Max Boot and Eliot Cohen: Intellectually and Morally Bankrupt

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 December 21, 2017|
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The unbounded corruption of our foreign policy establishment was on full display this week in an interview two dedicated NeverTrumpers, Max Boot and Eliot A. Cohen, gave to Politico Magazine.

In a rambling, embarrassing, and hysterical display, they demonstrate exactly why the American people rejected their so-called expertise in favor of Donald Trump. The dismissal of their self-professed wisdom and accumulated experience in making a mess on the world stage has clearly left them in a psychologically precarious state. In the interview, each tries to outdo the other in knee-jerk stridency and the ad hominem nature of the insults they level at the president and his voters—a galaxy-sized irony completely missed by Messrs. Boot and Cohen, who claim to be principled men of decency appalled by our vulgar president.

Eliot A. Cohen

Cohen says Trump is “a narcissist, “lacks empathy,” and “has an adolescent male fascination with the military.” Not wanting to be outdone, Boot has a phalanx of slurs at the ready: Trump’s “very ignorant” and “kowtows to dictators and undermines American support for freedom and democracy around the world.” He’s “a bully” and “likes to beat up on people who are weaker than him.”

Boot rehashes the baseless and well-worn charge of “tyrant” and claims that “Trump, as a personality type, is probably not that different from a Mussolini, a Peron, a Chavez. And if you were operating in Argentina or Italy, he would probably be a dictator by now.” Boot’s cheap invocation of Theodor Adorno’s discredited authoritarian personality theory—which Adorno invented to show that anyone who leaned right was a Mussolini in waiting—frames his complete denial of reality.

On policy after policy, Trump has gone out of his way to defer to Congress—perhaps even sometimes to his detriment. From healthcare to taxes, he has given Congress free rein to enact the wishes of Republican leadership. And as the travel ban makes its way through the federal court system, Trump has abided by each and every decision the courts have meted out—no matter if he agrees with the ruling or not. He has honored the constitutional principle of the separation of powers more than any president since Ronald Reagan.

Domestically, Boot declares that Trump is “undermining the rule of law. He’s actively obstructing justice. He’s backing—he’s lending the support of the presidency to monsters like Roy Moore. He is exacerbating race relations. He is engaging in the most blatant xenophobia, racism, and general bigotry that we have seen from the White House.”

Apparently, pointing out that citizens and their property in our inner cities need to be protected from rising violent crime is abominable—though curiously, it seems not to have troubled him when the Bushes did it. Boot explains later that by “actively obstructing justice” he means that Trump is “undermining Robert Mueller and his special counsel investigation.” No, Mueller’s team is undermining their own scandal-plagued investigation just fine by themselves—they don’t need any help from Trump. It wasn’t Trump who likely illegally obtained emails from the transition team. And it wasn’t Trump who demoted Peter Strzok, a rabidly anti-Trump top agent at the FBI, but then didn’t tell Congress until months later.

Boot’s rhetoric would fit right in at the editorial meetings at Salon. Parroting DNC talking points and hoping for Republicans to get crushed in 2018 (Boot says that he is “actively rooting for Republicans to lose the congressional elections next year”) is what True Conservatism™ has come to mean, it seems. Evan McMullin, eat your heart out.

Max Boot

We know of Boot’s and Cohen’s jealous hatred of Trump. What do they think about those who serve in his administration, such as respected generals James Mattis, John Kelly, and H.R. McMaster? Boot claims that “they’ve probably felt compelled” to “lie” on Trump’s behalf. Cohen, one-upping Boot on the insults, appallingly likens these decorated and honorable men to “senior civil servants during the Vichy period in France”—you know, the French government during World War II that collaborated with the Nazis and helped to ship Jews to concentration camps like Auschwitz. For radical NeverTrumpers like Cohen and Bill Kristol, comparing those they disagree with to Nazis is just who they are.

Hilariously, Boot and Cohen pine for “real conservatives” like Jeb Bush, the “leadership” of “Jeff Flake and John Kasich,” and politicians like Emmanuel Macron, France’s “centrist” technocrat president. Yes, Jeff Flake, whose principles led him to give money to the radical pro-abortion candidate Doug Jones and exclaim that “decency wins” after Jones beat Roy Moore. This should destroy whatever shred of intellectual and moral authority Boot and Cohen have left.

