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The Horrible New Normal

I was busy all day Saturday in a wonderful Dallas bubble. I gave a talk about the Benedict Option this morning at Providence Christian School, then went to lunch with some folks who are doing amazing work serving the poor, then hung out with new friends and old ones at the Old Monk pub, my old hangout, and then went to a nice long dinner with more Providence folks. It was a great day.

I came back to the hotel room late, and got caught up on the big events of the day: the women’s march, and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s bizarre performance.

First the march. What an appalling spectacle. The women marched in part to protest President Trump’s vulgar and disrespectful attitude toward women. But in so doing … well, look: [1]

The Secret Service has reportedly said it will open an investigation into Madonna after the singer told the Women’s March on Washington that she had thought about ‘blowing up the White House’.

Donning a black p***yhat, the music icon caused controversy by dropping the F-bomb four times, sparking a slew of apologies from broadcasters airing the protest live.

She went on to speak of her rage at the election result, telling the crowd she had thought a lot about ‘blowing up the White House’ but knew that it ‘wouldn’t change anything’.

More:

Tempers ran high as marchers took to Washington D.C.  to oppose Donald Trump’s new presidency – with Ashley Judd joining Madonna in spewing lewd rants against the new President.

The Hollywood actress and the pop star departed from the general spirit of inclusivity and calls for mutual respect with personal attacks not only on Trump but also his family, including daughter Ivanka.

They say well-behaved women rarely make history, and Judd clearly took that quote to heart as she recited a poem written by a 19-year-old from Tennessee.

‘I feel Hitler in these streets, a mustache traded for a toupee,’ she said.

‘I am a nasty woman,’ she continued – referencing Donald’s famous attack on Hillary Clinton. ‘I’m not as nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in Cheeto dust.

‘I’m not as nasty as your own daughter being your favorite sex symbol, your wet dreams infused with your own genes’.

Still more:

Judd continued to proudly repeat the phrase ‘I’m a nasty woman’ as the crowd of thousands continued to cheer.

‘And our p***ies ain’t for grabbing, they’re for reminding you that our walls are stronger than America’s ever will be,’ she concluded.

‘Our p*****s are for our pleasure, for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, nasty, proud, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh, generations of nasty women.

‘So what today means is that we are far from the end, today marks the beginning, the beginning of our story.’

‘The revolution starts here, the fight for the right to be free, to be who we are, to be equal, lets march together through this darkness and with each step know that we are not afraid.’

‘That we are not alone, that we will not back down, that there is power in our unity, and that no opposing force stands a chance in the face of true solidarity.’

‘And to our detractors that insist that this march will never add up to anything, “f*** you”,’ she proclaimed.

Madonna also performed two of her classic hits, Express Yourself and Human Nature, changing one of the lyrics in the latter song to ‘Donald Trump suck a d***’.

Read the whole thing.  [2] Disgusting. As a reader e-mailed:

Trump is the vulgar one?

They are making him look like Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

But look, it cannot be denied that the march, and sister marches around the country, drew formidable numbers. This is not going away anytime soon. The divisions are deep, and real, and the passions are hot.

And then the Sean Spicer episode. The White House press secretary called a Saturday press conference, and then, in front of reporters, delivered a blistering statement complaining about an unfair tweet, and about reports that the Trump inauguration crowd was smaller than Obama’s first inauguration crowd. In the statement he lied, or at least abused the truth, then stormed off the stage without taking questions.

I watched the clip, and thought, “This is the United States of America?!” It beggars belief. A friend texted:

That press briefing is such a pathetic embarrassment. Honestly. Four more years of thin-skinned lackeys carrying the water of a thin-skinned, self-absorbed narcissist. They didn’t have to say anything. How small they look already. How much they have already diminished the prestige of the office with their petty headcounts.

It’s true. Are we really going to have to endure idiocy like this every time Trump gets wound up about some penny-ante tweet from a reporter? Is it going to be nothing but chaos and outrage? Jonathan V. Last writes: [3]

Rule #1 for press relations is that you can obfuscate, you can misrepresent, you can shade the truth to a ridiculous degree, or play dumb and pretend not to know things you absolutely do know. But you can’t peddle affirmative, provable falsehoods. And it’s not because there’s some code of honor among press secretaries, but because once you’re a proven liar in public, you can’t adequately serve your principal. Every principal needs a spokesman who has the ability, in a crunch, to tell the press something important and know that they’ll be believed 100 percent, without reservation.

