Go big or go home – Donald Trump thrived by painting Democrats as soft on immigration | United States


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Americans Made Big Wage Gains Under Trump


Average wages rose sharply in 2019 in then-President Donald Trump’s go-go economy and also rose again in 2020 as China’s coronavirus pushed many lower-income people out of jobs, according to the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The spikes reveal the Trump gains at the 2019 end of the EPI chart, released February 24 in the group’s annual “The State of Working America 2020 wages report.”

Source: Economic Policy Institute

“Men at the middle and bottom of the wage distribution saw their wages rise in 2019: a 2.6% increase at the 50th percentile and a striking 5.7% increase at the 10th percentile, along with a 4.2% increase at the 20th percentile,” according to the organization’s 2019 yearly report, The State of Working America 2019.”

Wages rose rapidly during the 2020 coronavirus crash, in large part because many lower-wage workers lost their jobs and were pushed out of the annual wage calculations. The new report says:

Wages grew [in coronarivus year 2020] largely because more than 80% of the 9.6 million net jobs lost in 2020 were jobs held by wage earners in the bottom 25% of the wage distribution. The exit of 7.9 million low-wage workers from the workforce, coupled with the addition of 1.5 million jobs in the top half of the wage distribution, skewed average wages upward. [Emphasis added]

Pro-migration progressives control the EPI, so the reports typically ignore the wage-cutting impact of labor inflation caused by the arrival of millions of legal and illegal blue-collar and white-collar migrants.

But the group also provides much useful information about slow wage growth since 1990 when President George H.W. Bush and Sen. Ted Kennedy collaborated to double legal immigration and dramatically expand white-collar visa workers.

The inflated supply of workers, consumers, and renters helped employers pocket the huge gains from routine productivity increases. That economic transfer spiked the stock market for investors and also pushed many states toward Democrat dominance.

Source: Economic Policy Institute

The EPI’s data echoes other reports.

“Families near the bottom of the income and wealth distributions generally continued to experience substantial gains in median and mean net worth between 2016 and 2019,” says a September 2020 report by the Federal Reserve banking system. The report, titled “Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2016 to 2019: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances,” said:

During the three years between the beginning of the 2016 and 2019 surveys, real gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent, and the civilian unemployment rate fell from 5.0 percent to 3.8 percent.

Families at the top of the income and wealth distributions experienced very little, if any, growth in median and mean net worth between 2016 and 2019 after experiencing large gains between 2013 and 2016 [during the Obama administration].

The report notes that college graduates did poorly from 2016 to 2019. The family median income level of high school graduates rose by six percent, while the median or midpoint income of college graduates fell by two percent, according to the report.

The 2019 wage gains were also aided by raises in minimum wages in many states. The enforced wage gains did cut jobs because the economy was booming, and Trump largely blocked business demands for more legal immigration.

In January 2021, a construction industry CEO lamented that Trump’s deputies forced him to hire Americans instead of illegal aliens. Stan Marek, the owner of Marek Brothers, a Houston-based construction firm that has employed many illegal migrants, complained:

They were let go because of ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] audits or Social Security No Matches, or insurance audits or whatever, and yet they’re 11 to 12 million people in this country on payrolls sending in about $6 to $7 billion a year of Social Security [payments] that they would never get. These ICE audits have taken millions of people off of payrolls and dumped them into the underground economy where they’re working for cash and not paying taxes.

In 2020, many business groups lined up behind Joe Biden partly because of his promise to dramatically accelerate the inflow of migrants in the United State’s consumer economy.

For years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.

The multiracial, cross-sex, non-racist, class-based, intra-Democratic, and solidarity-themed opposition to labor migration coexists with generally favorable personal feelings toward legal immigrants and toward immigration in theory — despite the media magnification of many skewed polls and articles that still push the 1950’s corporate “Nation of Immigrants” claim.

The deep public opposition is built on the widespread recognition that migration moves money from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to real estate investors, and from the central states to the coastal states.

However, Biden’s officials have been broadcasting their desire to change border policies to help extract more migrants from Central America for the U.S. economy. On February 19, for example, deputies of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas posted a tweet offering support to migrants illegally working in the United States and to migrants who may wish to live in the United States.



