Discover more from The Bulwark
GOP Lawmakers, Biden Come Together on Cats
Plus: The Discord Leaks: No, Ukraine Is Not ‘Doomed’
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: A Harrowing Tale From the Heartland
PRESS PASS (with yours truly): The Boys Are Back in Town
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
BILL LUEDERS: GOP Lawmakers, Biden Come Together on Cats.
Republicans in Congress, acting on what appears to be genuine concern for other living things, are praising President Joe Biden for helping bring about an end to U.S. government funding for the alleged torture of cats in Russian biomedical research facilities.
This is not a spoof. Every statement in that sentence is true.
Yes, the United States has funded cruel cat experiments in Russia through the National Institutes of Health. Yes, GOP members of Congress urged Biden to be tougher on Russian President Vladimir Putin—a man the Republican party’s leader, Donald Trump, adores. Yes, the Biden administration seems to have pulled the funds, as urged. And yes, the GOP lawmakers are giving Biden credit for it.
🎥 PODCASTS AND VIDEOS 🎧
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
MIKE MURPHY: Iowa Is a Big Problem for Trump.
THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM ON 2024 has flipped. Again. At first, Trump was toast. Then Ron DeSantis was a juggernaut. Then the New York indictment supercharged Trump while DeSantis was revealed to hate puppies, small children, and humankind in general.
So now Trump, having turned the party of Lincoln into the party of Rasputin, cannot be defeated by any mortal Republican—only by Joe Biden in the general.
Perhaps. But I spent a few days in Iowa last week checking in with old friends from my decades working in state Republican politics. I had a useful captive audience of Iowa pols and operatives when I gave the annual Culver Lecture at Simpson College in Indianola, and I met other local politicos in Des Moines. In each chat, the take was unanimous: They told me that Donald Trump is going to lose the Iowa caucus. Some of them predicted a third-place finish.
CATHY YOUNG: The Discord Leaks: No, Ukraine Is Not ‘Doomed’.
Whatever else may be gleaned from the U.S. intelligence leaks now traced to 21-year-old National Guardsman and gamer Jack Teixeira, there’s a widespread view that these leaks paint an unfavorable picture of Ukraine’s war effort. This conviction is especially popular in the de facto pro-Kremlin sectors of the American right wing.
“U.S. Intel Leak Suggests Ukraine Ship is Sinking,” announced a headline in the American Conservative, a publication in which Ukraine is always sinking, leaks or no leaks. (The Russian daily Izvestia, now back to its Soviet-era status as a reliable mouthpiece for the state, gave the TAC piece its own spin with a headline that read, “Ukraine compared to a sinking ship in the USA.”)
The Federalist blared that “For $80 Billion (And Counting) U.S. Taxpayers Have Bought A Bloody Stalemate In Ukraine.” And Fox News’s Tucker Carlson outdid them all, claiming that the intel leaks show that “Ukraine is, in fact, losing the war” and specifically that “seven Ukrainians are being killed for every Russian.” One is almost tempted to see a self-sabotaging wink in the chyron that came on the screen when he made these claims: “WE ARE BEING LIED TO ABOUT THE UKRAINE WAR.” Why, yes, dear viewer, you are.
FOX SETTLES FOR $787M
That’s 22,485,714 MyPillows. CNN host Jake Tapper had to hold back laughter reading Fox’s statement (which sounded like it was written by Rupert’s divorce lawyer.) Dominion is pleased with the result. And we have Bill O’Reilly coming in from the top rope.
A Dominion lawyer: "We're not done yet. We have some other people who have some accountability coming toward them." Sadly, it doesn’t appear there will be any on-air mea culpas. But remember, up next, we have Smartmatic.
White House fence breached… By a toddler.
Fetterman to critics: No, he doesn’t have a body double.
The primary problem… That sent George Santos to D.C.
DeSantis can’t close the deal… Texas Rep. Lance Gooden is, sadly, probably setting a trend here with this statement. It’s the perfect fallback in case Trump doesn’t work out. That former guy, sensing blood in the water, is seizing on it.
Shall we play a game? Join the Across the Movie Aisle team on May 16th in Crystal City at Alamo Cinema and Drafthouse for a viewing of War Games and a live taping. I’ll be there, too, dressed as Dr. Stephen Falken.
Meanwhile, in Missouri… The Kim Gardner saga takes another wild turn, with an assistant prosecutor resigning and claiming Gardner put her name on things without her consent.
…and in Michigan… Some decent gun safety reforms were signed into law.
The Disney / DeSantis Feud… A timeline.
Stop it, get some help… Quit trying to meddle with baseball, Manfred!
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.