Discover more from The Bulwark
A Speakerless House and a War in Israel
Plus: How 'Airplane!' Changed Comedy Forever
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Our Axis of Evil
ALI ARIKAN: ‘Ahsoka’ and the Star Wars Cultural Cul-de-Sac
SONNY BUNCH: Netflix Induced Apathy.
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
MONA CHAREN: Hamas Makes War on Israelis and Palestinians.
THROUGHOUT ISRAEL’S 76-YEAR CONFLICT with the Palestinians, certain clichés—like condemnations of the “cycle of violence”—have calcified. Saturday’s attacks on Israeli civilians betray their total bankruptcy. Israel did nothing to provoke this attack. There was no raid, no strike on terrorist headquarters, nothing. This isn’t revenge or retaliation—just straight-up barbarity. Perhaps this barbarism will provide some clarity.
It’s past time to retire another cliché: the “peace process.” On CNN, for example, representatives of the Palestinian Authority (which controls the West Bank) explained that the 10/7 attack was the understandable response by Palestinians to the lack of progress in the peace process. Precisely the opposite is the case. Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since its first and only election in 2006, does not and never has sought peace. Its charter specifically calls for the complete destruction of Israel, warning that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” It condemns Egypt for the Camp David accords, which it labels “high treason.” Efforts to find peaceful solutions are described as a sham…
🎥 PODCASTS AND VIDEOS 🎧
🎉NEW! 🎉 Watch The Focus Group Podcast with special guest Jen Psaki and The Bulwark podcast with Charlie & Will.
Did you know? Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice.
Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
NICHOLAS GROSSMAN: Blaming Democrats for McCarthy’s Fall Is Bullshit.
LET’S GET THIS STRAIGHT: Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican, called a vote to oust Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, in accordance with rules crafted at the start of this congressional session by the chamber’s majority party, the Republicans. Yet ever since McCarthy’s ouster, Republicans and conservative commentators have been angrily blaming . . . Democrats.
They’re lashing out with petty “revenge,” such as forcing Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer to give up their “hideaway” offices in the Capitol. All because Democrats did what every House caucus always does—support someone from their party for speaker over someone from the other party.
EVAN MINTZ: Could We Have a Consensus Speaker of the House?
THE RACE IS ON to succeed the ousted Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. So far it looks like the main contenders will be Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, although Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma is reportedly also thinking about jumping in, some other names have been bruited about, and several members of Congress have called for former President Donald Trump to be selected for the position.
This is 40…. No, not the movie, but my life! I made it! And one of the other reasons for no Overtime on Friday was because… I was at a funeral for our old colleague and friend Terry Eastland. It was a beautiful, movie-level funeral.
Afterwards, I paid a visit to the Montgomery County library to add the missing card to my very long list of local library memberships. The librarian looked at my license and was kind of giddy: Can I say it? she asked. I laughed: “Are you related to…”
“No.” she interrupted. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” The whole Little Falls Library heard it. A laugh and a new library card as a present.
And thanks to you all for your very kind birthday wishes.
It was also a birthday week for my twins, who turned six. They made out like bandits. My ever-patient wife acceded to a camping weekend and surprised me with a family-size tent. My parents got me the new Timex Standard watch and my siblings a Seiko field watch.
And, after our church’s patron saint festival, I picked up a Wagner Ware 1103D pan at the local antique shop, and I’m in the process of restoring it. (Did I mention I have an ever-patient wife?)
I got home to find out… another great person I knew had passed on: Dr. Hank Kenski, who joins his wife Margaret in the great beyond. Hank was a political genius who worked in Senator Kyl’s office and taught at the University of Arizona. I learned so much from him over my years there. One of my first experiences with Hank was a phone call from him asking why in the world did the weekly FedEx not contain a copy of The Weekly Standard? It hadn’t come and my colleague couldn’t put it in there.
So, I cut off the spine of the magazine on a Friday and inserted it into our PDF scanner to send to Hank. Which prompted me to wonder: Don’t they have a PDF version I could just get him squared away with? They did, and a few years later, I was working at TWS, and well.. the rest is history. Rest in Peace, Hank.
Yair Golan… A former Israeli MP and General jumped into action during Hamas’s attack and it reads like an action film. Months ago, Golan’s calls for non-violent protest against the Netanyahu government got him investigated for sedition. Which just goes to show that definitions of what is or is not seditious, indeed, differ.
What happens after “the lid…” Today is a holiday of sorts, and the WH called the lid early. Here is Biden meeting with his NSC folks and what the WH put out about it. The hard part about “the lid” is—once it’s called—it’s a wet blanket on coverage. God knows what TFG did after the lid, but this is one department where Team Biden needs to play perfect baseball. Soon-to-be-former Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis is trying to piggyback on “hidin’ Biden” but it’s not gonna work.
Other Republicans are trying this, too… But as Don Moynihan writes, the GOP case doesn’t add up. (And it’s pretty disgusting, to boot.)
In a sensible world she'd 'withdraw in shame'… John Oliver showcases a disgraced local MAGA candidate in Tennessee.
How a train crash changed vision… Phil Edwards on how a Swedish train crash changed how we treat vision.
Sign me up… For this 007-themed reality show.
Tech support questions? Email email@example.com. Questions for me? Respond to this message
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.