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Mitch McConnell says he would ‘absolutely’ support Donald Trump in 2024



Less than a month after excoriating Donald Trump in a blistering floor speech, US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he would “absolutely” support the former president again if he secured the Republican nomination in 2024.

The Kentucky Republican told Fox News on Thursday there’s still “a lot to happen” between now and the next presidential election.

“I’ve got at least four members that I think are planning on running for president, plus governors and others,” Mr McConnell said.

“There’s no incumbent. Should be a wide open race.”

But when directly asked if he would support Mr Trump again were he to win the nomination, Mr McConnell responded: “The nominee of the party? Absolutely.”

Mr McConnell’s remarks underscore an awkward balancing act he sought to maintain since Mr Trump lost the election, reflecting the reality that Mr McConnell’s own path back to power in the Senate hinges on enthusiasm from a party base that still ardently supports Mr Trump.

Mr McConnell’s comments come before an annual gathering of conservative activists that this year is expected to showcase Mr Trump’s vice grip-like hold on the GOP base.

Mr Trump, along with most other leading 2024 presidential prospects, are set to address the Conservative Political Action Conference, which will be held in Orlando this year due to coronavirus restrictions.

Mr McConnell, a regular at the annual conference, will not be on the program following his condemnation of Mr Trump.

The 36-year Senate veteran had an expedient relationship with Mr Trump while he was in office. He made a habit of saying little about many of Mr Trump’s outrageous comments.

But together they secured key Senate victories such as the 2017 tax cuts and the confirmations of three Supreme Court justices and more than 200 other federal judges.

Their relationship soured after Mr Trump’s denial of his 3 November defeat and relentless efforts to reverse the voters’ verdict with his baseless claims that Democrats fraudulently stole the election.

It deteriorated further last month, after Republicans lost Senate control with two Georgia runoff defeats they blamed on Mr Trump, followed by the attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters.

The day of the riot, Mr McConnell railed against “thugs, mobs, or threats” and described the attack as “this failed insurrection”.

Still, Mr McConnell likes to pride himself on playing the “long game,” which was the title of his 2016 memoir. And his comments on Thursday may yet prove prescient.

Recently, Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, a longtime Trump opponent, predicted the former president would win the nomination if he ran again.

“I don’t know if he’ll run in 2024 or not but if he does I’m pretty sure he will win the nomination,” Mr Romney said during an online forum hosted by the New York Times.

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Past Biden, Psaki tweets criticizing Trump slammed after new Syria airstrikes


Past Twitter messages from President Biden and one of his top aides — both criticizing former President Trump — weren’t appearing to age well Thursday after Biden ordered airstrikes against an Iranian-backed militia stronghold in Syria.

In 2017, Jen Psaki, now White House press secretary, questioned what the Trump administration’s “legal authority for strikes” was in Syria following a Trump-ordered military action.

“Assad is a brutal dictator,” she tweeted, “But Syria is a sovereign country.”

When Psaki’s nearly four-year-old tweet resurfaced, many Twitter users appreciated the irony.

US LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKE AGAINST IRANIAN-BACKED FORCES IN SYRIA 

“Hey girl! guessing you circled back to this one, huh?” one user wrote.

“Great tweet. I look forward to you condemning @JoeBiden’s illegal strikes in your press conference tomorrow,” another person commented.

Even progressive U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., retweeted Psaki’s old post, writing sarcastically “Great question.” 

In April 2017, the Trump administration launched airstrikes against Syria in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack the Assad regime carried out against its own people.

RAND PAUL: LOTS OF ‘HYPOCRISY’ BY BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ON IMMIGRATION, MIGRANT FACILITIES 

In October 2019, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden called then-President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria “erratic” and “impulsive.”

“The events of the past week … have had devastating clarity of just how dangerous this president is,” Biden said during a speech in Iowa about Trump’s decision, which critics saw as “abandoning” Kurdish allies in the region. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki and President Biden both criticized actions in Syria that were taken by former President Donald Trump.

