America Needs More Legislators Like Rusty Bowers.
Plus, The Internet of (Demonic) Things.
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New from Me: America Needs More Legislators Like Rusty Bowers. (Even if he’d still vote for Trump.)
It is hard to fathom not being moved by the testimony given before the House January 6th Committee this week by Russell “Rusty” Bowers, the Republican who has been speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives since 2019. Bowers explained in detail the efforts by then-President Donald Trump and his team to pressure him to support the false claims and conspiracy theories that Trump was the rightful winner of the 2020 election in their state and ultimately in the whole country.
Bowers testified that Trump not only lied about a phone call with him, falsely claiming that Bowers agreed with his Big Lie about the stolen election, but also that Trump ratcheted up the pressure on state legislative leaders to hold hearings about the election—and even to vote to toss out Arizona’s Biden electors and replace them with a new slate of Trump electors.
Bowers would have none of it.
Ron Johnson has no good explanation for why his staff tried to hand fake electors to Pence. Plus, the Jan 6 hearings’ trickle down effect on Trump’s standing, racial prejudice in today’s conservatism, and Dem candidates decoupling from Biden. Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes today.
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On this week’s episode, The Ankler’s Richard Rushfield returns to talk tumult at Disney, what Hollywood might be looking for in a studio head, and how the town is feeling about Netflix. If you enjoyed the episode, share it with a friend!
ADDISON DEL MASTRO: The Internet of (Demonic) Things.
When the subject of the internet arises, I like to use a line that contrasts it with another part of our inheritance from the national security state: “The most dangerous invention of the twentieth century was not the atom bomb, but the internet.”
I’m not serious, but I’m also not joking. I suspect I mean it in the same way that Sam Kriss means it when he writes, “the internet is made of demons.” (Hat tip to Jonathan V. Last for recently highlighting this piece in his Bulwark newsletter.)
“This theory is—probably—a joke,” writes Kriss. “It is not a serious analysis.”
“But still,” he goes on, “there’s something there.”
(If you love Del Mastro’s writing, as I do, check out his great Substack.)
Join us tonight!
Retired Lieutenant Gen. Mark Hertling will join Ben Parker, and Bill Kristol for a briefing on the war in Ukraine. Join now and chat with fellow Bulwark+ members on Zoom at 8:00 p.m. ET during this exclusive livestream.
Happy Thursday! I hope you’ll tune into TNB tonight, as we hear from Mark Hertling about the war in Ukraine and what he saw there recently. Don’t miss it!
ICYMI: The 1/6 Committee’s hearing today on Trump’s pressure on DOJ. Line of the day came from Richard Donoghue, said to Jeffrey Clark, whose house was raided by the FBI earlier today: “How about you go back to your office, and we’ll call you when there’s an oil spill.”
The January 6th Hearings are working… Argues our friend Molly Jong-Fast at The Atlantic.
The DOJ is ratcheting up is investigation of would-be election stealers…
Fireflies… Matt Labash on “How a bug with the Light of God in its ass can illuminate your darkness.”
God, Guns, and Republicans… Peter Manseau argues at the NYT: “For many American Christians, Jesus, guns and the Constitution are stitched together as durably as a Kevlar vest.”
The anti-CRT wipeout. In Georgia, white parents chased a black pro-CRT educator out of town. And then, they followed her to her next job. But when they ran for office on the 1776 project platform? They all lost.
Not great, Bob! Remember Andrew Gillum, the guy who almost beat Ron DeSantis? Seems like ages ago, right? Well, it seems that Gillum did Florida dems a disservice by running, because it appears he lied to the FBI and then ran anyway.
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