Another massive America news blizzard yesterday: Trump lawyer quits, tariffs tariffs tariffs, stock-market slide, former alleged mistresses of the President speaking out, McMaster out (finally), Bolton in (finally). And then, as a night cap, the Senate approves a $1.3 trillion spending plan to prevent a government shutdown.
The Bolton news has, so far, been the most headline grabbing, even if people in the know — and readers of Spectator USA — have known it was about to happen for some time. Donald Trump has rather sweetly let it be known that he has hired Bolton on the condition he didn’t start any wars: ‘now, now John, don’t you go nuking.’ But people who cherish world peace are right to be alarmed. Bolton appears never to have seen an international problem he didn’t want to turn into a war. He wanted to attack Cuba over WMDs that weren’t real. He backed Obama’s disastrous Libya war. He was a major Iraq cheerleader and he is almost desperate to attack Iran. The consolation is that he is an advisor, not a Secretary of State, although the combination of him and Mike Pompeo at State makes the Trump administration does look a bit like Bush II as steroids, as Jacob Heilbrunn put it last night.
The most interesting theory so far is that Trump announced Bolton today to distract from the spending bill, which the President is understood to be very disappointed with and which has angered the fiscal hawks (very different to the war hawks) in his party. Trump’s hope, then, might be that everybody would be so busy gawping at Bolton’s moustache and his equally ridiculous foreign-policy record they wouldn’t notice he just lost to the Democrats in the Senate — or for that matter the huge skid in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Trump got $4 billion for his war on opioids but he got a fraction of the $25 billion he wanted to build the wall. Trump doesn’t like losing — so he gave the world John Bolton just to say to hell with all of you. That may sound rather too crazed; but then remember the man who is in the Oval Office.