How the Freedom Caucus Hopes to Defund the Police
Plus, whatever Happened to the ‘Zeitenwende’?
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: What Comes Next On Abortion?
JVL: Leveraged Democracy: The Real Makers vs. Takers 🔐 and The Bulwark Community Is Real.
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
REP. DON BEYER: How the Freedom Caucus Hopes to Defund the Police.
Much of the country watched the opening of the 118th Congress descend into chaos earlier this month as Rep. Kevin McCarthy struggled to consolidate support for his bid to become speaker of the House. The once-in-a-century contestation of the speaker vote was even more dramatic from the vantage of those of us inside the room. We watched our colleagues nearly come to blows over whether a group of holdouts from the right-wing House Freedom Caucus would support McCarthy or force the elevation of another candidate.
But the tension inside the House chamber and the back-room deals outside it that helped advance the drama did not signal the opening act in this power play. That came much earlier, which might explain why it escaped the notice of most who tuned in for the week of roll calls in the House. Speaker McCarthy’s vote woes actually began last summer, when the Freedom Caucus quietly advanced a mechanism by which their most radical members now hope to defund both the federal investigations into Donald Trump and the law enforcement agencies conducting them.
WILLIAM KRISTOL: Whatever Happened to the ‘Zeitenwende’?
Jeffrey Gedmin and I had returned from Berlin a week before, and written an upbeat piece published here, “Toward a True Zeitenwende,” arguing that maybe a much-to-be-desired future had arrived or was arriving. We thought the signs pretty clear and the chances pretty good for a decisive pivot by Germany—and others—away from the complacency and timidity of the last two decades. We also thought the Biden administration was sufficiently invested in a true Zeitenwende—a turning point in policy—that it would go the last mile to make sure Germany came through by providing some Abrams tanks from our own stockpiles.
In other words, we wrote as if the Zeitenwende were clear and present, and its promise would be followed up by real action.
We were a bit too confident.
The pro-life movement, undaunted by the midterms, is pushing for more restrictions— and the political backlash will be severe. Plus, give Ukraine the tanks, and don’t invite Donald Trump to your funeral. Will Saletan’s back with Charlie Sykes for Charlie and Will Monday.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
Here’s Part 1 of the LA show, and Part 2 with Jon Favreau. You can tune in only if you’re a member of Bulwark+. If you’re not yet a member, check out a free preview here.
JILL LAWRENCE: What the ‘Weaponization’ Committee Is Really After.
The defeat of election deniers running for important statewide offices last fall suggested a nation edging away from seven years of Trumpism. But that trend will be tested in the next two years, with supercharged Republicans newly empowered to spout conspiracies, grievances, whataboutism, and lies from official, high-profile platforms.
The House Oversight Committee’s crammed investigations menu is perilous for President Joe Biden, from the Afghanistan withdrawal, the Southern border, and Hunter Biden’s activities to the recently discovered classified documents at Biden’s residences and a think tank once associated with him.
LINDA CHAVEZ: Biden’s New Immigration Plan Is Just a Band-Aid.
The Western Hemisphere is suffering the greatest migration crisis in its history, with some 18 million persons displaced from their homes, but the politicians who can do something to mitigate the crisis have been unable or unwilling to do so. The new GOP House leadership would rather keep the border crisis roiling through the 2024 elections than solve the problem, and Democrats are too divided and distracted to make the issue a priority. So, what can be done?
President Biden has few options but to act unilaterally—but doing so within the limits of his executive power is a challenge. The Supreme Court has, so far, punted on presidential authority to remove would-be asylum seekers under the emergency measure known as Title 42, meaning the policy requiring asylum seekers to await adjudication outside the United States remains in place.
Happy Monday! And thanks to those who came out to our west coast events! I’ve lived vicariously through the comments of attendees and hope to see you at a future event.
An interview with Tim Miller… A look behind the curtain.
When creators go independent… An interesting look at how individuals leave established brands to hang up their own shingle.
He’s running… Rep. Ruben Gallego’s debut ad challenging Senator Kyrsten Sinema is one of the better political ads I’ve seen.
“My dance with the AI devil…” Matt Labash interviews ChatGPT.
How soldiers let US nuclear secrets leak… With training flash cards online.
The Goonies house… A superfan fulfilled a lifelong dream and bought it.
The Dignity Index… It’s a great idea, but will it take off?
We don’t need no education… The promotion of the 50th Anniversary of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon brought out a lot of stupidity from people on social media.
Is Toyota making a mistake? Are they not being aggressive enough on EVs?
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email email@example.com. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.