A Muted Case for Optimism

Is it possible JVL is wrong?

Leading The Bulwark…

A Muted Case for Optimism

WILLIAM KRISTOL: Is it possible JVL is wrong?


🎧 On the Pods… 🎧

Bill Kristol on Impeachment and a Biden Report Card

On today's Bulwark Podcast, Bill Kristol joins host Charlie Sykes to talk about Donald Trump's second impeachment, the future of the GOP, and a report card for President Biden in his first weeks in office.


For Bulwark+ Members… 🔐

MORNING SHOTS: The GOP's Jury Nullification 🔓

CHARLIE SYKES: Day One of Impeachment 2.0

THE TRIAD: What Does a "Good" Republican Look Like? 🔓

JONATHAN V. LAST: The party is rotten, through and through.

THE NEXT LEVEL: They Have No Shame 🔐

Sarah, Tim, and JVL are angry today.

From The Bulwark Aggregator…


ICYMI From Yesterday…

Bruce Castor: The Disaster Artist

TIM MILLER: Explaining what just happened. And why.

Hold Them All Accountable

SARAH LONGWELL: The people who stormed the Capitol are facing the music. It’s up to us to make sure that the people who incited them do, too.

Watch the House Managers’ Video Montage of the Attack on the Capitol

BENJAMIN PARKER: Today, in the first day of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, the Senate is hearing arguments from the House impeachment…

The Reforms We Need to Reinvigorate American Democracy

RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON: Expanding mail-in voting, ending partisan gerrymandering, restoring the Voting Rights Act, and other much-needed fixes.

Call. Witnesses.

KIMBERLY WEHLE: There was a crime. There is a trial. There should be witness testimony.


🚨OVERTIME 🚨

Before we get to the bad stuff… Let’s have some candy. Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, The New York Post’s Jonathan Levine reports, billed some strange charges to his campaign:

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), considered a viable GOP presidential candidate in 2024, charged a Halloween ransom in junk food to his Senate campaign in March 2020, after a family jaunt with his wife and two young boys to Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, FEC records show.

The $197 in charges included: $16.87 at Voodoo Doughnut, $8.83 at Seuss Popcorn, $15.63 at Lard Lad, $13.83 at Lagoon Popcorn, $31.38 at Hopping Pot, $30.41 at Bumblebee Taco, and $80.04 at Margaritaville.

The binge raised the eyebrows of campaign finance experts who said campaign funds are strictly prohibited for any personal use by the Federal Election Commission.

Before you go: ho hum, it’s not even $200. It’s the point. Ethics. And he’s not exactly known for being a paradigm of model behavior.

When I was a younger man… My mother gave me very good advice: “Nothing good happens after Midnight”, she said. Similarly, there’s that old saying that you should not say anything when you’re extremely angry that you might regret.

Today is one of those days. Watching the impeachment trial and the never-before-seen footage made me as angry as it did on January 6th. In fact, it made me even angrier.

What we saw today took me beyond my normally high level of blood pressure to, dare I say, The Next Level of anger. If you wanna see what I mean, you can see my tweets about it. I am not only mad, I am dropping F-Bombs out the wazoo.

I don’t need to share my anger here. And it’s unbridled rage. I will just say this, if you watch no other video from today’s very compelling argument from the House Dems, watch this one:

Just think about it for a second. Or watch the video of Mike Pence evacuating.

Eugene Goodman deserves all the awards. That’s all I’ll say here because I have other things to showcase and I try not to be a downer every day. (Though, that’s why JVL keeps me around.)

OK, let’s take our minds off the insurrectionists for a moment. A palate cleanser. This guy, Dr. Brian Skotko and I went to the same high school, and his work might make you want to cry for the good reasons.

For every a-hole kicking on doors protecting scared staffers in the Capitol doing their job, there are people out there doing good in the world.

MEANWHILE IN IMPEACHMENT… We’re getting reports that the Trump campaign paid millions of dollars to the people who organized the insurrection. Will that change the minds of any of the Senators, including the ones who got emotional watching the footage of today’s trial? We’ll see.

Do the right thing.

Extreme constituent dodge ball. In The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, friend of The Bulwark Lynn Schmidt writes:

I feel like I am the last player picked for the team. The game is called Extreme Constituent Dodgeball, and the team doing the choosing is the Republican Party.

Let’s just say that I represent the generic, college-educated suburban woman. Not all of us of course, but a majority. Ladies, I have some news for you: Republicans don’t want us on the team anymore. That’s not to say that I am ready to join the other team. Perhaps I’ll be content being a politically homeless conservative.

Here’s the roster of other players the Republican Party chose ahead of me:

See whom the GOP picked.

OK, this has helped my blood pressure return to a relatively healthy level… That, and parenting the twins and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse instead of videos of American traitors.

We’ll be back tomorrow, and if you want to write me, please do: swift@thebulwark.com.

And if you’re already a member (thank you!) you can give gift memberships to friends, family, and people who would appreciate what we do.

Give a gift membership

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