John Bolton May be a Next-Gen Jesse Helms But He is No DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN


Media Matters sets the record straight with many pro-Bolton, America Alone Alliance members groping around for Democrats to compare John Bolton to favorably.
Compare, as the Media Matters piece does, Bolton’s comment:
“It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so — because, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are [sic] those who want to constrict the United States.”
with Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s position:
“A great many people seem to think of (international) law as a kind of self-imposed restraint on America’s ability to act decisively or with force in world affairs. This misstates what law is, and obscures the fact that international law can actually enhance the national security of the United States. … In the realm of law, the United States seems almost to have forgotten our once deep and abiding commitment to the rules of international conduct.”
I think Moynihan’s ghost may be a bit ticked off at those Bolton-ites mischaracterizing his views.
(There is a list of people and editors Moynihan is probably angry at in the Media Matters article — I agree with the list except for Jacob Heilbrunn, whose very high batting average on foreign policy debates is still, despite this slip, probably good enough for Moynihan).
— Steve Clemons