Discover more from The Bulwark
The Bulwark Celebrates Festivus
And why Trump's defeat was Dunkirk, not-D-Day.
Happy Festivus from all of us at The Bulwark.
Recently at The Bulwark:
TIM MILLER: A ‘Not My Party’ Airing of Grievances
SONNY BUNCH with a ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ Review
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
AMANDA CARPENTER argues the Progressive Protests Against Manchin Backfired.
People have a right to protest. And part of Manchin’s job is listening to voters who disagree with him. But protests are supposed to be about achieving concrete goals. The progressives who thought that they could sway Manchin by constantly hectoring him in public weren’t achieving anything except making themselves feel good.
And they did hector him. In one of the more memorable stunts, protesters swarmed the houseboat, where Manchin lives while working in Washington, in kayaks. That wasn’t a one-off event. They did it for several days. And while the optics were somewhat amusing, it isn’t so funny when protesters swarm him and scream at him as he leaves the houseboat for work in the morning.
The Trump administration's malfeasance in responding to Covid demands a 9/11 commission-style investigation. Plus, Biden's 2020 victory was more Dunkirk, and less D-Day. Churchill fan Bill Kristol joins guest host JVL on today's episode.
ADDISON DEL MASTRO on The Curious Rise of the Complicated Christmas Song.
It’s tempting, but not quite correct, to see the secular Christmas canon as neutral. Yes, in some ways these older songs are simplistic. They reflect, and assume, a level of stability, cohesion, and emotional, cultural, and religious conformity that no longer obtains. Indeed, the secular Christmas canon itself owes much to Jewish songwriters (Irving Berlin, Johnny Marks, Mel Tormé, and many others) who squared the circle of celebrating Christmas by writing about its atmosphere, its civic and familial meaning. Far from diluting the holiday, they broadened it, and helped make it—I would argue for better, although some believe for worse—something American.
The brief, intense period of cultural production that gave us this part of the Christmas canon has remained with us for far longer than anyone would have guessed back in the 1950s. There’s obviously something nostalgic and comforting about these songs, even all these decades later. Perhaps they are vestiges of the sort of society that many of us miss in some ways, even those of us who would never admit it.
BILL KRISTOL writes: Trump’s Defeat a Year Ago Was Dunkirk, Not D-Day
One could ask for no better evidence, no more compelling demonstration of this, than Trump’s effort to nullify and overturn the election results. The report later this year of the House select committee to investigate January 6 will serve as a reminder and a warning of that attempted usurpation. And it will serve as a standing rebuke to those who refused then, and still refuse now, to acknowledge the threat to our democracy that Trump and Trumpism pose.
So whatever the limitations, mistakes, and failures that have marked the Biden presidency, we should be grateful—very grateful—that Joe Biden is president and that Donald Trump was not. There is no reason for any ambiguity or ambivalence on that score.
But honesty also compels us to say that victory, or even reasonable confidence in ultimate victory, in the fundamental cause of saving our democracy, remains far away.
Short OVERTIME today. The house is stocked full of people and we had Grandma Swift’s chicken noodle soup for lunch. It’s all in our Thanksgiving Cookbook. If you need any good recipes over the next few days, please consult.
The problems of San Francisco… A worthwhile thread.
When Donald Trump finds an interviewer who makes him sound comparatively reasonable… That’s the Daily Wire advantage™
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.