Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Today is the day. Let the new Administration begin.

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Today is the day. Let the new Administration begin.

Peter Beinert/NY Times:

Why Are There So Few Courageous Senators?

Here’s what we need to do if we want more Mitt Romneys and fewer Josh Hawleys.

Now that Donald Trump has been defanged, leading Republicans are rushing to denounce him. It’s a little late. The circumstances were different then, but a year ago, only one Republican senator, Mitt Romney, backed impeachment. In a party that has been largely servile, Mr. Romney’s courage stands out.

Why, in the face of immense pressure, did Mr. Romney defend the rule of law? And what would it take to produce more senators like him? These questions are crucial if America’s constitutional system, which has been exposed as shockingly fragile, is to survive. The answer may be surprising: To get more courageous senators, Americans should elect more who are near the end of their political careers.

This doesn’t just mean old politicians — today’s average senator is, after all, over 60. It means senators with the stature to stand alone.

new Quinnipiac Poll on whether white supremacy played a major role in the Jan 6 insurrection at the US Capitol: Republicans 17% yes everyone not a Republican 62% yes

— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) January 18, 2021


Actions by GOP attorneys general could damage credibility

By supporting efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election, most of the nation’s Republican state attorneys general may have undermined their offices’ long-held special status in federal courts.

In December, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed legal papers attempting to overturn the results of the presidential election based on unfounded claims of election fraud in four states that voted for President-elect Joe Biden. The Republican attorneys general for 17 other states made legal filings supporting his effort, which was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

.@mckaycoppins – your thesis pre-supposes that there isn’t a countervailing force to this. Republicans make no mistake: We will not let neither you nor the American people forget what you did, what you stood silently for, or your cowardice. @ProjectLincoln @SteveSchmidtSES

— Reed Galen (@reedgalen) January 18, 2021

Daily Beast:

Fox News Launches ‘Purge’ to ‘Get Rid of Real Journalists’

Fox News on Tuesday fired the political editor who was tasked with defending the network’s election night decisions that especially angered President Donald Trump and his allies.

Politics editor Chris Stirewalt’s exit from the network coincided with the sacking of at least 16 digital editorial staffers, including senior editors. People familiar with the situation said the layoffs—a “blood bath,” as multiple Fox News insiders described it—were perpetrated by Porter Berry, the Sean Hannity crony now in charge of remaking Fox’s digital properties in the image of its right-wing opinion programming.

I see we are now quoting people who helped carry out child separation on the subject of *other Republicans* trying to launder their reputations

— Isaac Chotiner (@IChotiner) January 18, 2021

Lou Zickar/USA Today:

Centrist Republicans, speak up! We must take a stand against the insurrectionists

If you are a principled centrist or principled conservative, now is not the time to remain silent.

For as the tragic events on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol made clear, the divide in the Republican Party is no longer between the center and the right wing. The divide in today’s GOP is between the insurrectionist wing and everyone else.

Our latest survey shows net support from voters on a range of potential Biden Administration energy & climate policy options comfortably above water, though from Republicans just one policy held net positive support. More:

— Morning Consult (@MorningConsult) January 19, 2021

David Leonhardt/NY times:

Underselling the Vaccine

And what else you need to know today.

Now a version of the mask story is repeating itself — this time involving the vaccines. Once again, the experts don’t seem to trust the public to hear the full truth.

This issue is important and complex enough that I’m going to make today’s newsletter a bit longer than usual. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to email me at

Right now, public discussion of the vaccines is full of warnings about their limitations: They’re not 100 percent effective. Even vaccinated people may be able to spread the virus. And people shouldn’t change their behavior once they get their shots.

These warnings have a basis in truth, just as it’s true that masks are imperfect. But the sum total of the warnings is misleading, as I heard from multiple doctors and epidemiologists last week.

“It’s driving me a little bit crazy,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown School of Public Health, told me.

“We’re underselling the vaccine,” Dr. Aaron Richterman, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of Pennsylvania, said.

“It’s going to save your life — that’s where the emphasis has to be right now,” Dr. Peter Hotez of the Baylor College of Medicine said.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are “essentially 100 percent effective against serious disease,” Dr. Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said. “It’s ridiculously encouraging.”

