The American Dream Is Sick But Not Dead

Americans have risen up, not against the meritocratic “rhetoric of rising,” but in defense of it.

Leading The Bulwark…

The American Dream Is Sick But Not Dead

MATT JOHNSON: Americans have risen up, not against the meritocratic “rhetoric of rising,” but in defense of it.

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🎧 On the Pods… 🎧

Jonathan Allen on Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency

On today’s Bulwark podcast, Jonathan Allen joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss his new book, co-authored with Amie Parnes, Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency.

For Bulwark+ Members… 🔐

MORNING SHOTS: Land of Distraction 🔓

CHARLIE SYKES: Oprah, Pepe, and Neanderthals


JVL AND SARAH: An entire show that doesn't even mention him.

THE TRIAD: The Biden Agenda Is Big 🔐

JONATHAN V. LAST: COVID relief and H.R. 1.

WEEKEND TRIAD: Joe Biden Has Been Making His Own Luck 🔓

TIM MILLER: And he’s not throwing away his Top Shot.


CHARLIE SYKES digs inside his inbox to share thoughts from readers.

From The Bulwark Aggregator…

In Today’s Bulwark...

H.R. 1 for Dummies

JUSTIN FLORENCE AND RACHEL HOMER: A layman’s guide to understanding what the For the People Act is and why America needs it.

Fraud, Fortune, and Fame in the Search for Religion’s Origins

DANIEL N. GULLOTTA: What Netflix’s ‘Murder Among the Mormons’ reveals about controversies of faith and history.

Thomas Jefferson’s Not-So-Peculiar Mind

NICOLE PENN: What the third president’s unorthodox cut-and-paste project can teach us about our longings and our politics.


Hope you had a good weekend. Let’s start off with some fun stuff, before we get to the bad and the ugly.

A man in the U.K. set up his own private toll road when a landslide took out one of the only ways into town. While it wasn’t shut down, it did not work out for him. #WhoWillBuildTheRoads?

If you’re into some more libertarian living, have you heard of slab city?

The economics of the treasure hunt. I am a big shopper. I’m a member of all the big box chains and Restaurant Depot. But have you ever wondered why CostCo doesn’t identify what’s in the aisles? As the WSJ reports, that’s by design. Like a casino without clocks.

Perhaps one of the most perfect paragraphs… At Defector, re: the Oprah interview and the NBA All Star Game:

The [UK] monarchy is like the All-Star Game in that they are both value-deficient holdovers from an earlier time that need gargantuan efforts to continue to justify themselves, but the monarchy is definitely worse than the All-Star Game because even an aggressively mutated All-Star Game only lasts a day and doesn’t have nearly as many utter bastards attached to it.

Everyone dislikes Marjorie Taylor Greene… But writing at New York magazine, Ben Jacobs asks: can anyone stop her? Make no mistake, the era of shitposting instead of legislating, or even attempting to, is very much here.

I did not watch the Oprah interview… But TPUSA’s Charlie Kirk has some thoughts on Harry’s manhood. Worth noting, as Steve Beynon does, that Harry has actually killed bad guys. So far as we know, Charlie Kirk is a not even at the level of keyboard warrior.

Bit of trivia, did you know that Oprah’s production company is named HARPO, which is OPRAH, backwards?


What are the possibilities of bipartisanship? Listen to Charlie Sykes on the CSIS podcast.

As Roy Blunt announces his retirement… May I issue a prediction? We’ll have disgraced former Gov. Eric Greitens, Courtland Sykes, Ann Wagner, Austin Petersen, and probably this guy from the boot heel. Who you got?

“Shockingly thin.” Oh really?

The rise of the “Biden Republicans.” In Politico, Zack Stanton writes, in an interview with the great Stanley Greenberg:

Then something important happened: In leaning too hard into white identity politics—and perhaps being too focused on what he thought Reagan Democrats wanted—Trump accelerated the rise of a new voting bloc that is, in many ways, the mirror image of the Reagan Democrats.

Call them the Biden Republicans.

Like the Reagan Democrats, they’re heavily white and live in suburbs. But where the Reagan Dems are blue-collar and culturally conservative, Greenberg sees the Biden Republicans as more affluent, highly educated and supportive of diversity. Historically, they identified with the Republican Party as their political home. But the leaders who were supposed to fight for them seem to care more about white grievance and keeping out immigrants; seem to care more about social issues and “owning the libs” than about child-care payments and college tuition. They don’t consider themselves Democrats—at least not yet—but they are voting for them, delivering them majorities in the House and Senate, and making Joe Biden just the fourth candidate in the past century to defeat an incumbent president.

Pretty much spot on.

Well, that’s it for me for today. You know how to reach me: with your comments, thoughts, or questions. I’ll do my best to get back to you.

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See you tomorrow.