Bruce Castor: The Disaster Artist

What the heck did we just watch?

Leading The Bulwark…

Bruce Castor: The Disaster Artist

TIM MILLER: Explaining what just happened. And why.

🎧 On the Pods… 🎧

James Glassman on Why We Need a Third Party

On today’s Bulwark podcast, James Glassman joins Charlie Sykes to discuss why we need a center-oriented third party.

For Bulwark+ Members… 🔐

MORNING SHOTS: Enemies of Democracy 🔐

CHARLIE SYKES on why the Constitutional Order Is On Trial

THE TRIAD: Are You Long or Short on America? 🔓

JONATHAN V. LAST on what impeachment means for our future.

ACROSS THE MOVIE AISLE: On a Sad, Sad Super Bowl 🔐

On this week’s special bonus edition of Across the Movie Aisle, Sonny, Alyssa, and Peter talk about how sad the Super Bowl made them.

ACROSS THE MOVIE AISLE: Trump v. SAG: Who Ya Got? Plus: 'Malcolm & Marie,' Reviewed! 🔓

On this episode of Across the Movie Aisle, Sonny Bunch (The Bulwark), Alyssa Rosenberg (The Washington Post), and Peter Suderman (Reason) get into the day’s two most pressing rivalries.

From The Bulwark Aggregator…

In Today’s Bulwark…

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.


Triplet time! Let’s start today with some good stuff. Triplet toddlers excited for their bottles ready for a good meal. As a father of twins, I am envious.

I wasn’t able to catch all of the impeachment trial today. But a few observations from what I observed:

  • Democrats upped their game.

  • Trump is not well represented.

Still, I think, deep down, Trump could hire Lionel Hutz from The Simpsons and still not get barred from holding future office.

Bulwark+ members saw the chart JVL shared earlier, and I think that’s right. We know who is likely to do the right thing, and then there’s this gulf of near-zero odds until you get to the requisite 17 votes. But even then, the odds are not high. That’s a risky bet.

Speaking of odds… JVL went on my buddy Alex Keeney’s podcast, and you need to listen to it. It’s fantastic. And you also all need to understand that JVL and his innate story telling ability is James Spader-esque, but 20 years younger. And the laugh? Come on. Tell me I am wrong.

Keeney is a former hill staffer turned Hollywood writer who now bets on politics on the side. He and I were in the same delegation. He’s good people. Check out his website, Star Spangled Gamblers. I went on his show last year, and it’s great.

Let’s not get optimistic here… But holy shit, a Republican who, heretofore, has carried water for Trump is hinting… he’ll do the right thing?

Roll tape:

Let’s see if he does it. Green shoots? We’ll see.

How do we do this? A few of you who read my newsletter ask me how you can work at “deprogramming” people you love who have fallen in with literal insanity. I always write back with a version of: I don’t know how to help you. Every case is different. Whether or not a sibling, parent, or close friends wants to have that conversation is not something you or I can know. But people smarter than I are on the case.

My advice is:

  • Always listen until the end

  • Don’t interrupt

  • Don’t condescend.

I often don’t follow those rules, so I know they’re good rules. JVL’s newsletter was a little dark today, and I’m going to follow him here. (Sorry.)

Here is the sad reality. People don’t often “win” arguments on the internet. They just don’t. Whether it’s with your crazy aunt, a groomsman from your wedding, your dad, your sister, or your childhood best friend. That isn’t any of the way this works.

People rarely win arguments on the internet, full stop. Even if they win on the merits. It could be an NBA Jam-style posterizing Boomshakalaka dunk.


Nobody likes admitting losing or being wrong. Which makes sense.

So, what’s the best way to proceed?

  • Listen

  • Respond

  • Be respectful

  • Give them good information

Really, that’s all you can do. And not everyone wants to do that. Does that make them uncivil? No. Not at all. Everyone has a line. And the relationships between person X and person Y vary. The closeness of that relationship, the distance of the deviation from reality. Your milage my vary.

Sometimes you have to write somebody off as a friend. Sometimes they’ll do it to you without your knowledge. Maybe you just grow apart and don’t talk. But, the most important thing to consider is: are you making a conscious choice to destroy a relationship?

Doing that forecloses any opportunity to ever influence them ever again. It’d be nice if the world works in a way where your friend read a Bulwark item and writes you saying “this changed my mind!” But the world rarely works that way.

Be kind.

RIP Marty Schottenheimer… One of the best Cleveland Browns coaches ever.

Perhaps the President should have hired this lawyer…

Well, that’s it for me for today. Hope you’re enjoying (?) Impeachment 2.0 as much as I am. Questions, comments, concerns, thoughts? You know how to reach me:

Remember, while we have Bulwark+, which you should join (and thanks to our many members!)…

You can also give the gift of Bulwark+ membership if you’re already a member. Somebody you know might love it.

Give a gift membership