Trumpster Diving

* Facebook says it will suspend Donald Trump’s account for two years—following its finding that he provoked violence ahead of the Capitol insurrection. Twitter has permanently banned Trump.

* Trump’s 29-day-old blog, celebrated by advisers as a “beacon of freedom,” has gone dark. Low readership did it in.

* Post presidency, Richard Nixon became a Republican Party pariah. Post double impeachment, two popular-vote losses, a democracy-attacking insurrection, cult-figure leadership, Vlad Putin fealty, unilateral foreign policy, environmental indifference, constitution-threatening narcissism, pathological lying, ethical self-interest, criminal liability and xenophobic nationalism and racism, Donald Trump has become a Republican kingmaker–or its 2024 conspiracy-king candidate.

* “(Trump’s) big if the metric is that politicians are afraid of him. … Many Republican leaders are terrified of him and abasing themselves in front of him.”–Presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

* BTW, there is no legal mechanism for reinstating a president.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the U.S. on the Capitol assault. His rationale wasn’t an attack on democracy, but the prosecution of rioters. “These are not looters or thieves,” asserted Putin, “these people came with political requests.” Not even Trump would have worded it that way. Probably.

* Former Vice President Mike Pence spoke at a recent Republican dinner in Manchester, New Hampshire. “President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office,” he said. “And I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that (Capitol assault) day.” The man who did his constitutional duty while invaders chanted “Hang Mike Pence” has to watch his rhetoric around the Trump base if he wants a shot at the GOP presidential nomination. He does. That’s why he was in the early voting state of New Hampshire.

* Trump spoke—for an hour and a half—at last Saturday’s North Carolina Republican State Party in Greenville, N.C. and surprised no one. “As we gather tonight, our country is being destroyed before our very own eyes,” declared Trump in doubling down on “American carnage.” His election loss is still “the crime of the century,” and he’s “not the one who’s trying to undermine democracy.” He’s “trying to save it.” And “wide open” borders and “socialist Democrats” were referenced—as was Dr. Anthony Fauci, who, noted Trump is “not a great doctor—but a helluva promoter.” Yeah, it’s still Groundhog’s Day in Trump world.

* “Minimum of $10 trillion”: What China, according to Trump, should pay countries of the world for the damage from COVID-19.

* George P. Bush, Jeb’s son, is running for Texas attorney general. He’s the first Bush to support Donald Trump, who has a history of mocking his family. The Cheneys and McCains can identify.

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