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
Politics
News Commentary
101
Will Saletan: Putin Is a Terrorist
The world's bloodiest terrorist is angling for concessions in exchange for not killing more Ukrainians civilians, Biden's real and honest moment was undercut by his own advisers, and Elise Stefanik's lack of principle is her biggest asset. Will Saletan is back for Charlie and Will Mondays.
46 min
102
Mona Charen: A Time to Recuse, a Time to Testify
Ginni Thomas was all-in for a coup and locking Biden up at Gitmo. And after Trump’s back-stabbing, Mo Brooks now sounds like he’s ready to talk to the January 6 committee. It was a week of jackassery and jerkitude — Mona Charen joins Charlie Sykes on the weekend podcast to break it all down.
45 min
103
Josh Rogin: Xi and Putin Are in This Together
Not only is China a co-conspirator in the Russian scheme to blame the war in Ukraine on the US and the West, it's also underwriting it economically. The Washington Post's Josh Rogin joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
41 min
104
David Corn: Tucker Carlson, Useful Idiot
Why is Tucker Carlson siding with Putin? Is he just trolling Biden, or is it more ideological? Plus, it's hard to have a democracy when you can't agree on basic facts. David Corn joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
45 min
105
A.B. Stoddard: The Pipeline of Crazy Is Clogged
Melania prefers Dr. Oz, Greitens may have just enough shamelessness to win Trump's blessing, and Ohio GOP Senate candidates are on the cusp of a fistfight. A.B. Stoddard joins Charlie Sykes today to give an update on the midterms.
45 min
106
Will Saletan: What Is the Red Line?
The Russians have become the largest terrorist organization in the world. How will NATO respond if Putin resorts to chemical weapons? Plus, Charlie Sykes says Josh Hawley deserves to be canceled. Will Saletan is back for Charlie and Will Mondays.
53 min
107
Bill Kristol: Maybe War Crimes Are a Bridge Too...
Most elected Republicans and the base are moving in a different direction from the pro-Putin and anti-anti-Putin crowd. How far can Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn go without breaking the silo? Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes for this weekend's podcast.
44 min
108
Michael Weiss: Who Should You Believe about the...
Kyiv is not encircled, its air force is largely intact, and Russians soldiers keep abandoning their equipment. While Ukraine may have the momentum, Russian elites may be hunkering down in underground bunkers far from Moscow. Michael Weiss joins Charlie Sykes today to update the state of the battle.
45 min
109
David Priess: What Zelensky Needs
In a taste of what's to come, Lawfare's David Priess and Charlie Sykes have different takes on Zelensky's request for a no-fly zone. Also on the podcast, the Biden administration's use of intelligence to play with Putin's head.
43 min
110
Susan Glasser: Russia's New Iron Curtain
Putin has blown up Russia's 30-year relationship with the West, and his country has taken a North Korea-style turn. And those are good things in Putin's eyes. The New Yorker's Susan Glasser joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
47 min
111
Is Biden Deterring Putin?
We have made ourselves more nervous about what Putin might do than he is about what we might do. Will Saletan and Charlie Sykes have a  disagreement on today's Charlie and Will Monday.
45 min
112
Tim Miller: Trump Is the Leader of the Putin Wing
From Putin-phelia to homophobia to Trump's Zelensky-envy, Tim Miller's back with Charlie Sykes on this weekend's pod.
53 min
113
Amb. Eric Edelman: Why Are We Deterring Ourselves?
In addition to his other miscalculations, Putin has fathered modern Ukrainian nationalism, and made NATO stronger and more unified than it's been in years. Former Ambassador Eric Edelman joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
43 min
114
General Mark Hertling: Why the Russians Will Lose
Russia won't be able to take large Ukrainian cities. But that won't stop them from bombing them into rubble. Americans say 'make it end,' but it won't until Putin accepts defeat in a war he can't win. Retired Lt. General Mark Hertling, the former commanding general of U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army, joins Charlie Sykes today.
38 min
115
Kim Wehle: We Need To Learn How To Think
Whether it's the disinformation that's dividing Americans, or a hard problem in your own life, thinking more like a lawyer can actually help you sleep at night. Plus, Bill Barr's one and only breaking point. Kim Wehle explains on today's podcast with Charlie Sykes.
44 min
116
Will Saletan: A Failed Invasion
Putin can’t occupy Ukraine – an insurgency will bleed his forces. And Biden needs to use his bully pulpit to prepare the country for sacrifice if we embargo Russian oil. Will Saletan's back for Charlie and Will Mondays.
