Easter in a Time of Crazy
Bulwark readers have some comments.
In case you are just catching up this holiday weekend, make sure you check out:
In the end, Lee might not have voted to overturn the election but he was every bit a part of the coup as Cruz and Hawley and the rest.
As it turns out this wasn’t the case of “responsible” people trying to nudge things in the right direction in private.
It was a case where one posse of clowns was so insane that they were giving away the game. While the “responsible” clowns like Mike Lee did everything in their power to figure out how they could keep the madman in power, without getting Rudy’s hair dye on their face.
There have been scattered attempts to retcon and rationalize Lee’s behavior, which is revealing in and of itself:
Also, make sure you read Jim Swift’s “Josh Mandel Gets Schlonged”:
Mandel was more of a Trump sycophant than anyone; to the point where it became a bit unsettling. Even Trump himself thought Mandel’s still-mysterious disappearance and even-more-mysterious subsequent divorce, combined with his obsession with Trump, was creepy. Mandel has long been a ladder-climbing opportunist, but when even Donald Trump thinks you’re a weirdo, it might be time to rethink your life choices.
The United States and its NATO allies have ramped up the delivery of tanks, helicopters, and heavy weapons to Ukraine as the country’s forces prepare for large-scale battles against Russian troops in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
The new arms deliveries represent a stark shift from Western support for Ukraine in the earliest days of the war, when U.S. and European officials, unsure of how long Ukraine could hold out against a massive Russian invasion, were wary of delivering heavy weapons that could in turn fall into Russian hands. The deliveries also reflect a shift away from defensive systems like anti-tank rockets to more offensive weapons that Ukraine needs at a critical stage of the war.
The Czech Republic opened the floodgates earlier this month by shipping tanks to Ukraine, becoming the first NATO country to do so since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24. The Czech Republic has also sent Ukraine infantry fighting vehicles and artillery systems.
Other NATO countries have followed suit with their own shipments of high-end military hardware across NATO borders into Ukraine. Slovakia sent Ukraine an advanced S-300 air defense system, and the United States on Wednesday announced it would supply Ukraine with an additional $800 million worth of military hardware. That shipment includes 11 MI-17 helicopters, 200 M113 armored personnel carriers, 100 Humvees, 300 Switchblade “kamikaze” drones, heavy howitzers, thousands of shells, and other munitions.
An Easter Msg From TFG
We Get Comments
We continue to get tons of great mail, but this week I wanted to highlight some of the comments left by Bulwark+ members on recent Morning Shots. A reminder, one of the perks of membership is access to these comments….
From: Eve Fisher
C. S. Lewis had Donald Trump's number back in the 1950s:
“Picture to yourself a man who has risen to wealth or power by a continued course of treachery and cruelty, by exploiting for purely selfish ends the noble motions of his victims, laughing the while at their simplicity; who, having thus attained success, uses it for the gratification of lust and hatred and finally parts with the last rag of honour among thieves by betraying his own accomplices and jeering at their last moments of bewildered disillusionment. Suppose, further, that he does all this, not (as we like to imagine) tormented by remorse or even misgiving, but eating like a schoolboy and sleeping like a healthy infant — a jolly, ruddy-cheeked man, without a care in the world, unshakably confident to the very end that he alone has found the answer to the riddle of life, that God and man are fools whom he has got the better of, that his way of life is utterly successful, satisfactory, unassailable….” – C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
Welcome to your leader, MAGA.
From: Lewis Grotelueschen
I like this description from Santayana:
"For the barbarian is the man who regards his passions as their own excuse for being; who does not domesticate them either by understanding their cause or by conceiving their ideal goal. He is the man who does not know his derivations nor perceive his tendencies, but who merely feels and acts, valuing in his life its force and its filling, but being careless of its purpose and its form. His delight is in abundance and vehemence; his art, like his life, shows an exclusive respect for quantity and splendour of materials. His scorn for what is poorer and weaker than himself is only surpassed by his ignorance of what is higher."
From: Carol S.
In her piece on the "pregnant beauty blogger," Cathy Young notes that "the strategy of the Kremlin propaganda machine is not to create a convincing alternative narrative but to sow confusion and doubt."
If the soft-on-Putin types in the West can find one instance of erroneous reporting, they'll claim that the "legacy media" can't be trusted at all -- even if the error was later corrected, and even if numerous media outlets from various countries reveal, on the whole, the same appalling picture of unprovoked Russian savagery.
BTW, it's the same strategy that Trumpers use regarding Jan. 6 -- "Oh look, someone opened a door from inside! Therefore, the narrative of a forceful invasion is a hoax!"
