Kevin McCarthy’s Jan. 6th Coverup is Underway.
Plus, Doug Mastriano, Christian nationalism and the cult of the AR-15.
Recently at The Bulwark:
THEODORE R. JOHNSON: Memorial Day—for All Americans
CHARLIE SYKES: A Crisis of Guns = A Crisis of Democratic Governance 🔐
JVL: The Ukrainian Missile "Crisis"🔐 and We Got Here By Sacralizing Guns.
CATHY YOUNG: Can We Stop Mass Shootings?
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
AMANDA CARPENTER: Kevin McCarthy’s Jan. 6th Coverup is Underway.
Conditioned to accept the idea that most Republican officials are zombified “ultra MAGA” automatons for former President Trump, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy seems to be getting a pass for stonewalling the January 6th Committee.
He shouldn’t. Politically convenient subservience to Trump isn’t enough of an excuse for McCarthy anymore.
More than 1,000 people have cooperated with the Jan. 6th Committee. Yet, McCarthy, one of the few people who spoke with Trump as the attack was underway, refuses to be one of them. Why is this seen as acceptable?
The GOP House leader made his position plain on Friday, when he signaled his intention to defy a subpoena from the committee. In doing so, he has transformed from a powerful party loyalist who could claim he was merely doing the former president’s bidding into an active participant in the coverup.
The NRA is not in the gun rights business — It’s in the culture war business. When will the responsible gun owners stand up and say “Enough?” Ryan Busse joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast.
We’re taking stock after a wild run of May primaries. We laughed, we cried, and we saw enemies (and friends) of democracy notch wins.
Will Saletan joins Sarah to break down what our focus groups got right, and Sarah takes a victory lap (or two) over Brad Raffensperger’s win in the Republican primary for Georgia Secretary of State.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
THOMAS LECAQUE: Doug Mastriano, Christian Nationalism, and the Cult of the AR-15.
he horrific mass shootings at Buffalo and Uvalde have brought the AR-15 back into the news for the unfortunately familiar reason that the perpetrators of both massacres used the weapon to commit their violence. In response, public pressure has been brought to bear on senators, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, former President Donald Trump, and the National Rifle Association, whose annual convention took place in Houston over the weekend. As conservative politicians defend Second Amendment rights and declaim against restrictions on gun ownership, a dangerous ideological commitment has become visible: the cult of the AR-15.
Daniel Defense, the company from which the Uvalde shooter purchased his guns, posted a since-deleted tweet containing an image of a child holding a dismantled rifle over which Proverbs 22:6 has been inscribed: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The company clearly knows its audience, as an ideology connected to the AR-15—combining Christian nationalism with a firearms obsession—has spread across the country. There are churches that have AR-15 giveaways, some even using scripture to sacralize the weapon—with the most extreme proponents incorporating the gun into their services.
The most prominent and explicit church belonging to this cult has ties to Doug Mastriano, the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate for Pennsylvania.
SHAY KHATIRI: It’s Time for Biden to Back Iranian Protesters.
If you were living in an Iranian city today, the sound of this chant mocking the regime would by now be deeply familiar to you: “Our enemy is here; they are lying that it is America.” Amid an inflation rate of 40 percent and massive unemployment, Iran had long kept the price of food artificially low via subsidies—but in recent weeks it eliminated the subsidies because it could no longer afford them. Prices have since risen dramatically: Flour is reportedly now ten times as expensive as it was a few weeks ago, while eggs, chicken, and milk cost double what they did not long ago.
Iranians now fill the streets in protest—but while gripes about prices and policies may be the proximate cause, the protesters’ ultimate target is the regime.
There is a joke people tell in Iran. As is customary in Islamic societies, strangers often call each other “brother” or “sister.” A foreign tourist asks why that is; his Iranian friend responds, “Forty-three years ago, there was a cleric named Ruhollah Khomeini. He screwed everybody’s mother, so we became siblings.” A nation of siblings joined by a shared experience of generational violence and degradation: The joke perfectly captures the way many Iranians think of the 1979 Islamic Revolution as a national humiliation.
Happy Tuesday! I hope you had a meaningful Memorial Day.
Matt Labash remembers the Cross Man. Gone, but not forgotten.
The internet challenge is dead. But did politics break it or did we?
Can robots design stained glass windows? An attempt.
Criminalizing homelessness. Missouri is trying, it appears.
“Outing” Reagan? James Kirchick has an interesting new excerpt from his book about gay conspiracies inside the Reagan-era GOP.
You’re probably going to get COVID again… And again. And again.
How to buy a chicken sandwich in Shenzhen… A great read at Rest of World.
There's No Political Solution to the Baby Formula Shortage… argues Steven Greenhut at Reason.
That’s it for me. 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.