by Victor Davis Hanson
As the long year of 2021 finally came to a close, there were a number of truths Americans on the Left found themselves privately acknowledging but unable to say in public for fear of doing damage to their political cause, their own reputations, or their sense of security. But as 2022 advances, it will become even more difficult to hide these truths.
No one wishes to speak of the “dossier” anymore. Everyone knows why: it was never a dossier. It was always a mishmash concoction of half-baked fantasies and outright lies, sloppily thrown together by the grifter and has-been ex-British spy and Trump hater, Christopher Steele—all in the pay of Hillary Clinton, the original architect of the collusion hoax.
Steele himself admitted that he had no sources or notes to substantiate his “research.” Most of those who had seeded the dossier around Washington now either agree it was fake, or “partially” false, or remain silent in embarrassment.
The perpetual NeverTrump revisionism is reduced to “The Russian Hoax Hoax,” in pathetic fashion suggesting Putin still colluded with Trump and such “collusion” is provable even without the dossier.
The logic is Orwellian: in 2017-2020 we heard, “But the dossier shows that ….” In 2020-2021 we heard, “Whoever said the dossier had anything to do with Russian collusion?”
The FBI—that in part used their paid informant Steele’s lies to birth FISA warrants—now disowns it. The entire 22-month, $40-million Mueller charade ended up in tragicomic style with Robert Mueller under oath denying he knew much of anything about either the purveyor of the dossier, Fusion GPS, or the dossier itself.
James Comey when asked about it and the investigations it spawned, on 245 occasions under oath claimed he lost his memory or had no knowledge of it.
The Russian collusion hoax will go down in history as one of the most shameful examples of Washington, D.C. mass hysteria, and of a concentrated effort to destroy an elected president, in modern American political history.
In the end, we always come back to where we started: Hillary Clinton.
She used the three firewalls of the Democratic National Committee, the Perkins Coie legal firm, and Fusion GPS, to pay Steele, a foreign national, likely barred by law from providing such dirt to a U.S. presidential campaign.
Steele then grabbed Clinton and FBI money, and in lazy fashion made a few calls to the now indicted Igor Danchenko, a Russian working in Washington, D.C. at the left-wing Brookings Institution, along with a Clinton crony Charles Dolan doing business in Moscow. Presto, Steele typed up their myths, in scary intelligence white-paper fashion, and passed them off as top-secret “Russian sources.” The dossier became the “proof” needed to show that Trump, in the words of former CIA director John Brennan, was “treasonous” or, as former Director of National Intelligence General (ret.) James Clapper alleged, was a “Russian asset.”
The Russian collusion hoax is now akin to Joe Biden’s cognitive decline; everyone knows it, but few bother to state the obvious—or rehash their now embarrassing earlier denials.
When the Musical Chairs Music Stops
Everyone knows the government cannot keep running up astronomical annual deficits. It is piling up a near $30 trillion national debt, printing trillions of dollars—and hoping to keep inflation down to 7 percent per year. Everyone knows that, and no one wishes to talk, much less do anything, about it.
Instead, we simply will go on redistributing money, inflating the economy, and hoping that the middle classes are naïve enough to believe that their inflated paychecks outpace their greater inflationary costs that, in truth, have more than wiped out all their wage gains.
When the interest rate hikes invariably come—the longer we wait, the worse will be the reckoning—we will again know the stagflation of the 1970s and 1980s.
The only calculus the Democrats weigh is whether they can print their way to a semblance of normality through 2022, in hopes the helium-over-inflated economy blows up only after the elections.
Who knows, maybe then they can blame Joe Biden in 2023 for empowering them to wreck the economy and losing the Congress, as a way of arguing his clear cognitive decline suddenly warrants resignation.
Spiraling Crimes without Criminals
Almost every statistic related to violent crime is up. Smash-and-grab has reached tony places like Union Square in San Francisco, Walnut Creek, and Carmel by the Sea.
Car-jackings are endemic. Gun sales are booming—among terrified upscale white liberals.
An entire blame-the victim protocol emerges—drive your oldest car, dress down, hide your jewelry, hire security guards for your person and business—because mysteriously there are no victimizers, or at least none that can be mentioned.
