A Potty-Mouthed Legacy Journalist

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 April 14, 2017|
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The malignity is easy to read. “Oh, Mike Anton, I recognize your quotes and so will Jared,” tweeted the hard-line NeverTrumper John Podhoretz yesterday morning.

John is the scion of two extraordinarily gifted writers, Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter. They were liberals in the old-fashioned sense, and the intellectual founders of the neoconservative movement. Norman publicly endorsed Donald Trump as the preferred alternative to Hillary Clinton. “Many of the younger—they’re not so young anymore—neoconservatives have gone over to the Never Trump movement. And they are extremely angry with anybody who doesn’t share their view,” he told the Times of Israel.

John became one of those not-so-young men who were “extremely angry with anybody who doesn’t share their view.” So angry, in fact, that he all but endorsed the woman whose repellent values churned the stomachs of most Republicans, and not a few Democrats.

Podhoretz’s potty-mouthed tweets reek of malignity.

So angry, that he’s now trying to destroy the Trump presidency. So angry, that he’s trying to destroy even the life and livelihood of a brilliant young academic, Michael Anton. Anton’s a 47-year-old married man and father of two young children, who gave up a lucrative job in banking to join the Trump team. He’s also my friend. Long a Trump supporter, he now serves as the deputy assistant to the president for strategic communications on the National Security Council.

So why’s Podhoretz trying to destroy him by tweeting that he’s responsible for leaking anti-Jared Kushner information to The Washington Free Beacon? Hotair.com printed Podhoretz’s story in an article suggesting that Anton was part of a cabal trying to get Jared Kushner fired. As if that could happen.

It seems that the extremely angry not-so-young men see a battle for Trump’s soul unfolding in the Administration between the pro-Bannon and the pro-Kushner camps. They want a winner to emerge and they want the Kushner camp to win.

But that’s not how Trump operates. I know this for a fact as I was an informal and unpaid advisor to the Trump campaign in its early days, along with my husband, Frank Buckley. Trump would solicit viewpoints on a subject from a wide variety of people whose views spanned the spectrum of possible positions. From these divergent views Trump would craft his own speeches. They were always 100 percent Trump.

When Trump told the New York Post that he was his own strategist, he wasn’t dissing Bannon. He was stating a fact. He wants to hear from different voices, just as Ronald Reagan did with regard to the Soviet Union when he had two teams—one for and one against détente—advise him.

The New York Times correctly acknowledges that, as he has done throughout his career, “Mr. Trump plays advisers off one another, encouraging a sort of free-for-all competition for influence and ideas within his circle, so long as everyone demonstrates loyalty to him.” Trump has spoken dismissively of Jared’s recent Iraq trip and his newly-created office to overhaul the government. And he’s curtly told Bannon that his presence at certain meetings was unnecessary.

One doesn’t know in advance whose side Trump will take when all of the viewpoints have been considered. Jared wanted Trump to get involved in Syria. Bannon not. And Trump got involved. As the president, it’s Trump and only Trump who’s charged with making policy decisions. Everyone else must carry out what the president decides.

Unfortunately, what works for the president, doesn’t work for the extremely angry not-so-young men who get upset by “anyone who doesn’t share their view.” The people who don’t share the views of these angry old men must be drummed out of the Administration by any means possible. And that is why John Podhoretz has put a target on Michael Anton.

Anton is alleged to have leaked to The Washington Free Beacon, and Podhoretz’s tweet refers specifically to an article that yet again is covering the perceived “civil war” between Kushner and Bannon. Yet the article says that its anti-Kushner material comes from “sources both inside and outside the White House.” So what’s with fingering Anton as the person responsible for the anti-Jared comments? And after the article was published, a White House spokesperson told the Beacon that the article was inaccurate: “The NSC is running beautifully under the leadership of General McMaster who has installed an exceptional team to execute on behalf of the president.” This can’t sit very well with the not-so-young angry men of the right who want to destroy the Trump presidency if they cannot bend it to their will.

