David Letterman has not hosted a late show for many years now but his top ten lists are the stuff of legends. And, on the night of John Bolton’s interview, designed to tout his ill begotten book “The Room Where It Happened”, it felt like the right time to revive such a list.
I am no Letterman and there is nothing even remotely funny about any of Trumps tenure, but, this feels like a moment to put together something stupidly obvious; which is exactly like Trump and his Presidency. A Presidency borne of one man’s profound stupidity and his incredibly obvious avarice and amorality.
Which all leads to Bolton and the top ten reasons to NOT buy his book:
10) Don’t buy Bolton’s book because Trump’s Presidency, as mentioned, was borne of his incredible stupidity coupled with his cunning, his evil and his malice. My maternal grandmother used to remark that stupidity coupled with malice creates the worst kind of person. Blunt force trauma in human form. Trump and what makes him were obvious to anyone capable of, and willing to, see it. Anyone not a nationalist, a racist, a misogynist or a xenophobe. Anyone not driven solely by their own greed, need for power or both. Anyone, apparently, not like John Bolton. A man either incapable, unwilling, or both, to see what was in plain sight. Not hiding just in plain sight. Bolton is a villain among other villains. Hungry for power and willing to sacrifice whatever needed to be sacrificed to achieve his own ends and his own ambitions. He, like James Comey, and certainly like the man he worked for, is not a hero. He is not a man whose insights are to be lauded or valued. Why should a man who showed excessively poor judgment in just going to work for Trump not be written off and placed in the dustbin of history? Short answer: he should be and, eventually, he will be.
9) Don’t buy Bolton’s book because it is like all things Trump. Flashy. Tacky. The literary version of The Trump Taj Mahal. All flashing lights, vomit inducing carpeting (in this case Trump’s hair) and exactly zero substance. None. Nada. Niente. Nothing. This is a moment. It’s not a movement. It’s not anything that will last. It’s all amped and hyped and lit up and after a week of press, mud being slung, accusations being made, cable news analyses and some histrionics from both sides of the aisle, it will fade. It will all fade. Disappear. Like a puff of smoke, on the lips of someone who sat in The Trump Taj Mahal about a decade too long.
8) Don’t buy Bolton’s book because he’s not telling you anything new. Bolton didn’t even attempt a new theme to sum up Trump. Sorry if you already paid your $29.95 and were about to hunker down for 400 plus pages but I can save you a fair bit of time. The theme is: lies. Lies, lies, lies. Trump lies. And, according to Bolton, he has lied more than once. OMG. I know right?! I was shocked too. Cue the fainting couch. Seriously though, I am not shocked at all and neither will you be. Also seriously, if you already bought the book, get a refund if you can, and, if you can’t, go the route of the regift.
7) Don’t buy Bolton’s book because how many times do you need to be told the same thing? Trump obstructs. Trump coerces. Trump bribes. Trump colludes. Trump creates chaos. Trump engages in misdirection and misinformation. Robert Mueller told us he colludes. Michael Cohen (who for a long time aided and abetted him) told us he lies. The impeachment hearings told us he obstructs AND colludes. Transcripts released by Trump himself tell us he seeks quid pro quos. Michael Wolff, Jonathan Karl, Omarosa for God’s sake, have to told us about the chaos, the misdirection and the misinformation. They’ve all told us about horses of different colours but, at the end of the day, they’re all still horses.
6) Don’t buy Bolton’s book because it seems inappropriate that the Quaker Oats guy was given such a high security clearance and is now telling tales out of school. Don’t get me wrong, I love a steaming pile of oatmeal as much as the next person, but, a steaming pile of a book? Hard pass on that one Wilford. Hard. Pass.
