Can Congress Get a Witness?
Plus, Why Are You a Patriot?
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: The Right Normalizes Anti-Semitism.
JVL: Republicans Are Suddenly Doing A Little Bit Better Everywhere. Why?
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
MONA CHAREN: Why Are You a Patriot?
A few months ago, some marketer got hold of my cell phone number and I’ve been deluged ever since with text appeals from MAGA world and the GOP. A sample from just the last few days:
“Mona, you’re the lucky winner of our Trump Rally Blitz. Claim your prize in 10 minutes.”
“It’s Ron Johnson, I have one small request, no $ involved. Can you submit your endorsement of me? Just tap this link now. Thank you.”
“IMPEACH BIDEN POLL DUE TONIGHT! Mona, we’re begging, please take 30 seconds to join fellow patriots and take the official GOP poll.”
An American president doesn’t have to be a loud showman to be an aspiring autocrat. The genteel Woodrow Wilson censored the media and threw his political enemies in jail. The years 1917-1921 were some of the darkest days of our democracy. Adam Hochschild joins Charlie Sykes today.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
AMANDA CARPENTER: Can Congress Get a Witness?
Former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton’s brain is like a triangular pinball machine where his ideas rocket around three governing bumpers: One, he’s always right. Two, the Democrats are always wrong. And, three, he’ll always be a good Republican.
He remains steadfast in his conviction that he was justified in refusing to testify in Donald Trump’s first impeachment because the Democrats didn’t press him hard enough, and he frequently serves this up as evidence of why Democrats are to blame for Trump’s continued menace on the American electorate. Bolton has made this point in his book, many media appearances, and most recently, a Wall Street Journal review of Rachael Bade and Karoun Demirjian’s new book Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump.
SHAY KHATIRI: No, Kevin McCarthy, Our Aid to Ukraine Is Not a ‘Blank Check.’
Get ready: Republicans are gearing up for a fight over the fight over Ukraine.
In a recent interview, Kevin McCarthy—the Republican leader hoping next month’s midterms will make him speaker of the House—said, “I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine.” McCarthy has a point—not about aid to Ukraine, which remains a foreign policy imperative, but about the mood among rank-and-file members of the House GOP conference.
The same day the McCarthy interview was posted, Axios reported that Rep. Scott Perry, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, texted members of the conservative group about laying groundwork for investigating the Biden administration for its handling of the Ukraine crisis, suggesting that the president may not have been forthcoming with the American people about his goals in the conflict.
Happy Thursday! I look forward to meeting some of you tonight at our Bulwark live event! As a result, today’s Overtime will be a little shorter than usual. It’s weird being in D.C., which, frankly, I rarely am due to the pandemic.
One thing that has struck me is the change in parking. Back when I used to commute in and pay (a fortune) for parking, I knew I always had a place to park. But now? A night event? A garage that has parking beyond 6 or 7? Pretty rare!
Conor Beck, RIP. A fine tribute to my old intern.
The Failures of Reconstruction and the Rise of Jim Crow… A worthwhile podcast at Connor’s Forum.
That’s it for me. 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.