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21 January 2017

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Thirdeye

I doubt that anybody has thought through what they're trying to accomplish with these protests. The "Trump Bad" hysteria lacks focus. I'm sure the protesting milieu will be manipulated for the objectives of groups that have nothing to offer them. If Trump does something protest-worthy, and there's an excellent chance that he will, whoever protests will be discredited by the association of protest with this temper tantrum.

MasterSlacker

Speaking only about Saturday's Womxn's March: What they are doing is considered a social event. They will meet, greet and acquaint for later works. The organizing will take place over time in other locales and, as you know from your own experience, who you know works a lot better if you have some shared experience (personal history). My suspicion is the Community Organizer in Chief's political machine will be able to put this to good use since he no longer has to carry the Arkansas dump truck.

Russ Wagenfeld

Hi Pat,
My wife and son were at the local rally. I would have been there too but had to drop them off. Speaking personally, we are deeply unsettled by his lack of knowledge/experience and apparent unwillingness to prepare for the serious issues involved in governing.
russ

LT

They would keep on repeating the same mistake, over and over...

Supporting the Party of the Lesser Evil is still voting for evil.

The Democratic Party should be buried. That is step one.

People gave their support, through multiple election cycles, no matter what, because "it is the lesser evil". That is how we got here today, supporting evil.

The Democratic party today is supportive of warmongers, banksters and treating the American people like it is the enemy - massive spying programs.

The Podesta emails and DNC leaks made it clear that the DNC is corrupt and
anti-democracy.

Bury it.

Vote Green.

Just wait (you won't have to wait long, that is for sure) the mantra that will be the chief outcome of today's marches will be to take back the Congress in the fall
for the Democrats.

Willybilly

Good speech, probably well meaning, but the proof is still in the pudding, and time will tell....?

Cortes

The short address was excellent. It restated his programme and made a great effort to appear inclusive. The stress laid on actions will stand his administration in good stead, I think, once tangible results are in sight.

As for the gilded artists, Randy Newman got them down pat a long time ago:

https://youtu.be/H3T2wq2tSR8

ambrit

I believe it is called "Virtue Signalling."
I watched some small web blog live streams from the streets of Washington yesterday and didn't see a decent riot anywhere. A small cadre of "agitators" mixed into groups of disaster tourists and small time journos.
Want some more realistic "protestors?" Pick up a copy of "The Battle Of Algiers."

walrus

Obamas Presidency and Hilary Clintons candidacy for President are the high tide mark for the "history as a linear progress towards a higher form of being" school as exemplified by Francis Fukuyama - the end of history man, Remember HRC's assertion that she was going "forward"?

Evolution is often misunderstood as a linear process too. In reality species survive and prosper in a particular niche. When that niche disappears, so does the species. Political animals in Washington should ponder that. Feminism, globalism and neo liberalism have their own "use by" dates.

gowithit

I think you have to realize Trump's rude and antagonistic speech/tweets during the campaign and continuing post election raised the hackles on many. Thus the "Street Rage". Trump's verbalizations overshadowed his positions as he threw red meat to his avid supporters. For instance, I have talked with "average" Trump supporters and many do not seem aware of Trump's stance on the MidEast, just "jobs".
"B"'s recent post in Moon Over Alabama I think is well stated regarding expectations for a trump presidency.
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/01/the-not-hillary-president.html#more

Cold War Zoomie

We could ask the same questions of the Tea Party demonstrations a few years back. Marches by themselves do little, but they are not totally worthless in the long term, as we saw back then. The GOP took that energy and used it wisely.

Today's marches will have absolutely no effect on Trump's agenda nor the GOP's agenda in the short term. But they can bring energy and cohesion to a political movement. The question is can the Democrats harness that energy like the GOP harnessed the Tea Party movement? Probably not, and it will likely fizzle out just as the Occupy Wall Street movement did.

Lars

Marches on the Mall has changed politics a few times in the past and may still do so again. The good news is nobody carried guns or used them. They expressed their opinions. I know, because I was there.

John Minnerath

I wonder on many in these crowds of protesters could explain what they are trying to do beyond a few words before breaking into an incoherent tirade about some vague threat against them.
Complete and total nonsense that should soon peter out and go away while the MSM comes up with yet another idea to attack Trump for having the audacity to win the election.

Lemur

Until a year or so ago the rationale behind these chimp outs was quite sound. The left's long march through the institutions guaranteed a favourable response to their struggle sessions. Gutless Republicans sought approval from their enemies because at heart they basically accepted the substance of the progressive project - they just disagreed with the principle of revolutionary change. Hence the disgusting spectacle of rightwing pundits arguing sodomite marriage was 'an inherently conservative project.' Had they been allowed to continue uninterrupted, no doubt by 2030 we'd be hearing about how trannies are an "inherently conservative' constituency. If you want to know what the Republican Party will espouse in 20 years time, look at the Democratic Party of today.

In fact structurally the Republican Party is a vital force of progress. They form the rearguard to the progressive project, ready to fight off evil reactionaries to the #CurrentYear.

Trump has un-muzzled those forces by giving them institutional expression. It will take awhile for the denizens of the blue bubble to realize no one on the right gives a good goddamn what they think, and that if Trump sets his mind to do something, the cult of victim-hood will be no refuge.

