183 Comments

Charlie, I have a suggestion for Twitter which I've been meaning to relay to one of you guys.

The idea is to have two parts of Twitter. "Twitter Premium" would charge a monthly rate, and for that everything would be nicely edited, censored, and vetted for inappropriate material. The monthly fee would cover the costs of having all the editors. Erudite people could use Twitter Premium.

Then there would be a free part of Twitter - call it "Twitter Cess Pool" - in which there would be no censorship whatsoever.

For the Twitter Premium customers, they could push a button and release the censorship and editing on any particular topic and have instant access to the comments in the Cess Pool on that given topic if they so choose.

In practice, liberals and Bulwark types would use Twitter Premium and Trump Conservatives would use Twitter Cess Pool. Voila, everybody's happy.

Expand full comment

super interested in your recent Trump illastrations. Are these A.I. rendered ? they have that look.. and i love them

Expand full comment

super interested in your recent Trump illastrations. Are these A.I. rendered ? they have that look.. and i love them

Expand full comment

Democratic leadership in Wisconsin is in a gerrymandered left wing bubble, out of touch with most Democratic voters much less independents. Barnes has damaged the brand here for sure.

Expand full comment

An object lesson for Rs: "BREAKING NEWS NYT: Peru’s Congress voted to remove the country’s president just hours after he attempted a coup by decree. " Seems like even "third world countries" know how to take care of wanna be Trumps.

Expand full comment

Very few writers, including the excellent ones here at the Bulwark, often fail to mention the main reason Trump continues to cling to the lie that he won the election. If he was still the president, he could avoid all the litigation that is coming his way. The Mar A Lago documents case is the gravest danger to his freedom because it is so clear-cut. Multiple indictments are coming his way. The recent conviction of the 2 Oath Keepers for seditious conspiracy demonstrates that a jury will convict traitors such as Trump and his followers. The thought of Trump quaking in his shoes brightens up my day.

Expand full comment

Isn't Trump already destroying the GOP through his endorsements?

No question that Trump controls most candidates' fates in Republican primaries. Ask Mark Sandford or Josh Mandel. And when Trump's on the ballot, that does seem to help Republicans running for the House of Representatives. OTOH, perhaps the bulk of states which hold statewide office elections not in presidential election years benefit from Trump NOT being on the ballot.

Given how much Nevadans disliked Sisolak, it's hard to claim Lombardo's win was due to Trump. Perhaps the most which could be said is that Sisolak was so disliked that Trump's endorsement of his GOP opponent wasn't enough to save him. However, Lombardo will have Democratic majorities in the state legislature (actuall, Democrats picked up seats in both chambers), so there will be no Great Republican Dawn in the Silver State in 2023-4. So much for Republican gubernatorial pick ups.

As for US senators, Ron Johnson was an incumbent, and while Trump-friendly and certainly as deplorable as one could wish, his win really can't be put in Trump's own win column.

While not a swing state, Ohio's Vance, the tacitly acknowledged ass-kisser, is Trump's only win in 2022. I wouldn't include Budd in NC as a Trump-picked candidate.

Expand full comment

Wow, that Christian tweet.

Expand full comment

WRT the Trump GoP Presidential Campaign:

People keep talking about the rather lackluster nature of the Trump (non_ campaign. This includes Charlie and JVL.

I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation.

There is the thought (and the expectation), based upon prior political practice that Trump should be doing certain things. That he should be more active, Should be traveling. Should be holding rallies. Should be doing what he did in 20116 and 2020.

It is the better part of two years before 2024. The better part of a year plus before the nomination will (supposedly) be decided. Trump has, at this writing, no opponent. He may not actually have a substantive opponent. I am beginning to strongly suspect that he will not.

Trump is one of those people who needs an opponent. He needs a foil to play off of...or, as a minimum, a potential victim. Someone to make fun of. To oppose. He is NOT a person who works on the positives. Who provides goals or plans or policy except in the most basic memetic terms (MAGA! Build the Wall). Long on BS, short on substance... unless you count mockery of his opponent as content. Bullying as content.

He is not in the position of having to demonstrate who he is or what he stands for (unlike in 2015). Everybody knows who and what Trump is (although their view of that ranges from total PoS to Best President EVAH).

His major message is that the system is corrupt and that he and his followers are victims of that system (ESPECIALLY him). His message is that only he can fix it. Only he peaks the truth.

That message has been loud and clear... and he keeps coming back to it at a regular enough interval that it remains visible and current.

The candidate is known. The message is known. There is no policy, per se (other than a general policy of making those bastards pay).