The careers of Max Boot and Eliot Cohen are prime examples of the bankruptcy of our bipartisan neoconservative foreign policy establishment, which has overseen nothing but disaster and defeat for the U.S. on a global scale. Their policies helped set the Middle East ablaze by constant interventions (Boot has argued for intervening in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen—and that’s just for starters) and ramped up potential hostilities with North Korea, China, and Russia.

But they have the gall to claim that Trump will stumble into starting an “accidental” and “unnecessary” war with North Korea. This is from the same men who ask not whether we should invade countries but which ones we should invade next. Their record of advocating for endless war has created enemies, emboldened existing ones, hurt our allies as we involve ourselves in their internal affairs, and has made the world far less safe. Cohen was one of the chief architects of the Iraq War, one of the greatest military blunders of our time (and a war Boot has said he will not apologize for supporting, even in hindsight). Yet Cohen has the nerve to say that the Trump administration is “increasingly detached from reality.”

Boot, Cohen, and their globalist pals demonstrate that the real danger to our country comes from the dangerous groupthink that has captured our foreign policy elites. Their inability to come to grips with their failures and their lashing out at anyone who questions their dismal record shows that they should not have influence on U.S. foreign policy ever again.

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About the Author:

Mike Sabo
Mike Sabo is a Mt. Vernon Fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a recent graduate of the Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College. He and his wife live in Alexandria, Virginia.


  1. SmartProf December 21, 2017 at 11:56 am

    This article makes mincemeat of Boot and Cohen.
    My only problem with it is that Boot and Cohen aren’t worth the dissection. They shulod be laughed at, not refuted.
    Consider the following:
    Max Boot
    Following Trump’s win in the Indiana primary, Boot wrote “The Republican Party is Dead…. Trump will lose by a landslide.” (LAT, May 8, 2016)
    Can anyone have been more wrong?
    As to Eliot Cohen (an adviser to Marco “Can’t win his home state” Rubio), in the same week he wrote that the Trump nomination will produce “a national revulsion for the GOP candidate.” (May 4, 2016), and that by nominating Trump, the GOP would “lose its soul.”
    If I was as consistently wrong as Boot and Cohen are, I’d be too embarrassed to be seen in public.

    • E. +Goldstein December 22, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      Boot and Cohen by their words and actions show how deranged and disengaged from reality they are. What should frighten every American is how influential they and their fellow Never Trump elite have been. It is a wonder that these people have not blundered us into worse messes than Iraq and Afghanistan.

      • SmartProf December 23, 2017 at 6:45 am

        Boot and Cohen are laughable.
        They have to be taken into account ONLY because they have big microphones via the MSM.

  2. Doctor Bass Monkey December 21, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Boot’s and Cohen’s combination of ignorance and arrogance is toxic. Pompous jackasses, both.

    • Panope Vreeland December 21, 2017 at 10:50 pm

      They’re exposed incompetents with no where to retreat to.

      • SaguaroJack49 December 22, 2017 at 5:17 pm

        They’re exposed neocons, along with Podhoretz and Crowd, who are too sensitive for us boorish outlanders.

  3. Brett baker December 21, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Max Boot’s family left Russia when he was little. I think he wants war with Russia since if his family hadn’t felt compelled to leave, he would have grown up to be an oligarch.

  4. BanBait December 21, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Wow. Those are some seriously embarrassing quotes. I would submit that their influence has been hopelessly compromised and that they will find their welcome on the left to be quite transient. Hello, Megyn Kelly.

  5. Deez Nuts December 21, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Those two clowns need to just come out as lefties already, they spew the same trash from their mouths.

  6. Bad Wolf December 21, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Boot and Cohen are idiots. Part of an outmoded NeoCon/Globalist mentality that is rusting away in the ash heap of history.

  7. Marshall Gill December 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Max Boot was a cool movie. Those submarines sure were small.

