The Bulwark

 

It’s funny how catalysts work.

In chemical terms, catalysts are things that accelerate reactions but that are not themselves consumed in those reactions. When you add oxygen to a fire, the rate of burning is increased — but the oxygen is consumed in the process: oxygen is not a catalyst. On the other hand, the platinum in the catalytic converter in your car is a catalyst: it catalyzes (facilitates) a chemical reaction that reduces toxic carbon monoxide and waste hydrocarbons, converting these substances into, largely, non-toxic carbon dioxide and water. (Platinum isn’t a perfect catalyst, in that it’s gradually changed in the process, but it does a good job nonetheless.)

President Trump was a kind of catalyst. He caused a lot of conservatives to undergo a chemical transformation, and to become something other than, and, I think, less than, the conservatives they used to be, all without undergoing any obvious transformation himself. We need look no further than The Bulwark to see a beautiful example of this peculiar transformation.

The folks who founded The Bulwark were once respectable conservatives, but the catalyzing effect of an encounter with President Trump’s peculiar brand of unconscious knee-jerk conservatism (a style which, while never really to my liking, I nonetheless profoundly miss) changed them.

And so these august luminaries of once-upon-a-time conservatism are now running stories like this one: Guns Should be Safe, Legal, and Rare. Let me try to put this gently, but still in keeping with the tone of the piece (which would run afoul of the Ricochet CoC for its casual use of the F-bomb): To hell with that, you whinging pansies of The Bulwark.

Or how about this gem? Can Biden Become America’s Next Great President?

No. No, he can’t. Because he’s an incompetent who doesn’t understand the first thing about American greatness, has always pandered to the mainstream of his mediocre party, and is now in the thrall of his wife or whoever programs his enhanced-font teleprompter and sets out his medications every day. There is nothing about the man that ever hinted at greatness, and nothing about him now that even suggests basic competence. He’s a doddering place-holder, rewarded for not being someone roundly hated by the media and targeted by them and Big Tech for destruction.

What an amazing catalyst was President Trump, to transform such erstwhile political stalwarts as Mona Charen and Bill Kristol and Jonathan V. Last and Charlie Sykes into such mealy and base metal.

The Bulwark has become a woke leftist rag, albeit a virtual one. They should now be seen as yet another organ of the progressive mainstream media.

Maybe I’m sorry to lose these sad mediocre Quislings. But I don’t think I am.

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  1. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Thanks for your thoughtful post. Did Trump transform them or reveal what was always there?

    • #1
  2. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Thanks for your thoughtful post. Did Trump transform them or reveal what was always there?

    I don’t know. Instances of both, I suspect.

    • #2
  3. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    But, tell us how you really feel about those people, Henry. I’m pretty sure I agree with you.

    • #3
  4. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    But, tell us how you really feel about those people, Henry. I’m pretty sure I agree with you.

    Yeah, you’re among friends. No reason to hold back.

    EDIT: As I observed in another thread, Trump seems remarkably unchanged by his role, meeting the definition of a catalyst.

    • #4
  5. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Django (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    But, tell us how you really feel about those people, Henry. I’m pretty sure I agree with you.

    Yeah, you’re among friends. No reason to hold back.

    EDIT: As I observed in another thread, Trump seems remarkably unchanged by his role, meeting the definition of a catalyst.

    I missed that. I’ll go look it up. ;)

    • #5
  6. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    But, tell us how you really feel about those people, Henry. I’m pretty sure I agree with you.

    Yeah, you’re among friends. No reason to hold back.

    EDIT: As I observed in another thread, Trump seems remarkably unchanged by his role, meeting the definition of a catalyst.

    I missed that. I’ll go look it up. ;)

    Friend who is a chemist says the definition of a catalyst is an element that can either speed up  or impede a chemical reaction but which itself is unaffected by the reaction. 

    • #6
  7. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential
    @GLDIII

    It tells me people who make a living by the word seem to be more influenced by their perception of character rather then the net effect of one ultimate record of performance. VDH has done a few musings about how various military leaders were SOB’s, but if not for their tactical and or strategic brilliance the outcome of battles would have played out to history with different outcomes. When you review the post presidential details of “character” quotient since Wilson, not to many presidents would have qualified as saints, especially to those closest to them.

