Plus: An update on Wisconsin.
That picture of the ball game in Iowa perks up my black little heart. :)
Welcome to the team, A.B. We are glad to have you with us. I'll add something to the earned accolades that you share about the Bulwark staff, also deserving of recognition: the Bulwark readers. So many here have so much valuable, thoughtful, and insightful perspective to share. They enhance the columns substantially with their take on the events in question and offer ample food for thought in dissecting the bigger picture points that are raised. And above all it is done respectfully. We are the rare group that avoids the dumpster fire approach in discussing the issues and building upon each other's thoughts. It is not something that should be taken for granted.
On Wisconsin, Charlie is right that the GOP here does what it does because they think/know they can get away with it under the circumstances. But it is more than just that. It is a microcosm, emblematic of what is wrong with the GOP approach everywhere anymore. It is the indifference to hypocrisy in what they say versus what they do. It is the priority of opinions over facts. It is the disrespect of citizens who may disagree with them on specific issues but deserve equal representation as fellow taxpayers who pay that bill in full when it is due. It is the shamelessness in getting caught in wrongdoing but not being bothered by it as part of their overall agenda, as if merely a momentary speed bump along the way. It is the incessant doubling-down on their positions whenever they are proven to be wrong, liars, or hypocrites, never willing to admit it much less take ownership of it and change and evolve for better. And so much more.
We live in different times now, in which traditional behavior and traditional shows of shame and respect for the system do not apply anymore. It has become merely about getting one's own way and, if you don't have enough people who agree with you, finding ways to game the system or have enough people of power and wealth above your level to get you off the hook. It is a GOP problem to be sure. But it also is a societal problem, one that too many among us have allowed to grow and take root for too long, until it has become unmanageable, a toxic cancer on our collective soul. Unless and until the GOP, in Wisconsin and elsewhere, are made to suffer consequences for their actions, there will be no changes for the better. That is the sad reality of the situation. And they know it. Bad for them, worse for the rest of us, and worst for future generations who will be left to clean up this filthy mess that we are gifting to them.
Super stoked to hear AB is coming on board. I've always loved her analysis and writings and when she came on as a guest to either Charlie's or Mona's pods. Glad she's a full time member of The Bulwark now.
Also gonna give a +1 for Will Selber's piece today. That dude's writings always put into succinct clarity much of what I've seen in my own share of the veteran community, both officer side and enlisted.
The Bulwark has some of the most talented writers out there right now and that's a fact.
Welcome, A.B.! Maybe this has been happening all along, but it seems like I've been seeing more instances of the Bulwark team being interviewed or referenced in other national media. And when Sarah, Tim, and JVL appeared on CSPAN Washington Journal this past Saturday, most of the callers I heard were fans, if not members. I suspect there are a lot of reasonable people thirsty for what Bulwark has to offer in the badlands of US politics today. Go team!
How you can be certain Charlie writes the Morning Shots every day:
Of all the articles referenced, this one showed up:
"The Chicago Bears were outplayed, outcoached and outclassed by the Green Bay Packers on the Week 1 stage. ‘They whooped our ass.’"
“Wisconsin’s gerrymandering rides to the rescue of its gerrymandering”
Whoever wrote that headline at WaPo should get a Pulitzer.
Holy shit what a get, The Bulwark is goated 😤
A.B. Stoddard is real, she's clear, and she knows politics deeply no matter what her platform is. Looking forward to her insights.
Biden certainly did ramble on a bit in his Vietnam news conference. But, what he said was accurate, especially about climate deniers. Also, what he accomplished in his trips to Asia and the G-20 were remarkable achievements of diplomacy, and a big step for protecting the democracies of the world.
If you compare his ramblings to the nonsense from Ron Johnson, Tommy Tuberville, and Kevin McCarthy, or the violent, disturbing rhetoric from DeSantis and Trump, it is very reassuring to have Biden, and his entire administration in charge. Anyone from the opposition would be a disaster, as no one, except for Christie and Hutchinson have the nerve and honesty to tell the voters the truth. The Republicans in Wisconsin are just another clear example of how the party feels about democracy, the voters, and the country. The current crop of "conservatives" seem intent of covering all of the necessary US institutions with slime and corruption.
