The Bulwark Podcast

Charlie Sykes and guests discuss the latest news from inside Washington and around the world. No shouting, grandstanding, or sloganeering. Conservative, conscientious, and civil.

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News Commentary
Will Saletan: The Weekend of the UFOs
What is flying above us? Is it more than sky garbage? Meanwhile, the House GOP radar is against whatever Joe Biden does.
48 min
Tim Miller: It Was Dumber than You Might Have I...
The weaponization committee hearing was an embarrassing bust. Plus, James O'Keefe's love of musicals, the karma of calling DeSantis a groomer — and Charlie has Covid and he still showed up for your Super Bowl weekend pod with Tim.
52 min
Tom Nichols: The Kook Bench
The drunken heckling caucus around Marjorie Taylor Greene is not out of control — it did exactly what its voters sent them to do.
44 min
A.B. Stoddard: Dark Brandon Rising
Biden's shrewd State of the Union address played rope-a-dope with Republicans, and he relished the scrum.
41 min
Mark Hertling: What My Oath Means
The balloon set off a performance theater among members of Congress that was unbecoming of their rank and office, Lt. Gen Mark Hertling tells Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
38 min
Will Saletan: Popping the Red Balloon
It wouldn't have mattered how Biden had handled the balloon — Republicans would have said he was weak.
50 min
Tim Miller: Never Should Mean Never
Too many normies STILL won't say "Never Trump," but Paul Ryan may be coming around.
53 min
Elie Honig: Is Trump Untouchable?
Merrick Garland likes to say that no one is above the law, but the DOJ's own guidelines make it clear that some people are more equal than others.
50 min
Charlie Savage: The Real Witch Hunt?
Trump has longed complained about a deep state plot to smear him with the Russia investigation, but the Durham probe of that investigation comes off as highly partisan, unethical, and loony.
42 min
Julian Zelizer and Kevin Kruse: History Is Unde...
History became more politicized in the Trump era and the conservative media ecosystem has helped amplify untruths.
46 min
Will Saletan: Policing the Police
Training and diversity are not enough — cops who break the law must be prosecuted. Plus, the normalization of political violence around Jan 6 and the attack on Paul Pelosi, and Steve Bannon goes deeper on election denialism.
47 min
Tim Miller: Deep Inside Tucker Carlson's Navel
Republicans are so out of touch, their public brand is in trouble. Plus, MTG is Queen of the GOP, Schlapp is too sleazy for Gaetz, and party types are praying for a Trump heart attack.
50 min
Michael Weiss: A Watershed Moment for Ukraine
It took a lot of arm-twisting, but the West has finally committed to arming Ukraine with battle tanks — not only to boost its defenses, but also to take the fight to the Russians. And
46 min
Jonathan Alter: How the Documents Hurt Biden
Biden has been seen as scandal-free, but his classified docs case may cost him a big political asset: the benefit of the doubt.
48 min
David Weigel: MAGA v MAGA
Republicans may have underperformed in the midterms, but the RNC chair fight is not about changing the party's direction.
39 min
Will Saletan: It's In Your Nature to Destroy Yo...
The pro-life movement, undaunted by the midterms, is pushing for more restrictions— and the political backlash will be severe.
51 min
Catherine Rampell: Psychotic Feral Cats with Ma...
Republicans are back to extortion and holding the debt ceiling hostage after adding $4.7 trillion to the deficit during the Trump years — and that was before the pandemic.
40 min
Michael Schmidt: "I Didn't Know They Made Peopl...
Before John Kelly became chief of staff, he thought the chaos at the White House was due to the people around Trump. Instead, each day was about getting through the day without Trump doing something illegal, immoral, or damaging to himself or the country.
45 min
Bill Kristol: Glimmers of Hope
The shift in attitudes about defense and foreign policy in Germany has been dramatic since the war in Ukraine began. Plus, will ripping off a dying dog be the tipping point for George Santos?
34 min
David French: Our Religious Freedoms Are Not Ha...
New York Times-bound David French tells Charlie Sykes how he re-thought same-sex marriage, how he felt he was living in a bubble, and how religious liberty is more strongly protected than it's ever been.
45 min
Will Saletan: Performative Garbage
RonAnon Johnson wanted to get beat up on "Meet the Press" — so he could weaponize it. Plus, the active moving backward from MLK's dream, Trump gets the ultimate whataboutism, debt ceiling dangers, and a football confession.
42 min
Michael Steele: Slapping Matt Schlapp
Former RNC Chair Michael Steele had a front-row seat for the start of the ugly transformation at CPAC. Racist rhetoric has now been normalized, and they're not even pretending anymore.
33 min
Adam Kinzinger: Detoxing from Congress
Watching from a distance, former Rep. Kinzinger tells Charlie Sykes that House moderates have a lot of power they're not willing to use, while the Freedom Caucus —AKA "The Terror Club" — is willing to shoot hostages.
38 min
Aaron Blake: Kevin McCarthy Is Keeping a Secret
Without his secret pact, Kevin McCarthy likely would not be Speaker.
39 min
Olivia Nuzzi: Has Trump Become Norma Desmond?
Trump rarely leaves his 'weird' smelling, moldy mansion, he seems bored and tired, and D-List MAGA are his main loyalists now.
37 min