Will the Supreme Court Throw Out Laws Prohibiting Concealed Carry?

Kim Wehle on the high court's next big gun case.


Have you met my friend Matt?

Yes, that’s a reference from How I Met Your Mother. Our good friend Matt Labash launched Slack Tide today and I want to tell you about him if you’re not familiar.

Matt Labash at Soul Camp, on assignment.

Matt Labash, one of America’s best writers, is one of the reasons you’re reading this newsletter today, because he played an instrumental part in me becoming a writer.

I was a TWS subscriber early on, back in 1999, when I was a young Republican. It was, hands down, my favorite magazine because of people like Matt Labash. The rest of the team did great political analysis and had interesting cultural musings, like JVL’s item on why my dishwasher wasn’t cleaning my glasses… But Matt Labash’s stories were crack to me. I just didn’t want them to end.

One of my Senate colleagues previously worked at TWS and told me that Matt loved hearing from readers, so we concocted a prank to come up with the craziest way to get Matt to sign a copy of his book. To use a fishing analogy, since Matt’s a fisherman, he took the bait from my pseudonym and we had an entertaining back and forth.

A year or so after I left the Hill, I was at CQ Roll Call in a boring legislative research gig, when a job at The Weekly Standard opened up. I had to work there. It was a dream job.

And I got it. I waited until Matt got to know me before telling him of the prank, but the bombastic laugh he dropped sealed it: we were now buddies.

After TWS was killed, you know what happened. Some of us started this site, others landed elsewhere. Some left the profession. Matt still wrote from time to time, but there was this void of Matt Labash’s sage and witty advice out there in the universe. I missed it dearly.

But now? Those dark days are over, with the launch of Matt’s new substack The Slack Tide.

Slack Tide by Matt Labash
Welcome to Slack Tide
Konnichiwa. Or as my English-speaking readers prefer, “hello.” I’m Matt Labash, and welcome to Slack Tide, my brand spanking-new Substack. Just saying those words makes me feel like a honking cliché. Not the Matt Labash part. There aren’t many of us. The only other one who shows up in my Google alerts is a star college lacrosse player. I keep meaning ……
Read more

I hope you’ll give it a read and consider subscribing. Here’s a taste:

After the crash, a visionary editor offered me a princely sum to write a Rilke-esque Letter To A Young Journalist, life advice to those trying to get their start in our benighted business, if business isn’t too strong a word. He was presumably shooting for something more edifying than “go into finance while there’s still time.”   I immediately said yes, since my fine furs and gold grillz don’t pay for themselves.

But I ultimately punted the assignment.  For I got to thinking about how I committed journalism for many, many years:  Spend weeks scouting for a fascinating subject.  Arm-twist him/her into letting you invade their world. Hang out for a long time, absorbing and reporting and pouring strong drink down that subject’s gullet on the company dime (because Kentucky Sunshine = truth serum). Then spend another few weeks painstakingly transcribing endless hours of interview tape, and indexing those transcripts, and doing gobs of support reading around the subject. Then index that reading. (Sometimes, my indexes were so long, I had to index them.)  Then lock yourself into an isolation chamber for days on end with your stacks and indexes and transcripts, and write up the story in all its technicolor glory, striving to leave no compelling details on the cutting-room floor.

After doing that math, I realized I wouldn’t be telling dewy, wide-eyed young’uns  how to do a job that exists.  I’d be telling them how to do a job that had long ago ceased to exist, even while I still had that job.  It’s impossible for a newbie to practice such an approach when their taskmaster is sticking a gun to their temple to crank out three pieces of rage-bait per day, since readers need to stay good and angry with short attention spans for modern journalism to work.   Or so the dysfunctional thinking goes.

You’re going to see a lot more of Matt’s content being linked to here. Subscribe today so you won’t miss out. I promise you it’s worth it.

Leading The Bulwark…

Will the Supreme Court Throw Out Laws Prohibiting Concealed Carry?

KIMBERLY WEHLE: A case being argued next month may take the Court beyond its 2008 Heller ruling.

🎧 On the Pods… 🎧

Elie Mystal: Anti-Maskers, SCOTUS, and Roe

Tucker Carlson's got anti-maskers yelling at schoolchildren, Texas' abortion bill is on hold — and enough with the Trump tell-all grifters. The Nation's Elie Mystal joins guest host Amanda Carpenter on today's podcast.

THE NEXT LEVEL: Kill the Facebook? 🔐

Sarah, Sonny, and JVL talk about civility and bathroom confrontations, Facebook, and the new Sopranos movie.

The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood: Scott Eyman on Daryl F. Zanuck and 20th Century Fox 🔓

On this week’s episode, Sonny talks to Scott Eyman about his new book, 20th Century Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio.

For Bulwark+ Members… 🔐

MORNING SHOTS: A Sinema Reality Check 🔐

CHARLIE SYKES: Another tough love newsletter.

THE TRIAD: Kyrsten Sinema and the Rules for Civility 🔐

JVL: Is it okay to protest in the bathroom?

From The Bulwark Aggregator…

In Today’s Bulwark...

Not My Party: Time for Democrats to Wake the Hell Up

TIM MILLER: [Editor’s note: Watch Not My Party every week on Snapchat.] Tim Miller: Wake up Democrats! Nancy Pelosi: Good…

Thomas Ligotti and the Horror of Existence

BILL RYAN: Meet the writer whose stories suggest there is nothing to hope for, nothing good around the corner.

What Nobel Prizes Say About National Greatness

MONA CHAREN: The excellence of a few is a source of pride for us all.


Baseball is great. And last night’s game, though it didn’t break my way, was fun to watch and a nailbiter. I don’t bite my nails anymore after I chipped a tooth breaking a 34 year streak not doing so. And lo and behold, what do I wake up to find? A chipped tooth from teeth grinding. Oh well. Baseball is dead to me this season now anyway. Off to the dentist.

Sir, this is a Denny’s.

Yes, a 40 hour work week is life. There are jobs that allow people to make a living without having to work 40 hours, but there are not very many of those. You just have to put in the time.

The 1/6 Commission heats up. As TFG encourages people not to comply with subpoenas.

The U.S. is secretly training Taiwan’s military. The Wall Street Journal reports.

The adults are not alright.

And meanwhile, we have U.S. representatives effectively running interference for child-like adults.

That’s it for me for today. We’ll see you tonight on TNB! Tech support questions? Email support@substack.com. Questions for me? Drop me a line: swift@thebulwark.com


Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.