In Thursday’s attack, the Biden administration targeted Iraqi border-based Shia militia groups, Kait’ib Hezbollah and Kait’ib Sayyid al Shuhada, which are suspected of having received funding and military support from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

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A senior official said the strike was a “shot across the bow” and a defensive strategy, intended to deter Iran and its militia from launching rockets at U.S. forces in the region, like the recent attacks in Iraq.

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Trump should focus on 2022 elections, not 2024, in CPAC address: Newt Gingrich


Former President Donald Trump should focus on next year’s midterm elections when he addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this weekend, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told “Hannity.”

Trump, who is scheduled to address the annual gathering Sunday, will cast himself as the leader of the GOP and its “presumptive 2024 nominee,” Axios reported Monday. The former president is also expected to call out the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, as well as the seven Republicans who voted to convict him, Axios claimed.

“Every Republican ought to be focusing on, ‘How do we make sure that [Rep. Kevin] McCarthy is the speaker of the House and that [Sen. Mitch] McConnell is the Senate majority leader?'” Gingrich told host Sean Hannity. “Let’s get through ’22. We’ll have lots of time to talk presidency after 2022.”

Gingrich added the address gives Trump the chance to “rebrand himself” after largely staying out of the public eye since President Biden’s inauguration. 

JOIN CPAC 2021 FROM HOME: HOW TO WATCH STREAMING COVERAGE ON FOX NATION

“He has a wonderful opportunity here to … communicate the strength of his policies and do it in a way which is positive and appearing, and a dramatic contrast to the confusion … that seems to be the Biden standpoint,” he said.

Gingrich also called for the removal of security fencing that has enclosed Capitol Hill since the deadly Jan. 6 riot. 

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“I think it’s an insult to every American to be told that their politicians are so important that they’re gonna hide behind a wall while the rest of us are apparently in danger,” he said. “That’s the opposite of a free society, and I am very worried by the steady drift toward an authoritarian — and at times a totalitarian — government.”

“I think this is profoundly wrong,” Gingrich emphasized,” and that that wall should come down immediately.”

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Golf, sports stars react with messages of support, including Adam Scott, Bryson DeChambeau, Jack Nicklaus, Justin Thomas, former president Donald Trump


“I have no doubt in my mind he’ll be back,” Bryson DeChambeau said of Woods. DeChambeau mentioned Ben Hogan, the legendary golfer who overcame a major car crash in 1949 to win six of his nine major championships, and praised Woods as “an amazing human being”.

“Heartbroken and shocked to hear about @Tiger Woods accident today,” DeChambeau tweeted. “My thoughts and prayers are with him for a full recovery.”

Describing the atmosphere in Bradenton as “very quiet,” Xander Schauffele told the Tour’s website, “Everyone I’ve talked to has been in a strange mood due to the news. I was talking to my caddie about the impact he’s had on the game of golf. It’s not good for us, not good for the game of golf. All we can do is hope that he’s fine and has a speedy recovery.”

Woods “means a lot to the game of golf,” said Tony Finau, who finished second in a play-off at the Genesis Invitational and who declared that Woods’s stunning, runaway victory at the 1997 Masters “changed the course of my life”.

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“When I saw the condition of his car, you just hope that he’s OK,” added Finau.

Jon Rahm said he was playing a practice round with Finau when Finau began seeing the news on his phone. “I couldn’t believe it – as if his body hasn’t endured enough,” Rahm said of Woods, whose career was derailed for several years by back surgeries and knee procedures.

“On behalf of the PGA TOUR and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers,” Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. He added that his organisation was “awaiting further information when [Woods] comes out of surgery”.

“I’m sick to my stomach,” said a visibly upset Justin Thomas, who is 18 years younger than Woods but has formed a tight personal bond with him. “You know, it hurts to see one of my closest friends get in an accident. Man, I just hope he’s all right. Just worry for his kids, you know. I’m sure they’re struggling.”

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Thomas was speaking at the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship in Florida, where the Tour has arrived after a swing through California that included last week’s Genesis Invitational. In a non-playing capacity, Woods, who is recovering from back surgery he underwent in January, served as the host of the Genesis. The event was held in Pacific Palisades, California, approximately 40 kilometres north of the crash site.

