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The GOP Is in an Abusive Relationship with Trump
Plus: Why Are “Former Administration Officials” Still Not Speaking Up About Trump?
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BILL RYAN: Martin Amis, 1949–2023
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SARAH LONGWELL: The GOP Is in an Abusive Relationship with Trump.
WHEN A JURY FOUND Donald Trump liable for sexually assaulting and defaming E. Jean Carroll, it drove home one of the grosser features of our political era: No amount of contemptible behavior from Donald Trump toward women creates political problems for him with GOP primary voters. It didn’t in 2016 or 2020 and it isn’t now.
The former president’s record of abusive and demeaning conduct toward women is well-documented. He boasted about sexually assaulting women. Twenty-six women have accused him of sexual misconduct. He was indicted for paying hush money to Stormy Daniels. He called Carroll “not my type” in his deposition and told her lawyer, “you wouldn’t be a choice of mine either.” He doubled down on his statement that “when you’re a star, they let you do it,” saying, “that’s largely true, unfortunately or fortunately.” In his CNN town hall following the verdict, he ridiculed Carroll again to jeering laughter from the audience.
Yet most of the women voters who backed Trump in 2016 and 2020 aren’t walking away. In many cases, his behavior—and Democrats’ and the courts’ attempts to hold him accountable—only strengthens their support for him.
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FROM CNN’S CALAMITOUS TOWN HALL to the ABC News/Washington Post poll showing Donald Trump leading President Joe Biden by 6 points, the prospect of Trump returning to the White House can no longer be dismissed even by those who most wish to dismiss it.
Neither can it be dismissed what a Trump restoration would mean. Trump is not hiding the threat he poses to the nation—he’s flaunting it. Trump plotted a coup to try and steal the 2020 election and hold power through the incitement of an insurrection.
And he’s campaigning on this history.
DENNIS AFTERGUT: Why Trump Wants U.S. to Default on Debt.
Late last week, amid the on-again/off-again White House negotiations with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on raising the debt ceiling, Donald Trump lobbed a grenade. Knowing full well that President Joe Biden won’t simply cave, Trump urged Republicans to allow a default “unless they get everything they want. Do not fold!!!”
Lest you have any doubt, the three exclamation points are Trump’s. You could be excused for thinking he wants a default. He loves chaos.
But he also has a purely self-serving reason to seek an economic catastrophe. You don’t need to be a stable genius to know that a bad economy typically hurts the incumbent in a presidential race.
Happy Monday! Hope your weekend was a breeze as we head into the holiday. I was lucky to be treated to lunch by readers Gwen and Rob Moritz today, who got a tour of The Bulwark office. If you’re ever in town, you know how to reach me!
The Bulwark on BlueSky… If you’re on the nascent site, give us a follow.
He’s run… Sen. Tim Scott dropped his announcement today, before his mic cut him off, a sign if there ever was one.
"Vulnerable House Republicans -- who time and time again attempt to paint themselves as moderates who are pro public safety -- have shamelessly refused to condemn the twice-impeached, criminally-indicted former president's call to defund the law enforcement agencies that keep our communities safe. These House Republicans have put party politics over public safety – and we won’t let Americans forget," DCCC spokesperson Justin Chermol said in a statement.
Here’s what the billboards look like:
It’s only a matter of time before George Santos shows up at the billboard, no?
How Alec Baldwin and Montel teamed up… to take down a Nobel prize winning laboratory.
Trump isn’t going to stop… Until Ron DeSantis is destroyed, despite warnings not to run, new reporting says. Expect to see more ads like these of team Trump punching down. Weirdly, it seems like most campaigns out there are punching down, rather than up… because they need Trump’s voters / are scared.
Neither, apparently, is… E. Jean Carroll, who amended her defamation case to include Trump’s remarks from the ill-advised CNN town hall.
Meanwhile… Ron DeSantis’s claims of not knowing Lev Parnas very well aren’t being corroborated by his texts.
“In Missouri, you can’t fake courage…” Senate candidate Lucas Kunce has a powerful new ad narrated by MO native Jon Hamm slamming Josh Hawley.
The questionable “science”… of Microagressions.
The fall and improbable rise of… Dippin’ Dots. (Ice cream of the future!)
Can conservatives define woke? And what does it have to do with paint?
Shiny Happy People… Make sure to bookmark this forthcoming Amazon series on the Duggars and the Institute in Basic Life Principles, premiering in early June.
“Parting is such sweet sorrow…” Delaware’s Senator Tom Carper is retiring. When I was fresh out of college in my first job in Congress, we shared an office with Senator Tom Carper. An office is putting it nicely: They were two double wides in the courtyard of the Russell Senate Office Building. Both his office, and that of my boss’s, were being refurbished, having just won re-election in 2006.
Carper has been in public service longer than I’ve been alive: State treasurer, a House member, a governor, and a Senator. Carper attended Ohio State, served in Vietnam, and he’s one of the nicest politicians on the Hill. And he was a good neighbor! (Not all are, as you can imagine.) On their last day with us in the trailers, which had one air conditioning setting: 1 degree above freezing, I said farewell to him in the shag red carpeted joint hallway and that I hope they enjoyed their new office. “Parting is such sweet sorrow…” he joked. Indeed. Delaware has been well served by Sen. Carper, a work horse, not a show horse. They don’t make them like him anymore.
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