The Secretary's 'stache

>> Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I know, I like to bag on Newt Gingrich a lot. I mean, it's like shooting fish in a barrel--with a stick of dynamite. He's dumb, sleazy, corrupt, and just an awful person, the kind of guy who'd shut down the Federal government because he had to use the back door on Air Force One that one time.

But I like to think of myself as fair and balanced, right? So when Gingrich, improbably enough, has a great idea, it's only appropriate for me to say something nice about the man and acknowledge he's on to something.

So it's in the news today that Gingrich is promising to offer the job of Secretary Of State to former United Nations ambassador John Bolton in the unlikely event Gingrich is elected President. Damn. Wish I'd thought of that--that's a damn good idea.

My saying that might surprise you. First of all, long-time readers with some kind of obsessive-compulsive memory disorder might remember I've been known to bag on John Bolton, too. Also, you know, there's the fact Bolton has picked up a reputation in some circles of being something of a loose cannon; that many consider him aggressive, vindictive and hard to work with; that he's surprisingly undiplomatic for someone with a career in diplomacy; that his honesty has been publicly questioned on at least one occasion; that he's also been accused of supporting terrorist organizations; and, basically he pretty much comes off as a total dick every time he says or does just about anything.

To all of these more-or-less valid criticisms, I have only one response:

Look at it! Look at it and quail!

Feel the power of John Bolton's Moustache Of Authority1, and tremble.

John Bolton is an asshole--I don't think I need to go into it yet again, I feel like I've covered that part already. But have you ever wondered how an asshole like that rises to a position of power he's uniquely and specifically unqualified for? He's a tactless and abrasive man who has repeatedly expressed his opinion that the United Nations ought to be destroyed, so what kind of job is he famous for formerly holding? Ambassador to the United Nations. How is that even possible?

I submit to you, it's his moustache. He--no, I'm sorry--it must be obeyed. Bolton sans moustache is nothing, nobody. With the moustache, he has direct power over the minds, hearts and souls of men and women. His 'stache is like Dracula's eyeballs, irresistible, terrible, haunting, compelling.

Which is why Gingrich's idea to deploy Bolton--or Bolton's moustache, at least, which is attached to Bolton and probably can't exist independently for any notable length of time (though it might be a worthy scientific project to see if Bolton's power 'stache can be transplanted onto somebody likeable)--as America's chief diplomat is amazingly good. No recalcitrant emir or intractable prime minister would be able to outlast that moustache at the bargaining table. Rounds of negotiations that would be interminable left to a Henry Kissinger would end in quick capitulation to Secretary Bolton's Moustache Of Authority.

Fronted by that moustache, Bolton's obvious and otherwise crippling weaknesses as a human being become strengths. E.g. Bolton's willingness to go off reservation and act on his own as a wildly-shooting rogue agent becomes a relentless force which brooks no compromise. Kind of like the madman theory with mighty facial hair replacing the sweaty upper lip; imagine Secretary Of State Bolton sitting down with Premier Wen Jiabao of China over a currency dispute, and before the legion of interpreters can even finish translating the formalities, Secretary Bolton ends the proceeding by saying, "Fuck this, fuck you, I don't care, do whatever the fuck you want, I'm leaving, my moustache and I will be out by the pool," and he walks out. Just stands up, pushes through the crowd of photographers and the next time he's seen he's sitting in a lounge chair watering his 'stache with 160-proof vodka and mumbling about how someone ought to nuke the shit out of Iran. Wen Jiabao is a rational man--which means he isn't going to want to be in the same hotel or even the same city as John Bolton, plus he's probably mildly disturbed by the way the feral eroticism of Bolton's facial hair stirs deep feelings he's not entirely comfortable with; so he does the only reasonable thing possible, which is to pass a note written on the back of a cocktail napkin to Bolton's latest assistant, reading (in neat, precisely-written English capitals): "PLEASE RELAY TO YOUR INSANE MASTER THAT WE CAPITULATE TO ALL HIS DEMANDS". And then he checks out and flies back to China, brimming with a disturbing mix of relief, dread and longing, and informs the Party that he will be taking a very long vacation and should not be disturbed under any circumstances whatsoever. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, John Bolton trashes a hotel room while demanding someone bring him a manatee, or at least a quart of its blood and the organs from its endocrine system.

Brilliant. Just brilliant. America will be an empire. After the first year of a Gingrich presidency, we won't even have to use Bolton's moustache, we can just threaten our enemies with it. "Perhaps we could have an international summit, Secretary Bolton would be pleased to meet with the Chancellor." "Ah. Yeah. Um. No thanks, um, we're good." "But Secretary Bolt--" "Look, how about you just annex our country and we'll call everything even, okay? Please? Please?"

I think Gingrich is onto something, but it's really just a start. May I humbly propose a candidate for Secretary Of Commerce:

Hell yes. He may not be smart, but that's a damn fine 'stache he's sporting. Here's to hairy governance.

1I am aching to give Chris Hastings and Kent Archer the credit they so richly deserve: if they didn't coin "M(o)ustache Of Authority", they at least made it a phrase of beauty.


Seth Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 12:41:00 AM EST  

That was a pretty great visual punchline.

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