310 Comments

How would Biden protect voting before anything without legislation to sign? You are asking for Biden to do exactly what he was elected NOT to do---act like Trump with tweet opinions on everything.

Expand full comment
founding

Of course Trump did this! Can anyone think for a minute that if Trump had conceded, even grudgingly, that any of this would have happened?

Expand full comment

So on Jan 6 around midday a mysterious courier arrives at RonJon's office with a packet of Fake Elector certificates. Surely this person is on CCTV in FBI possession. It sure sounds like Pence's people were on the look out for shady coup plotter operatives, bearing perhaps fake documents.

Expand full comment

"One feels a profound sense of shame on behalf of this country for what the Raffenspergers, Bowers, Sterlings..... were put through."

Yes, one does. But one also wonders why Raffensperger and Bowers (I'm not sure about Sterling's voting record) voted for a lying, cheating, cruel, incompetent, criminal, narcissistic bully TWICE. And probably will a third time.

Expand full comment

I finally figured it out! RINOs = Republicans who tell the truth

Expand full comment

Maybe RICO charges need to be brought against the GoP and a lot of people in the Trump Administration and Trump Organization.

Trump and his close associates get a lot of attention here--but we can also see that the rot runs pretty far into the GoP... and it is only actually going to get worse--NOT better. We see continued cycles of the purification of the ranks of the GoP--and each cycle is a bit more extreme than the next.

And a big chunk of GoP voters are okay with that--as are a lot of the GoP politicians because, hey, they want to keep their jobs, so let's go along to get along.

A LOT of people need to be indicted and tried--and this includes a LOT of politicians who are currently sitting in House and Senate seats. But this is unlikely to happen.

The violence that results from attempts to prosecute some of these people will be interesting (in a bad way, as in the Chinese curse interesting). What will be even more interesting is how the public at large responds to the violence. That public response will be the key as to whether everything falls apart immediately or not. If people continue to write this crap off or excuse it, then it is going to spiral and there will be no real effective response to it at all--just a descent into chaos.

A lot of Americans need to wake up and realize that we ARE at a crossroads. Ya it sucks that gas is expensive. It sucks that inflation is higher than you are used to (I grew up with high inflation so my response is largely meh, TBH). You can make adjustments in your life to mitigate that, if we end up in a civil war/domestic insurrection/political violence, you are going to wish that high gas prices were all you had to worry about.

Pasta certain point NO ONE is in control of this, regardless of what illusions you harbor.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2022·edited Jun 22, 2022

"Bill Kristol: Where Are The Conservatives?"

They are right in front of us. They easily and quick as a wink transmogrified into fascist monsters. See: Cruz, DeSantis, Hawley, and about 150,000 other cheap cesspool pols.

Expand full comment

Ron Johnson: 'I don't know who ate the pizza we ordered the pizza from pizza place we didn't order it someone else ordered the pizza and we ate it didn't eat it gave it to Pence who didn't eat it there is no pizza except the one we heard about got ordered we accepted it and ate it didn't eat it. I hope that explains the pizza.'

Expand full comment

The true patriots are these Americans who acted honorably and have been threatened and vilified by tRump’s storm troopers. Shameful, disgusting political criminality!

And RonJon’s fictional account of that fake electors handoff has been further discredited.

https://www.rawstory.com/sean-riley-national-archives/

Expand full comment

Yet today I read that Bowers would vote for Donald Trump again if he was the candidate in 2024. How can I have any sympathy for him? He is willing to put the country through another 4 years of a man who he knows was willing to break the law to stay in power, disrupting 200+ years of orderly transitions of power.

Expand full comment

Due to being really busy today...I hadn't seen or heard this reported about Bowers. OMG x 1000

I'm speechless. It's like their brains are broken. I've no words that are adequate. Maybe tomorrow...

Expand full comment

Well, didn't Bill Barr say essentially the same thing? That the dangers of progressivism make it inconceivable he would vote Democrat even if Trump were again the nominee? These people are no different than the Vichy French who believed Pétain and Laval were their only defense against godless Communists, Jews, Protestants, freemasons and the English.

But I guess that's what comes from basing your entire identity on politics.

Expand full comment

And over on The American Conservative - not one word about the 1/6 hearings and about Trump. Still getting comments that the election WAS stolen. BTW, some of the writers are college kids or recent grads whose knowledge of life and history is nil. So much for "intellectual conservatism"!

Expand full comment
founding

Off topic: Can we get comments enabled on The Triad pieces this week? None have been available for commenting yet. Thanks!

Expand full comment

My paranoid conspiracy theory is that they restrict the comments to the paid section because too many of the comments conflict with the hippie-punching narrative, or the idea that American Conservatism has had any redeeming qualities since Eisenhower.

