The Bogus Protest, the House Race, and the MAGA Grocer
Plus, why COVID Derangement Is Working Out Just Fine for the GOP
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: The Barr-Pence Line
SECRET PODCAST: Mona's Time in the Barrel
JOHN HERBST: Biden’s Response to Russian Aggression Can’t Rest on Half-Measures
Thanks for your support of The Bulwark by being a member of Bulwark+. If you like today's edition, please share it with someone who you might think would value it.
New from me: The Bogus Protest, the House Race, and the MAGA Grocer.
But then there are your crazies—like your Trump-loving veteran who wants to “stop the steal,” your gun-loving veteran who is part of the Three Percenters militia who wants to add Republicans as a federally protected class because of the gays, and your state representative who tweets out things like “Fauci should spend the rest of his life rotting away in a federal prison” and who is pals with Laura Loomer, the far-right fringe conspiracy theorist best known for chaining herself to Twitter headquarters after being banned from the platform.
And while the primary is still nearly seven months away, the crazies are getting an early start in stirring things up. Over the weekend, a handful of Floridians protested outside an extended-stay hotel in Maitland, Florida (just outside Orlando) that they believed to be occupied by masses of illegal immigrants brought there by President Biden on buses.
Because Loomer filmed a video of the men in question getting off the buses. The video was amplified on far-right social media sites by the likes of Roger Stone. On Twitter, a failed inventor who goes by the name J. Hutton Pulitzer shared the video. (Pulitzer was last in the headlines for helping the Cyber Ninjas—remember them?—look for bamboo in supposedly fraudulent ballots.)
Biden's empathy didn't extend to Afghan allies — like interpreters — who risked their lives for our troops. When the administration didn't plan for their exit, vets, soldiers, and others came together to save lives. The Atlantic's George Packer joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast
MONA CHAREN: The Trump Coup Is Still Happening
A healthy body politic, like a healthy physical body, needs antibodies. It needs certain automatic defenses. The actions of those Republicans were the vestigial antibodies of a healthy democracy. The people who made those crucial decisions were acting out of a sense that anything less would be dishonorable and would be perceived as such by the whole society.
But would they make the same decisions today? Will they or their equivalents make the same calls in 2024?
Every single time a Republican suggests in any fashion that what Trump did and attempted to do was anything less than a five-alarm fire, they are weakening our immune system.
A.B. STODDARD: COVID Derangement Is Working Out Just Fine for the GOP.
This election year began ominously for President Biden, with the omicron wave causing sick outs and disruptions that canceled air travel and put even more strain on the supply chain. Americans of all political stripes started complaining that they were “done with COVID.”
Meanwhile Republicans have been pounding Biden for the pandemic. Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweets that Biden “failed” or “lied” in promising to contain the virus. She is, she notes, particularly concerned about “hospitals scrambling.”
You would think that McDaniel was being a COVID hawk, but she’s found a trick for having it both ways. She blames Biden for “hospitals scrambling” but says nothing about the parade of unvaccinated COVID patients. Instead, she says that the problem is that Biden “didn’t buy enough treatments” and that his vaccine mandates “made staffing shortages worse.” One particularly unironic tweet noted all the deaths that have occurred on Biden’s watch: “A year into his term, daily COVID cases have reached new records, and tragically more people have died after Biden took office than before, even though he was handed a vaccine.”
BING! Happy Groundhog Day! It’s been a cute day for my twins, since today is 2/2/22. Lots of 2s! Sadly, Mitch Hedberg could not be here to enjoy it. Today’s OVERTIME will be a little shorter, as I head to watch my Billikens face off against George Mason here in Northern Virginia. Go Bills!
Behind the making of Groundhog Day…Check it out.
All the wrong lessons… As this is one of my favorite movies, I think that when it comes to today’s politics, we’re dropping the ball. Groundhog Day is about redemption. Making your life right. Destiny? (Who wouldn’t want to be with Andie MacDowell?)
Unfortunately, Bill Murray was in a dark place during filming because of a contentious divorce. Still, the movie is a classic, even if it was filmed in Illinois.
My twin daughters woke us up at approximately 5:59 this morning, which was fitting. After I concluded I was not getting any more sleep, one of the things I thought about was the GOP and the wrong lessons.
Donald Trump shows folks, mainly voters, who he is every day. But, there’s a dark underside we are discovering with every release from the 1/6 committee.
This is not a surprise to anyone.
But now, Republicans have to deal with it, and they’re feigning surprise.
Which is precisely the wrong lesson. Bill Murray as Phil Connors (BING!) improved himself to get out of his predicament. The GOP on the other hand, seems hell bent on seeing nor hearing any evil, lest they piss off primary voters. Profiles in courage.
Yes, we are up against fascists… A cartoon worth your while.
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.