But like I said, this isn’t about Spicer.

What’s worrisome is that Spicer wouldn’t have blown his credibility with the national press on Day 2 of the administration unless it was vitally important to Trump.

And if media reports about crowd size are so important to Trump that he’d push Spicer out there to lie for him, then it means that all the tinpot-dictator, authoritarian, characterological tics that people worried about during the campaign are still very much active.

You know who obsessed about crowd size? Fidel Castro. You know who did not? George Washington, John Adams, Andrew Jackson, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton, and every other man to ever serve as president of these United States of America.

#NeverTrumpster Erick Erickson has a fascinating take on it all: [4]

People are idiots. Donald Trump will keeping winning because people are idiots. And no, I am not talking about Trump supporters. I am mostly talking about the press corps.

Let’s review Saturday shall we?

The press decided to give massive coverage to the Women’s March in Washington with members of the press gleefully reporting every insult against Trump, but patently ignoring that one of the key speakers opposed the collapse of the Berlin Wall because she thought the communists were better than us. Another speaker, Ashley Judd, suggested Trump supporters were Nazis.

Consider the reaction of the press had this been said of Barack Obama. Well, we do not have to ponder it. We know. The press was outraged. Remember how a congressional staffer got fired for tweeting something about the Obama kids? On Friday, multiple people with blue checkmarks on Twitter were attacking Baron Trump and the press said nothing. We also know how the press responded when anyone called Obama a muslim, Nazi, commie, etc.

All this reinforces in many people’s minds that there is a double standard. And that double standard went into full force on Saturday. Supposedly objective reporters spent the day as activists and you all know it.

True. More Erickson:

Now, here we are at the close of Saturday, and the press has been fixated on a President of the United States daring to fight them. They have never had a President push back against them before like this. So now they’re screaming “First Amendment” and offended that Trump is doing all this.

They are screaming and moaning over treatment from a man who won a national election after video revealed he thought he could grab women by, well, you know where. And somehow the press thinks that voters who voted for Trump after that will care about this.

Mind you, the press can claim Trump has a low approval rating, but they have a lower approval rating than him.

The simple fact is that everyone knows the media only focuses on crowd sizes when it works to the Democrats’ advantage; everyone knows the press plays up tea party aggressiveness while downplaying leftwing aggressiveness; and everybody except the press knows that Trump is moving fast on a host of issues and he has them brilliantly focused on themselves.

People are idiots. Trump clearly knows this. And he is exploiting it to his advantage. As long as the press keeps playing up grievances against themselves and focusing on issues that really do not matter, Trump and his Administration can keep flying fast under the radar.

Read the whole thing.  [4] I think Erickson is probably right. Still, a few conclusions from Saturday:

  1. President Trump was a chaos candidate and apparently intends to be a chaos president. Stability, it would seem, is out the window. The White House will lie without hesitation when it serves its perceived interest.
  2. Trump is weaponizing the news media’s biases. Even when the media tell the truth, millions of Trump supporters will not believe them. This is a dangerous situation in a democracy. Consciously or not, Trump is exploiting the American people’s new habit of believing that truth is whatever serves the narrative they wish to believe, including whatever serves the cause of their side gaining or holding power.
  3. The elite media will not understand that it does this too, and has been doing this for years, to conservatives.
  4. Conservatives will be so glad that a Republican president is finally fighting back that they won’t care that it’s insane for a US president to behave this way, and that it undermines the gravity of the office.
  5. The cultural left, convinced of the justice of its own wrathfulness, is not going to protest with dignity or behave with any kind of decency or restraint. It’s going to overreach, again and again and again. It and Trump are going to feed off of each other’s negative energy, and it’s going to drive more and more Americans apart, and not only apart, but towards real enmity. Each side will blame the other 100 percent for the trouble.