Expand full comment

Pay to play keeps the trolls away.

Expand full comment

I didn't think it would be possible for me to feel worse about everything... but then, yesterday's hearing. Omigod. What a horrible path are we on as a nation.

Can we talk for a moment about the radicalization in Christian churches? I'm so grateful you've had people on the pod, like Tim Alberta, who've talked about it. But so many other people have acted if this radicalization - this cult-like worship of guns, whiteness, and Trump - is an exception. Something over the past 30-40 years set the stage for this, where all of these "good people" view Trump as their "imperfect vessel" who will fulfill their bizarre end times nonsense. Why are these folks such fertile ground for this awfulness? Maybe there's something terribly wrong and terribly dark in the church and the people there.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2022·edited Jun 22, 2022

Evangelical "Christian' churches more often than not no longer discuss service in Christ. Rather, Sunday is reserved for sermons, aka rabid diatribes, promoting Trump, guns, and white male patriarchal dominance. Evangelicalism has become a "political religion" hell bent on destroying American democracy.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/06/evangelical-church-pastors-political-radicalization/629631/

Expand full comment

Mark Shea had an article a couple of days ago on his blog "Stumbling toward Heaven" about the MAGA takeover of some rad-con Catholic groups. He had a cartoon near the end of it that chilled and terrified me - a blonde boy holding a gun wanting to die - his savior, Hitler. 1945 Germany is a study of mine, and it's beginnings. I see it everyday now with the MAGAs.

Expand full comment

Wow! That's a powerful and horrible image. Thanks for the recommendation; I'll check it out.

Expand full comment

Roughly half of Mark's articles are on the MAGA takeover of many conservative religious groups. He has the stomach for reading and finding their horrors. And he calls them out in sometimes angry language.

Expand full comment

Do we know for a fact that Mike Pence was carrying the Nuclear codes on 1/6? When did he become responsible for "the suitcase"- or whatever it is properly called-and if true was this common knowledge? If it is true at the very least Democrats can use this as a counter argument to Biden is incompetent.

Expand full comment

While I admire Speaker Bowers for standing up the pressure campaign from Trump and his minions, the fact that he says he'd vote for Trump again in 2024 takes some of the shine off his halo.

After being a first-hand witness to Trump's coup attempt, being subjected to death threats by Trump's mob including against Bowers' own dying daughter, after watching Trump eagerly wait to see if the 1/6 insurrectionists would succeed in killing his own VP, Bowers STILL thinks voting for Trump would be a better option than voting for Biden.

I'm gobsmacked. The on-going campaign of destruction of our democratic republic won't succeed only because of armed, violent mobs. It will take place because even otherwise decent people can't see past their worst tribal instincts.

Expand full comment

"otherwise decent people can't see past .." is very well put I think. I just said "there are none so blind as those who will not see" which perhaps says the same thing. I also hear that Trump "made us money," which is absurd since Trump has no capacity for making anyone anything and never did a presidential act in his life. I still don't understand why Wall St seems to love him. He did nothing but steal from us, dismantle the federal govt (for Grover Norquist), and golf.

Expand full comment

Very well said, Suzanne! Brava!

Expand full comment

They will sacrifice the long-term integrity of the constitutional republic for the sake of policy victories that are reversible.

Expand full comment

Trump doesn't have any policies. Why do these otherwise intelligent people believe that he does?

Expand full comment

If you ever find out the answer to that, please let us know. I can't think of one, not the even the tax bill or the conservative take-over of the Court, that outweighs the evil he did while in office, especially towards the end.

How on earth anyone with a functioning conscience could even consider voting again for a man who's still pledging to over throw our government - and believe that would be a better choice than voting for someone you might disagree with but who can be counted on to uphold our rule of law - is beyond my comprehension.

Expand full comment

He has vague notions -- many of which, according to insider testimony, are illegal or crazy.. As I see it, people with actual policy agendas latched on to him as the vehicle to push them through.

Expand full comment

I think they like the tax slash for billionaires, and they love the activist zealots he appointed to the court , and his climate deregulations (i believe Biden has reversed what he could), dumping on Europe, slobbering over putin, and of course his racism and vulgarity. They love it all.

Expand full comment

Exactly. "Trump might be criminal and a seditionist, but at least he's not a Democrat!" is an utterly bizarre line of reasoning. Bowers refused to overturn the election because that would have violated his oath of office, but he's perfectly willing to let Trump have another go at it. What the actual......

Expand full comment

Except some might be irreversible for a loooong time. Like Roe.

Expand full comment

@Carol S, interesting point

Expand full comment

Firstly: GREAT newsletter! Wonderful that everyone weighed in. They each spoke for all of us, I suspect! (with one tiny but niggling exception...)