46 min
117
Tim Miller: Don't Buy Bill Barr's Book
So much to cover on this weekend's podcast!
53 min
118
Rachel Vindman: The GOP Enablers Brought Us to ...
44 min
119
Michael Steele: Biden Restores the Alliance
Biden has stitched NATO back together after Trump and Putin tried to tear it apart.
40 min
120
Clint Watts: What Is Putin's Offramp?
Putin lost the disinformation war in the West over Ukraine, but the man who laid waste to cities in Syria and Chechnya has a massive convoy heading to Kyiv.
40 min
121
Will Saletan: Courage Is Contagious
Ukraine's pushback against authoritarianism has lit a spark around the world.
47 min
122
Heath Mayo: Reimagining American Conservatism
While CPAC is mocking, meme-ing and owning the libs, a different summit —one for principled conservatives — is convening this weekend to reconceptualize the movement.
40 min
123
Tom Nichols: Putin, Unhinged and in a Bubble
How serious is Putin's nuke threat? How should the world react to the invasion of Ukraine? And thoughts on the GOP's entertainment wing.  Tom Nichols joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
40 min
124
Bill Kristol: MAGA Turns Anti Anti-Putin
In the middle of an international crisis, Trump is fawning over Putin, and the entertainment wing of the GOP loves it. But how will the elected wing respond? Is a pro-Putin party a bridge too far? Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
43 min
125
Tim O'Brien: Trump Was Giving Putin Everything ...
Trump's child-like fascination with "tough guys" like Putin is part of the reason why we are where we are today. Many Republicans are now following his lead — allying themselves with a foreign power that sows dissent and division here. Tim O'Brien joins Charlie Sykes today.
38 min
126
Will Saletan: Surprise, Trump Was in It for the...
Voters said they wanted a businessman for president. Now, he's making clear he treated our country as a vehicle for his own profit. Will Saletan is back for 'Charlie and Will Mondays.'
47 min
127
David Frum: O Canada!
46 min
128
Karen Tumulty: At Least One Party Kicked the Ex...
Progressives revolted against progressives in San Francisco — and that could have national implications. Meanwhile, Republicans stand for only one thing, and they're shrinking their base. The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
42 min
129
Garry Kasparov: Putin Is a Merchant of Doubt
With Biden in the White House, Putin thought this was the time to deliver the final blow to NATO. But he has been surprised by the West's response to Ukraine. His game isn't chess, it's poker — and he may have overplayed his hand. Garry Kasparov joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
40 min
130
John Avlon: An Unconditional Surrender and a Ma...
In the last six weeks of his life, Abraham Lincoln sketched out a vision to win the peace after winning the war, principles that inspired future generations. CNN's John Avlon joins Charlie Sykes to share the story of Lincoln, the peacemaker.
42 min
131
Charlie and Will Monday
Sexual anarchy, trucker protests, rumors of war, and Trump’s feral ego. Will Saletan and Charlie Sykes hash it out on today's @BulwarkOnline podcast.
44 min
132
Tim Miller: The Worst and the Dumbest
Now that the Republican base is following the gazpacho soup lady, consider this Bulwark prediction for your Super Bowl weekend: Secession will be the next big thing in the MAGA-verse. Tim Miller joins Charlie Sykes on the podcast.
46 min
133
Robert Draper: MAGA Martyr Michael Flynn
On the right-wing road show, Michael Flynn is the second-biggest draw after Trump — his "deep state" victimization is central to MAGA mythology. Oh, and he's still trying to steal the 2020 election. The New York Times Magazine's Robert Draper joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
40 min
134
Jeremy Peters: The GOP’s Ongoing Insurgency
From Pat Buchanan's culture war to Sarah Palin wearing her resentment on her sleeve, Trump's escalator ride was a long time coming. The New York Times' Jeremy Peters joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
43 min
135
Adam Kinzinger: McCarthy Looks Like a Weak, Fec...
Adam Kinzinger joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
41 min
136
Will Saletan: It's Easy to Become an Authoritar...
You don't have to renounce democracy or reject the Constitution — all you have to do is be persuaded to believe a few lies. Will Saletan joins Charlie Sykes today for the launch of our new 'Charlie & Will Monday' on The Bulwark Podcast.
45 min
137
Tim Miller: China, Zucker, Schumer, SCOTUS, Cou...
On our weekend omnibus podcast, Tim Miller joins Charlie Sykes to vent about it all.
50 min
138
Scott MacFarlane: Jan. 6 Committee Is Connectin...
