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Could the GOP Divide Over Ukraine Become a Lasting Split?
Plus: Michael Walzer’s Liberalism of Gratitude.
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: The Dilemma of Horny Bro Conservativism
JOE PERTICONE: Republicans Take Out Their Long-Held Ukraine Anger on DeSantis. 🔐
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AMANDA CARPENTER: Could the GOP Divide Over Ukraine Become a Lasting Split?
The great hope among many Republicans is that Ron DeSantis will run for president in 2024 as a smarter version of former President Donald Trump. But DeSantis’s stance on the U.S. interest in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is proving unfortunate for anyone harboring that hope.
In the past, the Florida governor’s backers may have been able to explain away his more controversial decisions—to align himself with election deniers, say, or use false pretenses to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, or call for the arrest of Dr. Anthony Fauci—as pro forma MAGA pandering. His position on Ukraine is different.
JONATHAN MARKS: Michael Walzer’s Liberalism of Gratitude.
Conservative critics of free market capitalism have lately been feeling their oats. Free markets, they argue, weaken every barrier to moving labor and goods efficiently. If your attachment to church makes you shun work on Sunday, free market capitalism says that it has to be weakened. If your attachment to home makes you balk at taking your skills where they’re needed, it has to be weakened. If your attachment to tradition makes you cling to inefficient practices, it has to be weakened. Such attachments may sustain the spirit, but since they’re bad for business, societies organized around free markets seek to “liberate” us from them. In such societies, conservative critics say with Karl Marx, “all that is solid melts into air.” But where Marx saw fertile ground for revolution, they see a spiritual desert. In exchange for spiritual nourishment, the conservative political theorist Patrick Deneen has argued, free market liberalism offers “the liberty to buy every imaginable consumer good,” which only feeds our “unfulfillable cravings.”
America has long responded to the needs of Baby Boomers, and the generation reshaped the country as it grew older. But now, its grip on the direction of America is starting to lessen, and that’s creating inter-generational tensions. Philip Bump joins Charlie Sykes today.
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RALPH CLEM AND RAY FINCH: A Russian Jet Hit an American Drone. It Probably Won’t Be the Last Time.
Two days ago, a Russian fighter jet brought down an American long-range reconnaissance drone while both were operating in international airspace over the Black Sea. An event such as this involving the actual destruction of a Russian or NATO aircraft has not happened in decades. But given the frequency with which encounters between aircraft from both sides take place and the tendency of Russian pilots to act irresponsibly, it is nothing short of a miracle that such dangerous incidents have not resulted in loss of life. While these incidents are always (or almost always) explainable as accidents, they nonetheless present the potential for escalation to armed conflict between two nuclear-armed states in an already confrontational posture.
CLARE COFFEY: The ‘Mortuary Chic’ of Today’s Aspirational Kitchen.
Today’s aspirational kitchen, recognizable across renovation reality shows and internet listicles and realtor photos, is composed on a surprisingly inflexible template. Depending on how much money is involved, the floor may be hardwood, engineered hardwood, or gray vinyl laminate. The layout might be a galley or a square or a formless open floor plan void. But the overwhelming impression is one of gleaming white: gleaming white shaker cabinets, gleaming white subway tile backsplash, gleaming white marble countertops, an enormous gleaming white farmhouse sink, gleaming white walls and trim, all mercilessly illuminated by recessed LED lighting. A gleaming stainless steel refrigerator may break up the endless white. But overall, the ethos of the contemporary aspirational kitchen is the sanitary sterility of a mortuary.
Happy Thursday from the Big Apple! Good luck to your team if it made the dance, and if you were one of the 120+ joined our bracket contest, I’ve got the prizes to announce.
1st Place: 2 Years of Bulwark+ and a surprise.
2nd Place: 1 Year of Bulwark+ and a surprise.
3rd Place: Bulwark Merch Surprise.
Last Place: SURPRISE.
Of course, all will get recognition in Overtime. The Last Place award needs a name. Respond to this message with ideas. (Keep them clean.)
Meanwhile, in New York… I’m in a small town outside the city that is home to Project Veritas, formerly home of right wing provocateur James O’Keefe. Speak of the devil, he just launched his new media venture in failed theatre geek fashion. Who knows? It could be a very interesting time to be in NYC.
REMINDER: There is no Thursday Night Bulwark tonight.
H.B. 999 prompts “horror.” Academic freedom is under attack in the “Free State of Florida™” once again.
Does Trump have a “secret decree?” The IC is silent as his mishandling of classified information continues to be investigated.
The makebelievers gotta stick together… “Makebelieve is key to illiberal projects around the globe.”
Faction… Is the only viable future for the Democratic party. An eye-opening report from Robert Saldin and the Niskanen Center.
Here’s a taste:
To effectively address these problems, like-minded activists, donors, and others in the broader Democratic ecosystem must come together to form and institutionalize a proper faction within the party that has a platform and brand that differs from that of the big cityand college campus-dominated national party establishment.
The Woke Mind Virus… House, M.D. and Kal Penn confront the greatest threat to society.
Joe Walsh vs. Dinesh D’Souza… It should be Pay Per View, but it’s free.
A Rockwell White House controversy… Some Norman Rockwell paintings presumed missing until they appeared in photos of the walls of the White House.
That’s it for me. Sorry it’s a short one today. Wedding duties call. We’ll see you tomorrow.
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