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John Bolton
Great, this guy again. (Gage Skidmore)
Why has Mitt Romney chosen to surround himself with crackpots? Is it an attempt to cater to crackpots, or are crackpots the only ones willing to work for him, or what? Choosing the nearly rabidly aggressive John Bolton as a foreign policy adviser seems like the sort of thing you would only do on a badly planned dare.

It still is surprising to see John Bolton so wholeheartedly endorse Michele Bachmann's new anti-Muslim McCarthyism, however. I would have thought that even the staunchest conspiracy nuts would have been turned off by the inclusion of Grover Norquist, King of All Government Decisions as one of the secret Muslim accomplices, but I had forgotten that being a top-notch conspiracy theorist requires heavy compartmentalization of your supposed "facts." So sure, former U.N. Ambassador (can you believe that? Talk about badly planned dares) John "Walrus of Destruction" Bolton can happily appear on conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney's radio show, can happily praise Michele Bachmann's Gaffney-premised theories of Muslim infiltrators scattered through government, and can happily ignore the fact that Frank Gaffney may be one of the few people in America who is less tethered to common sense than John Freaking Bolton is. Via Right Wing Watch:

Gaffney: John Bolton, one of the hot house issues in Washington at the moment that speaks to this point you just made about American decline and aiding and abetting our enemies under the Obama administration involves the Muslim Brotherhood. [...] [F]ive congresspeople including Michele Bachmann have been pressing for investigations into the extent to which some of these policies that we’ve been adopting, both abroad and here, might have something to do with influence operations aimed at and actually successfully inside the wire in our government. What do you make of this controversy and particularly the criticisms, the vicious criticisms, that have been mounted against these folks for their warnings from within their own ranks?

Bolton: I’ve been subject to how many security clearance procedures and I must say as irritating as some people may find them I think they are absolutely essential to making sure that people who work in sensitive positions in the national security field in our government are entirely loyal to the United States. I just think that’s an absolute, fundamental prerequisite. Now people find them intrusive, they find them inconvenient, my response is, that’s just too bad. What I think these members of Congress have done is simply raise the question, to a variety of inspectors general in key agencies, are your departments following their own security clearance guidelines, are they adhering to the standards that presumably everybody who seeks a security clearance should have to go through, are they making special exemptions? What is wrong with raising the question? Why is even asking whether we are living up to our standards a legitimate area of congressional oversight, why has that generated this criticism? I’m just mystified by it.

Gaffney: I think it has a lot to do with both shooting the messenger and trying to deflect attention from what is a huge, yawning and very serious vulnerability of this president, especially now as this election gets down to the clinches.

Yes! We are just raising the question! Might Huma Abedin, Keith Ellison and other suspiciously Muslim-looking individuals be secret conduits for terrorism, or might we have pulled this entire theory from our pompous and polluting posteriors? Why are you non-patriots criticizing our deep commitment to ass-based national security issues?

This, we should again remind ourselves, is one of the Republicans helping Mitt Romney plan his foreign policy. I am sure that will work out very, very well, and in no way result in an outcome that makes Mitt Romney look like a frothing, paranoid lunatic.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I commented obliquely elsewhere (19+ / 0-)

    that I think Bolton might have been the Telegraph's anonymous source for the "Anglo-Saxon" quote.

    Might as well make it crystal clear here, especially in the context of his open support for the New McCarthyism.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:03:31 PM PDT

    •  Maybe He Meant "Aryan" (9+ / 0-)

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:10:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Walrus of Destruction - perfect! (4+ / 0-)

      The more that's known about the creepy cabal Mitt chooses as advisors, the worse he looks.

    •  Agreed, he is the most likely source of the A-S (5+ / 0-)

      quote.  He's just clueless and politically tone-deaf enough to have been the one.  Here is a little ditty I wrote back when he was trying to be confirmed as our UN Secretary ...

      I am John Bolton

      (To the tune of I am the Walrus)

      I am he, the nominee, you all agree, would be a real disaster.
      See how I spin my past with a grin, see how I jive..
      I'm lying.

      Shitting on a flunky, waiting for his mind to change.
      Corporations own me, screaming in the hallway.
      Though I've been a naughty boy, I will admit no wrong.
      I hate the UN,
      bu$h hates the UN,
      I am John Bolton - cuckoo, fuck you.

      This commitee's stacked,
      I'm sitting pretty ...
      Little duckies in a row.
      Gee now that guy,
      Fuckin' loser from Ohio,
      Sees how I've done.
      I'm lying, I'm lying.
      I'm lying, I'm lying

      Yellowcake and bluster, feeding up a dead wrong lie.
      Blame it all on his wife, undercover distress,
      Boy, you've been a naughty girl we're going to take you down.
      I hate the UN,
      bu$h hates the UN
      I am John Bolton - cuckoo, fuck you.

