The “Field of flags” is seen on the National Mall in front of the U.S. Capitol building ahead of inauguration ceremonies for President-elect Joe Biden in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2021. REUTERS/Allison Shelley

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Earlier in the week, producers pulled off the first-ever, so-called indoguration for Joe Biden’s newest family member, the shelter dog Major, where the most dangerous and dividing aspect was Josh Groban (who, granted, can raise some hackles). On Tuesday, officials, Biden and tens of armed thousands prepared to ensure the same result for the new president’s swearing in. 

Wednesday’s inauguration, presumably without Major or Groban, will also be the first ever in many ways, starting with the predictable fact that most of it is online or on TV, and continuing with the fact that Biden’s predecessor, President Donald Trump, won’t be attending (though he’s not the first to snub the ceremony). There will still be plenty of pomp, but the ceremony will be scaled down and more sober than usual. More than 200,000 flags lined the National Mall as a stark reminder of those who wouldn’t be there because of the pandemic and other fears. 

Officials mean business about maintaining law and order. Jeff Rosen, the acting attorney general, warned there will be “no tolerance” of violence on inauguration day. The FBI received more than 200,000 tips related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, Rosen said, and charged more than 100 people in connection to the riots as investigators zeroed in on militia groups and other extremist organizations. The FBI also vetted thousands of National Guard troops to prevent an insider attack, a move that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, called “the most shameful thing I’ve ever heard.” Online platforms cracked down on broadcasts and recordings the day of the inauguration to discourage violence, as many of the rioters showed their exploits online during the riots.

All that doesn’t mean there won’t be any memorable moments. Brayden Harrington, who bonded with Biden over their mutual battles with stuttering, will appear in the prime-time inauguration special. Poet Amanda Gorman will read a work she finished only after the riots. And country music legend Garth Brooks will perform, along with Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga. Brooks called it an opportunity to serve and a chance to unite. Brooks has performed for every president except for Ronald Reagan and turned down Trump’s inauguration only because of concert commitments.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

America’s Second-Worst Scenario – The Atlantic – 1/16/2021
The next time an insurgent mob arrives to sack the Capitol, if one happens to try between now and Inauguration Day, mere strength of numbers will not overwhelm the defenses.

Army Secretary Hits DOD for ‘Overly Bureaucratic’ Riot Response – Newsmax – 1/19/2021
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has hit out at the Department of Defense for its “almost arcane and overly bureaucratic” process that slowed the response to the riot at the Capitol earlier this month.

Biden inherits a deeply divided nation, but most voters think he will bring unity – PBS News Hour – 1/19/2021
Only about half of Americans say they have a favorable impression of President-elect Joe Biden, but a majority think he will do more to unite the country than to divide it, according to the latest PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll.

Dem Rep. Cohen’s smearing of National Guard was ‘pretty outrageous’: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp – Fox News – 1/19/2021
Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has slammed a Democratic congressman’s remarks suggesting pro-Trump National Guardsmen would harm President-elect Joe Biden as “completely outrageous.” In an interview with “The Story” Tuesday, Kemp told host Martha MacCallum the thousands of guardsmen deployed by Georgia and other states to help secure the inauguration were “great patriots.”

‘Million Militia March’ And State Protests Fizzle As FBI Rolls Up Rioters – National Memo – 1/18/2021
All of the various right-wing “Million”-themed marches that have been organized over the past several years (such as December’s “Million MAGA March”) have fallen well short of the million people they claimed to rally—usually, they number at best in the tens of thousands. But Sunday’s planned “Million Militia March” was a failure of truly epic proportions: It seems no one showed up to march. Not a soul.

Biden administration expects early focus on domestic extremism threat – CNN – 1/19/2021
President-elect Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, is expected to conduct an early, comprehensive assessment of the threat to develop strategies for countering it, another source familiar with the plans told CNN.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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