They Are What They Say They Hate

Tim Miller on how the GOP came to embody and embrace what they claimed they were against...

Leading The Bulwark…

They Are What They Say They Hate

Tim Miller: Trump is a triggered loser who embodies every trait conservatives spent decades decrying.

Here’s a taste:

Even in the face of Trump’s humiliating defeat at the hands of an opponent they believe to be weak and suffering from dementia, Republicans and conservative commentators continue to enable the human embodiment of what they once decried.

They do it because their crusade stopped being about anything other than causing their opponents pain a long time ago. They came to the crossroads and struck a deal to make a human troll the president of the United States, because he put Obama in his (birth) place and made all the right people mad. He was their vehicle to give the finger to half of the country.

Tim brought receipts. And you know that’s what we’ve been doing since we created the site as you know it in January, 2019. And that’s what we’ll continue to do. But there’s more than what’s available for free on or in this newsletter or our free podcasts. Members of Bulwark+ get access to special newsletters, podcasts, and livestreams. If you’re not yet a member, join now:

🎧On the Pods… 🎧

Eric Edelman on What Biden Will Inherit

On today’s Bulwark podcast, former Ambassador and Under Secretary of Defense Eric Edelman joins Charlie Sykes to discuss how Trump is stifling the Biden transition and what that means, the purge at the Pentagon, and what President-Elect Biden will inherit when he takes office.

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From The Bulwark Aggregator…

In Today’s Bulwark…

What Biden Can Learn from Trump on China

James Marks: The Trump administration raised barriers to China acquiring American dual-use technology. The Biden administration should do even more.

Pompeo Plays Favorites in the Georgia Runoffs

David J. Kramer: The secretary of state’s trip to the rickety Caucasus democracy could exacerbate an already tense political standoff.

The Week Democracy Pushed Back

Frederick Baron, Dennis Aftergut, and Frederick Hoxie: Some of the important institutions of U.S. politics and civil society stood up to President Trump’s post-election bluster and bullying.


Trump’s Goldbug Fed Pick fails Senate cloture vote. This is a good thing. As David Frum points out, Judy Shelton is a wishy washy partisan who would be a bad choice for a body that is supposed to be independent of politics. But also the perfect kind of person Trump would nominate.

John Oliver blows up 2020. The host of Last Week Tonight recaps our horrible year in this season’s last episode.

Rudy hasn’t been paying his bills, apparently. Benjamin Wittes reports that Rudy Giuliani is apparently suspended by the DC Bar for nonpayment.

What the heck happened to RealClearPolitics? At the New York Times, Jeremy Peters takes readers behind the curtain to see how a site revered by data nerds became a MAGA take factory.

Call me crazy, but… Perhaps the chair of a federal commission like the FEC shouldn’t be making declarations like this based on personal friendships. Like the old saying goes, “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”

Especially when that friend, Sidney Powell, one of the President’s lawyers, might be a little detached from reality:

And some thoughts from Powell:

Which reminds me of this quote from the estimable Mike Murphy:

We get away with a lot of shit because people think we have a stable system. But if your banker comes in one day wearing a diaper, speaking gibberish, you're going to pull your money out of that checking account. 

The problem with the Trump administration is that the people who should be watching this and expressing concern and horror are explaining it away. It’s like the bank manager trying to convince you that your account manager is just having a “Turning Point USA” kind of day and everything is fine and you shouldn’t just liquidate your account immediately.

That kind of person is in charge of the Federal Election Commission. At least until next year.

Prayers for Chuck Grassley:

Do you want to see the future of Trumpism in the GOP? A sneak preview:

If it sounds a lot like InfoWars, that’s because it pretty much is.

Why do all of these red flags keep popping up for Rep.-Elect Madison Cawthorn? The guy who visited Hitler’s vacation house because it was on his “bucket list” and also (strangely) called him the Führer on an Instagram post (complete with umlat!) is now under fire for this interview with Jewish Insider. Look, as a Catholic, converting people isn’t something that’s a big part of my life…. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are big on conversion, and there are Mormons in Congress. It’s not a scandal in and of itself. That’s not the real controversy.

This is, where Cawthorn says:

“If you have Jewish blood running through your veins today, this might not mean as much to you, but for someone like me, who’s a gentile, this means a lot,” he said about a chapter from the New Testament’s Gospel of Mark.

For years, people kept explaining away all these red flags from certain House Republicans (think Steve King) and wouldn’t you know? I am bearish on Cawthorn, and if I were a gambler, I suspect you could probably safely bet on a lot more red flags in the next two years. Especially given the allegations regarding his past.

What happens when you shoot a baseball 1,000 mph? Uh, this.

The real-life impacts of the pandemic.

Should Joe Biden hire Republicans? And what can he learn from Harry Truman? I fully expect at least one cabinet slot will be a Republican. As they say in South Park: As is tradition. Biden would be smart to reach across the aisle, but the question is who would he pick? Here’s Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute in Washington Monthly:

Biden can do a lot to advance his agenda not by picking token Republicans to serve as window dressing in cabinet slots but should, instead, pepper his administration with a few Republican-leaning advisors who want to help him heal a riven nation.

Let’s hope he does.

Infighting in the last days of the Trump campaign. You hate to see it.

It turns out… A number of readers have had similar freezer mishaps that I highlighted yesterday. Said mini fridge came into existence a year ago this month when our main fridge died. Let me tell you: those white Igloo fishing coolers they sell at Sam’s Club that say they can keep ice for 7 days? They absolutely do, and they’re a fraction ( 1/7th, actually) of a price of one of the pricier Instaglam influence coolers hawk that look cool in staged pictures of camping. If you need a cooler, buy that one.

Since I am the mood to endorse products… Let me tell you about my fruit fly problem and how I solved it. When we moved into our house in August of 2019, we began to learn a lot of home ownership lessons. One was about flies sneaking in when you move in, lots of open doors, etc. I bought a product called the Bug-A-Salt. It is awesome. A friend sent me an electric fly swatter that looks like a tennis racket. But after the twins grew and became fruit addicts, the trash tends to attract fruit flies.

I tried traditional methods of glue traps, and grocery-available apple-shaped traps from Raid. But the thing that has had the most success? Katchy. I bought it out of desperation because the other methods didn’t appear to be working, even though we were cleaning out the garbage and recycling bins and washing them. I didn’t think it would work. The first few days, it caught one or two flies. I thought I wasted $26. But then, the next morning, there were like 20 of them there. Now? There isn’t much of a problem at all. I just need to do a better job of tying up garbage bags with fruit remnants before tossing them.

The way it works is that the purple light attracts them, and a fan sucks them down and then they’re stuck in a sticky prison until they die. I wish we had this at the bar I worked at, Humphrey’s (RIP) in college. Consider this a potential Christmas gift for the special person in your life who might have a bit of a fly problem. Whether they have toddlers or love to cook, this thing works.

To close us out… In an homage to my former colleague Mike Warren (now of CNN), I will close out today’s newsletter with a music video worth listening to. Mike did this for his daily newsletter back in our TWS days. It’s a song called chinatown by the band Bleachers and it features Bruce Springsteen. Enjoy.

That’s it for me today. Drop me a line at should you have any questions, thoughts, or observations.

And if you haven’t joined us yet on Bulwark+, please consider doing so! We’d love to have you join our next livestream to talk about what comes next in the coming days.