Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Battle of the Roe Narratives
CATHY YOUNG: Dispatches From the Roe Wars
JVL: The Republican Party Is What Republican Voters Want It To Be 🔐
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
AMANDA CARPENTER: Herschel Walker’s Winning Campaign in One Easy Trick.
Short of some unforeseen implosion, Herschel Walker is going to handily win the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat from Georgia now held by Raphael Warnock. And Walker will do it by running the easiest campaign ever.
Debates? Skip ’em. Sit down with reporters and be grilled on policy? Nah. See, Herschel Walker doesn’t make campaign stops so much as he makes appearances, speaks to fans, and poses for photos.
Welcome to the life of a celebrity candidate.
If abortion is really murder, there are no exceptions — that eventually will impact contraceptives and lead to women being held legally responsible. Meanwhile, protesting at justices’ homes plays directly into the right’s hands. Will Saletan is back for Charlie and Will Monday.
Sarah has Covid, so we’re doing something a little different this week. Rather than bring on a guest and combine analysis with clips from focus groups, we’re giving you an hour of unfiltered audio from North Carolina and Alabama Trump voters.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
JAMES C. CAPRETTA: Is Biden a Deficit Hawk?
As part of a messaging makeover, President Biden now regularly touts his administration’s fiscal record. In particular, he notes that the federal budget deficit is expected to fall dramatically in 2022 compared to 2021—$1.5 trillion, according to administration estimates. His 2023 budget plan also highlights the deficit cutting effects of his policies over the next decade.
This new rhetorical emphasis of fiscal restraint, instead of expansion, raises two questions. First, are the president’s claims true? Second, if they are, what, if anything, does that signify?
Before attempting some answers, it is useful to review the political context for the reworked talking points.
JEFF TIMMER: What Democrats Could Learn from One Michigan Race.
Last Tuesday night, while the eyes of America’s political observers were on Ohio—where Donald Trump confirmed his control of the GOP when his favored candidate, J.D. Vance, came from far behind to win the GOP nomination for retiring Rob Portman’s Senate seat—a story was unfolding in Michigan that may actually be kind of a BFD: A Democrat won a special election to fill a vacancy in the state legislature in a district in which Trump bested Joe Biden by a 28 percent margin in 2020. The race could provide a blueprint for how Democrats can be successful this election year.
Carol Glanville, a little-known Democrat, managed to garner 53 percent of the vote against a Trump Republican who emerged from a crowded GOP primary and a scrappy write-in candidate favored by the remaining vestiges of the fabled “Republican establishment” which has been diminished to such an extent that the candidate was playing a Ralph Nader-esque spoiler role in reverse, helping the Democrat across the finish line. And all this went down in a district where Trump beat Biden 64 to 36 percent in 2020.
Happy Monday! Hope you had a good weekend. And for you mothers out there, a good mother’s day.
Not all is well in Michigan…
What did Ted Cruz ever do for Trever Reed? Apparently, not much.
In Cleveland… A Jurassic Park house?
Let’s Go Blues! If you’re a hockey fan, this is some dirty work.
Matt Labash… On writing.
The baby formula problem? It’s getting worse.
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.