Washington will never be the same.
But former President Donald Trump? He leaves office today the very same man who swore the oath of office four years ago. He leaves the very same man who launched his campaign for the presidency over five years ago.
It is true he has been denied a second term. For now. But they also stole his first term from him.
In a town where everybody gets a honeymoon, Mr. Trump was not even allowed to work one single day without the constant onslaught of distraction.
From his first moment in office, they threw everything they had at him. They made up lies. They launched fake inquiries. Dispatched the most powerful espionage apparatus on the planet against him. They turned the entire bureaucracy — including the military — against him.
Even a global pandemic was unloosed against him in the middle of his reelection campaign.
They undermined every democratic institution and strained every constitutional safeguard in an attempt to destroy him.
Yet he emerged, still standing tall.
At the top step of a departing Marine One on the White House South Lawn on Wednesday, Mr. Trump turned to back to wave. He offered no “peace” sign, nor a “victory” sign. But a clenched fist.
“We will be back,” he declared.
He leaves town unbowed and unbroken. He blew out of town much the same way he blew in.
In one final shock to all the people who never understood Mr. Trump (or the 75 million Americans who supported him), he declined to attend his successor’s inauguration. Cue the fits of sputtering rage.
Truly, Mr. Trump is the only honest one of the whole bunch — the only one who is not kidding; the only serious person in Washington.
He didn’t attend Wednesday’s festivities because it would have been a lie — much like everything in Washington.
It was the same shocking outrage Mr. Trump sparked four years ago when he delivered his inaugural address and told the assembled crowd that — yes, indeed — he meant every word of his campaign and intended to make good on every promise he had made.
And from that moment on, they never recovered from their visceral hatred of Donald J. Trump.
That uncontrollable hatred unified a fatally fractured Democratic Party behind Washington’s perfect bride, President Joseph R. Biden. If crowd sizes during his presidential campaign are any measure, regular American voters were not nearly as enthused over Mr. Biden as were Democrats in Washington were.
So it is worth noting that the inaugural crowd gathered for President Trump four years ago was — literally — thousands of times larger than the crowd gathered for Mr. Biden on Wednesday.
Mr. Biden’s only mandate — if he has one at all — is to be nicer than Mr. Trump (and less newsworthy).
He offered calls of “unity” in his inaugural address — before careening into a hateful message about all the “white supremacists” and “racists” and “homegrown terrorists” destroying our country today.
I guess that tells you all you need to know about the people Mr. Biden hangs around with. They are, after all, Democrats.
Talk about “American carnage.”
Waiting for Mr. Biden to speak, cameras caught House Republican Whip Steve Scalise walking through the “crypt” of the Capitol beneath the Rotunda. He walked with a noticeable limp — the result of an assassination attempt by a crazed gunman inspired and incited to violence by Democrats and the media.
Part of Mr. Biden’s “unity” campaign, apparently, is to convict Mr. Trump in an impeachment trial. That’s right, convict Mr. Trump, who already left office Wednesday.
That’s because this fake impeachment — just like the last fake impeachment — has nothing to do with removing a supposedly dangerous man from office. It has everything to do with maligning a political enemy.
Never before have they feared Mr. Trump more than they do right now. They fear him and his return so much that, instead of addressing any of the real problems facing the country today, they would rather pursue another fake impeachment trial to bar his supporters from ever electing him again to any federal office.
“We will be back,” Mr. Trump said. Yet it’s like he never left.
⦁ Charles Hurt is opinion editor of The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.