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In my item today, I give a little context to the coming hot war Mitch McConnell is going to have with former President Trump in the upcoming primaries. Back in the day, Lisa Murkowski stepped down from GOP leadership because she lost her primary.
But she won the general election. And when Joe Biden signs the big infrastructure bill into law, Alaskans will benefit largely because of her.
Move over Liz Cheney, you might have some company. It’s a tough balancing act, electability vs. fealty. And Republicans have a checkered history on this and perhaps some bad judgment, as stories are floating that the GOP in the House is considering punishing those who supported the infrastructure bill by stripping them of committee assignments.
I have a hard time believing that we could live in a world where crazy Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has committee assignments, and Don Young (R-AK), the longest serving Republican… 48 years!… is gonna pay a price. And I’m not sure I’d want to cross him if they tried it.
The Bulwark Podcast: A View From Outside the Beltway
Republicans are in a purge mood, while Democrats are stumbling in the dark trying to figure out how to talk TO voters, rather than AT them. Former Ohio congressional candidate Shannon Freshour joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
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Charlie and Mona kick off their secret pod talking about policing, WI weather, and dogs.
On this week’s special members-only episode, the Sonny, Peter, and Chris discuss their favorite rotten (or “rotten,” in the case of Chris) installments of beloved franchises.
JVL breaks down the PA Democratic Senate primary, and how it boils down to policy or culture.
From The Bulwark Aggregator…
In Today’s Bulwark...
Former National Security Council Senior Director for Europe (and star impeachment witness) Fiona Hill is this week's guest discussing her book, There is Nothing For You Here, her service in the Trump Administration, the mortification of Trump's press conference with Putin at Helsinki (and transient thoughts of faking a seizure to make it stop) as well as the causes of and remedies for authoritarian populism.
JERRY WEINBERGER: Tocqueville, a late-night hotel bar, and American openness.
SHAY KHATIRI: Biden’s actions in office haven't lived up to his promises to prioritize human rights around the world.
SARAH LONGWELL: Hoping for a post-Trump future. (But hope isn’t a strategy.)
On this week’s episode, Sonny Bunch, Peter Suderman, and Chris Orr ask whether it’s a controversy or a nontroversy that Big Bird is reassuring kids that getting shots won’t hurt them.
The 1/6 Committee is speeding up the subpoenas. Now we’re cooking with gas. But the question remains: How much is going to happen between now and the midterms, and will it make a difference?
The other side of “Both Sidesism”… New from our old pal Matt Labash. This part is worth internalizing, but the whole thing is worth your time:
But when the term is invoked by hard political partisans – and it’s always invoked by hard partisans - it carries the accusation that people who see both sides of an argument, or who believe that there is plenty of blame to go around, or who think that life is grey more often than it is black or white, are blinkered, or naive, or morally inferior. Charges of bothsidesism virtually never take into account that life is complicated. Rarely are our heroes pure or our villains pure evil. It is helpful to remember that the world rarely sits still long enough for us to make complete sense of it. Even that committed evangelist of simplicity, E.B. White (he of The Elements of Style fame) admitted that, “There’s no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another.”
The Dirty Little Secret: Government Works! Over at American Purpose, our friend Andy Smarick has a must read:
We should constantly bear in mind that state and local governments are the beating heart of American politics. They spend more than $3 trillion annually, more than the amount of federal discretionary spending. They spend most of their revenue on the issues that touch our daily lives, like welfare, education, and health. Moreover, Americans trust local institutions like public schools and the police far more than they trust Congress; and they trust their local and state governments more than they do the federal government. Yet we’re inundated with stories about a junior Congressperson’s incendiary press release or a Senator’s hectoring of a hearing witness.
Remember, as Tip O’Neill observed: “All politics is local.” Combine that with “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.” Think local and be sure you vote!
Lastly… I read that fellow Cleveland native, Dr. Oz, a celebrity doctor promoted by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil is thinking about running for Senate in Pennsylvania. As much as Ohio and PA are rivals, Pennsylvania deserves better than Dr. Oz. Read this.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.