If there’s a genre that’s worn out its welcome, it’s the self-hagiographical tell-all tome by some second-tier Trump administration hack who tries to leverage his track record of failure into a cash advance and some MSNBCNN hits fielding softballs from guys best known for punishing the primate on Zoom calls. How fitting. The latest example is Mark Esper, who would be the worst Secretary of Defense ever if not for the determined competition from the current one. I would not normally name this pompous tool’s ridiculous book, but his title is just too hysterically funny – “A Sacred Oath.” Yeah, he really named it that on purpose – pretentious, self-important, and so utterly DC that you need a heart of stone not to burst into laughter. I won’t link to oathboy’s book, though – instead I’ll link to my new book, which, in stark contrast, is based and will actually be read instead of stuck on a shelf next to the dusty musings of such comparable luminaries as Omarosa and Anonymous.
Even Donald Trump’s greatest defenders have to admit that the president’s personnel record was, well, mixed, veering from astonishingly insightful talent-spotting, as in the cases of National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and Ambassador Ric Grenell (Full Disclosure: Both are friends) to astonishing missteps like Rex Tillerson, John Bolton, and this Esper chump. Not surprisingly, according to journalists who have had their interns skim his upcoming book, Esper expends a lot of ammunition attacking both O’Brien and Grenell. They would be the guys who merely helped bring peace to the Middle East, solve the Kosovo-Serbia dispute, and get NATO to start carrying its weight – all of which have come in pretty handy lately. In contrast, Esper – who you will not be shocked to learn worked for Raytheon before coming to the Pentagon – is a historical footnote whose Wikipedia page spends a lot of time talking about how he was very focused on welcoming transgender troops. There’s a sign of seriousness. His legacy is decline and pronoun justice.
But that hasn’t stopped Esper from making the rounds of the regime journalists, who are only too happy to give the mic to a Trump turncoat for a few moments before relegating him back to his much-deserved obscurity. Here are some of his greatest hits – and what is hilarious is that he’s probably proud of them.
Esper claims he stopped Trump from putting a bunch of troops on the border to stop illegal aliens. Well, with several million illegals wandering north, putting a bunch of troops on the border to stop illegal aliens is sounding pretty good right about now.
Esper claims he stopped Trump from sending in troops to get serious and suppress the 2020 Democrat riots. Well, I was part of the Army response to the LA Riot and we ended that nonsense in three days. The 2020 rioting went on all summer. Great call, dude.
Esper claims he stopped Trump from helping the Mexican government fight the drug cartels by blowing up drug labs. Well, with 100,000 Americans dead from fentanyl a year, if we have to fight a foreign enemy maybe it should be the enemy next door that’s literally killing 100,000 Americans a year instead of the foreign policy establishment’s villain du jour over in Whogivesadamnistan.
Esper claims that he bravely opposed the idea of taking al-Baghdadi’s head, dipping it in pig’s blood, and marching it around to show the ISIS scuzzes the wages of sin because this was “a war crime.” Well, there is the whole problem about the Muslim mass murderer not being a lawful combatant and therefore not being covered by the Geneva Convention, but whatever. Why ruin a good anecdote where he thinks he’s the hero with, you know, facts?
Esper wanted to keep lots of forces in Germany, perhaps as a reward for the Germans’ wunderbar contributions to NATO, instead of positioning our forces forward in allied countries actually threatened by Russia. While O’Brien and Grenell demanded the krauts pay their fair share, Esper was firmly with those who wanted Uncle Sucker to keep footing the bill for the free-riding strudel-munchers.
The guy has the instincts of George Costanza; if he just did the opposite of what his gut told him he would have been amazing. But no. Instead, he was widely considered, both by other officials and defense contractors, to be totally incompetent. Esper was laughed at by most of the rest of the administration and was often cut out of the decision-making process. A deeply superficial Deep Stater, when he did participate it was to get in the way. Hilariously, he takes credit for deploying Navy hospital ships to our cities during the COVID panic, but my sources tell me he initially opposed that. And he also slow-walked Javelins to Ukraine, using military resources against the cartels, and interfered with hostage rescue missions. He helped block the 350-ship Navy, for which China should give him a medal. Trump wanted all this but Esper got in the way.
It says something about you that you’re Never Trump and yet you feign loyalty to get a political position, then used it to try to obstruct the man America actually elected. So much for Our Democracy.
These guys are all the same, towering mediocrities who nonetheless lack humility despite having so much to be humble about. I will give Esper some credit – while he’s as useless a liberal rump-sniff as any Lincoln Project goblin, at least he’s allowed within a quarter mile of a school. Sadly though, if his disgraceful tenure at the Pentagon is any indicator, he would use that access to inject CRT, pronoun stupidity, and the other shibboleths of modern progressivism into the classroom just as he let it infect our military under his alleged leadership. Our armed forces were measurably worse when he finally left his position – there’s his tribute, a military that can’t win a war and can’t tell which bathroom to use.
Esper told the New York Times, in fractured English designed to please his fellow Never Trump failures, that the President was “an unprincipled person who, given his self-interest, should not be in the position of public service.” Of course, this did not cause Esper to resign like anyone with integrity “in the position of public service” (sic) would have if he found his boss actually was “an unprincipled person who, given his self-interest, should not be in the position of public service.” No, Esper hung onto his sinecure until he got fired – by a tweet.
Perfect – a suitably frivolous end to the career of a frivolous hack. Esper was so bad that even as an ex-Sec Def he has not managed to get a big, cushy job. The guy can’t even grift right.
But there’s a bigger lesson here than that one particular nobody sucks – though he certainly does suck. The next GOP president, be it Trump 2.0 or Ron DeSantis or whoever, needs to hire slowly and fire quickly. There are herds of these Vindman-esque bureaucrats grazing in Washington, all eager to get into positions of influence and push their own agenda, not ours. We have to stop that. We can’t afford to let the next administration’s agenda be side-tracked by bad personnel choices. The next GOP nominee needs to make his cabinet picks known in advance, so we can vet them, and then the first one who steps out of line needs to get the figurative al-Baghdadi treatment to encourage the others. We need to Schiff-can the hacks and strivers so fast that they don’t even have time to gather enough stories to write a book.
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