Congressional committee hearings can be a hot mess. But the Jan. 6 committee is moving with strategic steps and a unified message — it fits the moment. CBS News' Scott MacFarlane joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
42 min
139
George Packer: Afghanistan Was Biden's Saigon
Biden's empathy didn't extend to Afghan allies — like interpreters — who risked their lives for our troops. When the administration didn't plan for their exit, vets, soldiers, and others came together to save lives. The Atlantic's George Packer joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
42 min
140
Dana Milbank: The Right's Snowflakes
As Black History Month gets underway, teachers around the country are afraid to teach about civil rights or reconstruction. Meanwhile, Glenn Youngkin's kids are learning all about CRT at their tony private schools. The Washington Post's Dana Milbank joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
43 min
141
Will Saletan: We Are Too Politically Segregated
Don't only talk to people you agree with politically. Break free from the echo chamber, and help cure our tribalism. Will Saletan officially joins The Bulwark — and Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
46 min
142
A.B. Stoddard: MAGA in Disarray
Trump's kingmaking keeps hitting bumps in the road, and the GOP is helping to spread Covid as an electoral strategy. Plus, why does Schumer's sloppy leadership get so little notice? A.B. Stoddard joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
41 min
143
Matt Bennett: This Is a Paul Revere Moment
The Democratic establishment needs to wake up. The time is now for democracy's allies to unify and stop the Big Lie from becoming the Big Coup. Third Way's Matt Bennett joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
41 min
144
David Priess: Beware of Russian Trolls
Parts of Ukraine are physically closer to — and more culturally aligned with — Central and Western Europe than they are to Russia. Lawfare's David Priess joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
48 min
145
Ruy Teixeira: What Would the Working Class Say?
Increased turnout and more nonwhite voters don't give Democrats the edge. To win, they have to remember the mantra: What Would the Working Class Say? Ruy Teixeira joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
43 min
146
Bill Kristol: The Dysfunction Is a Pre-Existing...
Newt Gingrich's recklessness with partisanship was a precursor of where we are today, and now Trump's followers, like Steve Bannon and Ron DeSantis, are trying to one-up Trump. Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
43 min
147
Mark Bowden & Matt Teague: 2020's Unsung Heroes
The Trump campaign banked on local Republican officials to help steal the election. But ordinary Americans from all walks of life stood up to the lies. Authors Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague join Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
38 min
148
Tim Miller: About That Press Conference
Charlie Sykes and Tim Miller take the measure of Biden's press conference and his first year in the office — and come down on different sides. The Bulwark coalition in all its glory, on today's podcast.
54 min
149
Will Saletan: The Coalition of the Sane
America needs a coalition that crosses party and ideological lines — to counter the authoritarian menace inside the Republican Party, and GOP leaders who lie about the election and the virus. Will Saletan tells Charlie Sykes why he's joining the fight at The Bulwark.
45 min
150
Matthew Yglesias: The Center Is There, We Just ...
Why Biden can't have a Kumbaya moment, and tangible things can't get done. Matt Yglesias joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
46 min
151
Josh Barro: Obsessing Over Democracy Won't Save It
For the Democrats to win, they need to focus on what normal people think about — which is NOT Jan. 6 and the potential end of democracy. They want Covid shut down and the economy opened. Josh Barro joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
41 min
152
David French: Biden’s Divisive Speech
The crisis of democracy is in the counting, not the casting, of votes. The Dispatch's David French joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
51 min
153
Adam Kinzinger: Jan 6 Primetime Hearings Will B...
The behind-the-scenes evidence presented during the upcoming primetime Jan 6 committee hearings will be "compelling" and "shocking," and will be directed to an audience who's going to go out and vote. Rep. Adam Kinzinger joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
40 min
154
Tim Alberta: The Fringe Has Merged with the Mai...
With all the manic, hyperbolic nonsense about the election and vaccines, the fringe is no longer visible. The Atlantic's Tim Alberta joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
40 min
155
Barbara Walter: Is America at Risk of a 21st Ce...
There have been more than 200 civil wars since WWII — and the conditions that triggered those conflicts are now present here in America. Author Barbara Walter joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
43 min
156
Tom Nichols: Time for a Grand Coalition
Sure, former Republicans in the democracy coalition bear some responsibility for where we are today — and Democrats do too. But the only thing that matters now is who's on the side of the Constitution, and who isn't. Tom Nichols joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
52 min
157
Tim Miller: Cruz’s Grovel
Ted Cruz found out what happens when you don't use the language of the MAGA woke orthodoxy. Plus, liberals grousing about Dick Cheney: Do you want a pro- democracy coalition or don’t you? Tim Miller joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
54 min
158
January 6 Was Built on Years of Lies and Propag...
