Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Protecting The Donald.
BGTH🎧: Meet the (One-Time) 7th-Most-Powerful Man in Wrestling
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
AMANDA CARPENTER: Shut Down the Cheney 2024 Chatter.
Let’s stipulate up front that I am a huge fan of Liz Cheney. I agree with her that “Republicans cannot be both loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution.” I am deeply thankful for her courageous efforts to hold accountable those who enabled the attack on our democracy on January 6th. And I would most likely happily support her in any future political endeavors.
But this is not the time to play into the 2024 presidential feeding frenzy.
The correspondents and columnists and commentators are undoubtedly doing their best to bait her into it. All the big-name reporters camped out in Wyoming on Tuesday—not to watch her lose but to build their 2024 storylines. And she whetted their appetites with an announcement shortly after her loss that she converted her campaign committee to a leadership PAC named “The Great Task” to “oppose any Donald Trump campaign for president.” Accordingly, the cable shows went into overdrive, speculating about what’s next for Cheney and demanding answers from her backers about her likely strategy to win the GOP nomination.
JOHN HAVLIK AND HOWARD P. FORMAN: Polio Is Back. Trust the Vaccines.
A polio outbreak is upon us. How our government, public health professionals, and the media respond could lead to further politicization of vaccines, or a step toward restoring faith in public health.
First, we need to get the facts straight about the current outbreak: While just one man in Rockland Country, New York has thus far been paralyzed by the virus, this case is likely the tip of the iceberg. The reemergence of this virus, last spread in the United States in 1979, is certainly reason for worry—the virus is 2-3 times as infectious as the original strain of COVID-19 and paralyzes 1 in 200 people that it infects (about 1 in 4 will show “flu-like” symptoms). As recently as the 1940s, it disabled 35,000 Americans a year, and there is no way to cure the paralysis once someone has been infected. In especially severe cases, polio can cause death as the muscles that control breathing become paralyzed and the patient suffocates. Since this case was uncovered, wastewater testing in adjoining Orange County and New York City has demonstrated spread. (London and Jerusalem have also found evidence of the virus.)
Trump may have been giddy thinking the raid would boost his numbers, but that’s not showing up yet, and DeSantis fandom lives. Plus, Cheney won’t go quietly, something has changed in the polls since Dobbs, and a reminder that the ‘Russia Hoax’ is a hoax. Philip Bump joins Charlie Sykes.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
WILLIAM KRISTOL: Is It 1858 or 1838?
Abraham Lincoln featured prominently—and appropriately—in Liz Cheney’s very fine and not very concessionary concession speech Tuesday night.
Early in her remarks, Cheney noted that “the great and original champion of our party, Abraham Lincoln, was defeated in elections for the Senate and the House before he won the most important election of all.” She reminded us, however, that “Lincoln ultimately prevailed, he saved our union, and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history.”
Cheney then quoted the final sentences of the Gettysburg Address, and asserted that Lincoln’s words continued to point to “our greatest and most important task.”
WILLIAM SALETAN: Liz vs. Nikki.
On Tuesday night, Liz Cheney conceded that she had lost the Republican primary to keep her seat in Congress. But her eyes were on a bigger threat. Donald Trump’s successful campaign to oust her, through the candidacy of election denier Harriet Hageman, was just one battle in a larger war against American democracy. And Cheney is determined to win that war.
Cheney’s clarity about the gravity of this crisis, and about the urgency of meeting it, reflects her hawkish roots. Like her father, she’s vigilant in America’s defense. But she understands that foreign terrorists and dictators aren’t the only threats to our country. The United States can also be destroyed by despots and extremists within.
I’m sorry, but … what? This take on Liz Cheney being bad at politics is beyond bad. Dan McLaughlin writes at National Review that “She threw away her career in an act of noble self-sacrifice that descended into monomania and bad political judgment.”
This is not the Republican Party voter base or America Dan once predicted. Let’s get into our Time Masheen to go back to January, 2021, where he wrote these items:
Jan 13, 2021: The Abandonment of Trump.
Jan. 20, 2021:For Conservatives, a Break from the Trump Monopoly.
The dek, if you want a chuckle, was this: “For the first time in five years, it is possible to propose and promote conservative ideas without having to go through or around Donald Trump.”
Later on that year, after his columns brought crow to his home from DoorDash, McLaughlin laughably argued this: “Those who object to any workable strategy against a Trump revival don’t have one.”
The problem with Dan McLaughlin and many of the other anti-anti-Trump writers is any workable strategy seemingly never involves defeating Republicans by voting for Democrats. It’s only unworkable because guys like Dan want to keep their patina of good conservative intact and not tell people, hey, Maryland Republicans voted for a nutjob? You should vote for a Democrat, even if their policies are not your cup of tea.
That’s it. That’s the divide. Folks like Dan and his cohorts will never say: Vote for the Democrat. We will. I guess that makes us less conservative by comparison, but maybe you can write in people in D.C. or NYC just to prove to readers you’re a “true conservative.”
Bonus take, written in May of this year, is a column entitled “2020 is over: Republican primary voters haven’t abandoned Trump, but they have moved on from the last presidential election.”
They haven’t. Prove me wrong. I know it’s hard to vote for people you disagree with when it counts, but if they’re wrong on the fundamentals of democracy, you should hope they lose, not cast a meaningless vote: the principle is democracy. Your vote, non-vote, or throw-away vote is reflection of that.
These columnists are a disaster.
To his credit, he also wrote that Republican Senators should convict and disqualify him. But a lot of Senators who did (the votes weren’t there) have moved on, and, so too, it seems, sadly, has Dan McLaughlin.
Related: Some in the GOP are worried about Trump’s dominance. What have we been telling you?
The Bannon Transcript. It’s not unpredictable, but it is also not good.
Stolen dishonor. A wild story worth your time.
Go Guardians. We apparently set a record last night after three stikeouts, we scored six runs.
Mitch to the rescue! Failing candidate J.D. Vance is getting a massive cash infusion. Hope it’s worth it, Team McConnell!
MATT LABASH on Chronic Trump Fatigue.
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.