Rand Paul

Rand Paul on Prospective Trump Secretary of State Pick John Bolton: No Way

Senator declares: "President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on changing our disastrous foreign policy. To appoint John Bolton would be a major first step toward breaking that promise."

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is not happy with the news that former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton may get nominated for secretary of state in the upcoming Trump administration.

Reason magazine

Paul wrote today, in an op-ed at Rare, that:

One of the things I occasionally liked about the President-elect was his opposition to the Iraq war and regime change. He not only grasped the mistake of that war early, but also seemed to fully understand how it disrupted the balance of power in the Middle East and even emboldened Iran.

We liberated Iraq, but today their best friend is Iran, their second greatest ally is Russia, and their third strongest alliance is with Syria. Trump really seems to get the lesson. Hillary Clinton never did.

But the Bolton news, Paul thinks, casts doubts on whether or not Trump has any non-interventionist sense:

John Bolton never learned and never will…John Bolton more often stood with Hillary Clinton and against what Donald Trump has advised.

None of this is secret. It's all out there. Perhaps the incoming administration should take a closer look.

Paul goes on to point out that Trump was willing to say that the Iraq invasion was a mistake, based on lies. Bolton also thought that it was right that we should have intervened to overthrow Gadhafi in Libya, another decision candidate Trump decried.

Further, Paul writes:

The fact that Russia has had a base in Syria for 50 years doesn't deter Bolton from calling for all out, no holds barred war in Syria. Bolton criticized the current administration for offering only a tepid war. For Bolton, only a hot-blooded war to create democracy across the globe is demanded.

Paul is even willing to go for the implicit "chickenhawk" argument:

Bolton would not understand [the dangers of war] because, like many of his generation, he used every privilege to avoid serving himself. Bolton said, with the threat of the Vietnam draft over his head, that "he had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy." But he's seems to be okay with your son or daughter dying wherever his neoconservative impulse leads us: "Even before the Iraq War, John Bolton was a leading brain behind the neoconservatives' war-and-conquest agenda," notes The American Conservative's Jon Utley.

Paul concludes bluntly: "President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on changing our disastrous foreign policy. To appoint John Bolton would be a major first step toward breaking that promise."

Let's hope that opposition is solid and strong enough to mean filibuster if necessary. It's not like Rand Paul doesn't know how to do it. [UPDATE: But thanks to the Democrats and Harry Reid, Senators can't filibuster non-SCOTUS presidential nominees anymore, as of 2013. I regret the error.]

If it comes to a straight vote on Bolton, Paul would need to convince at least two and perhaps three (depending on the outcome of the Louisiana runoff) other Republicans to join him in opposition. Maybe Mike Lee of Utah would stand up for non-intervention, and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski was anti-Trump and at least doubtful for a little bit about Bolton's bonafides back in the 2005 U.N. ambassador confirmation battle. We'll see. [UPDATE: As Washington Post's Dave Weigel points out, given the composition of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rand Paul alone joining all the Democrats, if they stick Party line, would be enough to block Bolton in committee, though that is not procecurally sufficient to totally prevent a full Senate vote. Paul says he feels the same about another floated SoS possibility, Rudy Giuliani, as well.]

Matt Purple reported here at Reason in August on Bolton's addiction to regime change. I blogged in 2007 on Bolton's bizarre belief that our foes are doing us a favor if they give us the proper legitimate-seeming excuse to wage war. Ed Krayewski blogged on Bolton's support of Obama's terrorist-creating drone policy.

I was doubtful back in October that Trump could possibly have the serious non-intervention right stuff.

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  1. OT – Call off Trump’s inauguration – they found a nonprofit director and a small-town mayor in Clay County, West Virginia, saying stuff that sounds racist!

    1. Covered elsewhere, Eddie.

        1. And that wasn’t a slam, Eddie, just a point of information. And by way of explaining why you didn’t get more responses.

          1. Don’t worry about Eddie getting responses. Half of the responses to his comments are just him anyway.

            1. Half? You’re being kind.

    2. I wish I had a higher ape index.

  2. Good for Rand Paul. This is the kind of debate that needs to be happening. Whoever Trump sends up to the Senate ought to have to face questions like these and explain and justify his positions. To hell with this bullshit of giving the President whomever he wants and thinking that any policy is somehow off the table and not up for debate.

    1. This is exactly the reason I told people that Trump was better than Hillary. Trump is going to get pushback from his own party.

      Does anyone think that if Hillary had nominated Sid Blumenthal to be Sec. of State that there would be any Democrat in the Senate complaining?

      1. Time will tell, Rand isn’t the GOP.

        1. Still one more than Hillary would have faced. But I agree, it would be nice to see even more Senators push back.

        2. He is a member of the GOP, though. How often did high-profile Dems go against Obama in such a public way? Schumer on the Iran deal is the only one that comes to mind for me.

