Should Trump Be Pardoned? Should He Be Prosecuted?

Plus, why Bill Barr will get to say "Merry Christmas" again to his family...

Leading The Bulwark…

Should Trump Be Pardoned? Should He Be Prosecuted?

PHILIP ROTNER: And what will happen if he pardons himself?

🎧 On the Pods… 🎧

Kim Wehle on the GOP's Assault on Voting Rights

On today’s Bulwark Podcast, Kim Wehle joins Charlie Sykes to discuss the long lasting effects of the GOP’s escalating assault on voting rights following Donald Trump’s loss to Joe Biden.

For Bulwark+ Members… 🔐

THE TRIAD: Exit the Spymaster

JONATHAN V. LAST: And a Trumpkin, Byron York, tries to find an exit.

SECRET PODCAST: Our Independence Day

Sarah and JVL celebrate the rare dual holiday: Vax Day and Electoral College Day. And yet, one of them is still cranky.

MORNING SHOTS: Trump Loses Again Today


As a culture, we have grown accustomed to lies, and are now in the midst of a tsunami of mendacities. Falsehoods have countless outlets, and the audience for conspiracy theories seems to be growing. A Venn diagram of election Truthers and vaccine Truthers will show considerable overlap, because what we have experienced is not simply a flood of untruth, but rather what Hannah Arendt calls the annihilation of truth.


CHARLIE SYKES on… “[A]s we have seen over the last 72 hours, we have not yet come close to exhausting that bottomless supply of crazy.Trump himself continues to rail against reality and demand loyalty.”

From The Bulwark Aggregator…

In Today’s Bulwark…

Fixing Job-Based Health Insurance

JAMES C. CAPRETTA: Here’s how the system can be retooled to control costs and put more money in workers’ pockets.

Biden’s Defense of Democracy Can Begin in Belarus

KENNEDY LEE AND SHAY KHATIRI: Isolating Europe’s last dictator and welcoming the opposition leader would send a strong message.

The Democrats’ Electoral Rubik’s Cube

RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON: Understanding the diverse coalition that Joe Biden must try to hold together.

How the Classics Can Calm Our Nerves

THOMAS CHIAPELAS: The first step to growth—and happiness—is humility.


Let’s talk about the Cleveland Indians… The Dolans announced today, after it was leaked over the weekend, that the team will change its name after 105 years.

As I’ve written here before, I understand why people think Chief Wahoo is offensive. But when you pair Chief Wahoo with the name Indians, it is hard to separate the two.

Put simply: You can’t pull the Dan Snyder routine, which he abandoned recently (Hello, Washington Football Team!), which is that whole thing was a matter of honoring Native Americans. The Indians never tried that. Our logo was offensive, theirs wasn’t. Their name was offensive, ours really wasn’t. But there was a marriage between the two franchises, and their polar relationships between names and logos.

I’m not going to get rid of my Indians gear, any of it. Between the Indians and the Browns, it inspired a love of sports that endures with me, and sadly, I will pass along to my children, loving doomed franchises that once were quite successful.

Here’s me with my first foul ball of my career at Municipal Stadium with my late grandfather.

It’s not that I’m especially #woke, I am not, but the Indians were telegraphing this change for a very long time. We all knew it was coming. Doesn’t mean everyone has to like it. Here’s the letter from the Dolan family announcing the changes.

My hope is that they just don’t pick an especially stupid name, like The Cleveland Spiders, which was their name before they became the Indians. I respect tradition, as that was our name before we were the Indians, but I consider it cursed. People will argue about whether the origin is really tied to Louis Sockalexis, if it’s political correctness, or anything that suits their needs to argue. It won’t change anything.

One thing is clear: A private company owns a franchise that is part of Rob Manfred’s evil empire, and they can call the team whatever the hell they want.

Here in Washington, the NBA franchise was named the Bullets, until they were renamed the Wizards. Perhaps the dumbest franchise rebranding in the last 50 years, except for the Seattle Kraken, but that’s not their fault. It’s Sidney Powell’s and the GOP’s.

If Cleveland picks a good name, I’ll absolutely stick with them. If it’s something stupid, I’m going to default to my NL team, the St. Louis Cardinals, where I went to school, and where my wife is from.

And, today, while I was reliving some memories, I had my #mind #blown when I found out that the Kansas City Royals, in the early 1990s had an extremely similar pregame jingle.

Here are three items I wrote about the Tribe, one for TWS, and one for BELT. (And another for TWS about Cleveland sports fandom.)

Do you want to see the future of the GOP?

I know, it’s not looking great.

Speaking of the future of the GOP. 2024 Presidential hopeful Josh Hawley of Missouri has some ideas, which are really, really bad ideas.

Matthew Sheffield on Eric Metaxas, emcee… This thread is all kinds of bonkers, but then again, there’s this:

Let’s face facts… The Trump kids grifted their way through the Trump presidency. But now, Hunter Biden? At Vogue, Molly Jong-Fast has thoughts:

But is Hunter Biden the presidential offspring we really need to worry about? How about those two grifters-in-chief, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner? Hunter Biden is no Boy Scout; that’s been well documented. But he had no official role in his father’s campaign, and he will not join his father’s administration in any capacity. Ivanka and Jared, on the other hand, work in the White House!

A state elections official challenged Trump… His reward? Death threats.

Why don’t conservatives understand Section 230? What you have to understand is that they do understand it, and they’re just demagoguing it for political gain in the most cynical way possible:

Another day, another op-ed that totally misrepresents Section 230. This one comes from USA Today, and is written by faux-conservative Rachel Bovard, who is doing this on purpose. Sometimes we see op-eds where it's clear the author is unfamiliar with how Section 230 works. Other times they are deliberately misrepresenting it. Bovard is in the latter category. She works for an organization, with dark money funding, that pretends to be for "transparency" about the tech industry -- which is hilarious since that organization's own funding is kept secret. The only known funding for that organization comes from Oracle, a company that has made it clear it wants to do away with Section 230 (despite the fact that it wants people to use its cloud services). Bovard has had many, many experts in Section 230 explain to her why she's misrepresenting the law. And she has never once changed her arguments, nor admitted to being wrong. She just keeps repeating the bullshit.

Muh principles.

Better late than never? A Michigan Republican Congressman who is retiring formally quit the GOP today.

Bye bye, Barr. AG Barr is going to be able to spend more time at home with his family, as he is retiring early. (No word yet about holiday parties at the Trump hotel!) The new acting AG will be Jeff Rosen.

That’s it for me for today, folks. If you have questions, concerns, comments, drop me a line: and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

Remember, if you’re not a member of Bulwark+ you can join right now!

But if you’re already a member (thank you!), and you’re looking for the perfect gift to give to somebody who might appreciate what we do, we have you covered. And you can even schedule it to take effect the day you exchange gifts, as not to ruin the surprise.

Give the Gift of Bulwark+