Many current and former PGA players chimed in on Twitter, including Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and a pair of British stars, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter.

Saying that he and wife, Barbara, were “deeply concerned” about Woods’ condition, Nicklaus tweeted, “We want to offer him our heartfelt support and prayers at this difficult time.”

Nicklaus’ record of 18 major wins has long been chased by Woods, who won his 15th at the 2019 Masters, capping a return to form that thrilled fans and peers alike. “Please join us in wishing Tiger a successful surgery and all the best for a full recovery,” Nicklaus wrote.

Mickelson, a longtime competitive rival who has forged a friendship with Woods, tweeted, “We are all pulling for you, Tiger. We are so sorry that you and your family are going through this tough time. Everyone hopes and prays for your full and speedy recovery.”

“We know how tough you are,” tweeted Rose, “we’ve seen it a hundred times. Hoping and praying you’re ok my friend.”

The golfing world is sending its best wishes to Tiger Woods, who was injured in a car crash in Los Angeles.Credit:AP

“Thoughts are with [Woods] and others involved,” Poulter wrote, “wishing a speedy recovery and I hope the injuries are not bad.”

Another golf legend, Gary Player, shared a note in which he said, “I would like to let Tiger and his family know that we are pulling for him in surgery and wishing him a speedy recovery. Prayers that it is not too serious.”

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Former president Donald Trump is unable to tweet from his own account, but through adviser Jason Miller he said, “Get well soon, Tiger. You are a true champion!”

In an appearance Tuesday evening on Fox News, Trump said it was “tragic” that Woods – whom Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2019 – suffered this calamity while already trying to recover from another back procedure. “It’s pretty bad on the legs, I understand, and he’ll figure a way – but he’s a wonderful person.”

Other major sports figures added well-wishes, including retired Lakers great Magic Johnson, who tweeted, “Everyone send your prayers out to Tiger Woods! He was just in a bad car accident. Let us all pray for his speedy recovery.”

Former MLB star Alex Rodriguez said on Twitter, “Praying for my brother [Woods] as we all anxiously await more news. Thinking of him and his entire family.”

Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps offered prayers, and former Olympic skier Lindsay Vonn – whose romantic relationship with Woods ended approximately six years ago – tweeted, “Praying for TW right now.”

Members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said at a news conference Tuesday that Woods was “fortunate to come out of this alive”.

The fact that the golfer was wearing a seat belt helped, they said, as did the safety features of the SUV he was driving. The department also said there was no immediate evidence that Woods was driving while impaired.

Washington Post

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Media ‘Suffering from Trump Withdrawal’ — ‘They Obsess over My Taking My Girls to the Beach’



Monday, during an appearance on FNC’s “Hannity,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) discussed the utility calamity in Texas due to winter weather and the Merrick Garland confirmation hearings underway before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Texas Republican warned what happened in Texas could happen if left up to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) because he said 25% of our electricity capacity is wind.

“Now, we just came off of a very difficult week where the grid failed four million Texans,” he said. “And so, we need to have a serious examination about why that was, why the grid came short. But one of the major elements of that is actually the policy that Schumer is pushing for the whole country, which is the Green New Deal. You look at Texas right now, about 25 percent of our electricity capacity is wind. And yet, in the middle of this storm, that capacity dropped all the way down to two percent. You want to talk about reliability.”

“The reality was, in the cold, the wind turbines froze, and the power generation wasn’t there,” Cruz continued. That needs to be fixed. And, by the way, that’s the solution Schumer is trying to force on the whole country. And right now, the Democrats want to federalize power in the state of Texas.”

He also took a jab at the media, describing its current condition as “suffering from Trump withdrawal.