More republican shenanigans in WI. These WI politicians never cease to amaze. When Walker lost his governorship, he and his keystone legislature convened a lame-duck session to strip incoming Governor Evers of many executive powers before he could be inaugurated.
In Florida, DeSatan has removed two elected DA’s and is now looking to overhaul the state’s judicial system to make it harder to elect democratic judges. This after gerrymandering the state worse than Alabama.
In NC, the States Judicial Standards Commission is looking to censure or remove a black judge. And this doesn’t even include all the illegal gerrymandering in AL, FL and other red states.
And how many republicans have been punished for defying the courts, participating in the election fraud or illegally removing elected officials from office? None!
Additionally, left out of all of these illegal activities and the 93 indictments is the worse one of all. The lawsuit Trump filed with the Supreme Court in which he wanted to invalidate the outcome of four swing states he lost. This would have disenfranchised over 20 million voters if successful.
If you’re wondering why it’s an issue read Marc Elias’s column in Democracy Docket:
“When this lawsuit was filed on Dec. 7, 2020, it was clear this was like no other. It was filed by the state of Texas, not gadfly lawyers. It was brought in the name of the state, signed by the state’s attorney general with the support of the governor. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) volunteered to argue the case if a hearing was set.
The Texas case was the most profoundly anti-democratic act in the post-election period. The use of state resources and official imprimatur to traffic in false information and overturn an election was a precursor to the fake elector schemes and Jeffrey Clark’s attempt to use government resources to overturn Georgia’s election results.
Most importantly, the Texas case galvanized the Republican political and legal community behind Trump’s plan to steal the election. Within two days, 17 other states — represented by their state’s lawyers — filed a legal brief in support of Texas.
Not to be outdone, 106 Republican members of Congress filed their own brief, also supporting Texas. Several of the members were from the states being sued by Texas. Republicans were willing to call into question the legitimacy of their own elections to join forces with a failed one-term president seeking to overturn a free and fair election.” Marc Elias
Bottom line: why should we expect anyone in the Republican Party today to act like responsible politicians or conduct themselves morally and ethically. McConnell famously said after Obama was elected that his job was “to make sure Obama fails!” And where are the sane republicans like Romney, Murkowski and Collins? Crickets!
I’m not sure when these clowns became criminals, but let’s face it, every time the republicans came to power since Nixon, bad shit happens. Illegal activities take place, and no one is held accountable, and if they are, a pardon is soon to follow.
So stop being surprised by their illegal and despicable behavior. Republicans epitomize the frog/scorpion parable; it’s their nature!
Fantastic! Please let’s get A.B. on a regular podcast schedule.
I always enjoy the A.B. wisdom; have not always agreed with her, but she tells it like it is. Hopefully, not too much “painful sting” to come, but we know it will be challenging to cover the next 14 months. Smart of The Bulwark to have her!
Anybody old enough to remember the old E.F. Hutton ad? Yeah, me too. (Google it if you're too young.) I would apply it to the new hire at The Bulwark: "When A.B. Stoddard talks, people listen." Count me among those people.
Great news. A.B. Stoddard pod episodes are on my "don't miss" list. Always thoughtful and super informed. I learn something I didn't know every time she'd on.
Almost every action being taken by the GOP, as exemplified in WI, is that of a party whose share of the electorate continues to shrink and has decided to embrace authoritarianism rather than broaden their appeal to voters.
Before I even read the rest of the newsletter, I want to say that A.B.'s statement was perfectly put and very wonderful. I'm so glad we'll be seeing even more of her excellent writing on the Bulwark. Welcome, A.B.!
The Next Level on C-SPAN and now A.B. at the Bulwark -- I’m Up-Subscribing!