For all the talk of his age, we are fortunate that Joe Biden is politically of another time and era, when compromise was both possible and practical, and it was okay to change your position on issues as long as it was for better. He gets it that Woke! has a shelf life and, at some point, the average voter not named Extremist wants what is best for him/her and not what makes for the loudest soundbite. One candidate puts his name to a book he didn't write about the art of the deal. The other actually practices it. Advantage: Biden.

Remember way back in November 2022, when the GOP said it was about the economy and jobs and the economy? Me too. Now it's about Woke!. Evidently the jobs and economy issues have been fixed to their satisfaction, since we're not hearing about them anymore. Accordingly, and all together now: Thanks, Joe.

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Ah, Constitutional Carry. A few days ago I watched a Nebraska State Senator give a floor speech in favor of "Constitutional Carry." He told a story about being pulled over for a traffic violation and telling the officer that he had a handgun strapped to his body, had a second in his center console, and a third in his glovebox. The officer asked what he was afraid of. He replied, "Absolutely nothing." There you have it. Proud to be paranoid.

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One of these reasons Biden is a good politician is he understands the value of being pro-active. He's not going to wait for crime or immigration to be used against him, he's going to get out in front of the issue. This is just good politics, even if it's not good policy.

You may ask why Biden does this, as opposed to other politicians who might get stubborn and dig in, and I think Biden just understands after decades that sometimes you just take some losses to get some wins later.

As much as I think DC should be a state, I recognize it won't happen anytime soon. So does Biden. As much as I think immigration reform is necessary, it's about as likely as DC statehood. Better to silence the critics and steer the narrative.

He was much this way with Black Lives Matter: essentially affirming the cause of the protests while distancing himself from the violence. Many people said he was either too liberal, or too conservative, or too calculated, but it was what the average voter thought.

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I was a "he is too old now and will be in 2024" guy, even mentally drafting language for Joe to use to drop out of the race.

I am a convert to Four More Years based on his actions, words and dynamic of the past 4-6 months, as well as his unwaveringly strong leadership on Putin's War (we need to start calling it that; it is not Russia's war, it is one man's war), not to mention the incredible record of achievements he has brought about in this term.

His only real weak point now, as Mona pointed out earlier this week, is his VP choice. If she has the personal courage to look in the mirror and acknowledge that her time has not yet come, and that she will be the focal point of the loudest R voices on the campaign trail (Do you think SHE should be one 82-year-old heartbeat away from the Resolute Desk?), Kamala could do the country and herself a real service by telling Joe she does not want the job for the next four years.

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It's not wise to second-guess Joe Biden's political instincts. In this area, his age and experience are virtues. Progressives have to pipe down and put their issues on hold at least until 2025 while we fight off the existential threat of trump, DeSantis, and the rest of the Republican party all the way down the ballot in every state. If a Republican becomes president, the US will be Florida, Hungary, or worse by 2026. And yes, let's get a grip on illegal immigration and public safety. Law enforcement can be effective without being deadly or inhumane, and let's ensure it has the resources (and accountability) to do the job the way a decent society expects. Finally, let's get the assault rifles off the streets and out of the stores so police officers don't have to fear being outgunned by the people they are sworn to protect.

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Biden understood in the 2020 primary, and I think still does, that there exists an "Exhausted Middle" in our body politic. Which is also why I lean toward Desantis culture hyper-war falls as flat as the Great Plains at the national level

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The Baron and Aftergut piece was good. I watched the clip of Taibbi, and it's hard to believe it's not a deepfake. Taibbi has had TDS for a while now, but I thought he had a brain, even though it takes him down some stupid paths. A lot of grifters are smart, which makes them more dangerous. But he really did sit there with a straight face and out himself as a total idiot. Taibbi has been playing this both-sides game for a long time, shrieking about the Steele Dossier and left-leaning outlets and saying they're no better than Fox or Breitbart. Saying the collusion narrative was totally bogus (I guess they just shouldn't have ever reported on the Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin lawyer to get dirt on Hillary Clinton?). Taibbi was completely wrong about Putin invading Ukraine, and to his credit, he ultimately owned it, but it's hard to see how you can maintain his level of confidence after being so wrong so consistently regarding his supposed area of expertise, Putin's Russia.

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The Biden Administration is "swerving right" on crime and immigration, all right -- right to where the voters are. Ideological purity and the self-esteem that it brings are certainly nice and comforting to those who enjoy them, but winning elections is better. And when MAGA is the other side, winning elections isn't just better, it's essential. Go, Joe!

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RE: DC Crime Bill

I've been quietly stewing when listening to your podcast and reading your newsletters on the DC crime bill.

There are two facets to this discussion:

1) Is the bill wise from a policy perspective?

2) Is the bill wise from a political perspective?

I was pretty disappointed to hear/read that both you and Will Saletan (a progressive I'd expect to take a deeper dive into the issue) conflate the two and think that, on both fronts, D.C. legislators are in effect out-of-touch policy and political idiots.

I know this will never be acknowledged given that the Bulwark has gone full bore on its defence of Congress' measures to overturn these measures, but I must respectfully point out that you are ill informed on the issue.

1) The DC criminal statutes were horrendously out of date and needed to be updated (they included provisions relating to horses, etc.).

2) The minimum sentences for car jacking were out of whack with the sentencing minimums for other far more serious offences. For example, the minimums for car jacking, first or second offence, exceed those for sexual assault.