        3. Yes, I seem to remember Paul getting quite a bit of pushback from the R’s himself.

      2. I’ve had similar sentiment regarding Trump; I think among other things the MSM (for instance) will suddenly be interested in doing their ‘job’ speaking truth to power and so on, instead of hauling socialist water and looking for next in at the cocktail party.

        1. Unless they cry wolf so loudly and so often on guys like Bannon that nobody believes them by February when the actual hearings happen.

  3. Go Rand. Send Bolton back to wherever it is he came from.

    1. From hell.

      1. Close-he’s from Baltimore.

        1. Ewww…I’ll take Hell, please.

          1. We don’t want him and Baltimore is charming for the record hence its nickname Charm City. They couldn’t say it if it wasn’t true otherwise the consumer financial protection bureau would have to investigate the City for false advertisement.

            1. OK, right, hon.

  4. Rand Paul’s got it all wrong. Trump said he wants to put ROOSE Bolton in charge of State, ’cause of how effective he was at squashing dissent in the North after the Red Wedding.

    1. “Don’t make me rue the day I raped your mother.”

    2. Wyman Manderly’s a better pick.

      1. “Enjoy your pie Mr. Assad. Your sons helped me make it.”

      2. Wyman Manderly: Making Eel Pies Great Again

      3. Wyman Manderly is still being investigated for intentionally blocking traffic at Moat Cailin during rush hour.

    3. I thought Trump wanted RAMSEY Bolton, because he’s going to bring back torture.

      1. Roose brought it back. Roose made the North great again.

        1. -10 of Lady Hornwood’s fingers

      2. Flay America Great Again?

        1. Make America Ablate Again

  5. John Bolton? Why not? Most impressive mustache since Charles Evans Hughes.

      1. That, sir, shows an ignorance of dates. Burnside was long before Hughes.

          1. “Say, friend – you got any more of that good sarsaparilla?”

            1. Josef Pi?sudski or GTFO.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J?zef_Pi?sudski

      2. I was limiting my search to Secretaries of State, sir.

        1. Your anti-General bias sickens me, sir. I bid you good day!

    1. Fun fact (got it from a book by an academic, so I think it’s probably true): Greeks and Romans had either full beard and mustache, or nothing. A mustache alone was literally barbaric, being a new thing to them once they meet the Germanic tribes. So supposedly Latin and Greek did not have a word for mustache alone. Presumably modern Greek now does, and I wouldn’t be surprised if such a word has been cooked up for “modern” Latin.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if such a word has been cooked up for “modern” Latin.

        Yes, they’re called pedophiles*.

        *I know, I know, cheap shot.

        1. Bah, it derives from Greek. Shows what I know.

        2. “Retromingent” is my word for the day. Thanks.

      2. I wouldn’t be surprised if such a word has been cooked up for “modern” Latin.

        Mystax

      3. That is the correct way to do facial hair. But I’m kind of surprised that no one ever would have stopped shaving for a moment with just hair above the upper lip remaining and consider the possibility of leaving it that way.

        1. I’d guess it did happen on occasion, but so rarely and temporarily that any words for the condition were never written down.

          It sort of makes sense. Either cut it all off, or leave it all. Leaving just some is purely for cosmetic purposes, and maybe shaving was such a tedious job 2000 years ago that no one wanted to be bothered with the purely cosmetic mustache alone.

          1. maybe shaving was such a tedious job 2000 years ago that no one wanted to be bothered with the purely cosmetic mustache alone.

            Tetanus and other blood infections were real risks of shaving.

      4. I’ve always wanted cheek patches. It’s the only facial hair thing that seems to have no history.

        But tolerant as she is, my wife isn’t THAT tolerant.

    2. You know who else had an interesting mustache?

      1. Rosie O’Donnell?

      2. The Throw Momma from the Train lady?

      3. Winston’s mom?*

        *Technically, she has three interesting mustaches.

        1. I have to ask, where is the third one? My imagination is failing me.

          1. The third one is on her upper lip.

            You didn’t ask where the first two are.

          2. +1 up +2 down

          3. Taint has a handlebar mustache.
            Hitler stache above the gaping chasm.

      4. Salvador Dali?

        1. No, wait, Robert Mugabe.

  6. I thought at first Matt Purple was some fun Freudian slip, but alas no.

    1. It’s a perfectly valid paint color.

  7. Not exactly a big surprise that Bill Kristol and his entire bunch of neocon assholes who called Trump unfit for the office and tried like hell to defeat him are now trying to worm their way back into power.

