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Daily Briefing: THE US CHANGING OF THE GUARD (January 21, 2021)

Table of Contents:


The Old Order Returns:  Ben Domenech, The Federalist, Jan. 20, 2021

“This brittle leadership class in our politics inhabits the same America as a much younger leadership class of corporatist tech oligarch, unmoored from any deep understanding of what made the nation the envy of the world.”

The central question Americans ought to consider on this Inauguration Day as The Old Order returns is whether what they are seeing in their country is happening because it is strong or because it is weak.

Stabbing Hector’s Corpse:  Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness, Jan. 20, 2021

“Politicians like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Vice President Kamala Harris, and Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), have themselves either revved up angry protestors, urged mass street demonstrators to continue indefinitely, or directed followers to hound and harass government officials.”

In Homer’s epic Iliad, the Greek hero Achilles finally kills his hated archenemy, the often trash-talking Trojan warrior, Hector.  After Hector dies, once frightened but now gloating Greek soldiers encircle and cowardly stab his limp corpse.  Achilles even ties the ankles of the dead Hector to his chariot and in fits of mindless rage drags him around the walls of Troy. Homer then brilliantly shows how Achilles’ vindictive excess ensures sympathy even for the once-braggart Hector. Eventually, the adolescent Achilles relents, grows up, allows Hector to be buried, and accepts the tragic nature of a common humanity.


Derek H. Burney: How will President Biden fare? The first 100 days could tell:  Derek H. Burney, National Post, Jan. 19, 2021

When Joe Biden takes charge after the inauguration on Jan. 20, it will be with a very ambitious agenda, one he has described as “the most progressive of any U.S. administration.” But he would be mistaken to interpret the election verdict as a mandate. He barely campaigned on his platform and won what ultimately became a referendum on Donald Trump primarily because he was the alternative. Choices he makes on priorities for the first hundred days will set the tone for his ability to get things done.

His first task will be to deal with the fallout from the mob attack on the Capitol building, incited by President Trump to protest the election result. The day of desecration ended ultimately in resilience with formal ratification of the election result thus reinforcing the most fundamental tenet of any genuine democracy — the peaceful transfer of power. But the incident has cast a pall over Washington and the fabric of America’s democracy. The nation is sharply divided politically. Public trust in governance and in the media are at all-time lows in America.


The changing of the guard in US-Israel relations:  Alex Traiman, JNS, Jan. 20, 2021

“Together, Trump and Netanyahu ultimately changed the course of the region.”

Like many American policies now expected to undergo an about-face following the inauguration of 46th President Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relations may be gearing up for a great reset.

The past four years featured punishing sanctions on an Iranian regime that openly calls for the destruction of Israel, while pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and funding malign terror activity across the region all the way up to Israel’s borders. Yet many of the senior members of Biden’s incoming diplomatic and security team were the authors, negotiators and supporters of the original Iran nuclear deal in 2015—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—that provided Iran with $150 billion. It was a deal that Israel ardently opposed.


For Further Reference:

Biden admin makes interesting change to the US ambassador to Israel account:  Cortney OBrien, Townhall, Jan. 20, 2021

The Biden administration was barely an hour old when it started making some noticeable changes in Washington. The U.S. ambassador to Israel account now reads “U.S. Ambassador to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.” And foreign policy analysts have some questions.

Biden taps two additional Jewish nominees to senior posts in intelligence, health: JNS, Jan. 20, 2021

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has appointed former CIA deputy director David Cohen to return to the same role.

Unity or deprogramming? How about defending free speech?:  Jonathan Tobin, JNS, June 20, 2021

Inauguration Day is a moment when it ought to be possible for both the winners and the losers in America’s political battles to set aside their enmity and at the very least pay lip service to the notion of national unity.

How Biden aims to reshape the presidency after Trump:  Jonathan Lemire, RealClearPolitics, Jan. 19, 2021

When Joe Biden takes the oath of office Wednesday outside a wounded U.S. Capitol, he will begin reshaping the office of the presidency itself as he sets out to lead a bitterly divided nation struggling with a devastating pandemic and an insurrection meant to stop his ascension to power.

Joe Biden to Canada: Drop dead:  Rich Lowry, National Review, Jan. 20, 2021

Poor Justin Trudeau. The Canadian prime minister must have been relieved to be done with President Donald Trump, only to learn that Joe Biden plans to tell Canada to pound sand as one of his first priorities.


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