Saturday’s Rallies Will Hopefully Be The Start Of A Strong Anti-Trump Protest Movement

Donald Trump got off to a poor start with an attack on the press by his press secretary, while Saturday was a good day for the start of an anti-Trump protest movement. The excitement seen in the participation in the anti-Trump marches shows what could have happened if the Democratic Party was not so foolish as to give Hillary Clinton the nomination. Reporters covering the event found that many women motivated to march against Trump did not see Hillary Clinton as a choice which motivated them to turn out to vote. With a better candidate we could now have a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate.

It is estimated that three times as many people marched in Washington than turned out for Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday. Millions more protested in other cities. It remains to be seen whether this will be a sustained movement, but it was an impressive start. The tape of Donald Trump bragging about grabbing women did not derail his campaign as many thought at the time, but the tape has come back to haunt him. Many protestors wore pussy caps. Others, such as Supergirl star Melissa Benoist used this in their signs.

While the protests were in progress, Donald Trump and press secretary Sean Spicer were attacking the press. Donald Trump is as defensive about the small crowds at his inauguration as he is about his “small hands” and what that represents. Speaking at the CIA, Donald Trump even said, “I have a running war with the media.” Ezra Klein wrote that “Trump’s real war isn’t with the media. It’s with facts.”

Trump then had press secretary Sean Spicer call an impromptu briefing in which Spicer lashed the press for estimating crowd size. “Nobody had numbers, because the National Park Service does not put any out,” he insisted. Seconds later, he said: “This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, both in person and around the globe.”This, along with much else Spicer said, was plainly untrue. But there’s a strategy at work here. The Trump administration is creating a baseline expectation among its loyalists that they can’t trust anything said by the media. The spat over crowd size is a low-stakes, semi-comic dispute, but the groundwork is being laid for much more consequential debates over what is, and isn’t, true.

Delegitimizing the institutions that might report inconvenient or damaging facts about the president is strategic for an administration that has made a slew of impossible promises and takes office amid a cloud of ethics concerns and potential scandals.

It also gives the new administration a convenient scapegoat for their continued struggles with public opinion, and their potential future struggles with reality. This kind of “dishonesty from the media,” Spicer said, is making it hard “to bring our country together.” It’s not difficult to imagine the Trump administration disputing bad jobs numbers in the future, or claiming their Obamacare replacement covers everyone when it actually throws millions off insurance.

Spicer ended the statement on a warning. “There has been a lot of talk in the media about the responsibility of holding Donald Trump accountable. I am here to tell you that it goes two ways. We are going hold the press accountable as well.”

This is reminiscent of the credibility gap during the Vietnam war. If Trump will outright lie about verifiable facts such as these which are of limited significance, it is doubtful that he will hesitate to lie when it comes to justifying actions while at war, or defending his policies. We have already seen this type of disregard for the truth throughout his campaign. Kellyanne Conway said that the White House press secretary gave “alternative facts.” Alternative facts sure looks like another word for lies.

The White House is being called out for their lying from both the left and the right.  The Weekly Standard wrote:

Crowd size does not matter. At all. It is not correlative with any conceivable marker of presidential success.

Which leads us to the question of why Spicer rushed out on Day 2 of the administration to begin his relationship with the press by insisting on a blatant, demonstrably false, lie. And please understand: That’s what this is. It is not spin, or misrepresentation, or cutting a fine line. It’s a deliberate lie.

And the answer is that this isn’t about Sean Spicer. He’s already been caught lying in the recent past…

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.

It is debatable as to how much crowd size matters, but I do find it encouraging to see  both that crowd size was much smaller than for Barack Obama’s inauguration, and that far more people were motivated to protest against Trump than to see him inaugurated as president. While it is bad that the White House is already lying to us, it is at least better that most realize when they are lying. If the election had turned out slightly differently in a few states, Hillary Clinton could be president, but we would still have a president who cannot be trusted. Instead of turning out to protest, many of those protesting on Saturday would be defending her and, as we saw during the campaign, this would including defending her false statements. While many of the protesters did vote for Hillary Clinton, many also cheered when Michael Moore said the “old guard” has to go and that “We have to take over the Democratic Party.”

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6 Comments

  1. 1
    DK says:

    Lol such cognitive dissonance from entitled white men trying desperately to disconnect the historic popular vote win of Hillary Clinton and the vile misogynist smear campaign she faced from white male Trumpanzees and Berniebrats and the white male globalist establishment worldwide – – including white nationalist woman haters like James Comey, Julian Assange, and Vladimir Putin – –  from the historic women's marches worldwide. 

    White men everywhere opposed Hillary's broad, diverse coalition and moved heaven and earth to stop her. They ignited a moment. Now they want to ride Hillary's coattails and erase her from history for their own gain. 

