Tonight: It Begins in Snowy Iowa
Plus: To Honor MLK, Focus on His Actual Work
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Slouching Towards Iowa
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TONIGHT: Voting Begins in Iowa
Come join JVL and A.B. Stoddard tonight on YouTube as they talk about the Iowa Caucus results. Starts at 10 p.m. Eastern.
MATT JOHNSON: Bad Economy Vibes Are a Threat to Democracy
DESPITE A BRIEF DIP IN ESTABLISHMENT SUPPORT for Donald Trump after the January 6th insurrection, he dominates the Republican party once again. Last October, he ended Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer’s bid to become House speaker with a single Truth Social post. (“They always bend the knee,” he said privately.) He has received endorsements from almost one hundred representatives and nineteen senators—compared to five and zero for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. But the clearest indicator of Trump’s suffocating grip on the GOP is his massive lead in the polls—he’s up by about 50 points nationally.
🎥 PODCASTS AND VIDEOS 🎧
The Focus Group: It’s Not That Hard to Win Iowa (with J. Ann Selzer) [Ad-Free🔐]
Bulwark Goes to Hollywood: How ‘The Family Plan’ Became a Hit for Apple
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Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
PETER C. MEILAENDER: Stories of Black American Courage and Faith
WHEN MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. GAVE his “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963, he pulled off a difficult balancing act. On the one hand, he exposed the emptiness of America’s egalitarian ideals as they applied to its black citizens. Calling the Declaration of Independence a “promissory note,” King said that “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’” On the other hand, he did not turn his back on America and its ideals. Instead, he called on the country to live up to its own promises, and he expressed confidence that it could: “We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.”
JIM SWIFT: To Honor MLK, Focus on His Actual Work. (From the Archives 🗄️)
You’ll sometimes hear it claimed that, if Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, he would be a Republican. In part, that claim is based on the notion that King would have opposed affirmative action, since he spoke so eloquently in his “I Have a Dream” speech of his hope that people would be judged by “the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.” But to claim on that basis that MLK would have been a Republican is a gross example of taking someone’s life and ideas out of context.
MS. PATRICIA BROWN: Martin Luther King Jr. Day and ‘the Minds and Hearts of Children’
In 1979—the year Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned 50 if he had not been gunned down in 1968—congressional hearings explored whether to create a federal holiday honoring him. Famous witnesses offered glowing encomiums for and harsh criticism of the late civil rights leader. But from today’s vantage, perhaps the most striking testimony came from a third-grade teacher from Indianapolis, Ms. Patricia Brown, who anticipated what the holiday would mean for future generations.
SNOWBOWL… As I type, the Bills are facing off against the dreaded Steelers (Go Bills, since my Browns lost over the weekend), and we’re actually getting some snow here in Northern Virginia. Here’s some muzak to enjoy if you’re not watching the game.
Between autocracy and elections… I joined Michael Starr Hopkins on Political Roots and had a blast. Listen here!
Did a Young Democratic Activist in 1968… Pave the Way for Donald Trump?
The Post-Neoliberalism Moment… Dan Drezner writes in Reason that “Anyone advocating neoliberal policies is now persona non grata in Washington, D.C.”
MATT LABASH ALERT: Be This Guy, Instead of the Angry Jerk You're Becoming.
Why Arizona… Faces an election timeline problem.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case pitting Idaho's near-total abortion ban against a federal healthcare protection… The Court kept the law in force in the interim, putting women's lives at risk, writes Kim Wehle.
Sarah Longwell on PodSaveAmerica… Talking about the primary.
Should you go to a Trump rally? McKay Coppins, one of the very first reporters to get close access to Trump, explains why it might be of use: because the clips don’t do how crazy he is justice.
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