Me, Joe, and the Worst Phone Call in the World

Plus, why voters still care about character.

Leading The Bulwark…

Me, Joe, and the Worst Phone Call in the World

Tom Hixon: The link between empathy and leadership.

🎧On the Pods…🎧

Will Saletan on Why Character Matters After All

On today’s Bulwark podcast, Will Saletan joins Charlie Sykes to discuss the last days of the 2020 campaign, why the character of politicians really does matter to voters, and the future of the GOP.

Not My Party

Tim Miller’s Snapchat show pregames The Big Dance.


The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood: Shannon Moore, the Director of Field Marketing at Allied Global Marketing’s Washington, DC office, on Movie PR in the Age of COVID.

From The Bulwark Aggregator…

In Today’s Bulwark…

The Conservative Case for Biden’s Foreign Policy

Shay Khatiri: Biden’s vision for America’s role in the world is broadly the same one that won the Cold War and made America a global superpower.

Trump’s Attack on the Civil Service System

Frederick E. Hoxie and Dennis Aftergut: He wants a government of loyalists, not experts.

The Keenly Felt Loss of Local Newspapers

Andy Smarick: When these vital community institutions disappear, there’s a lot that goes with them.

The Pro-life Case Against Trump

Michael Stokes Paulsen: Deals with the Devil don't ever turn out well.


Would Sen. Heinz recognize this party? Former Heinz aide Tom Nichols says no.

What he thinks is more likely is that a Trump defeat will herald the collapse of the GOP as “an electoral force until the national committee and state committees are taken over by sane people.”

One can hope. But I’m not optimistic that the RNC, where I once worked, and the state parties, are going to be quick to change. Victimhood and conspiracy is the name of the game for today’s GOP.

Which is a salient point made by Ryan Cooper in The Week:

Even if Trump loses badly, what would be more appealing to conservatives, do you think — a hard reckoning with their gargantuan failures that have laid waste to this country, or driving themselves even more crazy with more paranoid delusions that they're the real victims?

I think we know the answer to this after four years of Trumpism. There isn’t much daylight between Ronna Romney McDaniel and Lauren Boebert.

Is Rob Manfred bad for baseball? Would I like a free trip to Paris? I tried to ask Manfred, at the National Press Club a few years back about all of his stupid rule changes to speed up the game. How, I wanted to know, were those consistent with the changes to ballparks that make them experiential? Shouldn’t you want the game to go on at regular length so owners could reap more food and drink sales from their newly redesigned ballparks? The moderator only took an aspect from my written question (as a member) and Manfred dodged it.

The sooner the MLB is done with Manfred, the better.

The McCloskeys might be in even more legal trouble. Missouri’s bad governor has already promised to pardon the gun-toting trial lawyers, but even a pardon can’t save you from certain civil actions. And using copyrighted material without permission might just fit the bill.

QAnon Is Supposed to Be All About Protecting Kids… So why is its “primary enabler” a guy who appears to have hosted domains with child pornography? Mother Jones has more on Jim Watkins.

This should be interesting... Jerry Falwell, Jr. has sued Liberty University for defamation.

Oh the Texas GOP got complacent, you say? Rick Perry is *this close* to getting it. What was your first hint? That Beto even had a chance against Ted Cruz, that Ted Cruz now cares more about being a pundit than a Senator, Dan Crenshaw also is basically a Congressman moonlighting as a Turning Point USA activist, or that now Allen West is running the state party with Q-Anon adjacent messaging?

Or maybe it was, in part, their Republican Governor, who, when running for President, forgot the last of which of the three federal agencies he’d eliminate to shrink government. Only to accept an appointment to lead said agency by Donald Trump after losing the primary.

Maybe, just maybe, the GOP is broken by Trumpism.

Scammers took the Wisconsin GOP for a few million. Thankfully, no sensitive information appears to have been stolen, but the WI GOP is $2.3 million poorer after falling for this clever scam. It’s unclear that, given the nature of the scam, they’ll be able to get that money back.

Is this bad? Foreign Policy reports: Wilbur Ross Remained on Chinese Joint Venture Board While Running U.S.-China Trade War. It’s not that this administration cares about ethics or the law, they obviously do not, but that they’d be this brazen about it is something else.

Revisiting 2016’s “October Surprise.” Time is a flat circle and while everyone, except perhaps Sen. Kelly Loeffler is aware of the Access Hollywood tape, it’s worth revisiting how vile the actual audio is.

Comedienne Sarah Cooper, who is known for her mimicked impressions of Trump insanity, has a show on Netflix and I wasn’t sure what to think of it.

But I thought this was very effective because it drew out the rest of the scene that, let’s be honest, 31,576 Trump train wreck news cycles washed from my mind.

But remember, Trump is really going to win over those suburban moms in these waning days.

Well, that’s it for me today, look forward to seeing Bulwark+ members later tonight with JVL and David Byler. If you haven’t joined yet, you can sign up as a member here:

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Questions, comments, concerns? Drop me a line: And if you have any pressing questions for David Byler, do send them my way!