    It was a woman's march for a reason, Ron. Not an old fat white guy march, or and old white male socialist march. Nice try tho, boo. Over 20x as many Americans voted for Hillary in November as marched on Saturday. At some point the selfish, entitled, privileged white male left is going to have to realize that the rest of us aren't buying into their lame, played out anti Hillary lies and smears. She is far more popular and respected than Michael Moore or Ron Chris and their ilk will ever be. Get over it bro! 

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    You are sure trying hard to find excuses and deny the fact that Clinton lost because she was a terrible candidate, with many women being among those opposing her. This includes woman who did not vote for Clintonmarching against Trump over the weekend. Bernie hardly ran a misogynist campaign, and the smear campaign came from Clinton–one of the reasons she lost. It is people like you, not Bernie supporters, who are sexist, with you using language here such as “selfish, entitled, privileged white male left.” That attitude is one reason Clinton could not even beat Donald Trump.

    The win in the popular vote is meaningless. Winning the popular vote means nothing when the elections are based upon the electoral college and most candidates base their strategies on this. Clinton foolishly tried to run up the popular vote while ignoring the electoral college. Trump based his strategy upon what it would take to win. If the election was based upon the popular vote, he would have campaigned in blue states like California and New York where he didn’t bother because they were not part of his electoral vote strategy. He might have also campaigned to run up the vote more in red states.

    Clinton would not have been hurt by Comey’s actions if she had not violated the rules regarding email and handling classified information. Information released by Assange would not have hurt Clinton if it had not exposed dishonesty on her part, as well as how the DNC rigged the nomination for her. It has noting to do with “woman haters.” Clinton lost because many men and women with integrity refused to vote for Clinton.

  3. 3
    DK says:

    More bs lies. If the popular vote didn't matter, Hillary haters wouldn't be working overtime trying to diminish it. Hillary beat Bernie and Trump both by millions of votes because they are both lousy candidates with limited appeal, compared to her. She won millions more vote than them both despite smears, lies, and sexism and there's no amount of your desperate, hateful spin that can erase that. Millions. More. Votes.

    Trump "won" only because the white male establishment's treasonous smear campaign culminated with a last minute illegal intrusion to further supress black and brown voters. Because, again, white men could not beat Hillary with a straight up and down vote, and they knew it. 

    The DNC didn't rig anything, another lie. Millions more voters chose Hillary because Bernie is a selfish egomaniac who couldn't accept that he had zero appeal outside of of privileged white college kids. The DNC didn't force millions more voters to pick Hillary. The DNC sent some mean emails about Bernie after he stole Hillary's voter data, lied about it, then sued the DNC and played the victim when his cheating was revealed. Hillary won by the exact same process that nominated candidates preferred by white men for decades. The only difference is whenever women and minorities succeed at the expense of white male preferences, claims of rigging, cheating, and affirmative action start. It's exactly this kind of entitled bull that ignited the movement seen on display last weekend. 

    Please name the "rule" Hillary's email practices broke. *crickets* Just more of the lies and smears that elected Trump. The white male left is not progressive and ahold be ashamed of itself peddling right wing anti Hillary nonsense because, for once, it couldn't have its way and couldn't deal with it. Most women voted for Hillary. Most black and brown people voted for Hillary. And she got more votes than any white man who ran last year, and who ever ran, despite your constant smears. We aren't falling for youe crap anymore, and last weekend was just the beginning.

  4. 4
    Betsy says:

    It is such a shame that the Democrats unfairly gave the nomination to Clinton. Thanks to them, we have Donald Trump instead of Bernie Sanders as president.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    DK,

    There is no need to work to diminish the popular vote. Our election laws already make it meaningless. Note that Trump and not Clinton was sworn in on Friday.

    Of course the DNC rigged the process. The Democratic rules have been rigged towards centrists since McGovern, and the DNC further intervened this year, as demonstrated in the Wikileaks email. This included changing the fund raising rules when Clinton was having trouble competing against Sanders, the debate schedule, the games played in Nevada, and changing how Iowa was handled in not releasing the popular vote which probably would have helped Sanders. This was despite polls showing that Clinton was having trouble getting the votes of young voters, liberals, independents, swing state voters, and rust belt voters–with Sanders doing ten points better than Clinton in head to head polls against Republicans.

    Sanders did not steal Clinton’s data. It was the Sanders campaign which reported the breach.

    There is no question that Clinton violated the rules regarding email–as verified in the report of the State Department Inspector General. She was actually in violation of multiple rules for handling email and government communications. There would have never been an investigation if Clinton wasn’t violating the rules, and handling classified information in a careless manner.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Betsy,

    Yes, it is a shame that the Clinton supporters got us stuck not only with Trump as president, but probably also cost Democrats control of the Senate.

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