Strengthen the Guardrails of Democracy

Joe Biden should spend political capital fixing what Trump broke.

Leading The Bulwark…

Strengthen the Guardrails of Democracy

CHRIS TRUAX: Joe Biden should spend political capital fixing what Trump broke.


🎧 On the Pods…🎧

Elizabeth Neumann: Will there be blood?

On today’s Bulwark Podcast, Elizabeth Neumann joins Charlie Sykes to discuss how President Trump and the conservative right are courting and encouraging extremists following his defeat by Joe Biden in the 2020 election.


🔒 For Bulwark+ Members…

THE NEXT LEVEL: On the Bright Side!

Sarah is on a mission to spread optimism and good cheer.

Tim and JVL are having none of it.

MORNING SHOTS: Trump Draws The Line In GOP Civil War

CHARLIE SYKES: “We’ve been locked in the fight for the soul of the GOP for so long that it’s easy to miss the way that struggle has shifted over the last few days.

THE TRIAD: The Nature of Power

JONATHAN V. LAST: “Trump believes that the real source of power lies further upstream and derives from the ability to command—totally—a large bloc of voters within a single party. Because while total control of this group might not let him pass legislation for the country, it grants him ownership of the Republican party. And that’s the area of Trump’s primary concern.”

Remember, if you’re a member of Bulwark+, you get access to these great newsletters and exclusive podcasts and livestreams. In fact, we’re doing one tomorrow night with all of your favorite Bulwark writers. Charlie Sykes may or may not be going as Santa. You’ll never know unless you tune in.


In The Bulwark Aggregator…


In Today’s Bulwark…

The Coming Re-Employment Crisis

BRENT ORRELL AND MATT LEGER: Congress and the Biden administration need a re-employment strategy that puts workers first.

How Europe and the U.K. Can Reach a Fair Free Trade Deal

JOHN GUSTAVSSON: Step one is to replace vindictiveness with pragmatism.


🚨OVERTIME 🚨

Selfish COVIDiots… This Texas Monthly story is going to want to make you throw a shoe through a window.

The wedding photographer had already spent an hour or two inside with the unmasked wedding party when one of the bridesmaids approached her. The woman thanked her for still showing up, considering “everything that’s going on with the groom.”

When the photographer asked what she meant by that, the bridesmaid said the groom had tested positive for the coronavirus the day before. “She was looking for me to be like, ‘Oh, that’s crazy,’ like I was going to agree with her that it was fine,” the photographer recalls. “So I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And she was like, ‘Oh no no no, don’t freak out. He doesn’t have symptoms. He’s fine.’”

The photographer who got sick after shooting the COVID-positive groom said her experiences throughout the pandemic have left her a little depressed. She recalled one conversation from that wedding, before she left the reception. “I have children,” she told a bridesmaid, “What if my children die?” The bridesmaid responded, “I understand, but this is her wedding day.”

I am just lucky my basement office has no windows.

Fallen icons. Omar Vizquel should be in Cooperstown. As I write this, just like I did last night, I am looking at a signed baseball from Vizquel from 1997, a foul ball I got with the All Star Game logo during a game the Indians were playing against the White Sox at then-Jacobs Field.

News broke today that Omar Vizquel apparently has been accused of domestic violence. What was really a bubble nomination is probably now doomed. I am not a sportswriter, but my sense is that the journalists who vote on these things will give these accusations a fair hearing, but Vizquel was probably not likely to make it in the first place. Now, he has no chance.

I can’t say that’s unfortunate if the allegations are true. Off-field behavior, even after one stops playing a sport, does play a role in one’s legacy. And for Cleveland fans, one of the greatest shortstops in modern memory could now, forever, be tainted. A gut punch.

Omar was an amazing fielder, but not a home run hitter. But when he did hit homers, oh boy, did Tom Hamilton made them glamorous.

Accusations of domestic violence are extremely serious, and if you ever hear of anything, anything, that raises red flags, please encourage whomever in your life who tells you of something that raises such a concern, to call The National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 800.799.SAFE.

Kellyanne and Choirs… During the height of the pandemic, who was giving the CDC guidance on churches? Kellyanne Conway and Ivanka Trump, apparently.

Josh Hawley wants to make your life more costly… At Reason, a well argued item on why Hawley’s proposal to shut down the Generalized System of Preferences for developing countries is just more populist mercantilism nonsense:

Under the terms of his bill, the Trade Preference Reform and Worker Protection Act, the GSP program would be suspended until unemployment in the United States falls below 4 percent—and it would be suspended again whenever America's unemployment rises above that threshold, which is most of the time.

‘We want them infected’:… A former Trump HHS advisor, Politico reports:

"[I]t may be that it will be best if we open up and flood the zone and let the kids and young folk get infected" in order to get "natural immunity…natural exposure," Alexander wrote on July 24 to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, Caputo and eight other senior officials. Caputo subsequently asked Alexander to research the idea, according to emails obtained by the House Oversight Committee's select subcommittee on coronavirus.

Caputo is on leave, presumably until he loses his job next month, dealing with “metastatic cancer in his head and neck” around the time he “posted a bizarre and inflammatory Facebook video in which he accused government scientists of working to defeat President Trump and urged his followers to buy ammunition ahead of what he predicted would be an armed insurrection after the election.”

Caputo was Alexander’s boss.

Oh God How Did This Get Here I Am Not Good With Computer… This Mother Jones story about Elliott Broidy is absolutely wild.

He [Broidy] faces up to five years in prison in part because of what in retrospect seems to have been a dumb mistake. Broidy voluntarily gave the FBI emails from his and his wife’s accounts while seeking the bureau’s assistance in pursuing hackers who he claimed had stolen this material and leaked damaging details about his business dealings to the press. According to a just-unsealed ruling issued in June 2018 by Beryl Howell, the chief US District Judge in Washington, DC, nearly 1,400 pages of emails that Broidy provided to the FBI were subsequently used by the bureau in the investigation that led to Broidy’s guilty plea. Following a secretive legal process, Howell ruled that Broidy had surrendered the material to the FBI and after doing that—when the bureau wanted to exploit the documents for an investigation of Broidy himself—could no longer claim the information was covered by attorney-client privilege or spousal privilege. 

Peace. Love. Cookie. Peoria might be getting a new mural. But this time, a legit one.

God Bless the U.S. Senate… More of this, please.

And let’s work on that whole legislating thing, too.

Wear a mask. Not that we need to tell you, but Chris Christie is on a bit of an apology tour.

That’s it for me for today. If you’re not a member of Bulwark+, you can’t join us on tomorrow’s livestream with Santa Sykes. But you can rectify that right now by joining us.

Already a member? Thank you. You make what we do possible, and we appreciate it very much. There might be somebody in your life who would appreciate it also, and if so, we have you covered:

Give the Gift of The Bulwark

Questions, comments, concerns, thoughts, or observations? You know how to reach me: swift@thebulwark.com.

See you tomorrow night. I’ll be sending the details tomorrow, so stay tuned.

—30—