One reason that the Benedict Option [5] is going to become more and more appealing in the Trump years is as a shelter and source of resilience during the days of rage to come. In Dallas this weekend, my conversations included one with a college professor and one with a couple of lawyers. The professor talked about the spitefulness against Christians in the academy (even here in Dallas), and how one had to lay low and watch one’s back. The Trump years, I believe, are going to ramp that up. The lawyers talked about how politicized, in terms of progressive cultural dogmas, the professional culture within law has become. I am certain that the Trump years are going to see activists within the law profession push harder on these points as a form of resistance. This is going to fall very hard on the heads of orthodox Christians in law, academia, and other fields prone to left-wing cultural dominance.

Mostly, though, we are going to need a place of shelter within which we can keep our peace amid the chaos. I think of the Monks of Norcia, sheltering in tents just outside the town, observing the rubble of their earthquake-ravaged basilica and monastery. They left for the hills after the first of the series of deadly earthquakes, and made a safe place for themselves to ride out what was coming. In American life, the earth is starting to shake, symbolically. Now is the time to prepare for difficult days ahead.

UPDATE:

“Alternative facts”? I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth.

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233 Comments (Open | Close)

233 Comments To "The Horrible New Normal"

#1 Comment By KevinS On January 23, 2017 @ 1:58 pm

Art Deco writes, “It is. Madonna’s vulgarity is real and the ‘veiled death threats’ exist only in your imagination.”

So Madonna’s threat to blow up the White House is real, but those “second amendment solutions” are imaginary? Shall I provide the youtube links?

#2 Comment By Art Deco On January 23, 2017 @ 1:59 pm

Feminism is the great enabler of predatory males everywhere,

Actually, academic feminists are commonly lesbianoids who want nothing to do with men (or suffer great anger that men wanted nothing to do with them when they were at an impressionable age). Journalistic feminists a la Ellen Goodman and Anna Quindlen are in the business of treating ordinary men (especially husbands and fathers) as if they need to be re-educated to accommodate women. Predatory men aren’t in their gunsights at all.

What enables predatory men is sexual misconduct by women and abortion. This is congruent with feminism, but it’s a distinct phenomenon.

#3 Comment By EarlyBird On January 23, 2017 @ 2:15 pm

I found myself infuriated and nauseated by the incredibly self-satisfied, self-dramatizing, smug, hypocritical, overblown mass hysteria of the event. It reminded me for the zillionth time how, while I often hold positions which are liberal, I am not – can not – be “a liberal.” Collectively they are just too insufferable.

Hey, I get it: whenever a Republican gets into the White House, one who will likely be putting in new Supreme Court justices, a person who supports the right to an abortion wants to beware. I get that you want equal pay for women. But by the hysterical rhetoric of the event you would think that American women were being treated as chattel.

Did anyone catch CNN where a young white female in dreadlocks posed in front of the cameras quietly holding out a daisy to the line of riot police, a direct reference to the famous photo of a ’60s peace protestor putting daisies in the rifle ends of National Guardsmen? The Left Wing self parodying was just too much!

I loved the person standing nobly holding a sign reading “Transgender Women of Color Will Not be Silenced.” Why not “Transgender, Left-Handed, Near-Sighted, Lactose-Intolerant Women of Color Will Not be Silenced”?

Whenever I heard a celebrity state “predator-in-chief” I wanted to scream, “No, he’s a vulgar sexist. Bill Clinton was an ACTUAL predator, violator and destroyer of actual, individual women but you loved him because he was a Democrat!”

Or when Alicia Keys went on her rant and ended with how she wants an end to the US “dropping bombs on other countries,” I wanted to scream, “Do you know how many bombs President Obama has been dropping for the past eight years?! What about Yemen?! Where were you just two days ago with your concerns about peace?!”

As worried as I am about an inexperienced, incompetent, reckless, vulgar, insecure narcissist being president, I am also very worried about this kind of movement in essence creating a coup d’etat against an actually legally legitimate president. They would love to precipitate the very Constitutional crisis they say they are worried about with “Hitler” Trump.

He did win the presidency within the bounds of our Constitution. Yes, he IS every American’s president.

Mob rule can be as dangerous as individual autocracy. Beware a movement which is so unself-aware, so full of hubris, so utterly convinced of its Goodness and its opponents Badness, who believe that they are always just one push away to achieving Utopia and feel perfectly entitled to use any and all measures to achieve it.

