Technically, Bill Kristol started up The Bulwark last year as a kind of news-aggregate space-filler that served as a place for the former Weekly Standard editor’s non-profit group, the Defending Democracy Together Institute to waste some donor money. But after the Standard shut down last month and several former writers and editors found themselves without an audience or a paycheck, the site expanded to become Weekly Standard 2.0. Now, with the help of former radio host Charlie Sykes, Kristol aims to turn The Bulwark into the web’s preeminent place for NeverTrump conservatism.
And we would imagine that it will be just as successful as The Weekly Standard was for the last couple of years of its existence.
In the site’s About Us section, Sykes leaves no doubt as to the mission of The Bulwark:
George Orwell once observed that “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” And what is in front of our nose at the moment is that the president of the United States is a serial liar, a narcissist and a bully, a con man who mocks the disabled and women, a man with no fixed principles who has the vocabulary of an emotionally insecure 9-year-old.
Lots of Republicans, even the ones who defend him publicly, say these things quietly.
Our mission will be to say them out loud and encourage others to do so as well. We’re long past the time for anonymous op-eds, or sotto voce complaints. The task now is not to continually degrade and adjust our standards to accommodate Trump, but rather to push back against the moral and intellectual corruption that now poses an existential threat to conservatism as a viable political force.
In other words, if you love the Trump BashFest found in The New York Times, the Washington Post, Vox, Slate, The New Republic, The Daily Beast, Salon, Time, Newsweek, The Atlantic, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and CNN, but you want to read it while continuing to pretend you’re a conservative, why, here’s the perfect website for you!
“I think the need for a rational, non-Trumpist forum was more urgent than ever,” Sykes said. “And I do think that contrary to some of the conventional wisdom, there is a market for center-right commentary that pushes back against Trumpism.”
Well, if you call John Kasich, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, and Jennifer Rubin a “market”…