      Spitting on a low-wage gardener,
      Hating moral scum.
      Unless the scum have guns, you be da' man
      By smashing in their fucking brains.
      I hate the UN,
      bu$h hates the UN,
      I am John Bolton - cuckoo fuck you and you

      Biased pioused holy rollers,
      Don't you think The Bolt-ster laughs at you?
      (Ho ho ho hee hee hee ha ha ha ho ho ho)
      See how I smile light glints in my eyes,
      See how I hide,
      I'm lying, I'm lying .........
      I'm lying, I'm lying.

      Have a daily daydream,
      Pissing on the Eiffel Tower,
      Screwing with the Hindus - fucking Hari Krishnas,
      Wait until you see me kicking all that foreign ass.
      I hate the UN,
      bu$h hates the UN
      I am John Bolton,
      I am cuckoo fuck you.
      Fuck you, and you and you,and you, and you.
      Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you ...

      (Don't) ever bother, vote not,
      ever bother, vote not,
      ever bother, vote not,
      ever bother, vote not,
      ever bother, vote not,
      ever bother, vote not,
      ever bother, vote not ...

      ...fuck you founding fathers, fuck you ...

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 08:01:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How about Grover Norquist, John B? (7+ / 0-)

    "Speak out, judge fairly, and defend the rights of oppressed and needy people." Proverbs 31:9

    by zdefender on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:05:35 PM PDT

  •  "Why has Mitt Romney chosen to surround himself (15+ / 0-)

    with crackpots?"

    Occam's razor: because Mitt Romney is a crackpot.

    Republicans believe you need an ID to vote but you can donate millions to any candidate completely anonymously. (h/t jbou)

    by Calouste on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:06:27 PM PDT

    •  Which is why (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rbird, Tamar, antirove, kbman, Matt Z
      crackpots (are) the only ones willing to work for him.
      W, OTOH, had
      chosen to surround himself with crackpots

      Which is how we got John B as W's U.N. Ambassador. I can remember the shudders when he was announced, and every time his name came up. George did plenty to make the world upset, and worse, with America. Bolton added to that at the UN in more ways than should have been humanly possible. Probably because he's just like Willard, W and Dick; conservatives without conscience, humanity, or tolerance.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:19:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Either that... (0+ / 0-)

      ...or he's pretending to be a crackpot.  But at what point does it continue to be pretense and low cunning and instead morphs into real right-wing nuttery?

      If Mittens is just pretending, someone should take him aside and warn him before he is consumed by the lie.

      Didn't Yoda warn us about this?

      Please feel free to HR me for my informative and argumentative nature. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

      by rbird on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:19:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this guy, and this guy, now they work for... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BornDuringWWII, Paulie200, nolagrl, Matt Z

      Init obvious, the why?


  •  Frankie and Johnny found a witch? (6+ / 0-)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:06:39 PM PDT

  •  Bill O'Reilly Called Social Security "Welfare" (9+ / 0-)

    Right out of the gate and before i could change the channel, O'Reilly was talking about how Obama is the president of handouts and dependency, and that he wants to get the votes of the "One hundred million Americans on welfare."

    Of course the only way to come up with 100,000,000 is to include everyone on food stamps, unemployment, medicare, and Social Security.

    Bill O'Reilly called Social Security "welfare," as have many other conservatives including George Will.  They want Romney to get elected and claim a "mandate" to get rid of Social Security.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:06:48 PM PDT

  •  Any sane politician would distance himself from (5+ / 0-)

    Bolton by miles.

    Considering that Bolton is his foreign policy advisor, you can expect a running string of gaffs, the likes of none we have ever seen.

    Get out the popcorn.  Its "I can see Russia from my house "  all over again.

  •  I think it was at CPAC two years ago when (0+ / 0-)

    Michelle Bachman was speaking (or emceeing?) where she held up a book defending Joseph McCarthy and told everyone to buy it in the lobby.

    There is video of it somewhere... I watched it on CSPAN... I sure as hell wasn't there in person.

    Romney/Rove 2012: If you liked Bush's Brain... you'll love Romney's.

    by jethrock on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:12:46 PM PDT

  •  Appropriately from the (6+ / 0-)

    Beatles' marvelous super stoned era.  Every time I see this clown, I think of this song -- and not because he's the Egg Man.

    Perennial asshat.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:12:48 PM PDT

  •  It's a miracle.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Look.... a cow-pie with lungs and a larynx...and just the right height, too!

