Infinitely slowly, some of the most vocal Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE-haters are tentatively dropping out of lockstep with the Biden administration and the serried ranks of its docile, fervent political propaganda apparatus. Group mind-reading, especially when directed toward such a disparate section of the political media, is hazardous. But in this case, the slowly rising courage of a few members of the almost totalitarian solidarity of the anti-Trump hallelujah chorus in the national political media appears to be moving in parallel with their misplaced hope that the Trump phenomenon may be fading.
It was widely recognized, even on the left, that comedian Jon Stewart demonstrated independence of mind in pointing out to his ungrateful protégé, Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertFox News dominates prime-time ratings during Afghanistan crisis Colbert confirms he was disinvited from Obama's 60th Colbert: Trump era 'almost like a spell was being cast' on the American people MORE, that it was likely that the coronavirus did escape from the Wuhan Institute of Virology after all, and that this was not a paranoid aberration in Trump’s mind. It appears to most detached observers to be a logical probability, but for so eminent a Trump-hater as Stewart to enunciate it cracks the mirror irreparably.
Stewart’s declaration demolished the charges of racist bigotry on the part of the former president, on this subject at least. And it has accelerated the slide from secular sainthood to the nether regions of distinct fallibility on the part of Anthony FauciAnthony FauciIntercept reporters discuss gain-of-function research The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - DC prepares for Saturday of festivals & Jan. 6 demonstration United Airlines CEO says employees exempt from vaccine 'won't be in front of customers' MORE, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and his supporters. The whole can of worms of the U.S. subsidizing the World Health Organization, which has so diligently whitewashed China's role in the coronavirus pandemic, and NIAID grants to organizations associated with the Wuhan laboratory, has been torn wide open.
It will take some time to erase from the public’s memory the painful Trump-baiting bear pits of his daily press briefings on the pandemic; he should have left those to his vice president, who was the chairman of the COVID-19 commission that Trump wisely established. But the charge of Trump's xenophobia, hostility to proven science and scapegoating has effectively collapsed now following Stewart's assertion, which was not advocacy but a recognition of objective facts.
An almost simultaneous indication of the melting of the Trump-hate iceberg came with inveterate late-night television wise-cracker Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherBill Maher criticizes NFL for playing Black national anthem 9/11 sparked a surge in Islamophobia — for years, the media fed the flames Psaki defends move to oust Trump appointees from military academy boards MORE’s lecture on the dangers of what he called “progressophobia.” It is astonishing and indicative of how seriously damaged the condition of public discourse in the United States is that it required a left-wing commentator such as Maher to warn his fellow leftists of the dangers of woke American self-hate. It has been oppressively obvious to any detached observer that the Biden administration and the vast array of its apologists in the media and the entertainment communities could not walk out much further the spurious little tandem of self-justification encapsulated in the words ”We’re not Trump and you’re racist.” But Maher blew the whistle and, now, ricocheting in the ears of the Trump-hate coalition is a warning from one of the most cynical and opinionated members of its own ranks about the dangers of continuing with the piercingly monotonous fictions that have propelled them this far.
The realities and responsibilities of government are inexorably replacing the joys of Alinskyite dirty tricks, and this could quickly become a vertical descent if Maher is not, for once, taken seriously.
Another development along the same lines is a recent elegantly worded and rigorous assault upon critical race theory (CRT) by maverick semi-conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan. In a well-constructed argument, Sullivan made the point that CRT is nonsense and that it self-destructs. Its advocates cannot pretend that the tens of millions of young and youngish Americans who are being subjected to this objectively nonsensical, venomous perversion of history are simply being presented with an alternative analysis of American society in a tolerant liberal context — and then round on anyone who attacks CRT as illiberal. They are indissolubly wedded to this indefensible blood libel, and they will not escape the consequences of it.
The unease of the Trump-haters was aggravated by the disclosure that the former president himself was not being indicted by the New York grand jury that indicted his family’s business organization and its chief financial officer — a legal outrage that a majority of Americans in at least one poll wisely dismissed as politically motivated. The failure of even a proverbially suggestible grand jury to find any grounds for indicting a member of the Trump family must count as a serious failure of the Trump-haters; they may have squeezed all the juice there is out of that lemon.
Trump has retained the support of more than 40 percent of Americans, and larger percentages of Republicans, in polling since leaving office. His enemies can’t kill him politically, it seems — and if they can’t devise some aptitude to govern, soon, they will be weighed in the balance, and they will be found wanting.
Conrad Black is an essayist and author of 10 books, including three on Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and Donald Trump. He co-hosts the "Scholars & Sense" podcast with former Education Secretary Bill Bennett and Hoover Institution scholar Victor Davis Hanson. Follow him on Twitter @ConradMBlack.