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Putting the Jan. 6th Committee Report in the Context of America’s Democratic Story
Plus, The 10 Best Films of 2022.
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES (BEST OF): What They Said Back Then (About J6)
ATMA: James Cameron Movie Draft 🔐
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Last night, the House January 6th Committee published its final report, revealing the committee’s findings and recommendations. Earlier in the week, for the first time in the history of our democratic republic, Congress referred a former president to the Department of Justice for prosecution. One of the alleged crimes, the evidence of which is available for all to see, is insurrection. To live in interesting times is usually regarded as a curse, but it is also a great moral opportunity.
We Americans are at a moment of decision. The moment began years ago, and its final resolution will depend on the outcomes of at least several more elections. By the end, we will have decided collectively whether to continue our history as a republican democracy or to begin a dramatic departure from our past with the advent, whether gradual or sudden, of an authoritarian state. In either case, our future is our choice.
JOE PERTICONE: George Santos’s Problems Are Just Getting Started.
The seemingly never-ending revelations of how newly elected Congressman George Santos invented much of his resumé, accomplishments, and identity out of thin air, are likely to become the subject of ethics probes and investigations.
Santos, who handily defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in November thanks to Republicans’ over-performance in New York, has created significant problems for Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, the House Ethics Committee, and the Republican Conference as a whole. What is there to be done with a member of Congress who has apparently fabricated so much of his life and background?
Katherine Gehl — the originator of Alaska’s Ranked Choice Voting system — discusses progress on reforming our primary elections. The group then weighs in on Zelensky’s historic visit, Elon’s fate, Trump’s taxes, and the immigration stalemate.
On this Christmas weekend, we revisit our May conversation with Tim Alberta about the morphing of evangelicalism from a spiritual disposition to a political identity, a development Alberta calls “heartbreaking.” He tells Charlie Sykes that Evangelicals are turning against each other over conspiracy politics and Donald Trump.
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ZANDY HARTIG: The Case for ‘The Family Stone’.
There is one egregious absence from nearly every “Best Christmas Movie” list I’ve seen: The Family Stone (2005). It’s everything anyone would want in a Christmas movie—warm, funny, and entertaining—but there is a subtle core of sadness that never crosses into being maudlin. The Family Stone does what it needs to do to qualify as a holiday movie, but it then transforms into something much more profound and satisfying.
SONNY BUNCH: The 10 Best Films of 2022.
I’ve been doing this for long enough to know that all end-of-the-year rankings like this are, at best provisional; there’s no way to know what will genuinely hold up from this year, what we’ll revisit and revere in future years. Perhaps I’ll regret leaving Avatar: The Way of Water off of this year’s list, but I kind of doubt it; like the first Avatar, it feels as though it’s a movie that needs to be seen in a theater or not at all, and revisiting such pictures is, well, not easy. Honestly, I think there’s a better chance I regret leaving Jackass Forever off the list—I genuinely cannot remember the last time I laughed that hard in a movie theater; I may never do so again—but we’ll see.
REMINDER: There was no Thursday Night Bulwark this week. We’ll see you in 2023!
Ashore! It’s great to be back on land, preparing for Christmas with the entire family. The Disney Wish is a wonderful ship, and, to the consternation of family, has excellent satellite internet. So I went 5/5 on newsletters, even if they were more bare bones than usual.
We’re now near where Ian hit, and thankfully, no real damage to speak of. I’ve seen some of the low-priority damage that hasn’t been fixed yet, like a Waffle House sign that reads "WAFFLE US ", and street lights at 45 degree angles, but I haven’t been to ground zero in nearby Fort Myers. Think of those who are still rebuilding this Christmas and consider donating to charities that are helping.
Of course, the J6 final report dropped as I was packing up for disembarkment, so look for more coverage in the coming days as we have time to unpack it over the holidays.
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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.