Inside the Claremont Institute’s “79 Days to Inauguration” Report

How the Claremont Institute and TPPF wargamed the election.



What are those?

Those are launch codes.

What are they for?

Joshua's trying to find the right codes so he can launch the missiles himself.

War Games, as the 1983 movie taught us, can turn out to be a little more perilous if you have Joshua and the WOPR. But that’s artificial intelligence, a strange game we’re choosing to play.

These days, they’re still played largely by humans, as Christian Vanderbrouk highlights in today’s lead item (below.)

The Claremont Institute, however, describes some of their efforts in fundraising materials slightly differently than they do on their website.

Here’s a taste, it’s some bonkers stuff:

After very careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the “new” conservatism sucks.

Leading The Bulwark…

Notes on an Authoritarian Conspiracy: Inside the Claremont Institute’s “79 Days to Inauguration” Report

CHRISTIAN VANDERBROUK: Claremont’s post-election war game provides a window into the group’s ambitions.

And be sure to bookmark his thread about it, where some interesting additional context is added.

🎧 On the Pods… 🎧

David Jolly: Funding Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Democrats have to go all in on owning their victory on infrastructure. And Biden's "Yeah, he's not Donald Trump!" honeymoon is over. Former Congressman David Jolly joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.

For Bulwark+ Members… 🔐

THE TRIAD: You Have to Put Down These Concession Speeches with Strength 🔐


On election night, McAuliffe made a short speech in which he thanked his supporters. He did not concede the race, but neither did he make any claims or allusions to possibly having won.

The morning after the election, Terry McAuliffe conceded his defeat in the gracious and friendly language which has been the norm in American politics for all of our lifetimes: “Last night we came up short . . . congratulations to Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin on his victory. I hope Virginians will join me in wishing the best to him and his family.”

Nothing out of the ordinary for any moment in American politics pre-2016.

But it was out of the ordinary today. And not just for the people you would think.

Read the whole thing.

From The Bulwark Aggregator…

In Today’s Bulwark...

MORNING SHOTS: How The Right Gamed Out A Coup

CHARLIE SYKES on the fight over Big Bird is our dumbest yet.

DOJ Sues Texas Over Its New Voting Restrictions

KIMBERLY WEHLE: Here’s a look inside the lawsuit—and a look at the stakes.

Don’t Normalize Syria

BRIAN STEWART: Pretending barbarism like Assad’s is normal will help make it so.


Happy Monday! I hope your weekend was as good as mine was. We made knock-off Ollie Burgers and Ollie Fries. Don’t know what that is? I have you covered.

What would our dogs do without us? A theory.

America’s shipping crisis will continue. That’s what this longtime truck driver thinks, and he argues it’s the new normal.

The Canadian media barons. Turns out Canada has its own sort of version of Succession.

The art of the possibly real. Do you own a Warhol? Who is to say? I will say I own two Traficants… that is, two paintings disgraced Rep. Jim Traficant painted in prison… that, and a gel from The Brave Little Toaster comprise my relatively small art collection.

But this project, I must say, I do get a kick out of. It’s like owning an unscratched lottery ticket.

The Weirdness of Wayne LaPierre. Tim Mak, writing at Vanity Fair:

In the early 1990s, Wayne’s house was burglarized. The local police called NRA headquarters to inform him. Wayne wasn’t there at the time, so his staff took a message. When he arrived at the office, he was told to urgently call the police about the burglary at his home. “That’s funny,” Wayne said. “I was just there. I didn’t notice a thing.”

One joke told in NRA circles was that you would only be able to make eye contact with him if you lay on the floor while the two of you were talking. In social settings, the same scatterbrained Wayne would emerge. He would almost begin to automate his interactions in crowds: “Hi. I’m Wayne LaPierre,” he repeatedly told guests at one function, and continued this even when he came across his longtime associate Chris Cox, the head of the NRA’s lobbying arm. They had known each other since the ‘90s. “Hi. I’m Wayne LaPierre!” Wayne said. Cox responded in consternation, “Wayne, what are you talking about?”

Speaking of weird… How about this 1/6 insurrectionist who is accused of punching a cop seeking asylum in Belarus?

'Phony religious objections to vaccines will hurt us all’… I 100% agree with this item in the Post, as I spent the weekend considering why one of my former colleagues was posting a screenshot expressing sadness about having to seek an exemption, rather than having to disclose the reasons to their friends. Here’s the gist:

In a country with extraordinary religious diversity, we rightly have a strong preference for not questioning what people say their religious beliefs are, even if we might find them absurd. Those beliefs are extremely personal, and our tradition of religious freedom makes us recoil at the government being in a position of drawing lines between legitimate and illegitimate religious beliefs.

But there are limits, especially when people’s newfound “beliefs” put others at risk of illness or death.

The first part of the context here is that almost no organized religion says its adherents should refuse vaccines. Even Christian Scientists, who rely on prayer and refuse most medical treatment, are not opposed to vaccines. In an official statement, the denomination said its members “strive to cooperate with measures considered necessary by public health officials. We see this as a matter of basic Golden Rule ethics and New Testament love.”

And that’s why I am interested in more than a screenshot showing one’s sadness about being a federal employee and this mandate. If you’re confident in your faith and belief that you shouldn’t have to get the jab to keep your job, why not share the reasons?

Unless… It is a newfound belief.

Sarah Longwell on In Lieu of Fun with Ben Wittes. Tune in!

That’s it for me for today. We’ll see you back here tomorrow. Tech support questions? Email Questions for me? Drop me a line:


Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.