Joe insults allies, media shrug and other commentary

Foreign desk: Joe Insults Allies, Media Shrug

Joe Biden last week warned of “the rise of totalitarian regimes in the world,” including democratic Poland and Hungary — and that “half-insulting, half-clueless remark” set off a “diplomatic firestorm,” sighs Gladden Pappin at Newsweek. Yet despite the vigorous protests of leaders from the two allied states, including Polish President Andrzej Duda, the media again circled wagons around the ex-veep. “To the media class, the categorization of Poland and Hungary as ‘totalitarian regimes’ was not a gaffe at all. It did not lead to fact-checking or hasty denials.” As far as the globalist establishment is concerned, “vague ­impressions of ‘totalitarian’ (read: nationalist, culturally traditional) rule are enough to cast aside countries that have been allied with the United States for generations. For these viceroys of global liberalism, the new hostility is fully intentional.”

From the left: Calm Down, Hysteric Liberals

The “level of liberal hysteria” from “daily end-is-nigh stories about nightmare election scenarios” is nuts, writes The New Republic’s Walter Shapiroz. “Outlandish scenarios about democracy in peril flourish on the left in times of stress and uncertainty,” but the “widespread dystopian forecasts about Election Day and beyond are also rooted in PTSD from the 2016 election.” Relax, “frightened anti-Trumpers lying awake at 3 o’clock in the morning.” Networks won’t call the election for President Trump early as some states wait to count mail-in ballots: They’ve “never called swing states based on fragmentary — and misleading — early returns,” and “only two of the last five presidential elections were even decided on election night.” The “phantasmagoria of fears about a stolen election” is just “a window into the fragile psyches of downtrodden Democrats.”

Education beat: Science Says Reopen Schools

New data on school safety and COVID-19 infection rates “argue strongly for opening K-12 schools,” report David R. Henderson and Ryan Sullivan at The Wall Street Journal. Research led by Brown prof Emily Oster shows schools are not superspreaders, with positivity rates among 200,000 kids at just 0.13 percent, and 0.24 percent for staff. Those are “wonderfully low” numbers; the “overall US case rate is 2.6 percent.” Research also shows “extremely low” hospitalization and death rates for kids. And the “weighty costs of not opening” schools include lost earnings that boost the risk of death and the “impact” on “single-parent, low-income and minority households.” Losses from keeping schools closed are “huge,” and the benefits “small,” so “let’s get kids back” into classes and playgrounds.

Iconoclast: Big Tech Burned by Biden Blunder

USA Today spiked Glenn Harlan Reynolds’ latest column because editors were “afraid to touch” the Hunter Biden scandal, so he put it up on his blog, Instapundit: He details how Facebook and Twitter’s censorship of The Post proves his point of a year ago: Big Tech firms have “grown into powerful monopolists . . . using their power over the national conversation to not only sell ads, but also to promote a political agenda.” It backfired this time, as “even people who didn’t care so much about Hunter Biden’s racket nonetheless became angry and started talking about the story.” Lawmakers must now act to prevent “other such ­efforts” in the future. This ordeal “has brought home just how much power” these firms “wield, and how crudely they’re willing to wield it.” Now “they shouldn’t be surprised at the consequences.”

Liberals: Don Exposed US Foreign-Policy Follies

While absolutely not endorsing President Trump’s actions, Tom McTague and Peter Nicholas admit at The Atlantic that he has done one huge service: “After decades of international adventurers that have left the US overstretched, overwhelmed and overburdened, it was Trump who blurted out the uncomfortable truth: American foreign policy was failing and had been for several decades.” Trump’s answers may be wrong, but “American leaders were naïve to allow China such an easy pass into the World Trade Organization; NAFTA did help hollow out American manufacturing; Europe was allowed to free-ride on American largesse; and the US has become too tied up in military commitments.” And “he was correct on the most fundamental point of all: the direct link between America’s economic strength and its power and stature abroad.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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