    Until Trump himself actually says something, I’m going to assume that these are nothing but self-serving leaks from members of that crowd. Here’s hoping he sticks to his word and tells them all to go pound sand.

    Good on Senator Paul for speaking up now though, just in case Trump is seriously considering this awful move.

    1. And it begins…

  8. As I keep yammering about, Giuliani being pushed to Secretary of State probably means that Sessions will be the Attorney General, but it also means, thankfully, that Bolton probably won’t be the Secretary of State.

    What Rand Paul should be talking about are the implications of a Sessions Attorney General on legalized recreational marijuana.

    “Sessions is against legalizing cannabis for either recreation or medicine. “I’m a big fan of the DEA”, he said during a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee.[45] Sessions was “heartbroken” and found “it beyond comprehension” when President Obama claimed that cannabis is not as dangerous as alcohol.[46]”

    http://tinyurl.com/gs4m6fx

    John Bolton appears to be headed to a subordinate position somewhere.

    Sessions is a Tea Party guy that’s right in line with Rand Paul on almost every issue–and it looks like he’s going to be the next Attorney General.

    And that puts him in charge of the DEA.

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Obama’s decision to stop raiding medical marijuana clinics so long as they comply with local ordinances and state laws was merely on the level of an executive order.

    Before that, Obama raided medical marijuana clinics hundreds of times, and if and when Sessions becomes Attorney General, we could go back to that–with a stroke of Trump’s pen.

    1. I would send Bolton to the UN. It would make the Neocons happy. UN Ambassador doesn’t set policy. So, he couldn’t do much damage there. And if there is one place on earth that deserves to be inflicted with Bolton, it is the UN. It would be a win all around.

      1. Bolton has a major credibility problem.

        My understanding is that all of his former bosses think he lied to them, withheld information, made them look like fools for his own reasons, etc.

        I’ve heard him being accused of being the guy responsible for the 16 Words fiasco.

        Sometimes in politics, you’ve got to screw the guy that helped you.

        I think Bolton would make a great ambassador to Luxembourg.

        1. Some times you have to pay off your political debts. Benjamin Butler was one of the worst generals of the civil war. Unlike other bad generals whom Lincoln happily fired and never brought back. Butler got command after command and kept living down to his reputation. Why? Because for whatever reason, Lincoln saw the political benefits of paying off Butler outweighed the damage he did in the battlefield.

          Bolton is a bit like that. I agree with you about sending him to Luxembourg, but the last thing Trump needs is for the Neocons to revolt.

          1. Find another Neocon!

            What’s Condie doing these days?

            1. Eating beans.

          2. but the last thing Trump needs is for the Neocons to revolt.

            To be fair, why? They weren’t really part of his coalition. If anything, they were some of the loudest and most vociferous in their opposition.

            As much as I could see Trump saying “Fuck libertarians”, he really has all the more reason to say “Fuck neo-cons”.

          3. Send him to Mongolia. On the condition that he stays there forever.

            To hell with the neocons. Tell them they should’ve voted for Hillary.

            1. No way, US-Mongol relations are pretty great right now. Why would you want to jeopardize that?

            2. I am with Citizen X. What did the Mongolians ever do to us? I happen to like them in no way think they deserve Bolton.

        2. Luxembourg is a nice, wealthy, mostly free place he doesn’t deserve to live in.

          Venezuela, Turkmenistan, Eritrea – okay.

          1. Or better yet, let him serve as ambassador in Libya or Iraq

            1. Better yet, to Iran. And inform the taxpayers can’t afford to buy him a bulletproof vest.

      2. Bolton is notoriously difficult to bring to heel. I believe the man has personally attempted to torpedo at least three separate treaty negotiations. It’s not all bad, but he definitely needs to be somewhere he can’t cause too much damage.

        1. Like out on the street, or writing petulant op-eds for the Council on Foreign Relations.

        2. Like out on the street, or writing petulant op-ed pieces for the Council on Foreign Relations.

          1. Or cleaning up after the skwerlz.

            1. If elected Moderator, I will bring the squirrels to heel and edit out duplicate posts.

              1. Sadly, I think that the next actual dictator of the US will probably have a title like Chief Moderator.

              2. I will bring the squirrels to heel and edit out duplicate posts.

                And yet be surprisingly moderate on the subject of broken links.

                1. I will fix your links, and heal the blind.

                  1. Will you pledge to edit out any reference to deep dish being called “pizza”?

                2. Maybe his running mate can make up for it. Lord Humungus always provides quality links, but he may not be running this year.

    2. “I’m a big fan of the DEA”

      Jesus Christ.

      1. And he’s gonna be in charge of it!

      2. Yeah, unless the rest of that quote is “being permanently shut down, its assets sold and records destroyed”, this guy is a piece of shit.

