Jim Jordan Takes His Clown Show on the Road.
Plus: Germany Is Still Adjusting to the New European Reality.
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: "Top of the Line!" Trump Fawns, Again.
JVL: Liberalism, Nationalism, and War (A Membership discussion) 🔐
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
DENNIS AFTERGUT: Jim Jordan Takes His Clown Show on the Road.
There goes Jim Jordan, the MAGA chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and its “weaponization of government” subcommittee, driving his clown car to a new town. Since February, he has hosted hearings that have flopped harder than a distracted trapeze artist. As Francis Wilkinson wrote in the Nation yesterday, Jordan doesn’t “seem able to manufacture a political hit for a new era.”
Now Jordan has announced that he’s packing up the tent and hitting the road: Next week, the committee will be taking a taxpayer-funded field trip to New York. Why New York? To go after Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, whom Donald Trump, in his patented racist style, has called an “animal” and about whom Trump has screeched that “THE DEMOCRATS HAVE TOTALLY WEAPONIZED LAW ENFORCEMENT IN OUR COUNTRY . . . TO INTERFERE WITH OUR ALREADY UNDER SIEGE ELECTIONS!”
The darkness here in attacking law enforcement is unmistakable.
TAMAR JACOBY: WHY UKRAINE FIGHTS.
ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR MEMES circulating on Ukrainian social media in the past year used an image, first popularized on Russian social media, of a grotesque creature with the body of a fish and the snout of a pig—a shvino karas, or pig fish. “A few decades ago, almost all Ukrainian popular culture was derivative of something Russian,” online meme curator and web developer Bohdan Andrieiev, 32, explained. “Before independence and for more than a decade afterward, we had no popular culture of our own.” This has changed dramatically in recent years, culminating in a burst of new Ukrainian creativity since the Russian invasion in February 2022. Social media, meme culture, pop music, and viral jokes have emerged as powerful tools of national solidarity—the bottom-up, ironic Ukrainian equivalent of old-style totalitarian propaganda.
According to Andrieiev, virtually none of this new popular culture draws on Russian sources—that’s now widely seen as inappropriate. “But this is an exception,” he said, “because we’re inverting the reference. It’s like the word ‘queer.’ What was a slur is now a badge of pride. Russians call Ukrainians pigs and pig fish and look down on us. But if we’re so pathetic, how come we’re beating them on the battlefield?”
🎥 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.
WILLIAM NATTRASS: Germany Is Still Adjusting to the New European Reality.
Each U.S. president of the twenty-first century—Bush, Obama, Trump, and now Biden—voiced concern about the lack of seriousness with which Europe treated its own security in the years preceding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The European Union is an economic behemoth, but for far too long it has been allowed to outsource its protection to an increasingly frustrated United States. This dependency has now led French President Emmanuel Macron to controversially warn of Europeans becoming “vassals” amid escalating tensions between the world’s great military powers.
While Macron’s statement was hyperbolic, from a European perspective, one bitter positive emerging from the war in Ukraine is a belated realization of the need for greater military self-sufficiency. This is most clearly visible in Germany, where Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s lauded announcement of a Zeitenwende—a major turning point—in German defense policy just days after Russian tanks first rolled in Ukraine promised to reinvent the country’s military capabilities. The creation of a €100 billion fund for defense renewal suggested Germany’s reluctance to take responsibility for security would soon become a thing of the past.
Happy Wednesday! We’ve known this since his book launch (whoops!) but Sen. Tim Scott is running for President.
The grill of dreams… Like JVL is happy to consult on watches, I am a grill guy, so I love this ode to the Weber Genesis from our colleague Addison Del Mastro. My dad has rocked a Genesis since the late 1990s and it’s still going strong, even in Cleveland’s tough winters.
Find me an Abraham Lasso… At the St. Louis Post-Dispatch our pal Lynn Schmidt writes about her dream candidate.
What if… The John Birch Society never left?
The highly predictable consequences of Rob Manfred… Teams are now selling beer later. Which is something I asked him about at the Press Club a few years ago, but he dodged the question. Shortening the game and making baseball stadiums more experiential are contradictory, plain and simple.
Breaking news: A legislative body did the right thing! And expelled a member who damaged the integrity of the Arizona House by inviting a conspiratorial realtor who leveled unfounded and bizarre accusations against other members to testify.
Will Dianne Feinstein ever come back? Her absence has cost Democrats on judicial nominees. Some wonder if she’ll ever return to the Senate. Some are calling for her to resign, which is turning into a soft drumbeat.
Yikes. The Philly mayoral debate took a turn.
Meet dril. Extremely jealous of this profile of one of Twitter’s most famous users.
Meanwhile, in the “Free State of Florida…” Jessica Huseman has this deep dive on how conspiracy theories and the “Gateway Pundit” convinced Florida to leave ERIC, a system designed to help stop voter fraud. Ironic that a guy whose career was made by digital blogging is arguing that you can’t trust digital voting safeguards.
Fox News sanctioned… And Dominion will get another crack at a deposition at Fox’s expense.
“Reactionary Boycottism.” Berny Belvedere has coined a new phrase to describe the sort of performative lunacy we’re seeing from the American right. But it’s nothing new. Remember the Keurig boycott?
There’s a reason… All Christian megahits sound similar. (Which reminds me of this Mike Birbiglia bit.)
Running unopposed… Leads to situations like Missouri’s, where they’re cutting state support for libraries.
“What it’s like to live in America…” You never know when death will come to your doorstep.
Would red flag laws have helped stop the Louisville killer? Analysis from my friend Stephen Gutowski at The Reload.
The slaves of Tromelin island… How did they survive on a windswept island for years?
Name this band: (Post your replies on Notes!)
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.