But still, don’t change your behavior immediately. Iit’s a short term thing but keep your guard up until community spread drops.

Our democracy didn’t fail in part because of the consciences of a handful of state and local GOP officials. The party is already trying to replace them

— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) January 18, 2021

Ronald Brownstein/CNN:

Trump leaves America at its most divided since the Civil War

The January 6 assault on the US Capitol capped four years in which Trump relentlessly stoked the nation’s divisions and simultaneously provided oxygen for the growth of White nationalist extremism through his open embrace of racist language and conspiracy theories.
In the process, Trump has not only shattered the barriers between the Republican Party and far-right extremists but also enormously intensified a trend that predated him: a growing willingness inside the GOP’s mainstream to employ anti-small-d-democratic means to maintain power in a country demographically evolving away from the party.
The result has been to raise the stakes in the ideological polarization of the parties that has been reshaping American politics for decades.

What a stunning sight: Overnight the Biden Inaugural covered the National Mall with hundreds of thousands of flags to represent Americans who can’t attend in person. A remarkably poignant commemoration.

— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) January 19, 2021

McKay Coppins/Atlantic:

The Coming Republican Amnesia

How will the GOP recover from the Trump era? Pretend it never happened.

As Donald Trump lurches through the disastrous final days of his presidency, Republicans are just beginning to survey the wreckage of his reign. Their party has been gutted, their leader is reviled, and after four years of excusing every presidential affront to “conservative values,” their credibility is shot. How will the GOP recover from the complicity and corruption of the Trump era? To many Republicans, the answer is simple: Pretend it never happened.

A quick add: The QAnon internet this week is just assuming the entire National Guard is secretly on Trump’s side and they’ll reveal themselves like Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania. They’re not, it’s a story they’re telling themselves, but they all believe it.

— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) January 19, 2021

Monmouth University Poll:

Authoritarianism Among Trump Voters

Among panelists who reported voting for Trump in the 2020 election, just over 4 in 10 score in the highest quartile of the Right Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) scale when the original survey weights from the 2019 survey are applied. This leaves just over half of Trump supporters who are not classified as having high authoritarian inclinations. [It should also be noted that only a handful of President-elect Joe Biden’s voters in the panel have a high RWA score – too few to break out in this analysis.]

Memorials matter. There has been no center of grief during this pandemic. The virus has kept us apart, meaning so much of our unimaginable loss has taken place behind closed doors. We haven’t been able share our grief.

— Dr. Sanjay Gupta (@drsanjaygupta) January 19, 2021

Dave A Hopkins/Honest Graft:

In the End, the Trump Presidency Was a Failure on Its Own Terms

Trump succeeded in preventing Hillary Clinton from leading the country, but he wound up empowering Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer instead. He railed against liberal elites who predominate within social institutions like universities, media organizations, and technology companies, but his time in office only saw a continued progression of leftward cultural change in American society and a parallel departure of highly-educated voters from the Republican Party. The conservative intellectual project has not suffered as much damage in many decades as it did over the past four years; conservative thinkers and writers were internally divided into pro- and anti-Trump factions, were exposed as holding a limited ability to speak for the conservative mass public, and were deprived by Trump’s behavior of a precious claim to moral superiority over the left. And the fact that the Trump administration is leaving office complaining of being “silenced” and “canceled” by a multi-platform social media ban imposed on its leader is evidence enough of its lack of success in gaining influence over the tech sector.

A final, inadvertantly-acknowledged testimony to the failure of the Trump administration was its prevailing communication style. Both the outgoing president and his succession of spokespeople stood out for two distinctive traits: a lack of commitment to factual accuracy and a perpetually grouchy demeanor. The typical public statement from this White House was a misleading claim delivered with a sarcastic sneer. Of course, no member of the administration would admit on the record that the Trump presidency was anything less than a parade of unparalleled triumphs. But it doesn’t make sense to lie so much unless the truth isn’t on your side, and there’s no good reason to act so aggrieved all the time if you’re really succeeding as much as you claim.

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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