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Trump’s Disappearing and He Knows It

PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 31: Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a New Years event at his Mar-a-Lago home on December 31, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump continues to run for a second term as the ... PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 31: Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a New Years event at his Mar-a-Lago home on December 31, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump continues to run for a second term as the President of the United States. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 18, 2023 11:55 a.m.

I say all the following not for a moment discounting the threat Donald Trump continues to be to the American republic. But since the announcement of his reelection bid, immediately after a discrediting electoral defeat more than two months ago, he’s seemed less a swaggering warlord planning his return than a diminishing voice less and less relevant to the political happenings of the day. His claims and attacks become more vitriolic as his volume gets turned lower and lower.

Just this week he launched a broadside against white evangelicals, the most loyal and militant portion of his political base. They were “disloyal,” he said, and he blamed some of the 2022 reverses on them: “I thought they could’ve fought much harder during the election, the ’22 election.” This after an earlier interview where he blamed no-exceptions abortion bans for the 2022 defeats. This is angry desperation, not any ability to read the room.

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