Facebook can't cure Trump's chronic low energy

The social media bans bit hard into Trump’s visibility. But instead of reconstituting his following with the sort of show business flash and sparkle he brought to his White House years and the 2016 campaign—rallies, press conferences, televised appearances—the former president spent most of his exile in the minimum security prison that is Mar-a-Lago, where he keeps a vigil over the banquet table, gives half-hearted speeches to tens of supporters about the “stolen election,” exposes his kissable ring to the lips of supporters and golfs. The old Trump would have placed both thumbs on the scales of justice to force Facebook to reinstate him. He would have threatened Mark Zuckerberg and promised to send his minions to the company’s Menlo Park headquarters to trash the place. Instead, he’s playing extra rounds at his country club. Trump’s half-hearted attempts at gearing up his movement suggest he doesn’t really care as much about returning to Facebook as he lusts, to paraphrase Groucho Marx, to be a member of a club that doesn’t want him as a member. This half-heartedness informs almost every Trump move since the Biden victory was certified by Congress and the new administration took over. As Gabby Orr and Meridith McGraw reported for POLITICO in mid-March, Trump has been adrift during his exile, indecisive, meandering and dawdling. Former CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta put it best by describing the Trump post-presidency as a “sad old Elvis act,” adding, “It’s like he’s an animatronic character, spewing out this stuff all over again like he has a string you pull behind him and replace the batteries when they’re low inside.”