Our Long National Nightmare is Over

Plus, JVL is.... optimistic?

Leading The Bulwark…

An Inaugural Address for America’s Defining Moment

RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON: President Biden speaks of an American story “of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness.”

🎧 On the Pods… 🎧

Tim and Charlie say Goodbye to Trump

On today's Bulwark Podcast, Tim Miller joins Charlie Sykes to talk about the end of the Trump presidency, and the beginning of the GOP's great forgetting.

For Bulwark+ Members… 🔐

Turning the Page 🔒 🎧

It’s a very special episode today, with Amanda Carpenter sitting in for Tim while we talk about Biden’s future, the coming Republican civil war, and the politics of impeachment.

THE TRIAD: Joe Biden and the Case for Optimism 🔓

JONATHAN V. LAST on why it might get better.

MORNING SHOTS: Goodbye and Good Riddance 🔓

CHARLIE SYKES wonders: “As we watch the ex-president jet off to sulking exile, I started to think: what scrap of poetry, song, or literature will mark his deplorable reign? What words of inspiration will future generations associate with this strange man who was, for a season, our president?”

A REMINDER: We’re doing a livestream tonight at 9pm ET, and we’d love it if you joined us. But the livestream is only for members of Bulwark+.

If you’re just about to join us, the details will be sent out an hour before, and we’ll post an archived copy if you can’t make it live.

From The Bulwark Aggregator…

In Today’s Bulwark….

No, Trump’s Presidency Wasn’t Worth It

BRENT ORRELL: The terrible cost of the last four years—for the country and for the Republican party—far exceeds the value.

After Trump: A Time for Choosing

ERIC GENRICH: Trumpism won’t go away on its own. It will have to be actively repudiated.

Inauguration Day Is What’s Best About America

CRAIG BRUCE SMITH: A chance for affirming and renewing our belief in our founding principles.


Take a deep breath… The bad orange man is gone. I had woken up early to find out our dog made a little bit of a mess last night, but was happy to watch 45 make his way to Florida. Our Tim Miller woke up even earlier, as he’s on the west coast, to watch it, and joined us for the pod. Here’s what he had to say:

Speaking of crying… I teared up this morning as we were recording the pod for two reasons. The first was when Eugene Goodman, the USCP officer who saved the Senate, got to escort Kamala Harris to the platform. And that he was promoted.

Most Inaugural escorts (except the military) turn away at the last moment, as was the case with me in 2009 when I escorted the VPs. This was a high honor, and it was deserved.

The next was when my old boss, who is an old Senate hand, bumped elbows with George W. Bush. It’s a weird thing to know, but W knows her, and has given her a high five in each of the last Inaugurations until this one.

One of the reasons I got so mad (and still am mad) about the siege of the Capitol is because I know a lot of people who work there. Good people. Today made me smile and tear up a little (twin toddlers will do that to you) to see America healing.

Here is that image:

Drain the swamp?

So ronery…

The Cabinet could materialize more quickly than you think… Writing at R Street, James Wallner observes:

McConnell also lacks special powers when it comes to ending debate on presidential nominations. Senators could filibuster presidential nominations before 2013 and 2017, when Democrats and Republicans, respectively, used the nuclear option to circumvent the Senate’s rules permitting unlimited debate unless three-fifths of senators duly chosen and sworn, typically 60, vote to invoke cloture or to end debate on a nominee. Consequently, 51 senators can now schedule a final confirmation vote on Biden’s Cabinet picks over their colleagues’ objections. If McConnell tries to veto the president’s nominees by filibustering them, pro-nominee senators may use Rule XXII to overcome his obstruction by filing a cloture petition signed by 16 senators. As with the motion to proceed, any senator may file a cloture petition, and any senator can sign it.

On the way out of office… Trump gave extended secret service protection to his adult children.

Is this how rich people move? I guess, but I wouldn’t know. When I moved, I had to pack my own boxes.

In Lieu of Fun… If you can’t make tonight’s livestream, or you’re wondering whether it’s worth it… Tune into Sarah and Tim on Benjamin Wittes’s show to get a taste.

Witless Ape Rides Helicopter. Kevin Williamson delivers.

That’s it for me for now. We’ll see you tonight. If you’re not yet a member of Bulwark+, you can join right now. Details are in this email for members, but will also be sent again at 8pm ET.

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