Teflon Don Strikes Again

Joe Biden, in what one can hope was his last State of the Union Speech, presented a desperate cry for help. His dimming re-election prospects were the backdrop for a familiar rant about “democracy,” with furious swipes at Donald Trump and even the Supreme Court, whose members were seated right in front of him. The irony of Biden’s blunderbuss attacks on American institutions was lost on the speech giver, as he rambled between boasts about the economy and implicit threats to millions of Americans who disagree with his vision of “freedom.”

The fury of Biden’s speech reflected a fraught moment for his party, if not, as Biden claimed, “our democracy.”

Less than a year ago, Donald Trump and his supporters, and indeed the country, faced a daunting scenario: Democrats, in the name of “democracy,” were going to jail their political opponent and, seemingly, they had all they needed to bake the “accountability” pie. They could rely on hostile juries in left-wing jurisdictions to convict Trump, biased trial judges to tip the scales of justice, and a partisan media apparatus to create the narrative that would legitimize the process at every step along the way.

The Supreme Court’s thundering rebuke has left Democrats to face a sobering reality. It now appears likely the only criminal case that will be decided before November is the hush money trial in New York. But this was never intended to be the main event. That honor was supposed to be reserved for the Justice Department’s splashy D.C. show trial. So much for that.

Trump has once again reimagined our political reality—which previously too often had been under the effortless control of the liberal elite. Democrats are dealing with this unpleasant disruption in the ordinary course of things by accusing the Supreme Court of harboring a Machiavellian scheme. (They would know what those look like.)

For the left, there is nothing complicated about Trump: His “crimes” are self-evident, and all this Court nonsense is just a conspiracy to save him from facing divine justice. Why does Trump get to claim immunity from charges, when everyone knows he’s guilty, and he’s just making things up to stay out of jail?

So goes the logic of the left. One could just as well ask, why didn’t Jack Smith anticipate this outcome? Did he not think that prosecuting an American president on an aggressive political timetable would run into legal complications?

In every great undertaking, there’s risk of great failure. Smith ventured into uncharted waters, and now he finds himself between Scylla and Charybdis. To find arrogance greater than Smith’s, we must turn to Fani Willis, whom Democrats unwisely encouraged to pursue Trump and 18 others, including Trump’s lawyers, on racketeering charges. The soaring ambition of her effort set the bar high, too high, for someone of her low caliber.

Democrats, perhaps, have grown unaccustomed to being told “no.” Their efforts to destroy Trump by any means, in the name of “norms” and “democracy,” have gone unchecked for years, placing enormous strain on our institutions and damaging the legitimacy of our entire system of government. What started with the illegal FBI surveillance of Trump’s 2016 campaign escalated into a comically overzealous election tampering operation that was even clumsier than Third World repression efforts, which at least give people the illusion of choice. Democrats, in their zeal to avenge the “insurrection,” wanted to take even that away.

The Supreme Court has decided it will not be used as a pawn in this legal assault. The result: Democrats will have to beat Trump at the ballot box. In these times, it’s a rare win for the rule of law, although it doesn’t say much for our legal system that it stopped just short of letting a political party jail its main opponent. As a sop for the wolves—for Trump must face some punishment, being Trump, after all—he will be forced to swallow draconian financial penalties from New York’s kangaroo courts, and a bogus felony conviction for sleeping with a porn star.

But Democrats are not getting the knockout blow they wanted, and perhaps needed. Instead, they have energized Trump, who thrives on conflict. He has spent almost a decade surviving a political onslaught that would have destroyed most human beings, including his weak, cloistered opponent. With his unusually superabundant personality, Trump has been able gradually to wear his enemies down. They have tried everything, short of assassination, and nothing has worked. He now finds himself right where he wants to be: He’s once again the scrappy outsider, the underdog, a “political dissident,” as he proudly describes himself.

Trump’s fight with our corrupt system is why his supporters can’t let him go. Who knows? It just might make him president again.

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