The once popular, but now discredited BLM has been reduced to a caricature, arguing that such violent crimes are constructs created by white people to jail black people, that Jussie Smollett was innocent and a victim of racism, and that the Waukesha massacre was the apparent start of a needed “revolution.”
Everyone knows that defunding the police failed and dangerously so. The public accepts that the Soros DAs are both incompetent and sinister. People of all classes and races look at crime statistics. They watch internet videos. They compare firsthand experience with robbery, assault, and theft. And they surmise that young black males are disproportionately—in terms of their percentages in the population—responsible for much of the violent crime wave, from murders to car-jackings to smash-and-grab mass thefts.
The more the media fails to print descriptions of suspects in criminal assaults, the more universities cavalierly violate the federal Clery Act by failing to provide their campus communities needed information about criminal suspects’ descriptions, and the more big-city mayors and district attorneys deny an epidemic of violent assault, the more the public knows that crime is even worse than what they hear, see, feel, and experience first-hand.
The public also assumes that voicing the truth is deemed “racist” and thus will earn them a doxing or canceling—and so in Soviet-style keep quiet. We do not dare speak of disproportionate black perpetrators of hate crimes, rare interracial crimes, and the killing of police.
Yet such silence does not hide the truth that cannot be quite smothered . In a recent op-ed, Heather Mac Donald estimated that “A police officer is about 400 times as likely to be killed by a black suspect as an unarmed black is to be killed by a police officer.”
So, we have a crime wave without criminals in the manner we had a SUV on autopilot without a driver that killed six and injured 62 in Waukesha.
Unofficially, the paradox plays out with the upscale blue-city suburbanite still with the BLM sign on his lawn but with a new 12-gauge under the bed, with the BLM hierarchs and their loud enablers living like Patrisse Cullors, Colin Kaepernick, or LeBron James in rich, mostly white areas, with ample walls and security fences and gates.
So, the year ended with a near record of black-on-black homicides, and a new record of lethal shootings—of police officers on duty.
Biden, A Robust 95?
Everyone knows that Biden may be chronologically 78, but mentally and physically he is at best 95 or more. People sense that he is failing at a geometric rate that makes his ability to last even another year “problematic.”
But no one says much because the nation has never removed a president or, other than Richard Nixon, had a president resign.
The Left knows that they were on record from 2017-2020 with incessant 25th Amendment coup talk and went so low as to wheel out a Yale psychiatrist to claim Trump was crazy and needed an intervention removal. Their constant haranguing forced Trump to take the Montreal Cognitive Assessment—which he aced and which Joe Biden most assuredly will not take, nor will be encouraged to take.
Apparently, Biden’s handlers believe in the next three years he can imitate the last few months of Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, where the inactive president was kept incommunicado in bed while the wall of his family and close associates deluded the country and lied about Wilson’s true health condition.
Kamala Harris plays a bad Spiro Agnew. True, she is so incompetent that calls to ask Biden to step down resemble the early voices who asked the same of Nixon but were met with, “So you want Agnew?”
But unlike Agnew who resigned in disgrace after pleading nolo contendere to a single charge of tax evasion, Kamala Harris is in no legal jeopardy. And so, the idea of a “President Harris” who is not non compos mentis apparently is more frightening to the public than keeping Joe Biden who is non compos mentis. And thus, talk of Biden’s diminishing capacity always is interrupted by “So you want President Harris?”
In the end, we are left only with such ironies. The Left, which damned John McCain for selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate, is mute about the far less qualified Kamala Harris as an actual vice president. The matters of race and gender preferences that ensured the incompetent Harris her job are now transmogrified into matters of racism that supposedly explain the charges of her critics.
The Virus is Dead, But the Virus Will Never Die!
We all know the administration has little clue how to deal with COVID-19. We nod that it does and meanwhile scramble in “everyman for himself” fashion. Who wishes to say or admit that his own government has no idea how to stop the virus, but has a great number of ideas about how to weaponize it for political purposes?
