Despite recorded evidence to the contrary, Trump claimed during the 2016 election that he was against going to war with Iraq in 2003 – using the lie as a cudgel against his opponent Hillary Clinton who voted to authorize the invasion. Of course, it’s easy to stake a claim when you’re a private citizen and your actions are hypothetical, but Trump repeated his pseudo-opposition often.
With that background it might seem strange that Trump-the-anti-invader would bring in as his newest National Security Adviser a hard-core neo-con like John Bolton. The former UN ambassador with the “got milk?” smile has long been among so many chicken-hawks who see all the world’s problems as an opportunity to impose shock and awe (and bomb and occupy.) Why would an America-Firster who made the case that the U.S. should stop trying to police the world hire a rank interventionist like Bolton?
Yes, Bolton talks tough which certainly adds to his appeal to Trump – a like-minded guy who adheres to the ethos of “bomb the shit out of them.” Perhaps he brought in Bolton because Trump isn’t actually a non-interventionist. That would make sense because Trump isn’t any of the things he said he was on the campaign trail.
But I think the real reason Trump brought in Bolton as his National Security adviser was to use him as a punching bag, much like he’s treated such cannon fodder as Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster, Rinse Pubis, and many others. Bolton is one of those guys who postures as the cock-sure expert – and in Trump world there can be only one cock-sure expert. Already in his brief tenure Bolton has taken opprobrium from Trump who took issue with him for cluelessly bringing up the disastrous (for the dictator) Libya play as a useful model for North Korea. Soon enough, Bolton was banished from discussions about the upcoming meeting with former “Little Rocket Man” and now “very honorable” supreme leader Kim Jong-Un. (Sidebar: Will Trump, in an effort to charm the portly Kim, give him the new nickname “The Chosen Un?”)
Expect Trump to remind people soon enough of Bolton’s ill-advised cheerleading on the 2003 Iraq invasion, casting the war-monger as an out of touch dinosaur who couldn’t measure up to Trump’s demanding standards.
The same will happen to Rudy Giuliani as well. Again, Trump brought in Rudy ostensibly to take over the legal communications job with respect to Mueller’s investigation, Stormy Daniels’s lawsuits, and assorted related slime. But in reality, Trump intends to bash Giuliani – a stooped cretin whom he certainly dislikes. Trump was just waiting for Giuliani to make ill-conceived public comments so he could put his boot on Rudy’s turkey neck. No sooner had Rudy gone on TV to reveal Trump’s “secret” Stormy hush reimbursement to lawyer Michael Cohen when Trump blasted Giuliani, saying he was still “learning the subject matter” and will “get his facts straight.” Take that Mr. America’s Mayor!
Expect Giuliani to get the axe within 60 to 90 days – despite Trumpian complaints that rumors of Rudy’s imminent demise are #FAKENEWS. Giuliani is a media whore – but because he doesn’t look the part, Trump would like nothing better than to snuff out his access to the cameras.
Larry Kudlow, Trump’s new Economic Adviser – and one of the most consistently wrong economic pundits ever – harbors ideas that diverge significantly from Trump’s. Kudlow is all about free markets and the power of globalization. Trump is a tariff loving 19th century mercantilist whose understanding of how the world economy works is simplistic and out of step with “reality.”
Kudlow is an ass-kissing sycophant, so it is likely he’ll parrot Trump’s viewpoints despite the fact they run counter to Larry’s gut. But it’s only a matter of time before Kudlow stumbles and contradicts his master. And then Trump will pounce. He’ll bring up all the times Larry got it wrong – the stock market, the 2008 recession, unemployment – and force Kudlow to grovel or resign. Or preferably, both.
Mistreatment of others is one of Trump’s favorite sports. For one thing, it can be played by people who have bone spurs in their heels. But treating people like shit helps fertilize the Orange Man’s ego.
Is it any wonder Trump’s “Best People” are actually the worst people? Who, other than masochistic, mediocre hacks who crave access to Trump, would sign up for his bullshit?
Beware that Handshake
Despite Trump’s effusive praise of Kim Jong-Un leading up to their big summit meeting in Singapore, let’s not forget that the portly dictator has ordered some nasty – and fatal – retribution to his enemies. Most recently, North Korean operatives dispatched Un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam in the Kuala Lumpur airport by tricking two women to rub lethal chemicals on the unsuspecting Nam’s face. The two chemicals, once mixed on Nam’s skin dropped him within minutes.
Now, imagine a line of NK diplomats in Singapore waiting to greet the Great Orange Leader from the West. The first has chemical A rubbed on his palm; the second, chemical B. By the time Trump reaches Kim Jong-Un, Pence is president.