        1. “Sessions was “heartbroken” and found “it beyond comprehension” when President Obama claimed that cannabis is not as dangerous as alcohol.[46]”

          He’s a great guy on a lot of other issues!

          From the Wiki:

          “He was one of 25 senators to oppose the establishment of Troubled Asset Relief Program. He has opposed the Democratic leadership since 2007 on most major legislation, including the stimulus bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act. As the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, he opposed both of President Barack Obama’s nominees” for the Supreme Court.

          It’s just that Sessions is also a social conservative from Alabama.

          Part of this is the Republicans fault for distances themselves from Trump so. We talk about how the Democrats are so bad off, they don’t even have a farm team, but Trump has a limited number of people he can recruit, too–because so many Republicans dissed him. Trump is facing the mother of all delegation assignments, and delegating is about trust. If I were Trump, I might lean heavily towards the few people who supported me, too.

          I mean, for goodness’ sake, John Bolton, Christ Christie, and Sarah Palin ended up in Trump’s bullpen because they didn’t have anywhere else to go.

          1. I may have left off an italics tag somewhere.

            Just a suspicion.

          2. Christ Christie

            King of Ding Dongs

            1. Hollow be thy stomach.

            2. Our Father, who art rotund,
              Massive be thy carb-load

              1. ^Awesome. This statement is coming from a fat guy.

    3. Before that, Obama raided medical marijuana clinics hundreds of times, and if and when Sessions becomes Attorney General, we could go back to that–with a stroke of Trump’s pen.

      Public tolerance of DEA playing soldier has run its course I think in places like CA, especially as agents of Trump. Bad optics when DEA shows up to raid dispensary, and they get ‘tactically trapped’ by a mob. Event like that is on the national schedule, I can feel it.

      1. On the one hand, I can see that.

        On the other?

        Colorado and Nevada being swing states are a problem. He probably won’t raid too many there.

        The other recreational marijuana states: California, Oregon, and Washington State, Massachusetts . . .

        Trump’s not about to lose any electoral college votes for his reelection if he pisses people off there.

      2. Public tolerance of DEA playing soldier has run its course I think in places like CA, especially as agents of Trump.

        Yep, and the other team will all of a sudden pivot to pro-MJ, and getting the fedgov out of enforcement.

        Bad optics when DEA shows up to raid dispensary, and they get ‘tactically trapped’ by a mob.

        I don’t see that. Stoners are not known for their organization skills, plus since raids aren’t announced in advance there would have to be rapid notification and response.

    4. You know, Trump has a good friend who’s looking for work who actually has previous experience as Secretary of State. Trump even said we owe her a debt of gratitude for her great service to this country, as I recall.

    5. Sessions = Sec Def, you heard it here first.

      1. That would be much better.

    6. Obama raided medical dispensaries all the fucking time. Like any promise from him means shit.

  9. The man is a menace.

    Not much nuance there, Rand.

    Well done.

    1. +1 Al Czervik

      1. Who is pretty much the guy who won the election. Judge Smalls being Hillary, and Soadking is Chelsea.

  10. And once again it saddens me that Rand got no traction in the primaries. Glad to see that he’s sticking to his guns.

    1. But if Rand had run, he would have surrendered to the Clinton machine! We need somebody who has experience hitting his opponents over their heads with folding chairs! Fightfightfightfightfight!

    2. I’m thinking Paul should stay in the Senate and continue doing what he’s doing. He’s an excellent Senator and we need more libertarian-friendly Congress members who don’t mind standing up to either party.

      1. And you continue to do Reason a fine service by keeping Shriek’s various personalities off this message board.

  11. As Walker tells it, an elderly white man wearing a Donald Trump shirt approached him and said that he was in Germany and that blacks weren’t allowed to serve there. Walker, who is black, says he was wearing his old Army uniform.

    “The guest also said your dog is not a service dog,” Walker says the manager told him.

    Oh, dear God. Yahoo Answers hangs out at the Cedar Hill Chili’s, gleefully spreading their misinformation.

    1. I smell a rat.

      1. I watched the video. My read: Manager didn’t like the guest’s “tone”, and is accustomed to high-handed whim substituting for leadership and authority.

        I’m not ruling out factors unknown though. My first thought when I saw this was much the same as yours. “Yeah, right. Five of these a day, all magically Trump-adjacent, and they’re all nothing by morning.” This one has video, so it likely happened at least as seen on the video, but we’ve no way of knowing why this was oddly escalated.

        Other than that the manager couldn’t lead his way out of a wet paper bag, and firing him was the right thing to do. Give the guest a comp card and everyone move on with their lives.

