So Close Yet Shofar
Plus, Ukraine Could Eventually Retake Crimea. How Would Crimeans Respond?
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: MAGA Meltdown
THE FOCUS GROUP POD: What a Week! 🔐
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
ANNIKA BROCKSCHMIDT AND THOMAS LECAQUE: So Close Yet Shofar.
Republicans are deep into the recriminations phase of their post-midterms reckoning. Pundits are gnashing their teeth, GOP congressional leaders are watching their backs, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are squabbling as they position themselves for 2024, and they’re all trying to place the blame for the defeat of the candidates Trump endorsed and failure of the expected red wave to materialize.
What do the midterm results mean for the future of MAGA? It’s still too early to say. The movement took a beating at the ballot box last week—but of course electoral defeats have long been a hallmark of MAGA. It’s worth keeping a close eye on the reaction of the diehard MAGA candidates and supporters, because how they cope with the 2022 election results may be a harbinger of what’s to come…
Last Tuesday destroyed Kevin McCarthy — he will be either defeated or humiliated. Meanwhile, Republicans may be figuring out that Trump is electoral poison, and they can’t win with him or without him. Will Saletan is back with Charlie Sykes for Charlie and Will Monday.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
CATHY YOUNG: Blame All the Single Ladies.
Republican politicians and conservative pundits are pointing fingers to assign blame for the red wave that wasn’t. “Orange Man bad” may not provide a complete explanation for the GOP’s worse-than-expected performance last week, but at least it tries to grapple with the party’s Donald Trump addiction. The lackluster (or downright looney) candidates are getting less blame than they deserve. There’s shakier reasoning in the cases against some other culprits, such as South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, although it’s fair to say that Graham’s attempt to push a national bill restricting abortion may have contributed to the electoral outcome. In any case, even that explanation for the election results is better than dropping innuendo about “ballot harvesting.”
Some in the right-wing commentariat have found, as it were, a sexier target: single ladies who vote.
BENJAMIN PARKER: Ukraine Could Eventually Retake Crimea. How Would Crimeans Respond?
Kherson is liberated. What’s next? There’s ample speculation—encouraged by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky—that the cities of Melitopol and Mariupol to the east might be next. That would break the “land bridge” that Russian forces control connecting Russia to Crimea. Thanks to the Ukrainian attack on the Kerch Strait Bridge in October, liberating Mariupol would cut off Russian forces in Crimea from their last supply lines.
The scenes of residents of Kherson rushing to greet and cheer their liberators will almost certainly be repeated when Melitopol and Mariupol fall. Mariupol was the scene of some of the toughest fighting of the first Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014. Government forces were forced to evacuate the city in March before reclaiming it in June. Eight years later, when Russia re-invaded Ukraine, Mariupol was the site of the famous siege of the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works, where Ukrainian forces held out against overwhelming Russian bombardment for almost three months before Zelensky ordered them to stop resisting.
Happy Monday! What started as a day where I hoped to do a fun home improvement project turned into an unrelated project: managing a water leak.
Thankfully, it wasn’t that bad and we were able to isolate before any severe damage was caused. Now, about fixing it… That’s part of tonight’s fun.
Since we all need a little holiday cheer… Here’s Aldi’s UK Christmas advert starring their recurring character Kevin the Carrot.
America’s longest ferry ride… Is in Alaska, and if you don’t want to get a room, you don’t have to. They let you camp on the deck of the ship.
Meet the undergraduate student who is becoming the tax collector. The last position of its kind. At least he’s studying accounting!
March Madness is perfect… Argues Will Leitch at Intelligencer. So, like virtually all other sports, they’re trying to ruin it with meddling.
A look at at Ducey ‘18 and Lake ‘22… And where Katie Hobbs grew the map.
Mike's Last Stand… Our friend Matt Labash provides the perhaps final update on the career of his former brother-in-law, the mayor of North Beach. (If you don’t get Matt’s newsletter, subscribe! Worth every penny!)
🦃 Thanksgiving is coming up… If you haven’t participated in the past and have a favorite recipe to share, we’ll add it to the open-sourced Bulwark Thanksgiving Cookbook, which we’ll send out next week. Reply to this message with any family favorites.
Tim rejoins The Circus. (Click below for free video of his exchange with Steve Bannon.)
Lastly, for a bit of comedy… Russia has sanctioned Jim Carrey. Yes, that one, for speaking out over their invasion of Ukraine. I’m sure he’ll really miss out on visiting Putin’s Russia!
That’s it for me. 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.