I hadn't seen Delgado's tweet demanding an "apology from the thousands of monsters who attacked" her. It's quite telling that she would use the word "monsters" to describe people who criticized her cynical tweet, while she's trying to whitewash the sadistically brutal acts being committed by Russia on an industrial scale.
Again, there's a Trump analogy: He will speak of "evil" or "horrible people" or "dishonesty" when his own ego or self-interest are concerned -- and it seems to be only in such cases that he uses the language of moral condemnation with any passion. But he cannot bring himself to acknowledge that Putin's actions toward Ukraine are evil -- either because he will never speak ill of Putin, or because the whole bloody business doesn't hurt him.
From: R Mercer
Re: JD Vance
Why on Earth would Trump back someone who has already demonstrated that they are his creature and will totally abase themselves for the endorsement? There is no fun there.
What emotional/psychological profit is there in it for him? Answer: None.
Part of the allure is getting yet another person to grovel and embarrass themselves in public for his favor--while watching the servile fools writhe in anger and frustration as they are passed over.
If you understand that it is all about Trump's emotional satisfaction, you have the key to understanding what Trump does and why.
I think the problem is that in general, if you're in politics you're probably old. Hell, if you're commentating on politics as a living you're probably old. You're 67 Charlie, and that's not young by any means. That doesn't mean you're as old as the people you're describing, but what I'm saying is that all the people who are in prominent positions on both sides of the isle are all very much either in or heading towards their twilight.
One major problem that the right had for a long time was the fact that there were no young GOP members in the same mold as the old; the result is that people like MTG and Cawthorn and Vance showed up to fill the hole. The same goes for the Democrats, whose leadership has been so reluctant to give up power that they butchered and entire generation of people and are now going to be overtaken by the younger generation as a result.
And make no mistake about it, this is partially why our politics are so insane. Because you have a bunch of old people not versed in the new ways of doing things, where the media market is 24/7 and never stops, and the young people who understand that actions and images beat words every time. There's a reason why the right was completely consumed by the MTGs of the world, and why the left has been consumed by the AOCs of the world. Because they understand the world they live in, in a way that Pelosi or Schumer or McConnell simply do not.
Young people are always more inclined to do rather than wait; and make no mistake, it's going to be quite the moment when Pelosi and Schumer and Biden and Sanders all have to retire, and they're replaced not by 50 somethings but by 30 somethings.
From: Don Gates
Here's the deal with charging Trump:
1) It will be argued on the right that it's political and unjust
2) It will exacerbate polarization, possibly to the point of violence
3) It's the right thing to do, and it must be done.
There are consequences from action, and there are consequences from inaction. The former are not great, but the latter are worse, because when accountability breaks down, the authoritarians put boots on throats.
If Trump is charged, the right wing media will go on the attack, stoking the anger and outrage of people who are already about stroke out on their diet of outrage. But there is one problem the right wing media will confront, and that is the very words of Mitch McConnell himself in the immediate aftermath of the attack, and to a lesser extent Kevin McCarthy. No doubt McConnell's excoriating speech will go unmentioned in right wing outlets, but every other outlet needs to play it over and over and over again if Trump gets charged. How can it be political when McConnell himself gave the speech he gave? McConnell, in a fit of pique, made the rare mistake of doing the right thing, and media outlets need to take advantage of this if DOJ decides it's time to hold Trump's feet to the fire.
I too am as pissed off and impatient about the 1/6 committee and Trump as you are. Forget indictment, I want the mthrfcking traitor in jail last week! I'm sure everyone here will agree. That said, there is an old saying that has survived the centuries because it's true: "When you strike the king, you must kill him." And the emphasis is on that word "must." Yes, he will make trouble regardless; he already showed it back in December when he told people at a rally that if he was arrested, they should "take the streets and raise hell." It will happen. The only question is how much hell will be raised.
And for that reason, our side has to be Caesar's wife: "Not only virtuous, but *seen* to be virtuous." As was pointed out the other night by one of MSNBC's legal eagles, a referral is more a piece of PR than anything else. It carries no legal weight or meaning. What would happen if the referral was made and nothing happened? He wins! Anything less than full action is "He wins!" Because we are stuck with having to be the virtuous ones, it has to be that the first mention of an indictment has to come from the DOJ when they announce that they went to Mar A Lardo and show the video of Fatso Fatass being perp-walked.
Yes. It is highly highly highly frustrating. I'm about to grind my false teeth to the pink part. But nobody has ever indicted a president for any crime, let alone the top end insanity that he'll be indicted on. There is every possibility of civil disturbance turning into civil war.
Our side, right now, is the original long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. We're the grunt in Vietnam who stepped on top of the Bouncing Betty and if he moves wrong, it goes off.
Did I mention it's highly frustrating? "May you live in *interesting* times" may not be the ancient Chinese curse it was advertised as, but it is still a curse nonetheless.