“I think the media is suffering from Trump withdrawal where they’ve attacked Trump every day for four years,” Cruz added. “They don’t know what to do. So they obsess over my taking my girls to the beach. I’ve got to tell you, today, I asked Merrick Garland if he would open an investigation into Andrew Cuomo’s shameful policies. A senior Cuomo aide admitted they lied. They covered up the policies that sent COVID-positive people into nursing homes and may well have resulted in the deaths of thousands or tens of thousands. Merrick Garland wouldn’t commit to investigate it. And the media won’t even cover it.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor



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President Trump likely to tout influence on the GOP during CPAC speech


CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 21: President Donald Trump gave two thumbs up to the crowd during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 5:33 PM PT – Monday, February 22, 2021

President Trump is reportedly planning to say he is the presumptive 2024 GOP nominee in his upcoming speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

According to a report from Axios on Monday, the 45th President’s speech will be “a show of force,” and affirm he is still in charge of the GOP.

Senior adviser Jason Miller said President Trump is the Republican Party, and attacking him is like attacking the party’s grassroots.

President Trump has notably been in touch with party leaders like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).

“I was in Florida doing some fundraising throughout a number of parts of Florida, ended up at Mar-a-Lago, and the President reached out and we visited,” Graham said. “I hadn’t seen him since he had left the White House, and it was actually good to catch up with him. I noticed he was a lot more relaxed than his four years in the White House.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 20: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on December 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. Graham and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) spoke out against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to remove U.S. military forces from Syria. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 20: Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on December 20, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

 

The 45th President is expected to go after a number of GOP lawmakers in the primaries who he believes have wronged him and millions of his supporters.

“He still cares a lot about this country and the direction of our country. But, you know, it was a conversation more about how he’s doing now and what he’s planning on doing and how his family is doing,” Graham added.

Save America, President Trump’s leadership PAC, notably has $75 million of cash on hand.

In the meantime, yet another poll has shown the 45th President still has strong support in the GOP. In a Suffolk/USA TODAY survey of 1,000 Trump voters released on Sunday, 59 percent of respondents said they want to see President Trump run in 2024. Additionally, 85 percent of respondents said they would back him in the general election if he were the nominee.

The survey also indicated Trump voters are more loyal to the man himself than the actual party. 46 percent of respondents said they would join a new political party if he formed one, while 27 percent would not.

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Major setback for Donald Trump as US Supreme Court allows the release of his tax returns


Donald Trump suffered a major setback in his quest to conceal details of his finances as the Supreme Court paves the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain the former president’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation.

Mr Trump has been waging a protracted legal battle to prevent his tax records from being handed over to New York prosecutors investigating hush payments to women and possible fraud.

The nation’s highest court denied the request filed by lawyers for the ex-president without comment, paving the way for the documents to be handed over to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

The prosecutor has been fighting for months to obtain eight years of Mr Trump’s tax returns as part of an investigation into the ex-president’s finances.

Former US President Donald Trump.

AP

Monday’s ruling concerns a subpoena that Vance had issued to Mr Trump’s accountants Mazars USA ordering it to furnish documents stretching back to 2011.

“The work continues,” Mr Vance said in a three-word statement issued after the ruling.

Mr Vance’s probe was initially focused on payments made before the 2016 presidential election to two women who claim they had affairs with Mr Trump, including porn star Stormy Daniels.

But the state-level investigation is also now examining possible allegations of tax evasion, and insurance and bank fraud.

Mr Trump, who left the White House last month, did not immediately respond to Monday’s ruling.

In the past, he has called the investigation “the worst witch hunt in US history.”

US presidents are not required by law to release details of their personal finances but every US leader since Richard Nixon has done so.

Mr Trump repeatedly said he would release them pending an audit but ultimately broke with the tradition.

Mr Vance’s investigators have interviewed Mr Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who received a three-year prison term after admitting making hush payments to the two women.

The ex-lawyer had testified to Congress that Mr Trump and his company artificially inflated and devalued the worth of their assets to both obtain bank loans and reduce their taxes.

Civil probe

If Mr Trump were charged and convicted he could face a possible jail term. Unlike federal offenses, state crimes are not subject to presidential pardons.

Investigators also recently interviewed employees of Deutsche Bank, which has long backed the former president and the Trump Organization, US media reported.

They spoke to staff at Mr Trump’s insurance broker Aon, too.

Vance’s investigation is taking place behind closed doors in front of a Grand Jury.

It is unclear if and when it will lead to a prosecution, which would be the first of a former US president.

