The Neverending Story (of Trump’s Grift)
Plus: Kevin McCarthy: The Gimp Who Thinks He’s a Master.
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: MAGA's New Mantra: "Blame America First"
JVL: Remember When Trump Wanted the Navy to Hide the USS John McCain?🔐
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
BILL LUEDERS: The Neverending Story (of Trump’s Grift).
Within hours of learning that he, his family business, and three of his children were being prosecuted on civil charges for fraud, Donald Trump was trying to make money off of it.
“Can you believe it?” the former president exclaimed in a fundraising email sent on the afternoon of September 21. “Radical New York Attorney General Letitia James is SUING ME and MY FAMILY. This is an absolute WITCH HUNT, Friend.”
Trump assured recipients of this appeal that he was “prepared to FIGHT BACK,” but just needed to know “that I have your support.” He asked supporters to “add your name IMMEDIATELY to publicly stand with me,” something that would be accomplished by going to a page that allowed for a range of contributions, with the box for a $20 donation highlighted in sky blue and shaking back and forth like a hula dancer. After a few seconds on the page, this pop-up message appears…
The history of the Trump presidency is also a warning of a Trump 2.0 — this time, he would know how to pull the levers of power to get what he wanted, and there would be no John Kelly or Jim Mattis looking out for our democracy. Peter Baker and Susan Glasser join Charlie Sykes.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
Eric welcomes Eliot back from his sojourn in Poland and Ukraine. They discuss U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss’s early appointments on national security and the review of Britain’s defense policy she has ordered, Biden’s appointment of a new Ambassador to Russia, Eliot’s impressions of Ukraine and Volodymyr Zelensky.
THE NEXT LEVEL is out from behind the paywall! Be sure to subscribe on YouTube.
Come join Tim and JVL tonight for TNB as they turn up the darkness. Exclusively for Bulwark+ members.
TIM MILLER: Kevin McCarthy: The Gimp Who Thinks He’s a Master.
Kevin McCarthy wants you to know that he is a very brilliant and extremely ruthless tactician with an iron grip on his caucus that he will use to crush the troublemakers and deliver Conservative Results™ for the American people.
Or, to be more precise, House Republican Leader McCarthy wants his donors to know that he is a very brilliant and extremely ruthless tactician who will do those things. The rest of us just have to read it in the Washington Post because for “My Kevin’s” purposes that is more credible and less tacky than telling them in person.
The Post story, titled “How Kevin McCarthy’s political machine worked to sway the GOP field,” purports to provide the inside scoop on how McCarthy and his allies stamped out the crazies in their party, wielding power like a dark-timeline LBJ…
SHAY KHATIRI: Iran’s Celebrities Finally Break Their Silence.
Something new is happening in Iran: For the first time, the anti-regime protests there include the participation of Iranian celebrities. The ranks of the country’s superstars are filled with actors and actresses, singers, and soccer players. Like their American counterparts, these figures are significantly more progressive than their average compatriots. Because of blackmail and blacklisting, however, they have customarily reserved their criticisms, tempered them by speaking generally about perennial issues, or even been forced to voice support for the regime.
Now, remarkably, many of big Iranian celebrities are treating the protests as their hour of decision, arriving at last. The stakes are high for them, but also for the regime: In response to this development, the country’s chief justice threatened the nation’s celebrities with the growing bill for the damages from the riots.
Happy Thursday! Our continued thoughts and prayers to our readers in Florida, which is going to see some costly and lengthy recovery. For those of you who read our pal Matt Labash, he has some worthwhile thoughts and some flashbacks to his coverage of Katrina for The Weekly Standard. It’s behind a paywall (for now) but here’s my favorite graf:
We can’t all live in the Midwest. And besides, plenty of coastal types like to discount their misfortunes, too: “Why do those people choose to live in Tornado Alley?” To which I say we all live in a Tornado Alley of one sort or another. There’s some disaster, natural or otherwise, with all of our names on it. Don’t be arrogant, and pretend you’re above it. Because if you do, that’s all you’re doing, is pretending.
Isn’t that what new rail systems do? Tend to increase property values? I’m Ron Burgundy?
What Joe Biden's memory lapse about the late Jackie Walorski really told us… A worthwhile column by Jill Lawrence. Biden’s gaffe reminded me of this one.
WaWaWhat? A NJ Dem. House hopeful cribbed Wawa’s Goose logo for his campaign and thought nobody’d notice. WaWa did, and their lawyers sent him a letter. (Speaking of which, it’s national coffee day, so be sure to flock to WaWa for a free cup. YSWIDT?)
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.