#4 Comment By John On January 23, 2017 @ 2:19 pm

“Trump did not give a speech to a six-figure audience talking about “pussy.”

No. Indeed not. He instead talked about a female reporter from at Rhine, FOXNews, “hemorrgaging out of her” you know what.

#5 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 23, 2017 @ 2:31 pm

They say it was all family-friendly, but it’s a new public low for millions of women to show off their “pussies” on their heads. Definitely kind of a “nasty” spectacle.

As for more having watched this inaguration of a President than ever before, of course that’s true. There has never been so much immediate connectivity in the world allowing live streaming than now, and billions were able to be virtually present, no matter where they were, whether at home, outside or at work, by internet mobile devices, digital television, and satellite. Only local people or those who can afford expensive travel and accommodations and are able to take time off from work, can be present at such events. For the first time ever, we participated virtually through live streaming, and from the numbers of views on the multitude of different channels, so did many millions of others.

#6 Comment By adam On January 23, 2017 @ 2:52 pm

Some of the signs were pretty funny. “He shall overcomb” is clever, you have to admit.

#7 Comment By Kyle Hubbard On January 23, 2017 @ 3:03 pm

Rod, I share your concern and disgust at the comments you highlighted. I wasn’t at a rally on Saturday, so I’m only going off media reports and friends’ comments. However, I’m not sure that’s the entire story about the rallies that went on around the country. Like any movement with no clear agenda, there were a lot of reasons people showed up. There was a more hopeful report from New Hampshire Public Radio about the rally here in Concord:

“It wasn’t just politicians and Picoult speaking out on Saturday morning. Eva Castillo, a longtime activist from Manchester, called on those present to take a stand to protect the rights of immigrants and others — but she also cautioned against assuming ill will among all Trump supporters or those who disagree.

“You don’t know why people vote the way they do,” Castillo said. “If we’re advocating for equality, we have to give it to them, too. And I have been guilty of that, too. Sometimes we are as intransigent, if not more, as the ultra-right is that we criticize so much.”

That message resonated in particular with Marisa Benson, a holocaust and genocide studies major at Keene State who traveled to Concord to attend Saturday’s rally.

“Somebody in particular said something that stood out to me which was, you know, there’s a lot of focus on these people are bad, but we all need to come together,” Benson said. “And it’s not about blaming everybody but it’s about unity and finding our commonalities.”

#8 Comment By TA On January 23, 2017 @ 3:16 pm

@

As for more having watched this inaguration of a President than ever before, of course that’s true.

Not “of course”. Possible? I suppose, but pretty much all measures viewership were lower than Obama’s 2009 inauguration. The dramatically lower in-person attendance vs. 2009, along with much lower ratings, is clearly a sign of lower overall engagement.

So – did more people watch this inauguration? Possible, but not probable.

#9 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 23, 2017 @ 3:19 pm

Let’s keep one thing straight. We were offered a choice between disasters this past election. It was a matter of picking your poison. Yes, Trump is going to be poison. Yes, Hillary would have been poison. Some of us might have found the other poison less distasteful. That’s nothing to shout about.

#10 Comment By Alan On January 23, 2017 @ 3:19 pm

“Rule #1 for press relations is that you can obfuscate, you can misrepresent, you can shade the truth to a ridiculous degree, or play dumb and pretend not to know things you absolutely do know. But you can’t peddle affirmative, provable falsehoods. And it’s not because there’s some code of honor among press secretaries, but because once you’re a proven liar in public, you can’t adequately serve your principal. Every principal needs a spokesman who has the ability, in a crunch, to tell the press something important and know that they’ll be believed 100 percent, without reservation.”
Of course you can. Obama did this nonstop. Oh wait…silly me. That’s because in his case, his PR team and the press were the same people.

#11 Comment By Elijah On January 23, 2017 @ 3:41 pm

“What then are we to make of “Second amendment Remedies”? How is that anything other than a veiled assassination threat?”

“Second amendment remedies” were pretty clearly references to the need for another Revolution.

“The media is Big Business– it’s main purpose is not ideology, of any sort, but its own profit.”

Tell that to Pinch Sulzberger.

