Right Opinion

Lying One's Way Onto the Best Seller List

Burt Prelutsky · Jun. 29, 2020

John Bolton, author of “The Room Where it Happened,” believes that Vladimir Putin is tough and smart. He also believes that Donald Trump is weak and stupid. I’ll let you make the call. But let me point out that Putin only had to beat out other Russian politicians, who are generally dealing with hangovers, to become the dictator of a nation with an economy the size of Italy’s. Italy, by the way, is a nation with less than half Russia’s population, which has been diminished now that they can no longer include Hungarians, Poles, Lithuanians and East Germans, in its census.

Trump, on the other hand, has had to spend his adult life dealing with unions run by the mob; politicians with their hands out; TV network executives; the Democrats in Congress; party traitors like Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski; a corrupt media; and government agencies such as the CIA, the NSA and the FBI, riddled with Deep Staters. For a guy like Trump, dealing with a bunch of vodka-soaked Russkies would be a walk in the park.

Bolton assumed that his former enemies in the other party would be praising him to the sky now that he is attacking Trump. But, far from it. Even partisan hacks like Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell are miffed that Bolton chose not to testify during the impeachment hearings, instead electing to save his lies for when he wasn’t under oath and could hold out for a book deal worth two million dollars.

So, while Bolton is a prefabricator, a backstabber, an egomaniac and an Olympic-class narcissist (the mustache alone tells you all you need to know about that!), he’s not quite as dumb as he looks.

In his book, he writes: “In fact, I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by re-election calculations.”

That is one of the single silliest statements I have ever read. It would mean that anything good that a president did, such as lowering taxes; supercharging the economy; raising wages for the first time in three decades; increasing employment numbers for blacks and Latinos to record levels; moving our embassy at long last to Jerusalem; modernizing our military; promoting religious values; trying to get Congress to defund Planned Parenthood; supporting cops; and stop supporting NATO, the Palestinian Authority and the World Health Organization with our tax dollars, should be dismissed as playing politics.

None of that mattered to Bolton. The only thing Trump could have done that would have pleased Bolton was to expand the war in Afghanistan to include North Korea, Venezuela and, if possible, China.

When it comes to where people stand when it comes to waging war, the scale typically ranges between doves and hawks. But way past the typical hawk is John Bolton, who’s all for wars except if he has to fight in them. He took every possible precaution to avoid a government-funded visit to Vietnam.

The only question on the minds of most sensible people isn’t why Trump booted him out of the administration, but why he ever invited him to join.

It had slipped my mind, but I actually conducted an interview (via email) with Bolton back in 2012 when I was working on “67 Conservatives You Should Meet Before You Die.”

When I looked it over a few minutes ago, I came across a couple of telling responses. When I asked him what he would change about America if he could accomplish it with a snap of his fingers, he said: “Replace Barack Obama as President.” Today, I’m certain he would say: “Replace Donald Trump as President.”

I didn’t think to ask him the natural follow-up question: Replace him with whom? Obviously, his answer on both occasions would have been: “John Bolton.”

Another question I asked was: “If they ever get around to producing "The John Bolton Story,” what actor, living or dead, would you consider ideal casting in the title role?“

He replied: "Tom Selleck.”

I figured that was because Bolton thought they looked so much alike.

I knew that his career as a diplomat would be short-lived when I asked him which eight people who had ever lived he would choose to have dinner with, and he came up with Edmund Burke, John Locke, Dean Acheson, Teddy Roosevelt, Churchill, Disraeli, Jefferson and Washington.

Wouldn’t any diplomat worth his salt have replaced Acheson with me?


I find polls fascinating because of what they tell me about polls, not necessarily what they tell us about those being polled.

For instance, a Fox poll reported that Biden leads Trump 50% to 38%, but also shared the news that 44% of the people give Trump a favorable rating. The pollsters don’t even attempt to explain who those six percenters are who think Trump is doing a swell job but can’t wait to replace him with a doddering old man who promises to undo everything Trump has done.

An equally tantalizing poll indicates that, among Democrats, 68% will be motived to vote against Trump, while a mere 31% have any enthusiasm for Biden. Among Republicans, the numbers are almost exactly reversed, with 33% wanting to cast votes against Biden, but a resounding 62% eager to re-elect Trump.

If enthusiasm counts for anything, Trump should certainly have a fighting chance in November, so long as the polls are as meaningless as they were in 2016.


This afternoon, while I read on my front porch and my dog Angel worked on her tan, both of us kept being distracted by a butterfly who appeared to be showing off for us.

She kept flying high above my roof and then flying in low, flying far beyond my yard before returning a few seconds later.

She — all butterflies are presumed to be female because of their beauty — did everything but perform loop-de-loops, seemingly for the pure joy of its being a fine day to be alive and having the ability to fly.

But after a while, it dawned on me that there was a breeze and, although butterflies appear to be the frailest of God’s creations, the breeze seemed to have no effect on her. She flew with the breeze but also into the face of it.

Obviously, if I noticed the wind currents, the butterfly must have, but she paid them no mind. She didn’t allow anything to dictate where she wanted to go or how she got there.

It occurred to me that in 2020 we Conservatives must adapt the ways of butterflies and ignore the ignorance and intolerance of those goony birds aligned against us and our chosen leader. In the words of a certain boxer, we must float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.


I used to wonder why people like Bill de Blasio, Eric Garcetti, Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, Nancy Pelosi and others of their ilk wish to stand by and watch decent, hard-working people desert their cities and states, leaving it to the dregs and druggies to use the streets as their bathrooms, and allowing the black marauders to loot and burn to their hearts’ content.

Then I recalled the line that John Milton put in the mouth of Satan in his epic poem, “Paradise Lost,” to explain his preference for life in the underworld: “Better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven.”


Which reminds me that in England, which against all odds, has not shown signs of improving in spite of the fact that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have self-exiled themselves to Hollywood.

It seems that the American virus is every bit as viral as the one produced by China. One of the English soccer teams is foregoing numbers on their jerseys in favor of three little words. But not those three little words penned by my late friend, Tin Pan Alley tunesmith Harry Ruby, which were “I love you.” These are “Black Lives Matter,” which, when you think about it, makes about as much sense on a soccer jersey as “I love you.”

Don't miss Burt Prelutsky and other great columnists. Subscribe today!

Click here to show comments

Coronavirus got you homebound?
Stay current with America’s News Digest.