In July, the Supreme Court rejected Mr Trump’s argument that as a sitting president he was immune from prosecution.

Mr Trump’s lawyers then challenged the scope of the requested documents, saying it was too broad.

Ahead of the 3 November election, The New York Times alleged that Mr Trump had avoided paying federal taxes for 11 out of the 18 years it obtained the returns.

The newspaper also reported that Mr Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, a claim the former president denies.

New York state’s Attorney General Letitia James is also investigating allegations of bank fraud and insurance fraud through civil proceedings.

Mr Trump’s legal troubles may not end there.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said that as a civilian Mr Trump “is liable for everything he did while he was in office.”

The US Senate acquitted Mr Trump at his impeachment trial of inciting the crowd that stormed the US Capitol in January, but McConnell suggested Mr Trump could face criminal and civil action over the riot.

In February, prosecutors in Georgia opened an investigation “into attempts to influence” the presidential election in the state.

Mr Trump had pressured officials to overturn his loss in the key battleground.



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Impeachment – Donald Trump lives to fight and incite another day | United States


MITCH MCCONNELL’S denunciation of Donald Trump on February 13th was as withering as it was unexpected. Despite having just voted with 42 of his Republican colleagues to acquit Mr Trump of inciting an insurrection on January 6th, the Republican Senate leader suggested he was guilty as charged. “President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.” Headline writers promptly fell over themselves to label this the start of a “Republican civil war”. But if Mr McConnell and the conservative mainstream are really in that fight, they are very much at a pre-Valley-Forge stage, shivering over their wounds, as winter closes in.

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Mr Trump’s acquittal was a more accurate measure of his command of the Republican field. The case brought against him by House Democrats—impressively led by Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland—was devastating. The video footage they played, depicting the president’s demagoguery and the violence it provoked, was so horrifying it reduced some Republicans to tears. The fact that only seven then mustered the courage to join the entire Democratic caucus in voting against Mr Trump suggests that the impeachment power is now in effect defunct.

Those honourable seven, it must be added, were all to some degree shielded from Mr Trump’s wrath. Bill Cassidy and Ben Sasse were newly re-elected; Richard Burr and Pat Toomey are retiring; Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney (of Maine, Alaska and Utah) have home-state appeal that makes them unusually resistant to Mr Trump’s bullying.

The 43 Republicans who voted to give Mr Trump the insurrection “mulligan” that Mike Lee of Utah had claimed he deserved mostly did so on a technicality. They claimed a former president could not be impeached, a view contradicted by most legal advice, as well as the precedent established by an earlier Senate vote.

Notably, this quavering Republican majority included almost every conservative with presidential ambitions, including Marco Rubio and Tim Scott, as well as dedicated Trump stooges such as Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. It would seem none is planning to run against Trumpism: they are banking on being post-Trump, not anti-Trump. Polling of Republican voters supports their calculation. Over 80% still back Mr Trump; more than half say he did everything he could to stop the insurrection. Meanwhile, the backlash against the seven Republicans who voted against Mr Trump has been vicious.

Messrs Burr, Cassidy and Sasse have all been censured by their state parties. “I’m getting a lot of feedback from people saying the only reason they supported Senator Cassidy is because President Trump supported him,” said Blake Miguez, a Republican leader in Louisiana’s state legislature. “I predict that his next five years will be some of the most miserable a senator from Louisiana has ever experienced.” Mr Cassidy, a doctor and faithful Christian, has sought to mollify his constituents by explaining that, contrary to what they may have heard, Mr Trump was guilty as charged. No cigar, it would seem.

Mr McConnell, though tempted to vote against Mr Trump, appears to have concluded that this would have doomed his chances of returning as Majority Leader in 2023. His criticism of the president looks like he is trying to have it both ways. It also seems to have backfired. On February 16th Mr Trump released a statement attacking Mr McConnell as a “dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack” and threatening to unseat him as Senate leader. It could have been even worse for the veteran Kentuckian. Mr Trump reportedly cut some additional insults at the urging of his aides, including a contention that Mr McConnell had “too many chins”.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline “Marred but at largio”

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