Monday January 23, 2017
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That was some opening act for the 45th President's term.
The most frequent question I got on Friday was: "What did you think of the speech?"
My answer was the same to all:
"It wasn't the speech I would have written, but it was the speech President Trump wanted to give. That's why I didn't vote for him."
If his speech had been one of soaring Sorensonian rhetoric or Noonanesque oratory, no one would have believed that Donald Trump had believed a single word he had uttered.
I think your answer to the question is pretty simple. If you voted for Donald Trump you liked it. It was a speech to his base, promising to follow up on his campaign promises.
If you voted for Hillary Clinton, you hated it. It was a speech to his base, promising to follow up on his campaign promises.
The weekend wasn't about that.
On Saturday, some millions of people - mostly women - around the country and around the world demonstrated against the inauguration of Donald Trump.
I said, on Saturday, about those demonstrations that if the marchers had been similarly organized in the weeks before the election and had gotten on busses to Florida and Michigan and Pennsylvania and Ohio and Iowa and Wisconsin to urge women in those battleground states to get out and vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8 - then they would have been celebrating on Friday, rather than demonstrating on Saturday.
A friend of mine - a really good friend of mine - went in to downtown Washington, DC to show her support for the marchers. She texted she wanted me to support "what we are standing for."
I texted back that more than a million Americans (1,196,552 Americans, according to PBS) have died in large part to ensure that more than a million living Americans could peaceably assemble to demonstrate their revulsion with their government just one day after that government came to power.
Not only would their new government do nothing to them in retaliation; but, in fact, would spend millions to make sure they were safe. I am standing tall for that.
But the weekend wasn't about that, either.
On Saturday - after the swearing-in, after the parade, and after the balls - President Trump traveled to Langley, Virginia to the CIA headquarters to, one might have thought, make peace with the employees, agents, analysts, and officers.
In the end, he used the remarks to castigate the press corp for underreporting the number of people on the Smithsonian Mall for the inauguration ceremony. From The Hill newspaper:
"Honestly it looked like a million and half people, whatever it was it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument ... and by mistake I get this network and it showed an empty field, and it said we drew 250,000 people. Now that's not bad, but it's a lie."
Later in the afternoon, Press Secretary Sean Spicer went into the briefing room to read a statement defending the notion that President Trump's inaugural was the biggest, bestest, greatest inaugural what ever was:
"Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular tweet, to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall
That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period."
It was important to the President that not only had more people attended his inauguration than any President before him, but he was far more concerned about suggestions that the anti-Trump demonstrations were larger than his inauguration.
It does no good to ask "Who cares?" when the answer is: "The President cares."
Short of committing an Article II, Section 4 offence; that is, being impeached for, and convicted of, having committed "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" we're going to have President Trump to deal with until at least January 20, 2021.
1,458 days from today.
Can't wait to see what Day Three has in store.
Lad Link: Here's @ReedGalen's look at the Inauguration of Donald J. Trump. Remember, we don't compare notes.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the PBS page about the numbers killed in American wars, links to Theodore Sorenson and Peggy Noonan, and to Sean Spicer's first press briefing.
The Mullfoto is from the march Saturday by Barrington News Service Photography Editor, Tim Hyde. It's worth the click!
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