    Why did we expect more from a man (Trump) who could never refrain from telling us his unfiltered thoughts? Would many of us be able to pass that standard? How many saints would qualify when you review the totality of their life actions?

    • #7
  8. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Django (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    But, tell us how you really feel about those people, Henry. I’m pretty sure I agree with you.

    Yeah, you’re among friends. No reason to hold back.

    EDIT: As I observed in another thread, Trump seems remarkably unchanged by his role, meeting the definition of a catalyst.

    I missed that. I’ll go look it up. ;)

    Friend who is a chemist says the definition of a catalyst is an element that can either speed up or impede a chemical reaction but which itself is unaffected by the reaction.

    I’m no chemist, so I probably shouldn’t argue, but I will say that I’ve never encountered that usage (of slowing or impeding), and suspect it’s quite rare — even vanishingly so. ;)

    • #8
  9. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    But, tell us how you really feel about those people, Henry. I’m pretty sure I agree with you.

    Yeah, you’re among friends. No reason to hold back.

    EDIT: As I observed in another thread, Trump seems remarkably unchanged by his role, meeting the definition of a catalyst.

    I missed that. I’ll go look it up. ;)

    Friend who is a chemist says the definition of a catalyst is an element that can either speed up or impede a chemical reaction but which itself is unaffected by the reaction.

    I’m no chemist, so I probably shouldn’t argue, but I will say that I’ve never encountered that usage (of slowing or impeding), and suspect it’s quite rare — even vanishingly so. ;)

    I’m not a chemist either, but I know better than to argue with the woman who told me that ;-)

    • #9
  10. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    I looked at that piece about the possible greatness of Biden. Subhead: “He offers the most ambitious social and economic blueprint since the Great Society—but can he pull it off?”

    Bulwarkism in a nutshell: it’s not a matter of what he’s proposing; it’s understood that it’s awesome. The only question is whether this epitome of decency and good-feelings can accomplish it, which seems difficult given the dark forces assembling in the gloaming to thwart ambitious social and economic change.

    Like FDR, Biden arrived at the knife’s edge between stasis and renewal. Like FDR, Biden is a canny politician with an intuition for the public mood and a reassuring persona which, in Biden’s case, ameliorates the collective exhaustion engendered by Donald Trump’s suffocating omnipresence—and generates approval ratings Trump never matched.

    Admission: I was never really exhausted by Trump’s suffocating omnipresence; it was the interminable henhouse racket of people responding to him that was omnipresent. Also, “Like FDR, Biden arrived at the knife’s edge between stasis and renewal” is empty ahistorical drivel. Also, “Like FDR, Biden is a canny politician with an intuition for the public mood” is an odd description of a discombobulated cipher with the charisma of a dial tone shambling around in a mask when half the public is done with Contagion Theater, but as they said to Onan, you do you.

    Like FDR, Biden has assembled a skilled and experienced team suited to his ambitions.

    Ladies and gentleman and nonbinaries, Kamala Harris, who manifests both skill and experience in remaking energy policy and confronting Iranian ambitions. 

    Republicans denounce Biden’s supposedly elastic definition of infrastructure. 

    First of all, yes, anyone with a half-dozen neurons capable of firing denounces his “supposedly elastic definition of infrastructure,” because A) most people are in favor of bridges that do not collapse, and would like their tax dollars to be applied specifically to bridges that might collapse, and suspect that the “supposedly elastic definition” uses the generally-popular idea of “infrastructure” to expand spending in all possible directions. Also B) it’s entirely possible that Biden did not decide to include “child care” and “Kennedy Center box-seat reupholstering” in the “supposedly elastic definition” but went along because his people wrote it on a paper they handed him, and his instincts tell him that when he uses the Special Serious Tone to talk about America Building Things he gets a nice pat on the head from the irrelevant corps of editorial writers.

    But even confined to the physical plumbing of a first-world country, America is foundering.

    The American Society of Civil Engineers, in its quadrennial report released last month, rated our infrastructure at C-. The group calculates that, at current rates of investment, American infrastructure will be underfunded by $2.6 trillion across this decade—resulting in $10 trillion in lost GDP by 2039.

