’t recognize when they’re “speaking from a place of privilege.”