THE IVY EXILE: Vulgar Displays of Power.

During the Obama years professional progressives could afford a certain smug magnanimity, confident that demographic change had bequeathed permanent lock on power. It was smarter to nudge the great unwashed toward what was decided than boil the frog too quickly.

So the populist reaction of 2016 struck many as profound betrayal: perpetrators had to be punished, examples made, and push brought to shove. What began as institutional resistance amid the Trump interregnum has become actively vengeful governance under the Biden regime—a policy agenda nonsensical as to most of its official objectives but coldly strategic as retribution against structural opposition, not just punishing saboteurs but putting subjects in their place.

Whether wrecking American energy to wreak far worse environmental damage elsewhere, printing enough funny money to substantially devalue the dollar, insisting on demonstrably harmful Covid mandates, or ushering in millions and millions of unvetted migrants, it amounts to a sort of shock treatment to corral and humiliate an unruly electorate that has been found wanting.

Yet the crass opportunism only guarantees greater backlash and further delegitimizes the actual progressive project, or whatever’s left of it. Generations of hard work and good faith have been squandered in just a few short years, trading credibility and potential for spiteful self-indulgence.

Well, that’s the epitaph for our ruling class: “Trading credibility and potential for spiteful self-indulgence.” At least I hope it’s their epitaph.