    In related news, the American Society of Fast-Food Restaurants have rated our hamburger consumption at C-, and suggest more investment in   drive-through lane intercom technology. Even if they’re right, this would seem to argue against an elastic definition, no?

    Overall, the World Economic Forum ranks the United States thirteenth in global infrastructure.

    That sounds awful. Also, what the hell is Global Infrastructure?

    I looked at the linked citation. The WEF talks about the Global Competitive Index, or GCI. It says:

    With a 2019 GCI score of 84.8 out of 100, Singapore is the country closest to the frontier of competitiveness. The country ranks first in terms of infrastructure, health, labour market functioning and financial system

    I would argue that Singapore has certain attribute that make it a poor comparison to the US, but never mind. We press on:

    Among the G20, the United States (2nd, down 1 place), Japan (6th), Germany (7th, down 4) and the United Kingdom (9th, down 1) feature in the top 10, but they all have experienced erosion in their performance. So has Canada (14th, down 2).

    So the US is #2 on the rankings compared to Singapore, and virtuous Canada is #14? 

    Note: the phrase “global infrastructure” does not appear in the WEF report.

    This matches our eroding public finances—undermined by the blinkered theology which held that tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy necessarily spawn economic growth and, therefore, more revenues. Wrong. Hence Trump’s paradigmatic tax cuts, which bred minimal economic growth while precipitously ballooning our deficits.

    Tax revenue was up every year. Economic growth, by the most withering evaluation, was in the same range as the Obama years. The deficits ballooned because spending increased, and Trump did not stop it. The Bulwark author, like all good statists who wear a red necktie with a blue suit and think that means they’re a conservative, thinks that increased tax revenue would compel our solons to restrain spending and balance the budget. 

    But Biden’s program transcends filling the potholes of systemic neglect. He means to build the physical infrastructure of the future while fortifying human infrastructure too long slighted.

    Wait a minute, who wrote this?

    Oh, Lord. It’s novelist Richard North Patterson. Former chairman of Common Cause. Okay. Listen, the Bulwark can print whoever they want, and a good site has contrary opinions that help expand the conversation. But the idea of Joe “Gravitas” Biden as a wise, mediating figure who sees the path to the future and must be supported by all Bulwarkians lest the evil “Conservatives” thwart his necessarily elastic definitions is . . . amusing. 

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    James Lileks is a fine bulwark against the Bulwark. 

    • #11
  12. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Like FDR, Biden arrived at the knife’s edge between stasis and renewal. Like FDR, Biden is a canny politician with an intuition for the public mood and a reassuring persona which, in Biden’s case, ameliorates the collective exhaustion engendered by Donald Trump’s suffocating omnipresence—and generates approval ratings Trump never matched.

    Admission: I was never really exhausted by Trump’s suffocating omnipresence; it was the interminable henhouse racket of people responding to him that was omnipresent. Also, “Like FDR, Biden arrived at the knife’s edge between stasis and renewal” is empty ahistorical drivel. Also, “Like FDR, Biden is a canny politician with an intuition for the public mood” is an odd description of a discombobulated cipher with the charisma of a dial tone shambling around in a mask when half the public is done with Contagion Theater, but as they said to Onan, you do you.

    First off, excellent Biblical reference and joke. Second, in regard to something Henry said in the OP:

    No. No, he can’t. Because he’s an incompetent who doesn’t understand the first thing about American greatness, has always pandered to the mainstream of his mediocre party, and is now in the thrall of his wife or whoever programs his enhanced-font teleprompter and sets out his medications every day.

    This past weekend’s story concerning the refugee cap number was illustrative of to whom Biden is in thrall. The administration put out an announcement that they were going to keep the Trump administration era refugee admittance cap at 15,000 people for the rest of the fiscal year. Within only a few hours of this announcement after public (twitter) howls from the far left (AOC and others), the Biden administration reversed and announced they’d raise the refugee cap to 60,000+ in May. So maybe Biden is “a canny politician with an intuition for the public far left mood.”

    • #12
  13. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    but as they said to Onan, you do you.