    • Jose Alverez December 22, 2017 at 3:20 pm


  8. TooTall7 December 21, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Both Boot and Cohen should have been strung up years ago. That Politico actually expects to get mileage out of the like shows just how desperate the “resistance” is to get rid of Trump. It also demonstrates just how right Trump IS on foreign policy. These masters of the universe were about to leave the world a smoking shambles while sticking us with the bill. Thankfully someone came along and stole the game.

  9. Mountainson52 December 21, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Never, ever trust a Zionist.

    • LoneVoice1 December 23, 2017 at 6:35 am

      So you mean we shouldn’t trust Trump who just declared Jerusalem the Capitol of Israel?
      Never trust a Jew hater.

    • Marshall Gill December 26, 2017 at 5:56 am

      Interesting. I always say “Never, ever trust a worshiper of the illiterate pedophile priest, Mohammaed” Of course, in my defense the vile rag head is commanded by his woman hating death cult to lie to unbelievers. So a “good” Mohammadean IS a liar.

  10. Panope Vreeland December 21, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    To the article I say, “Amen.”

  11. conservative_302 December 22, 2017 at 4:53 am

    Globalization and dismantling America is out. Nationalism and rebuilding America is in. They lost. They are obsolete. They can peddle their idiot ideas in another country like Venezuela. MAGA!

  12. John Williams December 22, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Well, the good news is that there can’t be a lot of Boot & Cohen types in the world (on the right). Their unhinged, irrational hatred of Trump, I hope, will see them convert to the lunatic lefties they emulate.

  13. PackRatFan December 22, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    People like Boot and Cohen make it all too obvious based on their content that the political scene has left them in the dust of history and so they struggle to remain relevant so they can continue to make an easy buck! All they have left is Trump attacks which the lame-stream-media is always happy to oblige but unfortunately it exposes them for the counterfeits that they truly are!

  14. acidulous December 22, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Both no doubt crypto Bolsheviks whose globalist (international socialist) dreams evaporated with Trump. Most neocons are wolves in sheep’s clothing, closet left wingers who attempted to destroy the meaning of the word “conservative” and replace it with their agenda. Screw the two of them.

  15. Rob Vance December 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    In an opinion piece for Foreign Policy, Max Boot outlines his views thusly: “I am socially liberal: I am pro-LGBTQ rights, pro-abortion rights, pro-immigration. I am fiscally conservative: I think we need to reduce the deficit and get entitlement spending under control. I am pro-environment: I think that climate change is a major threat that we need to address. I am pro-free trade: I think we should be concluding new trade treaties rather than pulling out of old ones. I am strong on defense: I think we need to beef up our military to cope with multiple enemies. And I am very much in favor of America acting as a world leader”

    Sounds like he’s a DemonRAT to me, with that agenda. Open borders globalist baby murdering gaia worshiper that he is.

    • Chiral December 22, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      he left out being pro-grammed…

  16. SaguaroJack49 December 22, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    I used to like Max Boot, not least because of his name.

    Max, you just got the boot.

  17. Grider December 22, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Ma Boot is a despicable guy. Called Tucker Carlson a Putin tool. Cheer leaded for the Iraq War, but did not sign up–he was only 31 at the time. Supported Hillary. Totally deranged.

  18. Chiral December 22, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    I never really paid them any attention…for that I am now quite thankful. Great expose’….

  19. roastytoasty December 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Here is a picture of what I would like to see happen to a lot of people who are cut from the same cloth as Boot & Cohen:

    • Landslide Hillary December 22, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Very nice

  20. Dean December 23, 2017 at 8:17 am

    They have made a career out of being wrong all the time.

  21. Ridonkulous101 December 23, 2017 at 11:25 am

    The Darkness, and those who dwell therein, have only one true enemy. May the Light of Truth continue to shine and the Freedom it brings continue to ring throughout our nation forever.


  22. Beauceron December 26, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Max Boot’s one of those people who, decades ago, I used to admire.
    I thought he made a lot of sense. But you can’t help sort of keeping score with pundits and their prognostications. After a while, a pundit can be wrong so many times that you just reel away from them in a mixture of disgust and horror. I’m can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone listens to the guy anymore.

Comments are closed.