Have a nice life
“We were not a regular administration,” said Donald Trump in his final remarks as president, an understatement if there ever was one. “Have a nice life,” he added, and with that, he was gone, declining to appear at Biden’s inauguration, leaving the task to Mike Pence instead. Perhaps it was for the better.
Joe Biden has some very big challenges in front of him, but I hope he and the congressional leadership also take care of a small piece of business with a quickness: Take all these fences down. Calls for unity from inside a fortified Green Zone ring hollow, and besides, this is a city where regular people live. We need it back. If there are warnings of some kind of mob forming, those warnings will appear on social media long before they materialize in the capital. All you need is some extra guards on those days, not a permanently fortified monstrosity.
Today we published a photo essay by Ron Haviv that documents this historic moment, one I hope is relegated to history.
Reporter Mike Giglio, meanwhile, spent the weekend with militia members and produced this fascinating dispatch. There are hopeful signs of some post-insurrection self-reflection.
Biden, meanwhile, also has to guard against the curse of the first midterm. Save for George W. Bush, every president since Harry Truman has suffered losses in his first midterm election, some of them utterly crippling. But Biden has the pieces he needs to avoid that fate, he just has to put it together right. My piece on that from today is here.
If Democrats don’t make the best use of the power they have now, the newsletter I send four years from today will be quite a dour one.
Far from Washington, the story of the smearing of Alex Morse continues. Despite there being no actual allegations against him, UMass launched an investigation anyway. They found he did nothing wrong, but still published a very long and detailed report about his once-private romantic life. You have to read this one to believe it.