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The Statue of Liberty was closed Saturday due to the shutdown. The National Parks Conservation Association estimated 34% of park units would close. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images

A senior GOP House aide sent this email to me Saturday with the subject line, “Our future," which blasts the United States for shirking its global duties for political quibbles: "The largest country in the world, with global responsibilities, shutting down the government over a squabble ... 100% for short-term political gain."

The big picture: "The post-World War II world we have been living in for 7 decades was largely created — and certainly sustained and defended — by American power. ... Since 2001, we've experienced almost nothing but reverses overseas, much of it truly major and permanent. And our relative power — the power to compel and protect — is shrinking as other countries rise."

  • "And domestically, our decision-making system has become locked in a destructive, inward-turned focus. The emphasis on an unending political struggle for its own sake."
  • "Our enemies didn't do this to us. Virtually all of it is a product of our own decisions."
  • "It isn't sustainable. We're well into a period of increasing internal chaos and decline overseas. We've gotten used to it but I'll just say it for the sheer disbelief of it — the government of the United States just shut down."
  • "In your discussions with the great and the good around town, do you see any recognition of this inevitable scenario? I don't. Do you know anyone with responsibility for making decisions for the country with any concrete, realistic plan to do anything about it? I don't."
  • "They're focused on battling one another, drilling holes in the boat, as we head for the falls. A child can see it coming. Do people really believe all of this is self-sustaining, that it won't just cave in? I don't.”

Go deeper

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.