The Rise of “Anti-Woke” Punitive Populism

Amanda Carpenter on how grievance has been weaponized as policy.

Leading The Bulwark…

The Rise of “Anti-Woke” Punitive Populism

AMANDA CARPENTER: Grievance weaponized as policy, basically.

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🎧 On the Pods… 🎧

Tom Nichols on the Right's Circling the Drain of Crazy

On today’s Bulwark podcast, Tom Nichols joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss why the right has become addicted to crazy controversies, Liz Cheney and Kevin McCarthy’s showdown, and how the 2020 election was saved by lawyers.

ATMA: Is 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' As Interesting as It Thinks It Is?

Sonny (The Bulwark), Alyssa (The Washington Post), and Peter (Reason) have a lot of thoughts about the Oscars, both the show and the winners.

For Bulwark+ Members… 🔐

MORNING SHOTS: The Crazy is Metastasizing 🔓

CHARLIE SYKES on Rick Santorum’s “Birth of a Nation” remarks.

THE TRIAD: In Search of a Democratic Bogeyman 🔓

JVL on the stories non-Trumpy Republicans tell themselves.

ATMA: 'Mortal Kombat' Mansplained 🔐

On this special bonus episode, Sonny and Peter explain just why Mortal Kombat, the property, is so awesome but the new movie, Mortal Kombat, is not that great. She has questions, and we have answers!

From The Bulwark Aggregator…

In Today’s Bulwark...

Four Questions About the Iran/Kerry Allegations

SHAY KHATIRI: Republicans have been quick to criticize the former secretary of state based on the word of someone they normally wouldn’t trust.

Bad Cops, Bad Narratives

CATHY YOUNG: Racial bias in policing is real. But the full picture is far more complex.


Happy Tuesday! We’re getting ready for President Biden’s address to Congress tomorrow night, where only a little less than half of Congress’s 535 voting members will be in attendance. No cabinet officials are coming, either, a rarity.

DON’T FORGET! We’ll be covering this and many other things on Thursday Night Bulwark. This week’s panel is JVL, Charlie Sykes, Amanda Carpenter, and Mona Charen. But, it’s only for Bulwark+ members, so if you haven’t joined, there is still time.

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You love to see it… This Politico item on how Trump’s post-election rhetoric is undermining the legal defenses of his biggest, most seditionist supporters. (They’re not helping themselves much, either…)

Owning the… Army? You saw the “I won’t take the vaccine because it makes liberals mad” in today’s Morning Shots, but the line doesn’t end with wackos from MAGA clearinghouse AmericanGreatness, it’s also happening in the U.S. Military:

A cheerleader goes to the high court. And I for one is hoping she is successful. Unless you’re making threats that are legally justiciable, your opinions of school when you’re not there, on a weekend no less, shouldn’t be something public schools get to police.

The World’s Fair that wasn’t. Saint Louis, where I went to school, is proud of its role in the 1904 World’s Fair. Even if there are zero people there who experienced it. In Defector, my friend Vince Guerrieri writes about the 1936 / 7 Great Lakes Exposition. Despite growing up in The Forest City, I had no idea this ever happened, probably because there’s nothing there to commemorate it.

Joe Manchin wants to save Democrats from themselves… A worthwhile profile of the West Virginia Senator in Vox. But can he?

Just who you wanted to hear from… Michael Cohen, live from house arrest.

When faced with danger… Rep. Bruce Westerman hid in Kevin McCarthy’s bathroom with a civil war sword. But still voted to ensure Trump could hold the office of the President again in four years. A profile in courage.

Plagiarism now runs in the family…

How RWNJs and racists weaponize irony… A good read at NPR. As we’ve seen with people like Greg Gutfeld, conservatives are not getting better at comedy.

I am never buying a Tesla. Or any self-driving car, for that matter. (Like I could afford one.)

But eventually, I am going to have to buy a minivan. And the future does not look bright.

Imagine being born in 1959. Which I know many of you were, or at least around that time. Our friend Steward Beckham has this essay, which is well worth your time about how it’s harder for people from the 1980s and 1990s to understand what it was like growing up back then.

That’s it for me for today. We’ll see you back here tomorrow. If you want to reach out, you know how to reach me:


Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.