Trump regularly establishes/reinforces his dominance over the GoP, simply by saying things like the Constitution needs to be terminated and getting no meaningful kickback/opposition form either the GoP as an institution or GoP politicians. Who's the boss? He's the boss. Despite the fact that he holds no office or official position.

Donors grumble--he doesn't need them. Politicians mumble things under their breath or say things in "deep background." Yawn. Meaningless. They will genuflect as they always have when push comes to shove... because, in the end, the choice is going to be Trump or a torched and burnt out GoP. They know it. He knows it. He knows they know it.

DeSantis, the great hope of the establishment and donors (look it is Trump only w/o the Trump, please believe us!!!!)... is sitting around waiting for the right moment (or so it seems). Not sure that moment is ever going to come. And not sure he can survive the Trump Experience... because when he does show up as an actual opponent,, then Trump will do things. Say things.

DeSantis will do only if there isn't Trump. Everybody kinda knows he is a pale imitation at best. Not authentic... because, in the end, it is a cult of personality and DeSantis has none.

Any potential GoP opponent has to weigh the chances of victory (and likely a Pyrrhic victory) over Trump versus the continued existence of the GoP as a viable political party (when Trump loses and burns the party down).

That is a heavy weight to take on your shoulders (because if it happens the "winner" will get a lot of the blame) for the prospect of losing the general election.

The GoP can survive Trump running and losing in the general. GoP Senators and congresscritters will still get elected. Local GoP politicians will still win. Power will be maintained.

Can it survive the creation of an independent block or party of Trump that views and paints the "regular" GoP as the most vile ungrateful traitors ever? Not so sure... and that is the math that DeSantis and Mitch and Ronna, and others are looking at.

So what does Trump REALLY have to do at this point other than to remind everybody that he is very very dangerous to the party? That he can take his toys (cult) and go home? That they better continue to at least not openly oppose him.

The GoP will get over it. They are in the habit of it. They will continue to wait for someone to rescue them.

Expand full comment

So, once again, the GOP is Lucy with the football. Every time it looks like they might put a sliver of daylight between them and Trump, it disappears and you're left to question whether you saw it in the first place. They will never change. At some point, we have to admit that the GOP as a party is dead.

Expand full comment

I think one problem for Republicans hoping to find better candidates is that they can't - they are forced into denial of reality because what reality seems to demand is .... Democrats. For example, are any of them running on repealing Obamacare this year? Has anyone heard a PEEP about Obamacare? I've heard some of them talk about "Americans losing jobs" - but that's not happening. It's pretty obvious that inflation is global, not a US affliction. And, what about Antifa? Notice how the cities have quieted down after the election of Biden? And climate change - are Republicans arguing that no measures at all should be taken?

They have no solutions to, for example, crime (which they exaggerate). I suppose they could argue for troops into the cities, but have they thought that through?

Given that if Republicans start to deal with the real world, they need to adopt Democratic policies, Republicans are forced into embracing the unreal world - populated by demonic forces, magical technologies, and a focus on Hunter Biden's sex life. (Witness the continuing Republican astonishment that anything Hunter Biden is not gaining traction - they've lost touch with reality).

And embracing the unreal world leads to ridicule and bad outcomes.

Expand full comment

Perhaps Orange BadMan needs a new nickname, I suggest” Donny Downer” , he has accomplished what no opponent could, making himself boring . …. Also many fine comments here on the rural - urban divide. Something that has been ongoing for decades. Improving public safety ,& schools is…. complicated, & takes $$. Urban mismanagement will always get more media attention than rural ineptitude.

Expand full comment

Democrats have to prioritize local and state elections. That's where the real electoral power lies. Even in districts that lean heavily red the Dems must not allow any seat to go uncontested. It's important to draw Democratic voters to the polls for every election and every race as it impacts everything across the ballot. Too often this gets overlooked and result is statehouses dominated by GOP.

Expand full comment

Will Salatan’s recap of GOP tap dancing about Trump is a great read. I can’t help but to think of the people of Ukraine and their President risking their lives and facing brutality to keep their freedom. I think of women in Iran risking death to be free from the religious police. Meanwhile GOP leaders sit safely ensconced in their democracy and won’t risk their position to call out a blatantly unethical and dangerous man. GOP officials should all be ashamed of how weak they are.

Expand full comment

Re: Warnock campaign running to the middle. If only similar wisdom had prevailed in Wisconsin!

Expand full comment

Do I even dare to dream of a world where I don't think about the existential threat of Trump every day? Would I make a good Dread Pirate Roberts?

Expand full comment