Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. As House Democrats rush to impeach Donald Trump for the second time, tortured commentary has become the norm -- and not only among political partisans. Perhaps the most unsettling was the media’s sudden fixation with the president’s access to “nuclear launch codes.” Yes, this is a political talking point meant to justify impeaching a guy even as moving vans are scheduled to arrive at the White House. But as the cable news talking heads repeated it uncritically hour after hour, its effect was to terrorize their own viewers. Is that a sustainable business model?
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, Trump spokesman Hogan Gidley came up with the goofiest line of the week. Asked by Fox News anchorman Bill Hemmer whether Donald Trump feels “emasculated” after being banned from social media, Gidley responded, “I wouldn’t say emasculated. I mean, the most masculine person I think to ever hold the White House is the president of the United States.”
I understand Gidley was being loyal to his boss -- and that manliness is a purely subjective quality. Nonetheless, I can’t resist putting this claim in historical perspective, a labor of love I’ll undertake later today. In the meantime, I’d point you to RCP’s front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion pieces spanning the political spectrum. Today’s lineup includes Birgit Jennen and Ania Nussbaum (Bloomberg News), Nicholas Goldberg (Los Angeles Times), and David Harsanyi (National Review). We also offer original material from our own reporters, columnists, and contributors, including the following:
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Biden’s Dilemma: Unity or Impeachment? Susan Crabtree lays out the stakes as the incoming president mulls how to balance party leaders’ demands to punish Trump with his own desire to heal our divisions.
DHS Chief Wolf Resigns, Sans Mention of Capitol Violence. Phil Wegmann has the story.
A Black Republican’s Georgia Autopsy. Autry Pruitt chastises the GOP for making little effort to engage with African American voters in the Peach State.
The Great Social Silencing. Kalev Leetaru weighs in on the banning of President Trump on social media and other developments on the free speech front.
“Survival Checks” as Universal Basic Income? At RealClearPolicy, Matt Weidinger warns that Chuck Schumer’s call for additional pandemic relief could morph into recurring payments.
Climate Risk and Financial Stability. In RealClearEnergy, Rupert Darwall argues that when central bankers play climate politics they lose focus on their core responsibility.
Online Education’s Stealth Advancement. At RealClearEducation, Glenn Ricketts writes that the expansion of remote learning has avoided the usual scrutiny by program review committees, thanks to COVID.
A Medical Advocate Saved My Life. At RealClearHealth, Trevor FitzGibbon recounts his near-fatal brush with COVID.
How Alcohol Saved Humanity From Foul Water. RealClearScience editor Ross Pomeroy has this history lesson.
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Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics