John Bolton at CPAC: Nuke Chicago
Jonathan Stein remarks on something former recess appointment UN Ambassador John Bolton said yesterday at CPAC:
“The fact is on foreign policy I don’t think President Obama thinks [stopping Iran’s nuclear program is] a priority,” said Bolton. “He said during the campaign he thought Iran was a tiny threat. Tiny, tiny depending on how many nuclear weapons they are ultimately able to deliver on target. Its, uh, its tiny compared to the Soviet Union, but is the loss of one American city” — here Bolton shrugged his shoulders impishly — “pick one at random — Chicago — is that a tiny threat?”
Bolton wasn’t the only one who thought this was funny. The room erupted in laughter and applause. Was this conservative catharsis, with rightwingers delightfully imagining the destruction of a city that represents Obama? Or perhaps they were venting vengeance with their laughter.
Rather obviously, Bolton is not advocating nuking Chicago but, rather, illustrating in a personal way how tragic it would be. And the audience was laughing at this jibe at Obama’s naivete, not relishing the ruin of the Second City.
There were doubtless some really dumb things said at CPAC yesterday and some inappropriate audience reactions. And, heck, there are even reasons to critique Bolton’s analysis of the Iranian threat (cf: 2007 NIE) or his caricature of Obama’s position on the subject. But, for a red meat speech aimed at a mostly young crowd of enthusiasts, this was pretty unobjectionable.