Hello, it’s Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. Globally, the number of COVID-19 infections is closing in on 100 million documented cases. In more than 2.1 million of them, the virus has been fatal. Meanwhile, in the United States, where more than 419,000 of those deaths have taken place, a date has now been set for Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial.
In the world of sports, Americans lost a baseball immortal Friday: The great Henry Louis Aaron passed away peacefully in his sleep. In football, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will be playing in his 10th Super Bowl. Although Brady has won six of the nine championship games he’s played in -- all with the New England Patriots -- earning a seventh ring won’t be easy. The Bucs’ opponent is the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, a team led by young Patrick Mahomes, the best living football player on the planet.
But with all due deference to Joe Namath, who confidently predicted his New York Jets team would win a huge upset in the 1969 Super Bowl (“We’ll win,” said Broadway Joe. “I guarantee it”), actually there are no guarantees in life. We learned that in 2020 -- and 2021 is picking up right where that trying year left off.
With that, 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. We also offer a nice complement of original material from our own reporters, columnists, and contributors this morning, including the following:
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Mitch McConnell’s Time for Choosing. A.B. Stoddard argues that the Senate minority leader’s support for an impeachment conviction of Donald Trump would be the best, and only, way for his party to move on.
Biden’s Biggest Decision. Charles Lipson considers whether the new president will resolve tensions between his party’s left wing and its establishment-corporate center.
Biden Still Opposed to Senate Nuking the Filibuster. Phil Wegmann has the story.
The RCP Takeaway. In the latest podcast episode, Susan Crabtree, Andy Walworth, Tom Bevan and I discuss the new administration’s start.
Evidence Implicates FBI Higher-Ups in Anti-Trump Lawyer’s Deceit. Paul Sperry spotlights newly released details regarding Kevin Clinesmith. A timeline shows the FBI repeatedly disregarded evidence Carter Page was not a traitor so it could spy on him.
Pennsylvania Will Reflect Voter Mood During Biden’s Presidency. Nathan Benefield writes that the state’s suburban voters, who gave Biden his victory, favor moderation, and will watch closely to see if the new administration tracks too far left.
PA Republicans Push for Change in Electing State Supreme Court. Salena Zito examines efforts to have justices elected regionally rather than statewide, which would likely lessen Democrats’ grip on the court.
Reclaiming Common Ground: Racism, Kendi, and the Capitol Riot. Peter Berkowitz responds to criticism of politicians, including Joe Biden, who insisted that the attack “does not represent who we are” as Americans.
Government Waste Thrives in Darkness. Thomas W. Smith spotlights the OpenTheBooks Government Expenditure Library, which has placed local, state and federal spending details online for anyone to scrutinize.
Can Biden Lead Another Youth Movement? David Topel revisits the new president’s 1972 Senate race, in which his appeal to young voters propelled him to victory.
Democrats Have Released a Roadmap to One-Party Rule. Phill Kline finds plenty to fault in a bill that would federalize the elections process and include a number of controversial reforms.
To Save Free Speech, Let “Marsh” Beat a Swamp. K.S. Bruce cites Supreme Court rulings that suggest online “free speech zones” are the answer to growing censorship concerns.
Trump-Era Rules Will Limit Biden’s Energy Activism. At RealClearEnergy, Rupert Darwall describes the restraints.
The Constitutional Studies and Tocqueville Programs: Making Republican Citizens. Mike Sabo explores two undergraduate political science fellowships at the University of Notre Dame.
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Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics