From the New York Times:
Many of the people who have worked for President Trump have ended up “diminished” or humiliated in some way. To that long list we can now add a new name: John Bolton. Trump’s national security adviser won the role by impressing the president with his regular bellicose contributions to Fox News, but he appears to wield little influence with the White House these days. One can only imagine how cross the old “warmonger” must have felt recently when Trump recently shook the hand of Kim Jong Un. This, after all, is a man who cited the lifting of sanctions against Pyongyang in 2008 as evidence of the “total intellectual collapse” of the George W. Bush administration.
To make matters worse, Trump was accompanied on the trip to Korea’s demilitarised zone not by Bolton, but by the Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who last month called Bolton a “bureaucratic tapeworm” for whom war is “always good business”. (To add insult to injury, Trump referred to Bolton during the trip, not for the first time, as “Mike”.) “It’s nightmarish to live in a country where our foreign policy has been reduced to an intramural battle between Fox News reactionaries.” But if anyone deserves to be cut down to size, it’s Bolton. (Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times, 12 July 2019)
Unfortunately, while the far-too-numerous Democratic Presidential candidates bicker, seek attention, splinter the opposition and suggest policies that will bomb on election day, a wolf prowls the playground. The wolf is already surprisingly well-organised on the ground and is prepared to do anything (literally) to win a second term. If reports are not exaggerated he fancies (on and off, like everything else) overthrowing the Constitution and remaining in power sine die, with help from his packed Supreme Court. Nothing he says or does is off-limits to a base without principles or empathy and that votes for the very class of rich, unprincipled, money-obsessed people who have caused their misery in the first place The parallels are inexact, but one is reminded of Mussolini, who took a bit of an effort (understatement of 2019) to dislodge. But he was an amateur compared with this modern version. I mention this in passing owing to the grim effect all this has on Epicurean peace of mind.
P.S: Donald Trump’s approval rating among Republican voters rose by 5 points to 72% in the week after his racially charged Twitter attack on several Democratic congresswomen. (Ipsos/Reuters)