Podhoretz’s potty-mouthed tweets reek of malignity. They further no one’s interest but his own. He is the Chelsea Clinton of the conservative commentariat, a legacy figure devoid of interest save for his parents. I cannot imagine that his parents are very proud of him.

*A previous version of this article contained a typo in which the names of Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner were reversed, reading that Bannon supported the Syria bombing and Kushner did not.  We regret the error and have corrected it.

About the Author:

Esther Goldberg
Esther Goldberg is a lawyer living in Alexandra, Virginia.
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21 Comments

  1. Okeydoker April 14, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    podhoretz has always been an overrated dirtbag with nothing of value to add to any conversation. The fact that he is anti trump just adds to his irrelevance.

  2. Norbert Bourbaki April 14, 2017 at 6:52 pm
  3. George Dixon April 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Gee, and here I thought that “butthurt egocentricity” was solely a Democrat’s hallmark…
    RINO often?

    I heard Hillary needs a new hand-maiden, just sayin’

    • megapotamus April 14, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      Yep, Huma’s shopping a book deal, one that may be worth reading.

  4. acidulous April 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Add Bill Kristol to the list. Another dirtbag,

  5. acidulous April 14, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Add Bill Kristol to the list. Another ageing dirtbag.

    • megapotamus April 14, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      A NeverTrump of ancient vintage.

  6. AEJ April 14, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Podhoretz v. Anton… and the winner by a mile is Anton. Podhoretz is a fool.

    • m0r0 April 15, 2017 at 1:49 am

      Not Norman but John.

  7. megapotamus April 14, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Seems like these ‘neo-cons’ are spectacularly misnamed. They are pseudo-Libs, I would say. In other words, Progressives. And boy, do I hate those guys.

  8. PhySciTech April 14, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    What a dick! John Pottymouth is more like it!

  9. Whiskey Sam April 15, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Podhoretz fils has become a whiny know-it-all who throws petulant tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. Really embarrassing to see.

  10. Panope Vreeland April 15, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    JPod, three words close to your heart: Slurpee induced coma. Look into it. Relax. Let’s things just happen…

  11. Kenny A April 16, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    This chronicle of hole-and-corner intrigue is a very long way from the Thermopylaean rallying cries of Anton himself just a few months ago. From Wagnerian epic to Romper-Room bickering in so short a time – Sad!

    • Panope Vreeland April 16, 2017 at 11:29 pm

      If you know your history, which you pretend to, you’d know that after a great victory (such as the Nov. 8th vote) people tend to start manifesting more mundane human nature. See Roman Republic and Empire for starters…

  12. chris_zzz April 17, 2017 at 4:10 am

    Neocons are dangerous warmongers, plain and simple. They will not be happy unless the U.S. is in a perpetual state of war… come to think of it the U.S. has been in a perpetual state of war since a year after 9/11, so why are the neocons so so unhappy? Trump and whoever is prez after Trump (in 4 or 8 years) needs to steer clear of neocon influence. They want our sons and daughters to fight their senseless wars and us to pay for it all.

  13. CincyGal April 17, 2017 at 4:12 am

    Michael Anton, or Decius as his fervent admirers call him, is far beyond JohnPod’s slings and arrows. The Never Trumpers are irrelevant in the Age off Trump. Sadly, that includes Bill Kristol, whom I have always admired. But one must move on. And they haven’t.

  14. sotto voce April 17, 2017 at 4:34 am

    Maybe the extremely angry not-so-young men think they can win a war for Trump’s soul because they’ve sold their own so souls so cheaply. They can’t comprehend that the soul of the billionaire from Queens is not for sale.

  15. timcat April 17, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    These Liberals are such a bunch of sheep ! Notice how it is NOW the cool thing to cuss during an article or an interview ?
    The Libs think it makes them look angry and cool and really tough. Actually they look foolish and childish but it’s the flavor of the month for them !

  16. Sean April 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    “suggesting that Anton was part of a cabal trying to get Jared Kushner fired.”

    God, I hope so. Keep up the good work, Decius.

  17. Joel Mathis April 18, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Looks like the Enemies List is getting longer by the day!

Comments are closed.