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.