When I was a child, society began shifting from using the term "colored" to using the term Black, as in Black is Beautiful. One day my brother referred to someone as "Colored" and my father corrected him, and said it's better to say "Black". My brother asked why he couldn't say "Colored" anymore. My father replied, "Because they don't like it. We don't need any more reason than that. It's how we demonstrate our respect for them."

True enough. My name is DeeDee... I had a gym teacher who called me "Dandruff" because she thought it was hilarious. I began feigning my period to get out of PE because, who wants to be insulted all the time? Once might have been funny... repetition was deliberately insulting and cruel.

Using the word "woke" is now like the "N" word. It's offensive. Stop using it. English is rich with words that you can use instead. Try finding an inoffensive synonym for "woke"... I challenge you to... I suspect all the synonyms you find will be clearly insulting and perhaps you'll understand why It's a word best dropped. It's a word used only by Bullies on the Right. If that's who you are, keep using it.

Depends on the purpose of The Bulwark though. If you want to unite the nation behind your views, you can do that by being inclusive. If you just want to get rid of trump, and still "own the libs", then carry on with effing "woke", and I will feel sorry that you couldn't find any real words to use.

Expand full comment

Very well said.

Expand full comment

Add "virtue signaling" and "CRT" to the list. Time to re-read Orwell's "Politics and the English Language."

Expand full comment

@ Carolyn Phipps, Thank you! Embarrassed to admit I've never heard of Orwell's book, but as soon as I hit "post" here, I'm ordering it! Thanks.

And YES "virtue signaling" and "CRT" ( for God's sake!!!)

Expand full comment

DeeDee, it's an essay and I'm sure you'll find a pdf online. It's probably one of Orwell's best known pieces, after his novel, 1984, which itself deals with the corruption of language.

Expand full comment

Jeri, it's an essay and I'm sure you can find a pdf online. It's one of Orwell's best known pieces, apart from his novels.

Expand full comment

(I knew you meant me...) And too late! I just now ordered a book of his essays, and will be happy to have them here. Really appreciate the recommendation! Thanks.

Expand full comment

Righty ho!

Expand full comment

Sorry, Jeri!! Meant to reply to DeeDee.

Expand full comment

Thank you for highlighting Shaye Moss. She is a heroine, and it is awful that people simply doing their jobs with integrity could be subjected to what she was, in this country, with the slime of racism thrown in to boot. It was so good to read the Bulwark men so roundly defending Ms. Moss and her family.

Thank you, gentlemen.

Mona Charen's comment brought me to tears, as Mona so often affects me with her silver voice of clarity and truth.

It's true too that conservatives used to stand for good character. What happened? It's almost laughable to me that Andrew McCarthy is now saying that it is clear the Trump is unfit for office. Why wasn't that clear to a man of McCarthy's perspicacity long, long ago?

It was clear to the staff of the Bulwark. Thank you for being a bulwark in the storms of our times.

Expand full comment

"Why wasn't that clear to a man of McCarthy's perspicacity long, long ago? " --

My theory is that some undeniably smart people, seeing that Trump was serving interests of theirs, chose to believe that they could see deeper, beyond mere "style," to the virtuous core, which must be there if he was pushing policies they liked (so the thinking went). This was no doubt presumed to be a higher form of moral judgment, above the supposedly superficial censoriousness of others who lacked the moral fortitude to fight the good fight.

Expand full comment

Well said and very insightful. I think you are right. That would explain the virulent hatred against people perceived to be RINOs and also Never Trumpers. I think there was a lot of self-delusion going on, though, and a lot of consciously willed blindness. Trump's limitations of character were evident during the primary debates. He was clearly dangerous because he did not understand the system of checks and balances (among many other things he didn't understand). I'm surprised that those who chose to believe they could see deeper into some sort of virtuous core couldn't see that from the first. And the ends--likable policies--don't justify the means. I think the Republican Party--of which I used to be a member--lost moral clarity when it came to Trump and became fearful, power-driven, and unprincipled. It is a shame. Even Nancy Pelosi said that the country needs a strong Republican Party. There are also people who voted for Trump on the basis of one issue about which they were impassioned--all the while knowing and ruing his limitations of character, but feeling the issue was too important to sacrifice. I know some very intelligent people who voted for him on that basis. Still, agreeable policies won't matter much if we don't have a country left, and I do believe he exacerbated divisions and tried to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power to the point of almost establishing an authoritarian regime, all the while encouraging armed, extremist militias. Andrew McCarthy thinks our institutions held. I don't agree--they held because of the courage and good character of the people within them--people like Shaye Moss. Thank you for your comment. It was intelligent and insightful.

Expand full comment

I feel our institutions were infiltrated and damaged. Many have sections or departments and safeguards that were destroyed and that is why we are reaping many of the consequences of that damage now.

Expand full comment