Former ambassador John Bolton has just released a statement of support for John Boehner’s debt ceiling plan, arguing that the speaker of the House’s plan is good for “all conservatives, especially those concerned with American national security.”
“There are many more battles to be fought to rescue our economy and preserve our national defenses,” Bolton states. “But on this present issue, we have reached the culminating point of victory. Let's not throw it away.”
This doesn’t mean Bolton’s entirely supportive of Boehner’s plan – he isn’t. But Bolton doesn’t believe that conservatives who care about national security can get better a deal “given the current political balance of power in Washington.”
If America's prospects for economic recovery are gravely impaired, if President Obama is able to turn the inevitable turmoil to his political advantage and achieve re-election, and if we face four more years of his debilitating economic and national security policies, the safety and security of America in the world may be damaged irreparably.
In politics as in battle, conservatives should remember Carl von Clausewitz's sage advice to be satisfied with identifying and achieving "the culminating point of victory." That does not mean total victory, but rather the maximum that can be achieved in any particular engagement. We should not stop short, but neither should we risk what we have achieved by proceeding dangerously beyond that culminating point.
The primary alternative at this point to Boehner’s plan is Harry Reid’s, which has been endorsed by President Obama. The implication of Bolton's statement is that Reid’s plan is far worse than Boehner's.
Bolton's endorsement of Boehner's plan comes a day after House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon warned fellow Republicans on his committee that the Reid-Obama plan is “disastrous.” “It would have a disastrous impact on our military and we wouldn’t be able to carry out our missions [if the Reid plan passed],” McKeon warned.