Contrary to the reasonable hopes and the expectations of some that the midterm elections would accelerate a normalization of the American political climate, nothing of the kind seems to be happening. Almost no one is saying much that is sensible. The chief justice, John Roberts, claimed with a straight face that once aboard a federal bench, judges and justices shed any previous political or public-policy biases they might previously have had. His own Supreme Court and the titanic struggles over confirming nominees of administrations of either party to it, make nonsense out of such a claim. Roberts’s own record in his present exalted office indicates that his theory of the miraculous immaculate transformation of incoming federal judges is bunk, apart from his rescue of Obamacare by his spurious finding that it was a tax (presumably to avoid a massive confrontation of the kind that Presidents Jefferson and Jackson had with Chief Justice Marshall and President Franklin D. Roosevelt had with Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes).
Equally fictitious, though from a less prominent person, was Fox News’s Chris Wallace’s theory, repeated as if on autocue in his interview with President Trump, that the label “Fake News” demeaned every practicing journalist in Washington and, unspecifically, beyond Washington because the craft of political journalism covering the U.S. federal government is indivisible. Wallace is an intelligent and fair professional of great experience and engaging public manner; why he would put forth such an absurd proposition escapes comprehension. It might as well be argued that encountering a car that was a lemon meant that all cars from that manufacturer were bad, or swallowing a bad oyster meant that oysters were inedible. The president tried admirably to liberate the ordinarily sensible Wallace from the grip of this mad dogmatism.