Donald Trump spent most of his dysfunctional presidency throwing Twitter fits when anyone offended him and coming up with sophomoric ways to get even with his critics. One of his silliest exercises in petulance was his official designation of Seattle, Portland and New York City as “anarchist jurisdictions.”

The stunt was a campaign ploy aimed at showing how tough he was on rioters and what a bunch of sissies the Democratic leaders of those three cities were. In the echo chamber of right-wing media where Trump could hear his voice loop back to him every day, Seattle was imagined as a city overrun and completely in thrall to looting anarchists.

Now, a good debate could be had about Mayor Jenny Durkan’s decision last summer to tolerate a three-week occupation of a six-block area of Capitol Hill by protesters. It can be argued that employing that tactic allowed the situation to cool until the protest had lost most of its energy and the streets could be reclaimed without another big battle with police. On the other hand, some people ended up dead in the protest zone, and nearby neighbors had their lives disrupted for almost a month.

Whatever side one takes on that question, it is obvious that a temporary six block encampment is not an entire city. The anarchists were never in charge, no matter what Trump imagined. The Biden administration has now deleted the anarchist designation, and that’s another sign that the grown-ups are back in charge at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  

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