        1. Yeah, I smelled bullshit too.

          1. The sanctimonious, pseudo-fact-checking seems perfectly believable.

            There were problems at one time with black, American soldiers in Germany. Turns out, there is and was a lot of racism in Germany. So, somebody having this specific, “Mandela effect” style false memory seems more than believable. If there ever was such a restriction, it certainly was not in place when I was growing up in Germany during the 1980s and 1990s.

            And there have been phonies caught “stealing valor.” I don’t know how common it is, but it’s sunk into the public consciousness.

            Fake service animals are also a favorite hobby horse of busy bodies, so that also rings true.

            So, not to discount the similarities between this story and numerous anti-Trump hoaxes, but this story is about the fears of conservatives more than it is about the fears of liberals. No liberal is worried about an anti-service animal backlash. No liberal is worried about overzealous accusations of stolen valor. That’s what makes me think that it’s likely true. Liberals writing fake stories about conservatives invariably make the story about themselves rather than the people they are attacking.

            Also, no gays or transexuals in the story.

            1. There’s a formula to managing these little situations. You mirror the complaint in a neutral manner and promise the issue will be addressed. Take a roundabout route through the dining room, winding up at the table that received a complaint. Make pleasant managerial small talk and yet don’t smile or laugh. Walk away, and then at some point go back to the first table and thank the complainer for the opportunity to address the issue. Maybe zero out their drinks tab if they still look discontent and hadn’t been ordering from the bar.

              The really great thing about this formula is that it won’t matter about right or wrong, and everyone can still leave happy . A restaurant manager is not in the job of dispensing justice, he’s there to grease the machine that keeps customers returning profitably.

              Military service and Trump were red herrings. The scene ought to have been stopped by the manager approaching the vet and yet only asking how he was enjoying the meal. Though I admit a bias. This was my industry.

  12. You guys keep saying such bad things about Bolton. But I can’t believe the host of a believed children’s’ show like Captain Kangaroo could be so bad. I am sorry people but the Captain isn’t like you say. I am not buying it.

    1. Yeah? Ask Mr. Greenjeans about the incidents backstage.

      Horrifying.

      1. To be fair, that was Uncle Backwards who caused problems backstage. You are forgiven because they were both played by Lumpy Brannum.

        It should have been stopped but Cosmo Allegretti (aka Dancing Bear) didn’t say shit because he didn’t want to miss out on those kick ass cocktail parties they were having.

        1. *sighs*

          What is it with these fucking cosmos and their cocktail parties?

    2. WTF? The Captain is totally in the bag for renewable energy and more subsidies for Big Ag. How else do you explain Mr. Green Jeans? Or his meddling pal Slim Goodbody?

    3. That was Officer JOE Bolton, you boob! Not John.

      1. *Narrows gaze*

    4. Bunny Rabbit like the Captain but that’s just because he had so much success fucking with him.

    5. John, I should have know you’d be memory-holing how he carpet bombed The Treasure House to make the world safe for “The Captain’s Place”.

    6. Bolton is always a good sport on Red Eye tough.

    7. I hear Bolton’s a cinephile.

    1. Hey, that’s a bit of genuinely good news!

    2. Who is Mike Rogers? He looks like Micheal Moore’s older brother. The one that finished college and that their parents thought would be successful.

      1. Mike Rogers is a slice of insider garbage, and it is pathetic he was this close to the Trump administration.

        He also dislikes Justin Amash, which makes him even worse.

    3. Sources tied to the transition team talking to CNN described the organization’s internal disagreements — mainly divided along the lines of establishment Republican operatives against more non-traditional influences on national security issues — as a “knife fight” on Monday.

      I guess I understand why Trump might want to start out with a kind of “team of rivals”, but now the people need to speak up and put as much pressure on him as possible to side with the outsiders and not with all the old gang of fools who have failed us. The direction of the next few years will largely depend on his ultimate choice.

      1. Of course he wants to start that way. Now he gets to fire half of them.

    4. I like how Trump has all of these excess insider guys like Christie and Rogers to jettison when he gets too much heat.

      1. Christie for Secretary of Transportation or Buffet Czar.

        1. He’s slated to take over Michelle Obama’s school lunch agenda.

  13. Thing is, if Bolton would back off the war mongering position, he would actually be welcome. His stance on most issues is non-internationalist and he is an aggressive defender of the USA’s national rights as opposed to subrogation of US law to UN agreements.

    I guess he gets a boner from bombing brown babies.

    1. Good but depressing alliteration, Lee.

    2. Brown baby bombing boner.

      Say that five times fast.

      1. That’s a great catchphrase, Sug. Going to try to take that viral…

        1. The 4 Bs of Success

      2. Bolton was born in 1948.

        So I would say his stance could be adequately described as “Baby boomer Bolton’s brown baby bombing boner.”