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:14:01 PM PDT

    •  Be Kind it's the mustache talking (0+ / 0-)

      Look at all the stupid that Tom Freidman's mustache says

      Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

      by JML9999 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:19:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gaffney-too crazy for CPAC (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamar, bythesea, OjaiValleyCali, Matt Z

    EXCLUSIVE: Conservative Board Unanimously Condemned Gaffney’s ‘Reprehensible’ And ‘Unfounded’ Attacks

    A year ago, anti-Sharia conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney leaned against a column in the basement of CPAC as he warned ThinkProgress about how Muslim extremists had infiltrated the annual gathering of conservative activists in Washington. It was that kind of conspiracy theorizing that made Gaffney unwelcome upstairs where the official panels and keynote speeches were held, as ThinkProgress first reported.

    Gaffney’s attacks on conservative stalwarts like Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, and Suhail Khan, a Bush administration offical, as agents of the Muslim Brotherhood have made him a pariah among conservatives.

    So much so, in fact, that he was unanimously condemned by the one of the most powerful conservative organizations in America, as two documents obtained exclusively by ThinkProgress this week show.

    Last September, the board of the American Conservative Union (ACU), which puts on CPAC and includes top leaders of various factions of the conservative movement, unanimously passed a resolution (read it here) condemning the “false and unfounded” attacks Gaffney had made against Norquist and Khan, both board members, after having another board member, Cleta Mitchell, look into Gaffney’s serious charges of sedition and abetting an enemy.

    In a letter to the ACU board (read it here), Mitchell, a prominent and very conservative attorney, said that after reviewing the “evidence” Gaffney presented (including a lengthy PowerPoint presentation and DVDs video laying out the case against Norquist and Khan), she found his “ceaseless war” to be “reprehensible.” She wrote in the conclusion:

          I have tried to talk Mr.Gaffney into ceasing these attacks – but to no avail. I have done everything I know to do to try and bring this to a halt, including private conversations and public appearances saying essentially what I have said in this letter. I have taken whatever official actions in my capacity as a board member of various organizations to vote against any motion that would support Mr. Gaffney’s allegations and will continue to do so.

            Further, I will work to ensure that any organization with which I am involved will not b eallowed to be used as a platform to spread Mr. Gaffney’s baseless attacks.

    Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

    by JML9999 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:14:57 PM PDT

  •  Lol, check out this headline on Bolton (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, bythesea

    Romney's Newest High-Profile Backer Comes Out Swinging

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:15:50 PM PDT

  •  How does a frothing lunatic partisan like Bolton (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, jethrock, raincrow, antirove, Matt Z

    Get a security clearance?  He is so partisan it hardly seems like his first loyalty is to the country.  He was part of the administration that outed Valerie Plame for crying out loud!

    Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

    by Mindful Nature on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:18:01 PM PDT

  •  well, it does give them (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, bythesea

    a catchy title for the whole enterprise:

    Mitt Romney, Inc.: The Crackpot Campaign!

    Maybe not quite as engaging as McCain and his mavrickyishiness, but, well Mitt's folks are just a different crowd.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:18:11 PM PDT

  •  What odds - Romney War with Iran by 2013? (6+ / 0-)

    Assuming the Republicans steal the White House again, war with Iran is almost a certainty. Look at the people around Romney, look at his complete lack of a moral or intellectual center, and what are the odds?

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:19:27 PM PDT

  •  I can't even get upset at this tonight (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamar, bythesea, stevenaxelrod, Matt Z

    Bolton is such a tiresome, completely compromised, wallered-out old political whore that it's not worth an extra few molecules of adrenaline.

    "From Those Brilliant Folks Who Brought You Iraq"

  •  Captain Kangaroo's evil brother. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:23:14 PM PDT

  •  everytime i look at john bolton i feel like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Illinois Soccer Mom

    i need to take a shower.

    what a creepy old man.  and he has the personality to match, too!

  •  No New Faces In Wingnutland, Ever... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, OjaiValleyCali, Matt Z

    Why does Mittens surround himself with these defectives, indeed? Very Simple. Republicans are recycled trash. Different front guy, same idiots all the rest of the way down the line. Hell, he's got Cheney campaigning for him.

  •  Why doesn't Obama made an issue of Bachmann? (0+ / 0-)

    He or Biden need to demand that Romney condemn Bachmann and her defenders.

  •  Violence Against Women's Careers (4+ / 0-)

    Outing Valerie Plane, and ending her career.

    Defaming Huma Abedin, and threatening her physical safety and her career.

    Mangling the video of that department of agriculture woman, who lost her job as a result.

