Team Normal Is Doing It Again
Plus, political hunger games.
Recently at The Bulwark:
TIM MILLER: But He Doesn't Fight.
CATHY YOUNG: Did It Really Happen?
JVL: Musk, Trump, and the Rule of Law 🔐 and Ranking the Nightmares.
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
AMANDA CARPENTER: Team Normal Is Doing It Again.
Herschel Walker is, by any measure, a flawed candidate. It’s a fact readily observable to anyone with a basic familiarity with his confessed history of self-harm, acts of violence against others, whack-a-doodle beliefs, and steady stream of lies about his supposed academic and business achievements.
Walker was audacious enough to lie to his aides about the secret children he fathered, even when they confronted him with irrefutable evidence of paternity.
But what those aides did in response is telling: They didn’t quit. Instead, they vented to the Daily Beast about what a “pathological liar” Walker is and how the campaign is “like a shitshow on a train in the middle of a wreck.”
Anonymously, of course. Chalk another one up for “Team Normal.”
When the Supreme Court ended Roe, it handed voters, not Biden, an issue to resolve. Plus, the Jan. 6 committee broke Bannon, the day Team Crazy took over operation Big Lie, and the GOP thinks inflation alone will do the work for them. Amanda Carpenter and Will Saletan are back for Summer Mondays.
The only thing Americans can agree on is how much they hate each other. David Axelrod, the mastermind behind President Obama’s 2008 campaign, joins Sarah to talk about just how deep our divide goes, and where it might take America from here.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
PHILIP A. WALLACH: Emmanuel Macron, the French Realignment, and Us.
More than three in five Americans told Gallup pollsters last year that the “[Democratic and Republican] parties do such a poor job representing the American people that a third major party is needed”—but of course, the members of this disaffected majority are diverse, and they would not agree on what that third party should stand for. Those who wish to see a dramatic multipolar realignment of our politics will always find reasons for hope, but the safe money is on the stability of our reigning duopoly.
The story of French politics over the last decade offers the strongest argument against complacency on this front. The French Constitution bears more than a superficial resemblance to our own, with a powerful president independently elected by the people having to work with a National Assembly filled by members who won their own district-specific contests. Generally, the president sets the agenda and his party in parliament follows along, but there have been episodes of divided government—which the French charmingly call “cohabitation.” A hostile majority in the 577-person National Assembly can hold up the president’s agenda, although he retains the power to dissolve the assembly and call for new, off-cycle parliamentary elections.
Happy Monday! And if you live near a 7/11, happy 7/11 day. Nothing like an ice cold treat to cool down the kids after some epic time at the playground. (I’m brand loyal to Icees, but a free Slurpee is still a free Slurpee.)
What is the cat painted rock, you ask? I found it with my family in a tree at a local agricultural park over the weekend. On the back, it had a link to a Facebook group where, apparently, people paint these and leave them for others to find. It’s a neat concept! Where should we leave it, and what should we paint on a rock? Reply to this email with ideas! (A Bulwark rock would neat, but that violates the rules.)
Gas prices are falling too fast? FNC flips the script so quickly you might get whiplash.
Eric Schmitt likes wasting taxpayer money on showy lawsuits. Immediately after his lawsuit against China blaming it for COVID-19 was dismissed, he filed an appeal. I know he really wants to be Missouri’s next U.S. Senator, but I’m old enough to remember when conservatives at least pretended to care about fiscal conservatism and frivolous litigation.
The FDA has identified a culprit in the baby formula shortage… And all it took was a look in the mirror.
Unprecedented… It’s out now on Discovery+. It’s kind of befuddling that they’d all sit down and talk about it, too.
Dirty water… Matt Labash on the commonalities of hot tubs and our political discourse.
Meanwhile, at Gannett… One of its papers printed—and then deleted—an op-ed from the wife of a Proud Boy organizer that defended it as a group of “caring parents.”
The Family Research Council is a church now. Don’t forget to tithe? It’s probably time to start thinking about changing the law.
Texas heatwave… Some (but not all) bitcoin miners are doing their part, but the real question is: when is Texas going to get with the program and fix ERCOT?
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.