  14. People are lined up from here to the horizon clamoring about what Trump needs to do, should do, and will do. He got this far giving them all the finger and making his own way. He has never indicated that he is hawkish and has said a number of times that he is not.

    Can anyone explain to me the motive behind all this regime change? Isnt it easier to deal with a power structure already in place than to tear one down and start from scratch? That never works anyway. Obama and Clinton have wrecked the ME, bad to worse is an understatement. To what end? Do I go to sleep too early every night and so missed Obama laying out the big picture for us? Create mayhem and then flood the west with the uncivilized? What the hell is that?

    1. I can’t imagine Trump having any desire to get into a war as President. He ran on fixing the economy and the country not fixing some other country. He might get into a war. War is often interested in you even if you are not interested in it. But I really don’t think he will go looking for it.

      1. See: GWB — we don’t need to be the world’s policeman.

        1. No we don’t. and GWB is a great example of a President being overcome by events and ending up doing things he never thought he would do.

          1. Sorry that should have been in quotes. One of his planks was “we don’t need to be the world’s policeman” when he ran in 2000. Nine months into his presidency, he’s sending troops to Afghanistan.

            1. I don’t think he was lying in 2000. I think he really wanted to do that. He just didn’t anticipate 911 happening.

              1. Remember when we used to say, “if X happens, the terrorists have won”? Well, they have.

              2. You and I are saying the same thing. I believe he meant what he said, and I was quoting him. Then noting that circumstances changed his calculus.

        2. Speaking of world police, I am rewriting the Team America song ‘America ‘ song to make it about Trump. Trump! Fuck yeah!

    2. I’m waiting for the book: Daring Change, Trump’s First 100 Minutes as President Elect.

    3. Isnt it easier to deal with a power structure already in place than to tear one down and start from scratch? That never works anyway.

      It seems to work (better) in countries that have an average IQ north of 90.

      1. To be fair Iraq wasn’t in terrible shape in 2008 but it took a lot of lives and money and time to get it that way. Also, we would have had to stay there another two generations before that house of cards had even a slim chance of standing on its own.

        “It seems to work (better) in countries that have an average IQ north of 90.”

        So it works in countries where the people can already do it without our help.

        1. Basically. Look at the track record of “nation building”, it “works” best in places where the population has the wherewithal to build functioning modern(ish) state without help from the foreign occupiers. Now, if they had gone into Iraq and placed a strongman at the top, Iraq might have been less of a shitshow.

          The IQ barrier implies that to have a somewhat limited government, democratic institutions, rule of law and stability you need a population whose average IQ is in the 90’s or higher. Which doesn’t sound too far fetched for me, it makes sense that more intelligent people are more likely to have the wherewithal to be able to build and maintain those institutions over long periods of time, versus that of a less intelligent population.

          1. Germany and Japan worked because the populations there tended towards being organized, educated, and obedient to authority.

            1. And had been governed by people who allowed a civil society and something of a middle class within a generation. It’s one thing to take a 10-15 year holiday from a middle class and a fair-ish (internal) governance. Get that up over 30 years and there’s no culture to draw on.

              1. They were also both industrialized and technologically modern, and accustomed to rule of law. Not the kind of people prone to spontaneous insurgency.

  15. Also, “Reince Priebus” sounds like something you can get from eating undercooked wurst.

    1. An anagram for “Reince Priebus” is “Pubic Re-rinse.”

      1. Also “Unprecise Brie”

        1. I love it when Brie gets too squishy to cut properly.

        2. Reince, wash, and repeat.

    2. Greg House would frequently scribble “Reince Priebus” on his chalkboard of guess.

      Sarcoidosis?
      Munchausen?
      Reince Priebus?

      1. Not lupus, though. Never lupus.

    3. “Reince” is a nickname for Reinhold, his given name. It’s not pronounced like “rinse”, it’s pronounced like r-eye-ns.

      1. It rhymes with romance.

        *wink*

      2. it’s pronounced like r-eye-ns

        This makes me want to pronounce it as r-anus.

      3. I only pronounce it as a sort of shouted bark: REINCE REINCE REINCE

  16. Rand Paul for Secretary of State!

    1. Rand Paul should become the beneficiary of the Power Cosmic.

  17. Personally, I just don’t like the way he says ‘negoseeations’.

  18. The war on incredible facial hair continues.

    1. Why do these people hate the movie Gettysburg so much Crusty? What did mutton chops ever do to them?

      1. “There is no time.”

        1. Seriously, though, that movie is like 11 hours long. Who does have the time?

    2. Exactly… would man or woman wouldn’t want those bristles pushed against their lips?

      1. Beardos need love too Hummungus.

      2. Beard oil, yo. Its not just for hippies. Or Greeks.

        1. My wife likes my beard. She makes beard oil for me for Christmas every year.

          1. These euphemisms are getting too esoteric again.

    1. If you are a member of Congress, you steal from the public. Its what you do.

      There is a Geico ad in there somewhere.

