Leading The Bulwark…
The Grim Pandemic Outlook for Fall and Winter
Brent Orrell and Matt Leger: No one likes COVID lockdowns but for many states there may not be a choice.
🎧 On the Pods… 🎧
How the Toddler in Chief Failed to Steal the Election
On today’s Bulwark podcast, Daniel Drezner joins Charlie Sykes to talk about President Trump’s weekend Twitter temper tantrum, the latest on what’s happening inside the Pentagon in the waning days of the Trump Presidency, and Nicholas Grossman joins to discuss his recent story Breaking Down Trump’s Plan To Steal The Election (And Why It’s Failing).
Decapitating the DOD and other cheery thoughts
Former under secretary of defense and ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman joins the regulars to discuss the Republican assault on democracy; the purge at DOD; and the messages voters sent in 2020.
For Bulwark+ Members 🔒
The Secret Podcast: Anti- Anti- Anti- Trump
What do we do with the people who are just now discovering how appalling and dangerous Donald Trump is?
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From The Bulwark Aggregator…
Trump campaign jettisons major parts of its legal challenge against Pennsylvania’s election results – Jon Swaine and Elise Viebeck, The Washington Post
Whitmer responds to Atlas: I won’t ‘be bullied into not following reputable scientists’ – John Bowden, The Hill
How a post-election crisis was manufactured in Pennsylvania – Marshall Cohen, CNN
Giuliani’s fantasy parade of false voter-fraud claims – Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post
Ossoff, Warnock start Georgia runoffs behind the eight ball – James Arkin, Politico
Why Obama Fears for Our Democracy – Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic
I Was a Military COVID Planner. The Vaccine Rollout Is Going to Be a Nightmare. – Kris Alexander, The Daily Beast
In Today’s Bulwark…
Five Foreign Policy “Don’ts” for President Biden
Shay Khatiri: Avoiding the temptation to revive old ideas.
With ‘Missionaries,’ Phil Klay Looks at the Wounds of War
Mike St. Thomas: The power of violence—and a power beyond it.
Lessons from the Vaccine Revolt of 1904
Robert Perlman: How the fearmongering and rioting that almost ruined Rio de Janeiro’s smallpox vaccination campaign were averted.
Trump’s Pentagon: No Place for Good Men
Ward Carroll: "Yesper" joins the list of men tainted by their attempt to serve Donald Trump while also keeping their honor.
Trump’s Men in Moscow
Cathy Young: Russian media revels in Trump’s nonsensical claims of fraud as enemies of democracy reap propaganda harvest.
🚨 OVERTIME 🚨
The Hogan Way…
Do make some time for this conversation Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan had today at the Ronald Reagan Institute. Hogan has been careful to pick his battles, but has been as staunch of a high profile #NeverTrumper there is, though not to go so far as for announcing an endorsement of Biden.
Hogan revisits Watergate and the GOP, and how that reckoning brought about, eventually, Ronald Reagan. But he’s worried that the GOP seems bent on a false choice of two paths: Continue Trumpism, or, go back to the “the way things were.”
Obviously there’s no going back.
He talks about what has worked for him, a Republican governor in a deep blue state that has elected him twice, and offers some ideas for what the GOP might consider (but probably won’t): focus on suburban women, young people, and minorities.
There’s nothing in here that is a bombshell, as Hogan has always been one to speak his mind, but also choose his words (and throwing shade) in a careful manner. But as one prominent Republican who will escape this era without the stain of Trumpism, it’s worth hearing what he has to say.
Especially in case he, you know, wants to run for another office some day.
Trump amplifies a message worse than Clinton’s #Deplorables comment.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is the kind of Republican the party needs… Somebody with a spine. I’m no expert on this guy’s longstanding electoral history, I couldn’t find anything damning, but in the last few days he’s earned my respect.
Remember, this is the guy that Georgia Republicans are circling the wagons on because Biden won, and he’s being targeted by both incumbent Senators on the ballot in the coming special election. They called on him to resign.
In a wide ranging interview, Raffensperger let loose:
The normally mild-mannered Raffensperger saved his harshest language for Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.), who is leading the president’s effort to prove fraud in Georgia and whom Raffensperger called a “liar” and a “charlatan.”