3) The commission that recommended lowering the maximum sentences did so after reviewing every single car jacking case where the accused was sentenced, and literally not a single person had ever been sentenced to anything close to the maximum sentence, and not a single case resulted in a sentence larger than the new maximum. It's ironic that in yesterday's podcast you lamented the fact that the DC crime bill removes "discretion" from sentencing judges, notwithstanding the fact that the minimum draconian sentences for car jacking do just the same. And the "discretion" you are lamenting is being lost by lowering the maximum sentences, is literally a theoretical option for judges given that no one has been sentenced for anything close to the maximum.

Don't take my word for it:


"Let's take carjacking, an offense that spiked dramatically in recent years in D.C. and other parts of the country, and which is drawing plenty of concern among residents and grabbing a lot of media attention.

Under current law, unarmed carjacking has a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years and maximum sentence of 21. If armed, that jumps to 15 and 40, respectively. (For context, that 40-year maximum is double the current maximum for second-degree sexual abuse.) Under the revised code, carjacking is divided into three gradations depending on severity, with the lowest penalties for an unarmed offense running from four to 18 years and the highest penalties for an armed offense ranging from 12 to 24 years.

So yes, penalties for carjacking have indeed been reduced. But...

"You have to look at not just penalties on paper, but you have to look at the penalties in practice," says Jinwoo Park, the current executive director of the Criminal Code Reform Commission, which he joined almost a decade ago as an attorney-adviser to the whole process.

Park says that in many cases with violent crimes in D.C., the difference between the maximum sentence that can be meted out and the actual sentences that are handed down are significant. To better understand this, the commission looked at a decade's worth of sentencing data from D.C. Superior Court for pretty much every criminal offense charged — and in many cases, carjacking included, found that actual sentencing was below the maximums allowed by law."

I IMPLORE you to please educate yourselves on the nuances of the bill before continuing to arrogantly mock DC legislators for the crime reform bill they passed.

Ironically, if you educate yourself on the issues, the new crime bill is unquestionably good policy, but bad politics if improperly explained: the irony being that you're taking a Fox News approach to the issue (i.e. misreprenting the contents of the bill to your audience, albeit hopefully unintentionally), thus by being uninformed on the policy question, you're actively contributing to ensuring that it's bad politics as well.

I expect more from the Bulwark.

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As many of you already probably know, the anti-drag, anti-LGBTQ Lt. Governor of Tennessee was exposed chasing after a twink on social media. https://www.newschannel5.com/news/newschannel-5-investigates/revealed/im-really-really-sorry-tennessee-lt-gov-randy-mcnally-apologizes-after-uproar-over-social-media-posts And Michael Knowles who called for the eradication of trans folks - oh, sorry, the "idea" of trans folks, has appeared in drag as a scantily clad Elizabeth Warren.

You would have thought after last year's mid-terms that the pathetic MAGA GOP would not have doubled and tripled down on its legislative agenda of gay and trans bashing, but sadly they have. Because the primary purpose is advancing fascism. That's what you do when your standard bearer claims that he is the literal embodiment of retribution.

I am embarrassed to have ever been a member of the Republican Party. These people are in a dark place and it will not end well. Hopefully that bad ending will only be the GOP's and not the US.

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Just listened to Mona’s podcast and she criticized John Bolton’s “imperial me-ism” but thought that he would do “anything to prevent Trump from being president again. Unspoken was the obvious, (but known) “except vote for a Democrat.”

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

It's worth noting that even though he was the most centrist Dem candidate in 2020, he still ran to the left of virtually any major party candidate in history, even Obama. That damn Overton window keeps moving.

Good for him on moving to address crime concerns. Anecdotally, I'm planning a famiiy trip to NYC for the first time in a couple of years. Any time I bring it up to friends their first response is to mention how bad the crime is and to warn me not to take the subways. It's difficult to deny that crime is down while banks are turning of ATMs at 9:00 PM.

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"College will still be a significant milestone for many, of course, but embracing a paradigm of opportunity pluralism requires many additional routes to adult success."

I harken back to many decades ago when I graduated from high school (1970), 100 people in that graduating class and probably no more than 20 or so going to college including me. We had folks who had trained to be carpenters going straight to work at good paying jobs, laughing at the rest of us as suckers still in school. We had women who would go spend a couple of years at secretarial school to have secure jobs, we had a woman who became a flight attendant and one a fingerprint expert for the FBI. Some that became auto mechanics and plumbers and farmers (did I mention this was a rural area). At our 40th reunion the fellow who had accumulated the most wealth was a farmer. None of these careers I mentioned required a bachelor's degree. I ramble all of this because there is ALWAYS honor in honest work and in the scheme of things plumbers, electricians, farmers, trash collectors are more important to the smooth running of society than say engineers. And for the most part make a decent living at it. We need to make sure the people who go the non college route are not placed in some sort of second tier because they aren't.

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It might be worth it to reinstate my deleted Twitter account just so that I could like and share George Conway's tweets.

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Charlie, could you have someone on to talk about all of the anti democratic legislation boiling up in Mississippi?

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Republicans constantly claim to "back the blue," but then also want every Tom, Dick, and Harry who gets pulled over for speeding to have a firearm on them. Cops just love that idea.

It's almost as if there is no logical consistency to their positions.

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