I hadn’t given much thought to the Bolton business until prompted by a link my son sent to me this morning. But given Trump’s past pronouncements about foreign interventions and Bolton’s known hawkish views, it’s possible that the appointment of Bolton was a setup (by Trump) from the beginning:
First, hiring Bolton was a signal to Iran and North Korea of Trump’s seriousness — a way of getting their attention.
Second, bringing Bolton inside the tent meant that he couldn’t criticize Trump if Trump made “nice” with Iran and North Korea after his (usual) hard opening. Trump could play “good cop” to Bolton’s “bad cop”.
Third, when that ploy was no longer needed, Bolton became excess baggage. His firing means that his future criticisms of Trump’s foreign-policy actions will be taken as sour grapes. It also means that the left has been partially disarmed when it comes to criticizing Trump’s foreign-policy agenda.
I am becoming more and more convinced that Trump is a master strategist.