  19. Michael Totten should be somewhere in Trump’s foreign policy cabinet. I don’t really care where just make sure he has a voice that people have to listen to-

    An open letter to the next leader of the free world.

  20. OK, hear me out, maybe Trump leaked that he was considering Bolton, just so Rand could object and then Trump nominates someone else and lets Rand get the credit. Thus placating Rand and stroking his ego.

    Then he gives Bolton an Assistant Undersecretaryship of Something.

    1. Its called a trial balloon. There is no telling why this was put out, but it doesn’t necessarily mean Bolton is going to be Sec State.

      1. With Trump, it’s hard to tell the difference between “trial balloon” and “messing with everyone.”

        1. Or even “what the fuck??” I expect President Trump to land more than his share of those.

        2. What makes you think it’s Trump floating this trial balloon? There’s a fresh new pig trough being opened up and all the pigs are jostling for position. You’ll hear all kinds of rumors of “inside information” being leaked to the press and they’re all designed to help this guy or hurt that guy and at least half of them will have absolutely no basis in truth. It’s just somebody somewhere has some ulterior motive for trying to get you to believe some particular lie. It could be somebody who doesn’t like Bolton or prefers some other candidate who has no idea who Trump’s considering but knows if he puts it out there that Bolton’s being considered the press is going to jump all over the opportunity to bash Bolton and maybe pre-emptively take him out of consideration.

          1. Good point. It might not be Trump. Who knows where this came from.

    2. That would be nice, but realistically why would Trump give a damn what Rand Paul thinks?

  21. Rand has no juice with Trump, so, unfortunately, his opinion doesn’t matter much. I suspect/fear that he’s going to be pretty damn marginalized in the new GOP. Trump is nominally anti-establishment to the base, but surrounding himself with establishment hacks who jumped on his bandwagon.

  22. Wasn’t Giuliani the proposed sec-state like…. 5 mins ago?

    I’m going to save my deep-reserves of outrage until the horrible shit starts happening. and i don’t think we should need to wait very long.

    Does anyone actually make any realistic suggestions of who would make a *good* sec state?

    By ‘realistic’ i mean someone who actually has some background in foreign policy and diplomacy (*which may be an unfairly high-bar considering Clinton & Kerry)

    If Trump keeps picking shitty people, it seems to me its because no one has pushed candidates to the top of the pile who aren’t already craptastic.

  23. Rand Paul is the gift that keeps on giving. Take that all you Rand haters(I’m looking at Hihny and the Jacket).

  24. Which reminds me – we don’t have a budget lined up yet, do we? With the GOP set to control the House, the Senate, and the White House, what are the odds on whether or not the budget gets cut? And when the budget gets increased bigly, will the GOP be explaining why budget deficits really don’t matter all that much? And when the GOP explains that budget deficits really don’t matter all that much, will they explain that the increases to entitlement-program spending are sound investments in American families? And when the GOP explains the increased welfare spending as “investing in American families” will the Dems still be whining that they’re not investing enough even though the GOP will increase welfare spending even more than Dems ever did?

    1. The budget deficit went down significantly from 11 to 14 after they took the house. It went up again after they took the Senate because they didn’t figure they needed to be honest since they already had the Senate.

      They don’t have Obama to kick around anymore and say “we had to keep stealing or Obama would have shut down the government”. Trump has talked a lot about the need for a budget and to bring down the deficit. We will quickly find out if he meant any of it, because I seriously doubt even the GOP is stupid enough to shut down the government in a showdown with a Republican President where they play the role of demanding more spending.

      1. Trump occasionally paid lip service about the deficit/debt, but his campaign proposals increase spending above the current baseline, and combined with his tax plan add trillions more to the debt over the next 10 years. He’s said he doesn’t want to touch major entitlements like Medicare, Social Security, etc. and he wants to increase infrastructure and military spending. I’m not really sure where the money is going to come from the bring down the deficit if he follows through on all that.

        1. Amazingly enough his first act of President won’t be to cut the people who voted for him entitlements. The bastard.

          Beyond that, there is lots of money for such spending, when you remember how much Obama has padded things like education and the EPA and various other liberal sacred cows.

          1. I don’t blame him from an electoral POV, but it’s certainly relevant from a fiscal perspective.

            Non-defense discretionary isn’t that big a portion of the budget, and Trump’s obviously not going to cut all of it. The infrastructure proposal would increase that category. I don’t think our fiscal situation is solvable by minor tweaks and cuts to this category of spending. Especially taking into account Trump’s actual proposals which all point to a worsening of the fiscal situation.