#12 Comment By Daniel (not Larison ) On January 23, 2017 @ 3:56 pm

After reading througg most of these comments, something struck me: you can support and defend any kind of outrage, as long as you’re sweet and ‘winsome’. Including the industrial-scale massacre of preborn human beings whose only crimes are those of her parents.

The ‘banality of evil’ never looked so cute and cuddly.

#13 Comment By Art Deco On January 23, 2017 @ 4:19 pm

He instead talked about a female reporter from at Rhine, FOXNews, “hemorrgaging out of her” you know what.

How unutterably cruel to MeAgain.

#14 Comment By JonF On January 23, 2017 @ 5:01 pm

Re: “Second amendment remedies” were pretty clearly references to the need for another Revolution.

Huh? Is this supposed to disprove my point?
A revolution is inherently an act of violence. With the exception of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, every political revolution known to history has involved heaps of corpses, sometimes in extravagant numbers. And often enough the severe derangement of the political order, sometimes on a continental or global scale.

#15 Comment By Bruce On January 23, 2017 @ 5:05 pm

Even when the media tell the truth, millions of Trump supporters will not believe them.

The problem is that the elite media peddle lies most of the time. The truth is drowned out and very difficult to find.

#16 Comment By Joys-R-Us On January 23, 2017 @ 5:19 pm

Spicer was terrible, but to Conway’s point, isn’t it possible that alternate facts means facts, real facts, ignored by the media? In other words, another side of the story.

And just what would those “facts” be? That somehow the Trumpsters were hidden from view at the inauguration, in underground caves or crammed together like sardines? That the Russians hacked the photographs? That the DC metro numbers were wrong, and that he had the right numbers?

Seriously, if that’s what Kelley-Anne was trying to say, why not put those alternate facts ignored by the media out there for us to examine?

#17 Comment By Jesse On January 23, 2017 @ 5:44 pm

““Second amendment remedies” were pretty clearly references to the need for another Revolution.”

There haven’t been many bloodless revolutions. So yeah, anybody talking about 2nd Amendment Remedies is basically talking about killing people who are vety close to me politically.

#18 Comment By Jeremy Hickerson On January 23, 2017 @ 6:04 pm

Reading this blog lately, it’s easy to forget that your people won. (I know you didn’t vote for Trump, but many people you identify with did)

#19 Comment By Heartright On January 23, 2017 @ 6:34 pm

Correction, Bystander.

About 75% of Americans did not vote for Trump.

Do remember that about half of the electorate wanted to have nothing to do with EITHER candidate.

Since the women’s march did have more than just a bit of Hillary smell to it, it wont do to forget that your lot are just like Trump’s lot,and are heavily outnumbered by those who wish a plague on your house too.

#MAGA did not win.
#NotWithHer won a landslide.

#20 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On January 23, 2017 @ 7:19 pm

BTW, let’s not forget that Mrs. Ciccone’s stage name is itself a blasphemy.

#21 Comment By Mr Seth On January 23, 2017 @ 7:46 pm

Why is it that a crunchy con is the only person that makes sense right now? Hell (or ‘heck’ .. sorry) I think Erik Erickson sounds pretty smart in the Trump era too. For once conservatives have a leader of whom they are immensely skeptical. For once you are not in love with a Republican president. This puts you in a unique position of being reflexively critical without being emotionally flippant. And after reading your and other conservative blogs over the past year, I realize that this posture is precisely what the left and moderate left lacks. And they won’t get there footing anytime soon until they obtain it. It’s a shame. I’m your typical, effete, east coast liberal. But I have a much more holistic understanding (relatively speaking) of the present moment because I read you. That’s not to say I agree with everything on TAC, but its most even and thought provoking.

#22 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 23, 2017 @ 8:49 pm

“Alternative facts” do not exist.

An alternative point of view as to which alleged facts are supported by reliable evidence, are in fact true, and why, could be legitimate.

But so far, Trump’s staff can’t utter a coherent thought, any more than they can spell. That may be because their “alternative facts” are wishful thinking.

#23 Comment By Henri On January 24, 2017 @ 2:28 am

Mr. Seth, you really think the left has not been critical of Obama? And to a much greater extent Clinton? You really should really look outside your media bubble.
The polarization of opinions, perhaps around the second gulf war and G.W.Bush in general led to a high degree of partisanship which diminished the public criticism of own politicians. But I think a substantive group of both rightist and leftist commentators have been fairly critical of their parties and presidents.

#24 Comment By JonF On January 24, 2017 @ 6:09 am

Re: BTW, let’s not forget that Mrs. Ciccone’s stage name is itself a blasphemy.

Giuseppe, “Madonna” is her given name. She is “Madonna Louise Ciccone” on her birth certificate. In and of itself it’s no more blasphemous than the prevalence of the name “Jesus” in Spanish-speaking cultures.

#25 Comment By artsandcrafts On January 24, 2017 @ 6:11 am

Mr. Scalas, as far as I know, Madonna is her real first name. Ciccone is her birth name, not her married name. I’m not weighing in on her conduct one way or the other.

#26 Comment By Julie Lockhart On January 24, 2017 @ 8:48 am

Mr. Dreher did not attend a march. I did, among 10,000 others in the small village Seneca Falls, New York, birthplace of the Women’s Rights movement in America. One-two thousand marchers were expected.

The march was uplifting, positive, and completely peaceful. I saw ONE nasty sign among dozens, and it insulted Melania Trump. I thought that was shameful. She should be off limits, as should the rest of President Trump’s family unless they engage in his political work. Residents of the village, and the village police, were respectful.

At the rallies before and after the march, I listened to more women offering strong, articulate messages of hope than I’ve ever heard at one event. I wonder why that would be? There were babies, children and elders all around, and people accommodated them and made sure they were safe too.

For me, the march was a way to stand up and be counted as someone who wants women treated as people first, and women second. I want people who feel afraid because they are deemed different to be safe and respected. I have never sensed that kind of respect from our new president. He has named the most white, male cabinet since Reagan’s first cabinet in 1981. I also am afraid of Mr. Trump’s vow to further militarize our nation, including our police force. In case anyone failed to notice, the “war on drugs” begun by the democrat President Clinton hasn’t gone well. I am afraid for our environment and how it will fare under this new administration. I see very little comprehension in President Trump regarding science as the most vital tool we have for understanding our planetary home and how to keep it healthy.

As for the infamous and ever-present pussy hats at the march, that to me was a humorous way of embracing an insult. Someone uses a vulgar word to describe something that isn’t his business? Respond by making a soft, warm hat. Wear the insult proudly.

The real challenge begins now, post March. Rather than hiding out, via this “Benedict Option,” I think Jesus would be out there in the world, being radical and peacefully rousing the rabble. I think his message is love, and the truest kind of love is always reaching out, and never giving up.

#27 Comment By Anne On January 24, 2017 @ 10:44 am

@Mr Seth,
Honestly, you must not know the left very well if you think people on the left don’t criticize their own politicians. In his final days in office, Obama, who barely had an uncriticized moment in 8 long years, got a short reprieve amid the general Trump shock. Considering The Alternative, everything he said and did seemed comparatively rational and statesmanlike.

#28 Comment By kgasmart On January 24, 2017 @ 12:14 pm

I did not attend any of the marches on Saturday. I was at Disneyworld with my family – specifically, Hollywood Studios, where – even though attendance at Disney is reportedly down – there were easily 60,000 people there, none of whom appeared to be worrying about Donald Trump, all of them instead focused on having a good time, usually with their small children (as was the case with us).

The crowds at the women’s marches were impressive. But the mixed messages FOR the march I’ve been seeing in my Facebook feed are interesting. The march was for women’s rights. No, it was for the rights of all “marginalized” people. No, it was more than that, it was a broad show of solidarity against Trump.

It was all of these things and more, of course; there was no focus. It was, instead, an inchoate howl of rage from those whose entire worldview was shattered, uprooted by the election of a president whom they detest, who in fact represents a repudiation of that worldview.

In this way, the women’s marches are the photo negative of the Tea Party movement.

The Tea Party arose as a reaction to the election of Obama in 2008 – that is, Tea Partiers were people whose president had been in power for the previous eight years, and who were furious that the country had voted to reject that legacy and all that they believed important. The country had rejected THEM, and they were rebelling.

