The administration continues to tack sharply to the left, and the president, who was sold to a skeptical Democratic Party after being rejected in last year’s early primaries, as a proven moderate to put as the hood-ornament on what was threatening to become a Sanders-Ocasio socialist party, continues to mumble about “systemic racism” and the “existential crisis” of climate change and other leftist shibboleths.
Every sensible American knows that the United States ceased decades ago to be afflicted by institutional and consensual racism. Non-white Americans have now held practically every major federal public office; segregation has been hunted down like the last defenders of Iwo Jima and Okinawa and virtually incinerated or asphyxiated by flame-throwers.
So far have public attitudes tilted that while last summer as rampaging mobs most conspicuously composed of African-American militants ransacked many of America’s greatest cities, smashing storefronts on some of the world’s most illustrious and opulent boulevards, committing $2 billion of random damage, killing over 50 people, and injuring over 700 policemen, the Democratic party in convention uttered not a word of it, and their municipal machines hamstrung the police. It was “Donald Trump’s America.”
Black Lives Matter, whose New York leader threatened to “burn America down” if all its demands were not met, was celebrated and honored and even ultra-white nominal Republicans like 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney joined their marches.
Only the forceful intervention of President Trump, severely contested as it was by the morally bankrupt, almost airtight wall of the rabidly pro-Democratic national political media, prevented the destruction of statues of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Grant, and other champions of the rights of African-Americans. The whole concept of “systemic racism” in the United States has been bunk since the time of President Lyndon Johnson, and is now just a putrid corpse of convenient recollection.
Since the entire Democratic playbook of the last five years has been Trump-hate, it was necessary to portray the former president as a racist, despite the irritating absence of a scintilla of evidence to support the charge.
All that was bad was racist; thus the president-elect and the vice president-elect instantly confected the complete fraud that the hooliganism at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was a white-supremacist assault, as part of President Trump’s attempt to provoke a violent insurrection in response to the election that he had falsely claimed to have been rigged.
Every word and every letter of every word of these allegations were false and practically all of those who uttered them knew them to be false. Of the 28 legal claims made by the Trump campaign about the election results in a number of the swing states, and the claim of the Texas attorney general, supported by 18 other states, none was adjudicated on its merits.
The entire judicial system took refuge in deadlines, technicalities, arbitrary disposals and interpretations, and illegal aggrandizement by state courts over the prerogatives constitutionally allocated to the state legislatures, in order to prevent the issues of the fairness of the election and vote-counting to be tried.
The Supreme Court simply dodged the appeals as they came and refused to hear the original interstate action as the court of first instance in the Texas case. It may have been a correct political judgment, to avoid the opprobrium that would have arisen had the high court overturned the election, but it was a grievous abdication of responsibility that left 48 percent of the voters of America justly angry.
It is already clear from the testimony of FBI director Christopher Wray at the Congress two weeks ago that there was no connection between the Trump campaign and the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6, (despite the new attorney general, Merrick Garland’s waffling about a complex investigation last week).
There was no incitement to illegality by the outgoing president, no attempt at insurrection, no racist character to the previous administration, and it was a tainted election result, ignored by the judicial system importuned to examine the results. But it is over, and Trump-hate will slowly perish, despite what may be confidently anticipated to be almost taxidermical efforts by the Trump-hating media to maintain a fading ghost of their terminal addiction to demonizing the ex-president.
As the curtain of Trump-hate is inexorably pulled back, as in the abject apology of the Washington Post this week for publishing a falsely reported conversation Trump had with a Georgia election official, the Biden administration will, like all of its predecessors, have to endure the total immersion of governing.
At some point, unless it wishes to see its popularity descend into subterranean nether regions, the demarcation will have to be made more carefully between the demands of the left and the political requirements of the always-preeminent center.
In fairness, it must be said that the administration is trying to maintain the momentum expected of a comprehensive 100-day legislative program. Already visible are a massive infrastructure bill, what is billed as the greatest tax increase in 30 years, the attempted dismemberment of American electoral democracy that is implicit in House of Representatives Bill 1, and the quasi-emasculation of Second Amendment rights to own firearms.
It should not be assumed that these measures will pass in a recognizable form, although something should be possible on the infrastructure side; the Republicans don’t wish to become the party of potholes and collapsing bridges. (Next to health care reform, this was Trump’s biggest failure to deliver.)
But the ability of the administration to make a more politically balanced selection between leftist (the arrogation of “progressive” is specious), and moderate policy options is unclear, and it is trying to prolong a falsely exaggerated and extended pandemic as a cover for its confusion.
This won’t fly much longer either, despite the help of the egregious teachers’ unions and the media fear-mongers. Nor can the depredations of those claiming with John Kerry that life on earth will end in nine years if the United States doesn’t eliminate carbon emissions, be taken seriously much longer; the condition of the United States does not allow the wholesale indulgence of insane public policy, which is effectively where the instant veto of the Keystone XL pipeline belongs.
The environment isn’t an “existential threat,” and the further Biden goes down this rabbit-hole, the more heavily he will pay for it politically; ultimately the American electorate has never been dominated by faddists.
On the plus side, the political ambience, with Donald Trump in the wings, is quieter and much less exhausting and generally to the country’s taste, and is assisting the ex-president in maintaining his following without allowing his enemies to frighten the nation with his spectre.
The president is bringing forward parts of his radical, so-called unity (with Bernie Sanders) program, but it is not yet clear whether it is coming in a tactically designed sequence or as in the operation of a laundry-tumbler.
The administration has only a couple of weeks to declare the success of its southern open-door policy and close the door, leaving it to the docile media to clean up the public relations debacle, or to wear this fiasco like a scarlet letter.
We shall soon see if there is anything to this administration except post-Trump, primal scream and reflex-rejection therapy. At this point the betting is at best even, and the prospects, in the ghastly current mangling of the language, are “concerning,” as the United States contemplates its greatest foreign policy challenges since the pre-Reagan era.
Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world. He’s the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, and, most recently, “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other,” which has been republished in updated form.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.