Saturday, June 27, 2020

How not to interview John Bolton

These days, Bill Maher may be the only public figure with whom I agree -- most of the time. He senses, as I sense, that Identity politics and political correctness can (and probably will) undo the Dems. The George Floyd protests were certainly justified -- hell, a similar movement should have arisen after the Sandra Bland affair -- but a righteous crusade has warped into surrealism, and a dangerous backlash may be inevitable.

Case in point.

I can't help but wonder: Are they paid by the Russians, these assholes demanding the removal of Lincoln's statue and the "cancellation" of Grant Napear? If not, then surely Putin must be funding the online brainwashers who have incited this national frenzy. The current "monumental" debate is no longer about the Confederacy: The targets have shifted to Lincoln, Grant, George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt... Basically, the new message is "All Whites Are Evil."

That's not a winning message in an election season. Trump has pounced, and I think that his Executive Order will improve his numbers.

This "protest" is no longer a protest. This is a psyop designed to alienate purple state voters. How can I be so certain? Because we didn't see anything like this before election season. And you know damned well that "monument madness" will vanish the day after the election.

The progs are being played. The ever-increasing radicalism of these race-obsessed zealots tells me that some of these "lefties" must be provocateurs, lupine lopers in sheepish couture. Others are simply dupes.

Timing is all. The timing speaks of an insidious scheme to aid Trump. Perhaps the goal is larger: Perhaps the goal is a new civil war. Wouldn't Putin love that?

It's not as though a country in the midst of chaos will be in a position to do anything about climate change. 1861 wounded a nation; 2020 could ruin a world.

Sorry. I seem to have strayed far from my intended point...

Back to Bolton. As I was saying: Maher is my go-to guy nowadays. But he missed an opportunity when he interviewed John Bolton on his show last night.

If you are a teevee host, and if you have been given the task of interviewing John Bolton, don't scold him for his silence during impeachment. Yes, he deserves scolding. But the guy already has a prepared response to any attacks on that front, and nothing you say will make him go off script. Don't delude yourself: You won't find the magic words which will force him to say "I was wrong and I'm sorry." So stop wasting time.

Don't try to talk John Bolton into voting for Joe Biden. Bolton won't budge. Besides, from a strategic point of view, Dems arguably have more to gain if Bolton doesn't support Biden. We want John Bolton's words to reach Republicans and moderates -- Fox News watchers. That crowd will tune out anyone they consider Just Another Dem Spokesperson.

And for God's sake, don't try to turn Bolton around on Iran. He's un-turn-roundable.

So what questions should you ask Bolton, should you ever be in a position to ask Bolton questions? Here are a few suggestions:

"Mr. Bolton: Can you tell us about some possible crimes that Trump committed? We're particularly interested in stuff that the average person doesn't already know."

"Mr. Bolton: Can you describe some particularly vulgar or dimwitted or hilarious things that Trump said or did? Care to share any juicy items not in your book?"

"Mr. Bolton: Let's go through the Ukraine business again, because a surprising number of people have already forgotten. Why did you call it a drug deal? What do you know about Lev Parnas and Giuliani?" 

The answers to those three questions could help the Dems.

Begging Bolton to vote for Biden serves no purpose.

I'll say it again: The Lincoln Project folks seem to be the only anti-Trumpers who know anything about campaigning. Republicans are lousy at governance, but they're great at campaigning. If they were in charge of Democratic messaging, Biden would be fifteen points ahead right now.

Hell, if we could get the Identity-obsessives to STFU until November, Biden would be twenty points ahead, and the Senate would be a mortal lock for the Party D. We might actually be in a position to do something about climate change.

As things stand, I remain characteristically captious. I still predict that the polls will turn in Trump's favor. Remember, Hillary was the most popular woman in the country in 2015 -- and then her unfavorables skyrocketed, almost overnight. Such is the power of propaganda.

One final word about the Lincoln thing. If this country has reached the point where no Dem dare utter the words "Abraham Lincoln was a great man," then the party is doomed. As Lord Buckley, King of the Hipsters, once put it: I'm a Lincoln cat. And I ain't gonna apologize for likin' lanky Linc.

All historical figures have flaws, as do you. If Joan of Arc ever met a Jew, her first question probably would have been "Where are the horns?" If you travel back in time to ask FDR about gays, don't be surprised if he gives you a truly horrifying response. (Come to think of it, don't use the word "gay." The word meant something different then.)

Even Jesus...! Did you ever hear his parable of the minas? The one in which an ill-treated servant (slave) is castigated because he didn't help Massa make a killing on the First Century stock market? Nobody likes to talk about that parable because it makes JC look downright creepy.

I mentioned Lord Buckley a few paragraphs ago. If you've never hipped yourself to him, I offer the following blast from four score minus seven years ago. I have embedded this video precisely because it's likely to annoy the postmodernist intersectional asshole battalions. Lord Buckley's act wasn't really an act: That's how he was 24/7. And you know what? Black people loved him. He demonstrated that what is now deemed "cultural appropriation" can be not just artful but downright holy.

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