America’s Problem Is Policy, Not Power.
Plus: Iran Is a Problem. We Should Treat It Like One.
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Getting Off the Daily Hamster Wheel of Crazy
JOE PERTICONE: Are New York Republicans Slow-Walking Into George Santos 2.0? 🔐
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
DALIBOR ROHAC: America’s Problem Is Policy, Not Power.
IN FEBRUARY 1982, IN THE MIDDLE OF A RECESSION, the Hartford Federal Savings and Loan Association in Connecticut faced a 12-day bank run following news of its heavy losses the previous year—and NBC’s unfortunately timed broadcast of a film about the Wall Street crash of 1929. A large chunk of Hartford Federal’s total deposits was withdrawn in the resulting panic, mainly by older customers. Yet, against the odds, the small financial institution survived the storm.
Management made sure that branches had enough cash on hand. Hartford Federal even offered to waive the penalty fees for early withdrawals of time deposits. Its employees, the New York Times reported, even “offered to call and pay for taxis for persons leaving the branches with cash. One customer who got a huge amount of cash was persuaded to let a Hartford Federal officer walk with her to a nearby commercial bank, where she redeposited the money.”
🎥 PODCASTS AND VIDEOS 🎧
Shield of the Republic: We Need a Zero Tolerance Iran Policy
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.
WILL SELBER: Iran Is a Problem. We Should Treat It Like One.
THROUGHOUT MY TWENTY-YEAR military career, one thing was constant: The Iranians were always trying to kill us. The only change was where, when, and the kind of weapons used. For me, it started in the summer of 2006.
“This place right here, Amil District,” said the sergeant, pointing to his map. “This place is EFP alley. You drive through this area and everyone needs to have their head on a swivel.”
I was in Baghdad, set to go outside the wire for the first time with the unit we were replacing. My squadron was learning the ropes from the old hands, something the military calls “report in place/transfer of authority.”
Thank you, Charlie Sykes. 🍻
I want to tell you a story about Charlie Sykes. Back in our late TWS days, Steve Hayes had just taken over as editor, and we needed a new host for our daily flagship podcast. Our old parent company was not hiding at this point the disdain they had for our Never Trump position, and in a weekly corporate meeting, one of the suits asks me: Hey, have you guys found your replacement host yet?
“We have,” I said. “It’s going to be Charlie Sykes as the new host.”
The face of this suit was as red as a tomato. Oh great, another Never Trumper! Arms were thrown up in disgust / surrender, realizing we weren’t going to go along with a Trump-friendly theme. That Charlie could elicit that reaction, early on in Never Trumpism, gave me delight. I quickly found that working with Charlie was also a delight.
We obviously know how that chapter ended at TWS. But the good news was that I was going to continue to work with Charlie here at The Bulwark.
I don’t know why it was corporate policy, but our old show was very insular, with most guests working at the magazine. Here, we shot for the stars…. and usually got them, eventually.
Why? It wasn’t our brand, which nobody knew, I think it was hard work but mostly the gravitas of Charlie, whose reputation for giving a potentially hostile guest a fair shake only grew stronger here.
Another reason the show does so well was Charlie’s expectation of greatness. Pre-COVID remote interviews weren’t as easy as they are now, but in a studio with soundproofing literally duct taped on the walls, some tin cans, and Skype as string, we put together a good show. Charlie leaves it a great show.
While I am glad he’s not leaving the fight, I appreciate all he did for me and for being a major driver of our success here at The Bulwark. Thank you, Charlie.
Our friends at Utterly Moderate… discuss embarrassing developments at American universities and the incredible imbalance of liberal to conservative professors.
The House extends the Child Tax Credit… But Republicans demanded some sweeteners.
The Power of Proximity to Coworkers… An NBER paper that asks: “what are the effects of proximity to coworkers?”
The retconning of George Floyd… Bari Weiss's Free Press is the latest outlet to tout a conspiratorial documentary alleging that Derek Chauvin was wrongly convicted. It's all nonsense, writes Radley Balko.
Hoop Dreams… JVL reviews 'When the Game Was War' by Rich Cohen (Commentary).
Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Respond to this message
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.