  25. Bolten worst possible choice

    1. Worst possible choice = Hillary Clinton. Maybe Barry.

      Bolten is thoroughly awful, though.

    2. Worst possible choice is always Hitler. Ya’ll have taught me so.

      1. Find an old German lady. She’ll tell ypu he wasn’t all bad.

        1. I guess after you’ve burned money to keep from freezing to death it alters perspective.

  26. I think the choice of Attorney General will come down to whether Trump has any interest in being re-elected, or in getting Pence elected as his successor. If they double-down on the WoD, then their electoral chances shrink.

    1. I would like to think that was true. But I really don’t see how. Trump won because the white working class showed up for him in record numbers. I can’t see many of them caring about the WOD or legalized weed. Who votes on legalized weed except for Millenials who all voted against Trump anyway?

      Don’t get me wrong. I would love to see Trump not double down on the WOD. And who knows, maybe he won’t. But if he doesn’t, i can’t see it hurting his reelection chances.

      1. I agree with you on this, as much as I’d like to see the WOD scaled back.

      2. I thought I saw some headline today about him throwing out something about college tuition. Didn’t read the details, maybe it’s BS. Or maybe he’s trying to sure up support among millenials. They aren’t *all* SJWs.

  27. The National Review is all in for Bolton.

    Okay. And why the hell should Donald Trump give a shit what the National Review has to say? They might have opposed Trump even more vociferously than the staff of Reason.

    Honestly, that’s one of the things I don’t get. When you refuse to back the winner what on earth makes you think you get any say in calling the shots after the game is won?

    1. The butt hurt at NRO over the Breitbart guy going to the White House is quite entertaining. Talk about jealousy. They can’t really explain why he is a white supremacist or why he is somehow responsible for everything anyone has ever posted on a comment board at Breitbart, but they know he is.

      The reality that they fucked up and bet on the wrong horse and on top of that made total asses of themselves is some pretty hard cheese I think. The fact that the guy from Breitbart is going to have influence with the new Republican President and they are shut out is just too much for them to take. It is fucking wonderful listening to them whine and cry about it.

      1. Yes, I can’t imagine why being the NeverTrump house organ gets them frozen out of the Trump administration.

        1. As soon as he won, they were all about “Trump needs to listen to us”. Their arrogance and complete lack of humility is pretty remarkable.

        2. Trump has it easy. He just needs to do the opposite of whatever the Weekly Standard and National Review writers are advocating.

      2. WFBjr must be arrogantly smirking in his grave.

      3. What strikes me, though, is the arrogance. They devoted an entire issue to trashing the guy. He won, anyway. And now they have the mendacity to presume to lecture on his cabinet choices?

        I didn’t vote for Donald Trump either. But, at least I don’t expect him to give a shit about who I think he ought to appoint for what.

        1. How are they being mendacious? They wrote that issue because they correctly concluded Trump sucks. He won despite how much he sucks. What can they do at this point except offer suggestions on how he can suck less?

          1. They can offer all of the suggestions they like. The arrogant part is that they think Trump should care what they are. And if they want him to care, maybe they should show some humility and admit that perhaps they had a few things wrong. Yeah, you and NRO think Trump sucks. Okay. You also both thought he had no shot at winning the general election and would lose in a landslide. Since you were so wrong about that, shouldn’t you at least admit that your other opinions about him might also be wrong?

            1. What exactly is arrogant about saying what they think he should do?

              Winning the election didn’t prove them wrong about Trump being abysmal; he’s just an abysmal winner. When some is right, they’re right whether they win or lose, and there’s no reason they should be nice to him because won. I’m not saying they are right, but Trump winning has no bearing on whether they’re right or not or how humble they should be.

              You should be humble when someone proves you wrong. Winning the election didn’t vindicate Trump’s ideas or refute those of his opponents. If he was wrong before then he is still wrong and his oppponents should be every bit as loud as before.

  28. Paul concludes bluntly: “President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on changing our disastrous foreign policy. To appoint John Bolton would be a major first step toward breaking that promise.”

    Foreign policy, my ass! No, he promised he was going to build a wall, or fence, or something or other(*), to protect the public from Mexican butt-sex, which is exactly what people voted for and not to solve esoteric stuff like foreign policy, you isolationist!

    (*) Unfortunately no, I am not being facetious.

  29. All I want to say is that I’m still greatful for Ron Paul.

  30. Donald, Donald, DONALD, W-T-F!!! John Bolton is indeed thee worse man for the job!

    If Trump picks him this country will be war-bankrupt by the time he leaves office in 2020.

  31. Is Rand Paul going to stay a member of the Trump Party?

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