Discover more from The Bulwark
The Evidence Is In: No Labels Should Get Out.
Plus: Five Things to Know About the Trump Fraud Trial
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: It's Not the Gaffes. It's the Plans.
JVL: Is off today.
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
SARAH LONGWELL: The Evidence Is In: No Labels Should Get Out.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN’S ANNOUNCEMENT last week that he won’t seek re-election to the Senate and will instead finish his term “traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is interest in building a movement to mobilize the middle” sure makes it sound as if he’s considering an independent presidential bid, likely with the organization No Labels. If anyone were the target audience for No Labels’s $70 million gambit to recruit and run a “unity” third-party ticket with a moderate Republican (possibly former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan) and moderate Democrat (likely Manchin), it would be me, a proud Never Trump Republican and moderate squish.
But after conducting hundreds of focus groups with voters across the political spectrum, it’s clear to me that a unity ticket in 2024 isn’t just fantastical; it’s dangerous. A centrist unity ticket appeals to exactly one demographic: swing voters who will decide the outcome of the 2024 election.
🎥 PODCASTS AND VIDEOS 🎧
Did you know? Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice.
Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
As for this trial, Trump’s legal team knew the battle was already lost when the judge ruled in September that he committed fraud in his financial statements. What’s left for decision is whether Trump must disgorge upwards of $250 million in ill-gotten gains and whether he will be permanently barred from running businesses in New York. Coupled with the cancellation of his organization’s business certificates, the outcome of this civil case could be catastrophic for the Trump brand—and Donald Trump’s ego—if Engoron’s rulings are upheld on appeal.
CATHY YOUNG: To Kill ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
AFTER ALL THE CONTROVERSIES about right-wing activists working to purge public school curricula and libraries of books they find objectionable—generally ones dealing with either sexual morality or the painful history of racism in America—the latest report of such a purge comes from a liberal blue-state community. This time, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, a beloved antiracist classic, has been taken off the list of required books in high school freshman English classes in the Mukilteo School District in Washington State due to a complaint from four progressive teachers who regard it as racially insensitive and harmful to minority students.
While Mukilteo’s Mockingbird drama first played out almost two years ago, it is the focus of a long and fascinating piece in the Washington Post last week. The saga deserves a look, because it touches on a lot of issues central to today’s cultural conflicts in the United States: from school politics to book banning to the meaning of antiracism to literature and identity. And also because it concerns an American masterpiece that has often become a culture-war lightning rod—and a target of attacks that misunderstand and misrepresent its content.
Happy Monday! It’ll be a busy week in Washington as we go into the fight over whether/how to fund the federal government. Just the perfect time for an in-person live Bulwark event, no? I look forward to seeing readers there. There are a handful of tickets left, so if you want to come, you’d better hurry!
John Adams to Cooperstown… The former Cleveland Indians super fan and fellow former Ignatius wildcat known for his trademark drum from 1973 to 2023, died in January. His drum is going to Cooperstown. How cool.
I saved Latin… How a Capitol tour I gave 16 years ago played a role in preserving staff-led Capitol tours. (If you like my watch content, I’m putting some of it here in longer form.)
Tim Miller & Kari Lake… Showtime viewers and fans of The Circus (the best political show on premium cable) saw Tim in the finale. Here’s more of his visit to Las Vegas and chatting with Kari Lake.
SCOTUS gets a new ethics code… But: “Left unclear was how the code will be enforced.”
Calling it like it is… Praise for Joe Biden’s State Department.
'The boss is not going to leave': New videos show ex-Trump lawyers telling Georgia prosecutors about efforts to overturn 2020 election.
Behind the Curtain… Trump allies pre-screen loyalists for unprecedented power grab.
I am Not for Everyone… Pete Holmes’s new Netflix special is extra good. Go watch it.
For Trump, Chaos is a Ladder… MAGA's Leader Doesn't Want Normal, and it Doesn't Want Him, argue Reed Galen and Joe Trippi.
Peter Thiel is taking a break… From democracy. Thiel, who is media, uh, shy, hopes that in cooperating with the article that it will “lock me into not giving any money to Republican politicians in 2024.” We’ll see!
The case for Chris Cillizza… Who did double duty with us last week on TNB and Beg to Differ. Subscribe! Not only is he one of the hardest working journos out there, he’s also (somehow) one of the nicest.
Why Star Wars… Was Dubbed into the Navajo Language.
The secret history… Of Alan Alda’s M*A*S*H dog tags.
Matt Labash… On escaping the tentacles of despair.
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.
This one is for you, Jack. 🙏