Now there are more dead from COVID-19 in Biden’s tenure than during Trump’s, despite well over 60 percent of the population being fully vaxxed and 2-years’ experience in treating the virus. A 2020-Biden would demand that 2021-Biden be charged with responsibility for well over 400,000 COVID-19 deaths on his watch and thus should resign.
Everyone knew Biden had no plan, at least not any different from what Trump was doing. His autopilot agenda was simply to claim ownership of the Warp Speed inoculations and assume that by March 2021 COVID was finally burning itself out as it bumped into too many people with prior natural or vaccinated immunity.
In Biden’s logic, nature and Trump had stopped COVID-19, but he would credit his own inaction and 90-day miracle leadership from Washington.
Now Biden is a sanctimonious, Oedipus-like figure, the deliverer who cannot stop the plague that in an eerie way exposes his existential flaws.
So, Delta and then Omicron arrived. Breakthrough cases accompanied both. Suddenly Biden was calling for the states to step up, given “there is no federal solution” to the crisis. He meant that vaccinations do not guarantee immunity from COVID infections anymore.
Masks and social distancing do not stop Omicron’s spread. There is no federal success in supplying easy testing and an array of therapeutics and medicines to the public.
Like the proverbial cranky “get off my grass” neighbor, an oblivious and irate Biden still ignores the shortage of tests, the value of therapeutics and natural immunity, and the reality of thousands of breakthrough infections—caught in his senility warp to croak on about “masks” and “vaccinations.”
In 2020, Biden was attacking Trump as if he were acting under “The Articles of Confederation” in outsourcing authority to governors to adopt and manage the crisis as they saw best. In 2021 Biden was praising such Trumpist federalism as he renounced his former much ballyhooed federal authority when blasting Trump as an anti-Federalist who followed the Articles of Confederation.
In the end, Americans are in 2022 where they were at the beginning of the virus in March 2020: China has successfully hidden the origins of the COVID.
The WHO cannot be trusted.
The CDC, NIH, and NIAID are incompetent and politically weaponized.
The pharmaceutical industries see relief only in more multi-billion-dollar booster rollouts and $700-a-pill remedies.
Dr. “I am the science” Fauci in cyclical fashion is on TV all day.
He claims on Tuesday that what he said on Monday needed updating, with the intention of saying on Wednesday that his correction on Tuesday was also wrong, while he awaits more bookings for Thursday’s clarifications—all the while damning the ignorant mob who disseminates supposedly false information.
The Year’s Ironies
At the end of this second terrible year, we are left only with ironies.
Vaccinations are a must for soldiers and federal employees, but no barrier to entry for 2 million illegal aliens (is breaking the law a way to avoid the mandate?).
If you are vaxxed, you are safe; but if your antibody level is even higher from natural immunity, you are not?
If you get COVID, you are on your own, given the government has no idea what affordable pill you should swallow or what protocol you should follow.
Social distancing and masks are vital—unless you go out on the street protesting in concert with BLM or are a California official dining at the French Laundry, or a liberal politician getting your hair done.
Those Americans in 2020 who claimed their president was all too real, know now they voted in a president who is all too false.
Those Americans who thought up every conceivable legal and illegal way of forcing the hated Trump out of office are racking their brains in vain to use those talents to find just one way of easing out their beloved Joe Biden.
Those Americans, who love the free cash for staying home, fear that the money they got might help to explain why it is now less valuable.
Those Americans, who claimed moral superiority for their masks and three shots—and still got COVID—cannot decide whether they were lied to by Donald Trump, lied to by Joe Biden—or simply lied to themselves.
Those Americans who praised defunding the police and excused looting, arson, and violence are pondering whether it is better to renounce their idiocy, or to stay quiet and take one more carjacking, one more assault, or one more break-in—for the cause.
Those Americans who applauded the disreputable efforts of Michael Avenatti, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Robert Mueller, Adam Schiff, Christopher Steele, and Alexander Vindman to destroy Trump at all costs, got all they wanted—and thereby have all but destroyed the progressive cause, and likely made Donald Trump all the more powerful, the more so they sought to ruin him.
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Victor Davis Hanson reports for American Greatness.
Photo “Joe Biden” by The White House.