    Oh boy.  :-)

    • #13
  14. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    a discombobulated cipher with the charisma of a dial tone shambling around in a mask when half the public is done with Contagion Theater, but as they said to Onan, you do you.

    Awesome. 

    • #14
  15. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    But, tell us how you really feel about those people, Henry. I’m pretty sure I agree with you.

    Yeah, you’re among friends. No reason to hold back.

    EDIT: As I observed in another thread, Trump seems remarkably unchanged by his role, meeting the definition of a catalyst.

    I missed that. I’ll go look it up. ;)

    Friend who is a chemist says the definition of a catalyst is an element that can either speed up or impede a chemical reaction but which itself is unaffected by the reaction.

    I’m no chemist, so I probably shouldn’t argue, but I will say that I’ve never encountered that usage (of slowing or impeding), and suspect it’s quite rare — even vanishingly so. ;)

    I have a masters degree in chemistry, and I have only ever heard of catalysis increasing reaction speed.

    Let me explain.  (Where’s the chalkboard when you need one?)

    A chemical reaction has two major energy-based characteristics – thermodynamics and kinetics

    Thermodynamics show the tendency for a reaction to occur.  Spontaneous reactions tend to release energy and increase entropy / disorder.  In principle, you can make any reaction work or force any reaction backward with enough energy.  Thermodynamics is based on the starting point of your reactants and the resulting products.  Give me enough energy, and I will solve any material problem – with enough power, I could pull CO2 out of the air and make it rain diamonds.  Your body builds up an electrochemical potential across the mitochondrial membrane to drive a rotary motor (this is literal, not figurative – it has all the parts of a motor and rotates) that assembles ATP energy carriers.

    Side note: people should talk about biochemistry with epic music and grand visuals.  The average bacterium on your skin has a synthetic potential that would make the world’s chemical industry blush, with signalling networks easily as complicated a supercomputer.  And it self-replicates insanely fast.   Your cells are an order of magnitude more complex.

    Kinetics deals with the speed of a reaction.  Reactions need some energy to kick off – the activation energy – and without that energy, the reaction will not occur.  If you reduce the activation energy, the reaction will happen faster.  Increase the activation energy, and it will happen slower.  Diamonds are thermodynamically inclined to turn into graphite dust, but the activation energy is so high that a diamond appears to be forever.  We all know iron rusts – it is slowly being oxidized by the air.  If you increase the surface area, you decrease the activation energy and increase the reaction rate.  Steel wool can be ignited with a 9V battery, with spectacular results.

    Catalysts are another way to reduce the activation energy.  While they interact with the reactants, they will return to their original structure afterward.  In the classic demonstration below, you can see hydrogen peroxide, which is thermodynamically unstable, have its activation energy reduced dramatically, so that it spontaneously decomposes to oxygen and water.  (fun biochemistry fact – the enzyme that causes peroxide to bubble on a cut is called catalase, and it is near catalytical perfection – the only thing slowing it down is the natural diffusion of molecules)

    So catalysts do not actually change the end product, they only change the speed at which is reached.  To extend your analogy, Mona Charen and company were likely always going to decide that the GOP was just too uncouth and plebeian.  Trump just sent it into overdrive.

    • #15
  16. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Henry Racette: The Bulwark has become a woke leftist rag, albeit a virtual one. They should now be seen as yet another organ of the progressive mainstream media.

    Yes. I read the article on guns. It includes this passage:

    Last week, the deaths of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo horrified the nation. And while racial justice and corrupt police unions and other cultural and policy issues are at play, the reality is that both Daunte and Adam would be alive today if we lived in a country that didn’t have our proliferation of guns. (Emphasis mine.)

    Broadly speaking, no conservative publication would use the phrase, “racial justice.” Only leftist, woke, virtue-signaling rags use it. And our “Reagan Republican” wonders why we all laugh when he cites the Bulwark.

    • #16
  17. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    but as they said to Onan, you do you.

    I’m keeping this one.

    • #17
  18. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Django (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    But, tell us how you really feel about those people, Henry. I’m pretty sure I agree with you.

    Yeah, you’re among friends. No reason to hold back.

    EDIT: As I observed in another thread, Trump seems remarkably unchanged by his role, meeting the definition of a catalyst.

