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Rational Security: The 'Sincerest Form of Flattery' Edition

Jen Patja, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Scott R. Anderson, Molly E. Reynolds, Tyler McBrien
Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

This week, a Quinta-less Alan and Scott were joined by their Lawfare colleagues senior editor Molly Reynolds and managing editor Tyler McBrien to talk over some copycat-ing that's been taking place in the national security space, including:

  • “Hoppin’ the Fence at Lulapalooza.” In a clear echo of the Jan. 6 insurrection, followers of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro sacked the country’s parliament this past week, just days after his successor Lula da Silva was sworn in—and while Bolsonaro himself was visiting former U.S. President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate. What’s the relationship between Jan. 6 and Brazil’s recent experience? Is this the beginning of a dangerous global trend?
  • “The Divider House Rules.” After fifteen votes, Rep. Kevin McCarthy is now the Speaker of the House. But to get there, he had to make a lot of concessions—many of which are now showing their face in the House rules and in committee appointments, while others remain secret. What constraints has McCarthy accepted in order to win office? And will they mean for the coming Congress?
  • “C’mon, Man!” Several months after FBI agents raised former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to recover classified documents, lawyers for current President Biden have acknowledged that they located a few classified documents from his time as vice president in Biden’s private office as well. Critics in Congress and elsewhere are crying out that this reflects a double-standard, but does it? How big a deal is this, and what will it mean for the ongoing Mar-a-Lago investigation?

For object lessons, Alan passed along Rick Martinez's winter-friendly recipe for pozole verde. Scott recommended revisiting an old classic, Louis Menand's “The Metaphysical Club,” as a reflection on the emergence of pragmatism as an American intellectual tradition. Molly endorsed Melissa Clark's latest cookbook, “Dinner in One,” even if you have to go to the bottom of the ocean to get a copy. And Tyler invoked Kyle Chayka's concept of "ambient tv" to justify his viewing of season 3 of “Emily in Paris.”

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Alan Z. Rozenshtein is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, a senior editor at Lawfare, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he served as an Attorney Advisor with the Office of Law and Policy in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.
Scott R. Anderson is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Fellow in the National Security Law Program at Columbia Law School. He previously served as an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State and as the legal advisor for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.
Molly Reynolds is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. She studies Congress, with an emphasis on how congressional rules and procedure affect domestic policy outcomes.
Tyler McBrien is the managing editor of Lawfare. He previously worked as an editor with the Council on Foreign Relations and a Princeton in Africa Fellow with Equal Education in South Africa, and holds an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago.

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