This is the exact same dynamic fueling the women’s marches, though of course these new marchers will strenuously object to that characterization. But it’s really all the same. “Hate,” to the women’s marchers, is what “liberty” was to the Tea Partiers – a talisman wielded as a reason for/answer to all that infuriated them. It’s really just an excuse to vent, and vent they all did – in 2009, and now.

The Tea Party right was almost immediately co-opted by the conservative grift machine; if in fact Soros funded the women’s marchers, as has been reported, then this movement was co-opted before it even begun.

And the Tea Party, at least, was able to cow congressional Conservatives; we got legislators beholden to the Tea Party. Will we now get Pussy Hat Democrats?

#29 Comment By Anne On January 24, 2017 @ 12:25 pm

For months now, I’ve searched in vain for the the right comparison when speaking of the general shock Democrats are experiencing with regard to the Republican elected to lead this country, and here we’ve got it: For Democrats, seeing an opponent as unqualified, vindictive and volatile as Donald Trump given the keys to the Oval Office, not to mention the nuclear arsenal, isn’t just depressing or demoralizing as would be watching a Mitt Romney or, say, Marco Rubio assume power. No, it’s as utterly surreal as the experience would be for Republicans were the President just sworn in none other than Madonna.

#30 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 24, 2017 @ 2:58 pm

For months now, I’ve searched in vain for the the right comparison when speaking of the general shock Democrats are experiencing with regard to the Republican elected to lead this country

That’s a bad question — one that a fair number of Democrat talking heads have contributed to. Voters cover a wide spectrum of beliefs, motives, assumptions, understandings, preferences, and criteria. They don’t fit into neat little categories like We Won, and You Lost.

That’s why bemoaning the stupidity of “our people” who didn’t vote or voted for Trump completely misses the boat. I doubt even 30 percent of voters are thrilled to have Trump in charge. But what were the alternatives?

In the early fall, I got a lot of emails from Dem operatives bemoaning that when Bernie Sanders called on everyone to unite and elect Hillary, people would, well, unite. But the people who voted for Hillary weren’t like Rod backing LSU against the Crimson Tide, but the SEC team against Notre Dame. Sanders didn’t own those votes to deposit in Hillary’s camp. He himself was a declared socialist and many of his voters were people who would never vote for Hillary.

What party line Democrats should be shocked by is how many people are not reflexively willing to turn out for whatever unqualified candidate the Dem insiders want against whoever the GOP nominates. Both party’s elites should be shocked that if they don’t actually respond to what people are feeling and thinking, they just might lose.

#31 Comment By Joe On January 25, 2017 @ 12:51 pm

Hi Rod, I am disappointed in your analysis here, which I think is simplistic and anecdotal. Sure, in every protest there are bound to be vulgarians, mean-spirited signs, and less than civil discourse. These women’s marches, however, were not a collectively “appalling spectacle,” but rather a massive social action to demonstrate one, clear thing: the way this President has treated, talked about, and discussed women is unacceptable. Full stop. As a reader of your blog, and a fan in general, I am really disappointed that you pick Madonna as an exemplar with which you compare one million women. I marched with wife in Montpelier, VT, and I can promise you we had people from all backgrounds, united in common defense and respect of the women we love and cherish.

That you would reduce an important, necessary protest to a handful of signs you think are mean is unfortunate. You, of all people, should recognize the sacred bond we share with the women of this world. When a President speaks that way against women, we will respond. Full stop.

I hope you think longer and harder about your analysis of this protest. Could some signs have been “nicer”? Sure. Could some people have behaved better? No doubt. But to focus on that is entirely beside the point.

#32 Comment By Megan S On January 25, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

I was at the DC march and we got moving before Madonna showed up on stage. Evidently, she did what she always does, make everything about herself. Judging by the negative reaction I heard when Amy Schumer took the stage, I doubt Madonna did herself any favors attempting to co-opt this thing.

#33 Comment By Intelliwriter On January 25, 2017 @ 5:44 pm

The worldwide protests were peaceful. This is one of the great hallmarks of our democracy. The stories I read about the marchers were positive and uplifting. Women are rightly afraid of a man who thinks so little of us. The time to organize and fight is now while we have something of America left to hang on to.