    I missed that. I’ll go look it up. ;)

    Friend who is a chemist says the definition of a catalyst is an element that can either speed up or impede a chemical reaction but which itself is unaffected by the reaction.

    “I’m a cat, cat, catalyst, a name that might sound strange,

    But a catalytic agent can cause a chemical change!

    ‘Just watch her dance and you will see that what she says is true,’

    So light your bunsen burners, boys, and let me act on you!”

    • #18
  19. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Rags like The Bulwark are why I dont take the term “conservative” seriously anymore. What are they conserving? The New Deal? They’re certainly not for limited government. They’re certainly not constitutionalists or else they would know that all Federal gun control is unconstitutional.

    They’re Neocons. And a Neocon’s gonna Neocon…

    • #19
  20. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    They make money off of Pierre Omidyar. 

    It would be so much fun to genuinely quiz those guys about their worldview.

    • #20
  21. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Makes you wonder – what was the Grift – “The Weekly Standard” or “The Bulwark”? 

     

    • #21
  22. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Henry Racette: Because he’s an incompetent who doesn’t understand the first thing about American greatness, has always pandered to the mainstream of his mediocre party, and is now in the thrall of his wife or whoever programs his enhanced-font teleprompter and sets out his medications every day.

    Biden summed up in one sentence.  Well done!

    • #22
  23. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Thanks for your thoughtful post. Did Trump transform them or reveal what was always there?

    Mostly the latter. Lots of grifters in the Beltway.

    • #23
  24. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential
    @GLDIII

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    But, tell us how you really feel about those people, Henry. I’m pretty sure I agree with you.

    Yeah, you’re among friends. No reason to hold back.

    EDIT: As I observed in another thread, Trump seems remarkably unchanged by his role, meeting the definition of a catalyst.

    I missed that. I’ll go look it up. ;)

    Friend who is a chemist says the definition of a catalyst is an element that can either speed up or impede a chemical reaction but which itself is unaffected by the reaction.

    I’m no chemist, so I probably shouldn’t argue, but I will say that I’ve never encountered that usage (of slowing or impeding), and suspect it’s quite rare — even vanishingly so. ;)

    I have a masters degree in chemistry, and I have only ever heard of catalysis increasing reaction speed.

    Let me explain. (Where’s the chalkboard when you need one?)

    A chemical reaction has two major energy-based characteristics – thermodynamics and kinetics

    Thermodynamics show the tendency for a reaction to occur. Spontaneous reactions tend to release energy and increase entropy / disorder. In principle, you can make any reaction work or force any reaction backward with enough energy. Thermodynamics is based on the starting point of your reactants and the resulting products. Give me enough energy, and I will solve any material problem – with enough power, I could pull CO2 out of the air and make it rain diamonds. Your body builds up an electrochemical potential across the mitochondrial membrane to drive a rotary motor (this is literal, not figurative – it has all the parts of a motor and rotates) that assembles ATP energy carriers.

    Side note: people should talk about biochemistry with epic music and grand visuals. The average bacterium on your skin has a synthetic potential that would make the world’s chemical industry blush, with signalling networks easily as complicated a supercomputer. And it self-replicates insanely fast. Your cells are an order of magnitude more complex.

    Kinetics deals with the speed of a reaction. Reactions need some energy to kick off – the activation energy – and without that energy, the reaction will not occur. If you reduce the activation energy, the reaction will happen faster. Increase the activation energy, and it will happen faster. Diamonds are thermodynamically inclined to turn into graphite dust, but the activation energy is so high that a diamond appears to be forever. We all know iron rusts – it is slowly being oxidized by the air. If you increase the surface area, you decrease the activation energy and increase the reaction rate. Steel wool can be ignited with a 9V battery, with spectacular results.

    Catalysts are another way to reduce the activation energy. While they interact with the reactants, they will return to their original structure afterward. In the classic demonstration below, you can see hydrogen peroxide, which is thermodynamically unstable, have its activation energy reduced dramatically, so that it spontaneously decomposes to oxygen and water. (fun biochemistry fact – the enzyme that causes peroxide to bubble on a cut is called catalase, and it is near catalytical perfection – the only thing slowing it down is the natural diffusion of molecules)

    So catalysts do not actually change the end product, they only change the speed at which is reached. To extend your analogy, Mona Charen and company were likely always going to decide that the GOP was just too uncouth and plebeian. Trump just sent it into overdrive.