    Keep picking on women, it keeps us motivated.

  •  The only way to avoid a security clearance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Illinois Soccer Mom

    is to be elected to Congress.  Once you are sworn in, no further investigations are required.
    Think about it....

    "Y'know what intelligent people call someone who runs around saying NO to everything all the time? A three-year-old who needs a nap." BiPM

    by stevenwag on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:36:48 PM PDT

  •  Strange women lying (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, Paulie200, stevenaxelrod, Matt Z

    backed by Yosemite Sam is no basis for a system of government

    Join Soulforce-seeking Justice for God's GLBT children.

    by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:41:31 PM PDT

  •  Ancient joke about security clearances: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Prof. Jones has been proposed for a security clearance.  As references he lists Prof. Smith, Prof. Johnson, and Prof. Taylor, all of whom work in the same academic department.

    The FBI comes to interview Prof. Smith, and it goes like this:

    FBI:  We are here to ask you about Prof. Jones.  Do you have any reason to believe that Prof. Jones is a Communist?

    Prof. Smith:  I have known Prof. Jones for over ten years.  I am pretty sure that Prof. Jones is not a Communist.

    FBI: On what basis do you say that?

    Prof. Jones:  Well, I am pretty confident that he isn't a Communist.  If he were a Communist, he would be a pretty bad one.

    FBI:  Prof. Jones, why do you say that?

    Prof. Jones:  Well, I hear from Prof. Johnson and Prof. Taylor that they think Prof. Jones can't be much of a Communist.

    FBI:  How is that?

    Prof. Jones:  Well, I haven't seen him at the last three cell meetings, and neither have Johnson or Taylor.

    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry

    by BornDuringWWII on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:43:00 PM PDT

  •  If I were on the Obama campaign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, Hohenzollern, Matt Z

    I'd make fun of the Romney campaign's employing a nutjob Bush appointee as an adviser.

    "I'm going to rub your faces in things you try to avoid." - Muad'Dib

    by Troubadour on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:52:01 PM PDT

  •  Mitt doesn't "choose" these guys. Mitt is so in (5+ / 0-)

    over his head in the whole thing, having no clue what the hell he's doing, that seasoned sleazeballs like Bolton and Cheney come it, spin Mitt around, and point him in any direction they choose.  Which is always to a fat ass paycheck for themselves. And that's all they're interested in.  Meanwhile idiot Mitt actually think she's doing something to help his favorite cause:  Mitt.

  •  Yes, yes and yes. Rmoney has the vote of the 1%, (0+ / 0-)

    and needs a big slice of the other 99%. He cannot run on his record of jobs and has no record of foreign policy. He has forsaken the very few actual good things he has done and can only count on the hate vote...racists, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes...he is pandering to the worst segments of American society, and is apparently hoping there are more of them than is good not only for us but for the rest of the world as well. He draws fear-mongers, race-baiters and misogynists to himself like flies to shit, he chooses them and they choose him. Rmoney is the candidate of fear and greed, and fear and greed will vote for him.

    I quit school very young, and never learned how to believe things just because I was told to.

    by socalmonk on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 08:25:19 PM PDT

  •   If leveling or supporting those who level false (0+ / 0-)

    ...accusations on matters of national security,  ESPECIALLY for political dirty tricks, is not reason to deny someone a clearance, it damn well should be.  Bachmann needs to be off the House Intel Committee,  and if Bolton still has some clearance level, it needs to be pulled, right now.

  •  I'm surprised that Bachmann and Bolton (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    haven't called for the immediate internment of these two gentlemen, both of whom are Muslim:

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 09:03:05 PM PDT

  •  I'm not surprised. (0+ / 0-)

    John Bolton is known to be terribly outspoken in his egotism and obtuseness when it comes to politics.  He has always been one of those people who blares out his deranged prescriptions for warping the nation into a right winged dystopia.

    Therefore, Michelle Bachmann and John Bolton are a match made in heaven.

    If he endorses her, it only proves that he supports views that only supports narrow-mindedness and greed.

    Their brand of crazy is toxic and noxious.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 09:11:37 PM PDT

  •  The 3 stages of Rmoney's campaign: (0+ / 0-)

    3. Craziest

    We will soon be entering stage 3..the craziest stage. Will do and say anything to get elected so he can implement all those policies that he hasn't shared with the American electorate (they are probably stashed in an account off the Cayman's)...hold on to your hats.

  •  In any event Gaffney speaks oddly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z
    Gaffney: John Bolton, one of the hot house issues in Washington at the moment that
    I'm pretty sure he means "hot button" instead of Hot house.  Things like that bother me.

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