5) Don’t buy Bolton’s book because it supports someone who had the opportunity to support you and chose not to. During the impeachment hearings, Bolton had the opportunity to testify and he opted out. He put person (him) over people (you). He put self interest over country. He sold out and he sold you out. A man who witnessed, he says, numerous episodes of coercion, collusion and obstruction did not believe his testimony could make a difference in what he believed was an overly politicized process? Really? C’mon bro. You worked for a guy who has literally politicized the use of disposable masks and an impeachment hearing, involving the man you acknowledge to be a clear and present danger, was “too political” for you. You felt your testimony wouldn’t help? Testimony that would’ve literally (trigger warning of a legal term ahead) corroborated what the hearing was literally all about. Yet, Bolton couldn’t see how stating under oath that Trump who had lied, colluded and obstructed on occasions outside of Ukraine, could possibly have helped. Okay, I’m no legal scholar here but I’m pretty sure the guy with the nations secrets should know how a trial works. I’m also pretty sure he should know how a two man run to the sh*thouse works and I’m absolutely sure that this dude can’t seem to get either one right.
4) Don’t buy Bolton’s book because it confirms everything that you already know. It confirms that Trump is ignorant, unfocused, does not read to the degree that a President, or, a fourth grader in a failing public school should read, and that he is outlandishly, comically, stunningly uninformed. Wow, John B. Just wow. With intel like that your book should’ve come with a warning label. No one could believe that the man who’s favourite refrain is “I don’t know” actually…..doesn’t know. That the man who tweets policy in all caps and comes up with gems like “COVFEFE” is ignorant. That the man who didn’t know Frederick Douglass was dead and who was going to stop Russia from annexing Crimea (a place they had already annexed) is unfocused. That the man who proposes taking untested drugs, injecting Lysol or beaming UV light up the butthole is, dare we say, not the brightest bulb in the box. Stunning.
3) Don’t buy Bolton’s book because it tells us that The Addams Family (aka The Trumpaddams) who already haunt all of our dreams are running the government like the family business (i.e. into the ground). And that an evil Victorian doll come to life, who goes by the name Jared Kushner, is leading the charge alongside his cousin-who-will-turn-out-to-be-his-long-lost-equally-evil-twin-brother-as-per-any-Victorian-novel-worth-its-salt Stephen Miller.
2) Don’t buy Bolton’s book because you already know that Trump is naive. Because you already know (because Hillary told you; thanks Hill!) that Putin and Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman and the gardeners at The White House and the gardeners who tend to Trump’s comb over can all play him like a Stradivarius. All it takes is a love note (preferably in an 18 point font), some cheeseburgers, a willingness to engage in a coverup when needed and a full time, 24/7, 365 day willingness to stroke Trump’s ego and kiss his substantive rear end. It’s not an exhaustive job description, but, that’ll do pig. That’ll do.
1) Don’t buy Bolton’s book because you already know that Trump is “unfit for office” and that he has never ‘pivoted’ from campaigning to actually governing. Bolton knew it. One hundred twenty thousand dead of Covid, and rising, and unacknowledged racial tensions confirm it. Bolton knew all of it and he knew it when he started at The White House and he knew it the day he left. He just waited to say it clearly, unequivocally and forcefully until he could monetize it. He can spin it any way he wants to now. He can say he thought working for Trump could help right a very wrong ship. He can say he wants this all out now before the election to save an in danger and dying Republic. He can say all of it and exactly none of it will be true. Bolton had an oath to uphold and even a modicum of integrity to maintain. He had a firsthand account of what was going on in The White House and, instead of blaming Democrats (politicizing much?) for not looking at a broader pattern of behaviour that they couldn’t know about without his telling them, he could’ve upheld the Constitution, lost some money and been the one person in a cabal who dared to do the right thing. Anything else is just a bunch of bunk. Worth nothing more than the paper Bolton’s book is printed on.
Okay, there is maybe one, very tiny reason, to buy Bolton’s book and that reason is to really piss Trump off. Buy it and then immediately regift it. It will be like the Christmas fruit cakes that circle around and around until they end up right where they always belonged: in the trash.