     

    I feel like some long unused part of my memory has been tweaked, shades of P Chem anxieties reawakened from a distant slumber. Give me your number so I can text you at 3 am when I suddenly wake in a cold sweat so you can share the pain.

    • #24
  25. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    But, tell us how you really feel about those people, Henry. I’m pretty sure I agree with you.

    My thoughts exactly @jimmcconnell. It was so hard to figure out how @henrycastaigne really felt from this post. I do think that Mr. Trump revealed some ‘conservatives’ to be more interested in being accepted by the DC/NY/Twitter crowd than really getting some conservative things done in the government and country. Sad.

    • #25
  26. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    GLDIII Temporarily Essential (View Comment):
    Why did we expect more from a man (Trump) who could never refrain from telling us his unfiltered thoughts? Would many of us be able to pass that standard? How many saints would qualify when you review the totality of their life actions?

    Liberal friends always jab me about Trumps behavior (never his deeds) and I always say, if Trump had been a Democrat would we be having this conversation? They shut up.

    • #26
  27. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Here’s the bottom line: Washington DC is a company town and the industry is politics. The people at The Bulwark are simply reminders that if you lose your livelihood in that town you are more likely to start working for the other side than to blaze a trail of independence or to begin your life again in a new industry. “So, I lost my job at GM… what’s available at Ford?”

    Unlike someone at GM or Ford, these guys have never labored or produced anything tangible or long lasting. Everything has the shelf life of a dead fish*. To paraphrase Mel Brooks, do you think they could do something useful like make a shoe? What exactly would the likes of Kristol and Sykes do?

    Many times I have quoted Kristol’s response to Pat Buchanan’s New Hampshire primary win. He sees himself as the owner of a hereditary title, a lord and nobleman whose job it is to prevent the peasants from ever gaining any real power. So in that way there is an admirable amount of constancy: he hates you and he has always hated you. And he always will.

    __________

    *I say all of this as someone who has spent his entire life producing dead fish material. Whether it’s a editing a promo, producing a podcast or a televising a sporting event, everything I’ve ever done has temporary appeal and usefulness. The difference between someone like myself and the folks at The Bulwark is that I am fully aware of the transient nature of my work and don’t pretend that anything I do is imbued with a profound nature.

    • #27
  28. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Yow. Remind me to never, ever get in @JamesLileks way when he’s really on a roll. Couldn’t the police and National Guard in Minneapolis use him to just crush all the ‘protesters’ like some gigantic bowling ball? This was even better than the spanking he did the other day that got linked on Instapundit. Thanks Mr. Lileks.

    • #28
  29. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    Makes you wonder – what was the Grift – “The Weekly Standard” or “The Bulwark”?

     

    Embrace the power of “and.”

    • #29
  30. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Here’s the bottom line: Washington DC is a company town and the industry is politics. The people at The Bulwark are simply reminders that if you lose your livelihood in that town you are more likely to start working for the other side than to blaze a trail of independence or to begin your life again in a new industry. “So, I lost my job at GM… what’s available at Ford?”

    Unlike someone at GM or Ford, these guys have never labored or produced anything tangible or long lasting. Everything has the shelf life of a dead fish*. To paraphrase Mel Brooks, do you think they could do something useful like make a shoe? What exactly would the likes of Kristol and Sykes do?

    Many times I have quoted Kristol’s response to Pat Buchanan’s New Hampshire primary win. He sees himself as the owner of a hereditary title, a lord and nobleman whose job it is to prevent the peasants from ever gaining any real power. So in that way there is an admirable amount of constancy: he hates you and he has always hated you. And he always will.

    __________

    *I say all of this as someone who has spent his entire life producing dead fish material. Whether it’s a editing a promo, producing a podcast or a televising a sporting event, everything I’ve ever done has temporary appeal and usefulness. The difference between someone like myself and the folks at The Bulwark is that I am fully aware of the transient nature of my work and don’t pretend that anything I do is imbued with a profound nature.

    This is excellent.

    • #30