He also straight up suggested that prominent Republican politicians, like Senator Lindsey Graham, are pressuring him to find ways to toss legal ballots. Read that sentence again.
Not only that, he went on a social media spree debunking misinformation that’s circulating on the right
And, he’s rightly concerned about people moving to the state to try to influence the election, which is really, really stupid to try and do. Not to mention costly and ineffective and almost certainly illegal.
I spend a lot of column inches talking about how Republican politicians disappoint me, and these days it’s rare to see one that stands out not just for one act of courage, but a few, in such a short period of time. So, two cheers for Raffensperger.
And remember: While GA Republicans are fighting fruitless fights against members of their own party, their favorite boogeyman, Stacey Abrams, is out there running GOTV ops for the special. Truly, we are the stupid party.
COVID-19 and the immunocompromised. A thread worth reading, and heeding.
The GOP is dead. It’s a Trump cult now. Read our very on Jonathan V. Last in The New Republic. To longtime readers of his newsletter, it hits on what he’s been saying for years, but all succinctly in one place. Send it to your friends. A taste:
You might laugh at the idea that Trump can convince America the election was stolen from him. But consider that while a quarter of a million Americans died from the coronavirus, Trump had the vast majority of Republicans convinced the pandemic was “overblown.” If Trump can pull off such a shameless act of blatant trickery, he can sell the idea that a few hundred thousand ballots were illegitimate; even Eric Trump—even Jared—could do it.
Kansas welcomed his immigrant parents. And that’s how you have Dropbox. Read this great op-ed by Arash Ferdowsi in The Kansas City Star.
A good cause. There’s a Halal restaurant in D.C. that is known for making sure the homeless who come by are fed, and as you can imagine, a lot of D.C. restaurants (like my favorite haunt, Post Pub… RIP) are struggling during the pandemic. Take a look at this story and consider chipping in a couple bucks.
James Lankford’s profile in courage. Last week, OVERTIME was heartened to see that Sen. James Lankford was going to try to do more than say something if the Trump admin didn’t start giving the Biden team access to intel. (There isn’t much he could have done, had you listened to to the David Priess podcast…)
Well, he’s walked that one back!
“What the hell is the matter with these guys?” Get ready for four years of this. And let me tell you, it’s going to be way less stressful than the last four.
Meanwhile, in Dallas… Cars lined up for as far as the drone could see to get access to a massive food pantry. People are hurting. Look at these cars. It’s not a line of hoopties. There are a lot of nice cars there. Congress needs to step up and get back to work to help these people. It’s irresponsible what they’ve done and it makes me sick. And by they, I mean very specifically Senate Republicans.
How did the right wing echo chamber get to where it is? A NYT interview with Matthew Sheffield, who has written for us, is well worth your time.
Life lessons in patience, for a price... This weekend, I learned two lessons in patience. The first? Our furnace went completely out. No heat for two days. Inconvenient, but not a big deal. I tried doing my research, but house-size furnaces are very different than condo-size furnaces. I turned the circuit breaker on and off. I opened it up and looked for the pilot light button. (There wasn’t one.) I gave up. I called in an expert. It turns out that the twins found the emergency switch I knew existed, but was not sure what it was for. Had I been a little more patient and tried flipping that one, I could have saved a few bucks.
The other lesson in patience I learned trying to remove ice from our mini-fridge in the garage, as Thanksgiving is fast approaching. In college, I knew the process, remove all your stuff, unplug, and put down towels. This time, I had a different idea: Use a rubber mallet and a painting tool to knock off some chunks. You can guess what happened next: I hit a coolant line, and the fridge is now dead. Costs to fix it would probably be close to what it cost, but the really interesting expense (which I am not going to pay) is that my local trash company would dispose of it for what amounts to 50% of its original price, because that’s what the landfill charges them. Yet, another chore. But two costly lessons in why it’s always best to be patient.
Since the average reader of this newsletter is older than I am, I hope this gives you a chuckle, suspecting you probably knew about both. If not, I am here to pass my learned lessons along to you.
Well, that’s it for me for today. I hope you had a restful (and warm!) weekend. Please drop me a line at email@example.com if you have any questions, thoughts, or observations.
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