Conspiracy theories are at the core of Donald Trump, and the Republican Party still took him in. The surprise is that we are surprised. The New Yorker's Susan Glasser and Princeton's Julian Zelizer join Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
36 min
159
Olivia Nuzzi: The Ambition of Dr. Oz
GOP operatives are none too pleased that Dr. Oz wants to be the next Republican senator from Pennsylvania. Democrats — who remember when the guy from The Apprentice was underestimated — are worried. Olivia Nuzzi joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
51 min
160
Evan Osnos: Hardening the Hard Core
What's sustaining the belief that the election was stolen from Trump? It's rage-makers like Dan Bongino, who feed existential conflict to millions of Americans daily — in between ads for gun holsters and survivalist food rations. The New Yorker's Evan Osnos joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
40 min
161
Bill Kristol: New Year, New Chance for Democrat...
Democrats say they're the party of government. Why not make it run more effectively — so the FDA isn't so ham-fisted and the CDC isn't so slow? Also, one year after Jan.6, how have our electoral guardrails still not been fixed? Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
45 min
162
We're Not All Crying Karens
A panel of Bulwark favorites share their predictions (AKA warnings) for 2022. They also take time to give a shout-out to the people who aren't shouting — the people on the ground helping others and working to save democracy. Bill Kristol, Tim Miller, Sarah Longwell, and JVL join guest host Mona Charen on today's episode.
54 min
163
The State of Black Lives Matter Now
BLM signs have come down, and tough conversions now are about what racial equity looks like. For instance, is getting rid of the SAT the best solution? Plus, The Washington Post's Perry Bacon and guest host Tim Miller get personal on the struggle to find a diverse school for their kids.
87 min
164
When the Main Point of Politics Is Vengeance
The Republican Party is now about knife fights and justifying just about anything -- like Peter Navarro laying out a clear description of the attempted Trump coup. Still, there are 2021 bright spots. Peter Wehner joins guest host Mona Charen on today's episode.
41 min
165
China's Breaking up with Hollywood
Hollywood shared its magic with China. Now some of 2021's biggest box office draws were Chinese films. With fewer American movies being shown there, Hollywood's confronting what creative freedoms it gave up to play in China. Author Chris Fenton joins guest host Sonny Bunch on today's episode.
39 min
166
Trump's Dereliction of Duty on Covid
The Trump administration's malfeasance in responding to Covid demands a 9/11 commission-style investigation. Plus, Biden's 2020 victory was more Dunkirk, and less D-Day. Churchill fan Bill Kristol joins guest host JVL on today's episode.
43 min
167
The Republicans' Dangerous Vigilante Messaging ...
From lionizing Kyle Rittenhouse, to stopping abortion in Texas, and threatening to take over America's election apparatus, Republicans are sending a dangerous message: Take matters into your own hands. Real Clear Politics' A.B. Stoddard joins guest host Mona Charen on today's episode.
45 min
168
Democrats Need a Plan to Save Democracy in 2024
The ultimate survival of American democracy is going to come down to the Democrats figuring out how to defeat the party that wants to overturn it. Plus, it's Joe Manchin's way or the highway. New York magazine's Ed Kilgore joins guest host JVL on today's episode.
58 min
169
Manchin Puts Coal in the Democrats' Stockings
Democrats are furious with Manchin, but they still need him to pass a voting rights bill. Plus, while Biden readies for his big Covid speech, the man who brought us "lock her up" sounds nervous about the Jan. 6 committee. Mona Charen joins guest host Sarah Longwell on today's episode.
39 min
170
Covid Should Be the Democrats' Culture War
With Gen Z really not that into Biden, and median voters tuning out politics, Biden definitely needs a new message: Blame the GOP for Covid dragging on. Snapchat's Peter Hamby joins guest host Tim Miller on today's episode.
78 min
171
The Next Level Takeover!
Sarah, Tim, and JVL sit in for Charlie. Trump knows his supporters better than anyone around him. He knew they'd be fine with an insurrection.
55 min
172
Amanda Carpenter: Jan. 6 Committee Is Bringing It
Trump aggressively shut down protesters for his Bible photo-op, but let the insurrection run on for more than three hours. We've passed 'what did they know, and when did they know it?' We're now at 'when did they start planning it?' Amanda Carpenter joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
44 min
173
Charlie Warzel: Out of Office
The way we work isn't working — fewer, more focused hours on the job can actually be more productive. And just because tech makes it possible to work at any time doesn't mean we should. Will the Great Resignation change our workaholic ways? Charlie Warzel joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
48 min
174
Damon Linker: Can Journalists Save American Dem...
