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David Brooks, the columnist, felt a sea-change.

Last fall, before the election, liberals saw Donald Trump as a buffoon who couldn’t possibly win the election then, on Election Night, right in front of their eyes, the clown turned into a dragon.

After the election – as the dragon headed for Washington – the shaken liberals saw a threat so dire they panicked and, as Brooks put it, “Many of us Trump critics set our outrage level at 11.”  

Panic led to outrage, outrage fueled hysteria, and all hell broke loose.

Then, last week, when Brooks looked at Trump the threat had suddenly “gotten smaller.” Trump, he realized, “tends to back off” when faced with a fight. The dragon had vanished and in its place Brooks saw “a man who is a political pond-skater – one of those little creatures that flit across the surface, sort of fascinating to watch, but have little effect as they go.

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