Just about every neocon is pretty much by definition a bully. For some though the bullying is an unintended consequence of their foreign policy preferences. Not John Bolton. John Bolton likes being a bully. It's not what follows from his positions, it's a deliberate life-style choice. Simply put, Bolton just wants to be a cunt to people.
This is obvious to anyone who's seen footage of him in action at the UN. It's obvious to anyone who caught his appalling performance during the UK coverage of the 2008 US elections (I believe he was on the Beeb, but I might be wrong in that) in which he took great pleasure browbeating a young female reporter by insulting her knowledge and questioning her coverage - by misrepresenting what she'd actually siad, naturally - all the while relying on her being to professional to call him out for the vainglorious, snorting turd he so clearly was.
Given this life-long dedication to the craft of bullying, then, his piece discussed by Dan Larison amused me greatly:
I think the entire Republican party has spent four years making a huge mistake really retreating from its historic role as the main advocate of sound national security policies. And in that sense the [Romney] campaign’s unwillingness to take on Obama’s failed foreign and defense policies was symptomatic of the problem of the party as a whole.
This is just the perfect encapsulation of Bolton's worldview, a worldview he is by no means unique or even particularly unusual amongst neocons in holding. As Larison points out, you'd have to be functionally insane to believe Romney didn't spend enough time banging on about alleged flaws in Obama's foreign policy. Anyone remember Romney's disgracefully inaccurate op-ed on the revised START treaty? The repeated insistence that Obama wasn't sufficiently enslaved to the desires of whomever happened to be in charge of Israel at any given time? Or how about this infamous photo snapped just seconds after Romney held a press conference to insist Obama was sending messages of support to terrorists through White House tweets, or something?
The problem the Romney campaign had wasn't that they didn't attack enough. It's that their attacks were utterly and obviously ridiculous, the reductio ad absurdum that inevitably sprang from thirty years of screaming "traitor!" at every Democrat who didn't want to blow up everything east of Martha's Vineyard.
This, of course, simply cannot be processed by the mind of John Bolton. Above the bushy 'tache and behind the squinting, angry eyes, there lies nothing but the most simple of flow charts.
I promise you, a copy of that chart was hanging on Mitt Romney's wall during the campaign, though whether it was carved from gold or inked upon the flayed skin of his Mexican former gardeners, we may never know. Lack of dickishness was never Romney's problem. Except in John Bolton's mind, apparently, the only place in the world "insufficient dick action" can appear as a phrase outside test screenings of hardcore gay porn.
This is the man George W Bush thought best qualified to talk to the rest of the world. A man so scabrous and vile-hearted he thinks Mitt Romney pulled his punches too much whilst acting the asshole. There are occasions when the only sensible thing to do is marvel that any of us are still alive.