Journalism traditionally treats the two parties as equals, but Republicans are fabricating an alternate reality and sabotaging democracy. Can reporters be "partisans for democracy" without rooting for the Democrats? The Week's Damon Linker joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast
48 min
175
Tim Miller: This Is Madness
Republicans are siding with Putin over NATO, top candidates are flocking to Bannon's podcast, and New Yorkers are handing the GOP a Christmas gift by giving noncitizens the right to vote. Tim Miller joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
53 min
176
Bart Gellman: Stealing Democracy Right before O...
Trump's official power as president wasn't what got him so close to toppling the 2020 election. It was his ability to convince supporters that black is white, and up is down — and they're preparing for next time. The Atlantic's Bart Gellman joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
42 min
177
Ben Wittes: You Have to Speak Up, Merrick Garland
If the attorney general wants to restore norms at the Justice Department, he's got to talk about it. He's got to give speeches on democracy, voting rights, and accountability. He has to sell the message. Ben Wittes joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
49 min
178
Jonathan Allen: Georgia Will be Ground Zero in ...
Stacey Abrams sees good odds in the Georgia's governor's race, while the Republican candidates are stuck in the amber of Trump's Big Lie. Plus: Nunes' job change shows that being on Fox is the new path to power. NBC News' Jonathan Allen joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
41 min
179
David Frum: Big Macs, Russia, and Afghanistan
The build-up of Russian troops on the border is alarming. Afghanistan is facing mass starvation. Meanwhile, Trump country is not only anti-vax, it's pro-obesity. Get fat to own the libs. David Frum joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
46 min
180
Bill Kristol: It's Still the Economy, Stupid
It's not just The Bulwark saying the Democrats have a branding problem — Democrats are saying it too. So, cool it with the culture talk, control inflation, and as Bill Kristol has been telling the White House: Make Covid tests cheap and plentiful. Kristol joins Charlie Sykes today.
44 min
181
Tom Nichols: Grow Up and Act like an Adult
Republicans are blowing off the Jan. 6 investigation, and the Deplorable Squad is normalizing rhetoric that can lead to political violence. Can the pro-democracy coalition quit the name-calling and get down to business? Tom Nichols joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
55 min
182
Amy Walter: Our Political Known Unknowns
Just as we thought we were turning the corner on Covid, a new variant is bringing travel restrictions and heightening anxiety about the future. Is Biden in a no-win situation? The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
44 min
183
Jonathan Karl: Trump Loved Jan. 6
Yes, there was a riot at the Capitol, but keep your eye on the ball: Trump tried to destroy American democracy. He literally tried to steal the election. Jonathan Karl joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
45 min
184
Tim Miller: We're All Hostage to the Crazy
Marjorie Taylor Greene is calling the shots and owning Kevin McCarthy, while some Republican governors are paying people NOT to get vaccinated. Bonus content: Taylor v Jake. Tim Miller joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
48 min
185
Thanksgiving Special: The Bulwark Takes Time Ou...
Sarah Longwell, Charlie Sykes, Amanda Carpenter, and Mona Charen stop by to talk food, the dearth of Thanksgiving movies, and to highlight something in the political world they are most grateful for. Let's just say Liz Cheney got some love.
44 min
186
Kristin Du Mez: Love Thy Neighbor Is for Wimps
Militant hyper-masculinity is the ideal of Christian manhood in the white evangelical world, and it's part and parcel of Trumpism and today's Republican Party. Author Kristen Du Mez joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
50 min
187
Donald Cohen: The Privatization of Everything
Should the government really be run like a business, or just be run really well? Author Donald Cohen debates Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
48 min
188
Bill Kristol: Fetishizing Political Violence
We are in a dangerous moment when members of the political class celebrate violence and fetishize guns. Plus, contemplating an America if JFK had not been assassinated. Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
47 min
189
Greg Lukianoff: We Are Creating a Culture of St...
People are actually quite resilient, but when young students are told they can be harmed by words, it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Greg Lukianoff from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
52 min
190
Adam Schiff: The GOP Has Created a Monster
"If you persuade people that we cannot rely on our elections to decide who should govern, then what is left but violence?" Rep. Adam Schiff joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
35 min
191
David Priess: It Wasn't a Hoax
The findings of the Mueller report have been overshadowed by the discrediting of the Steele dossier, but the Russia-Trump campaign ties were a real thing. Lawfare's David Priess joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
41 min