Discover more from The Bulwark
What Country Is the Wall Street Journal Living In?
Plus, The Electoral Count Act Is Actually an Engineering Problem.
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: The Right’s Lust for Violence.
HANNAH YOEST: A Star is Not Born.
SECRET POD: Oz Steps Into an Open Manhole.🔐
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
MONA CHAREN: What Country Is the Wall Street Journal Living In?
The headline of a Wall Street Journal editorial caught my eye: “Arizona’s School Choice Election.” Rubbing my eyes, I read it again. School choice is the defining issue in the Arizona governor’s race? According to the leading voice of highbrow conservatism, yes.
Writing as if nothing had changed in American politics since 2011, the editorial board assailed Katie Hobbs, the Democratic candidate for governor, as a tool of the teachers’ unions for her opposition to school choice. Noting that the race is neck and neck, the Journal advised that parents would be well advised to vote Republican if they hope to save their kids’ educational vouchers.
There you have it: The failure of the intellectual leaders of conservatism in one editorial. The once magisterial voice of the conservative worldview looked at the race for governor in Arizona and airily overlooked reality. School choice? Are they out of their minds?
Roger Stone, Tucker Carlson, and other clowns rile people up only to stand back and let violent political tourists do the actual fighting — and jail time. Plus, the nuclear threat from Russia. Tom Nichols joins Charlie Sykes today.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
THE NEXT LEVEL is out from behind the paywall! Be sure to subscribe on YouTube.
BORIS KRÄMER, CHRIS TRUAX, AND JONATHAN CARREON: The Electoral Count Act Is Actually an Engineering Problem.
There are now several proposals for fixing the Electoral Count Act (ECA) and a growing consensus—especially after developments in the Senate yesterday—that a set of bipartisan reforms will be passed sometime in the next few months. That’s good news.
But fixing the ECA is not just a check-the-box exercise. We need to ensure that the reforms we enact are as effective as possible in shoring up the vulnerabilities we’ve identified. And while there’s consensus that the ECA needs to be fixed, there’s a wide variety of opinion on the best way to fix it.
Maybe we should approach the reform not as a political project, but as an engineering task.
A new Marist poll of Pennsylvania adults, conducted from September 19 to 22, shows significant shifts in the Pennsylvania governor’s race compared to a June USA Today/Suffolk University poll of likely voters, but almost no change in the state’s U.S. Senate race. Beneath the surface, however, voter attitudes regarding these two races appear to be hardening relative to both the candidates and the issues. If these trends continue, it looks like both races will wind up in the D column.
The biggest change in the Pennsylvania electoral context is Joe Biden’s job approval rating in the state. Since the June poll, Biden’s approval rating has moved up 3 points and his disapproval has dropped 2 points. A 5-point improvement is an important, measurable shift. Not surprisingly, that improvement appears to be related to a substantial drop in concerns about inflation. In the Suffolk poll, 63 percent of respondents said inflation was their top concern. In the Marist poll, that figure fell to 40 percent—a drop that must have everything to do with falling gasoline prices, since other prices have continued to rise. Meanwhile, the abortion issue has ticked up slightly, from 14 percent to 16 percent. Naturally, interest in abortion policy is not evenly distributed and that distribution continues to favor John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro over their Republican opponents Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano. (More on that in a moment.)
Happy Wednesday! I hope to all our Florida readers that you’re staying safe and remain so for these next few hours. Hopefully, the Waffle Houses will reopen soon and recovery can begin. As Mister Rogers says: look for the helpers, but also, expose the folks like these.
I’ve been glued to various streams since I have family who live in Florida (but aren’t there now) and have fond memories of vacations in Naples as a young kid. It seems most people heeded the warnings and death will be, hopefully, minimal. Destruction, however, will not.
Truman comes back to the Capitol. With a well deserved statue in the Rotunda.
312 Riverside Drive… The mystery of the phone calls for an address that didn’t exist.
The Saudis are now renting airspace from… You guessed it, Fox Sports! I suppose it could be worse, Fox could have paid the LIV tour for the broadcast rights.
Charlie Sykes at TribFest… Talks to Sarah Rumpf about the future of the GOP and independent options.
Meet the last floppy disk mogul… And the amazing stories about his business and why it’s flourishing.
Delete the tweets! Ron DeSantis’s spokesman deleted a bunch of anti One America News tweets after reporters asked him about them. Why? Because its founder donated a bunch of money to his boss. Muh principles.
I, Pencil… How old newspapers are getting a new life…. as pencils. It’s amazing that something we here take for granted, that costs like 10 cents or less, can be innovatively, though time consumingly, created.
Bad Ideas never go out of style… Trumpy fringe candidates are having their own boat parades, while also complaining about inflation and the price of gas. Writer Brian Griffiths, who does not want Cox to win, makes this salient observation about how these MAGA die hards waste their time and money:
As I have noted previously, there is a certain segment of Republicans focused on nonsense activities. The three protests that seem to generate the most enthusiasm for this group are:
At no point do these folks do the following:
Knock doors for candidates;
Make phone calls for candidates;
Recruit candidates for office.
Why not let them?
Meanwhile, back in Ohio… D.J. Byrnes observes, sadly, that Mike DeWine is gonna be the best governor Ohio will have had in many years because the future is not bright in the Buckeye state.
The Problem for Trump’s Intellectual Heirs… Turns out, governing is harder than campaigning.
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email email@example.com. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.