GulfCoastPirate

Colonel - Thanks, this should be an interesting thread.

What do they hope to accomplish? This is a two part answer for me. One is I think we are seeing the return of the Democratic Party to its more traditional role as a promoter of the middle/working classes. I think the Clinton, DNC types that took over the party in the 1990's are going to have to lay low for a long while. Second, they hope to accomplish the same things the marchers did in the 60's. Effective change that works for the people. The conservatives today are still fighting against the reforms of the 60's so if this group is half that successful and conservatives are fighting against their potential reforms 60 years from now then I would think their efforts were worthwhile.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say Trump intends to halt progress as 'progressives' see it. The speech sounded to me as though it were the culmination of the takeover of government power by corporate institutions. When he talked about Washington flourishing and then looking at the cabinet selections I see no one but the largest corporate interests that could take over the reins of power he intends to snatch from Washington. Do people really think we'll all be better off if the Jamie Dimon's and Goldman Sachs of the world hold all this new power in addition to all the power they already possess?

I think the man is very dangerous and certainly misguided. I also think a lot of people who thought he was going to do anything to help their personal employment situations were seriously duped.

Eliot

"I am puzzled as to what the people in the streets think they will accomplish."

Sir,

They're signaling their virtue to the rest of the world, their moral superiority. And in their minds they were brave, courageous even. I'm sure they'll go home feeling very good about themselves, and their momentous act of defiance

I'm guessing, given the turnout, that pressure groups worked hard to bus people in. It's a great opportunity to rile up your base, and lighten their pockets.

- Eliot

Larry Kart

"What leverage do they have?" The "leverage" of embarrassing (if that's the right word) a man who has on many occasions made it clear that he is personally vulnerable to some perhaps significant degree to evidence that his followers are less populous than he would wish and than he previously has stated they were or would be. Thus, most recently, the post-inauguration claim by Trump surrogates (and Trump himself? I'm not sure, haven't been following things that closely) that his inauguration crowds were larger than the crowds Obama's inauguration drew in 2008, when that is not the case.

You or I might say, who the heck cares? The man is the president, and that's that. But Trump cares.

Leverage to move him from where he wants to be or where he is going to go? Of course not. But an opportunity to get under the skin of a man whose skin seems to be quite thin (e.g the SNL tweets) -- you bet.

If you're with me this far, ask me if I think this is all rather childish on both sides? Yes.

Razor

Speaking from a misty little emerald isle on the edge of the old world, I confess to being totally non-plussed by these protests and also by what I saw on tv yesterday in Wasnington; valdals careering around the city causing destruction and the police treating them with kid gloves?

These uber liberals around the US and even in Europe protesting the inauguration of a new President, lawfully elected under the Constitutional system of the US. That seems to me more indicative of fascism than anything I have heard from Trump.

I have many doubts about Donald Trump. He always seemed to me to be a vulgar narcissist, although I was impressed by him on election night after he was deemed to have won. I thought his comments were mature and even perhaps tinged with humility. I preferred him greatly to the psychopathic warmonger who was his opponent in the race to the White House, but I think it only proper to wait and see what he seeks to achieve, and what he actually achieves. In his favour to my mind, is that he has no professional political experience; we know what the majority of such creatures produce.

One thing I was happy to hear him say, and I say this as someone who is not a US citizen, is America first. I have read much newspaper and online condemnation of this in both my own national and international media and I just don't get it. I expect my own nations leaders to put my country first; that's why we elect them. Not that they do this anyway, but it is what we expect.

The one thing I say to friends, family and colleagues re Trump; we'll just have to wait and see. And if he does even only some of what he promises, he will leave a positive legacy.

AEL

What is the current count? Is it 6 Goldman Sachs executives as high level appointees? I'd say that the march of "progress" continues unabated.

Townie76

They will not change his mind on anything; but they will have him and the politicians in Washington on notice.

Rd

"IMO the speech was a statement of intent to halt "progress" as the "progressives" ".

perhaps a message to no-liberals, to end their dominance.

As BM has often opined, "when the elephants fight, the grass under the feet is demolished". This is a fight between the robber baron oligarchs. There is only so much tax payer money and a small faction of the robber barons wants more of it. His Nato comments, as a business man, seems to want to secure more funding for the military industry at the expense of the EU social safety nets. He needs the backing of the MIC against the Scarlett Johansson and the aged Madonna.

Jack

Sir

The rhetoric in Trump's speech that you excerpted in this post is spot on. That's what he campaigned on and he reinforced that in his inaugural address as the 45th president. Now we will have to wait and see what he can accomplish. As one of those that voted for Trump I don't expect any miracles considering the cesspool of our nation's capital. As I said in the lead up to the election I will be satisfied if Trump can build a cooperative relationship with Russia and reduce the threat of MAD by being unnecessarially confrontational with Russia.

He's going to have a lot of challenges as the establishment of both parties do not want a reduction in their gravy train. He's given the establishment levers by nominating many of their compatriots. Wall St seems fairly well ensconced with a lock on all the key economic positions.How is Trump going to deal with the likes of yhe foreign policy Borg like McCain and his office wife? How's he he going to deal with the intelligence apparatchiks whose whole raison d'etre is conflict? How's he gonna deal with all those who have benefited so much from big government and the spoils it entails? The question that only time will make evident is if Trump will enforce his will in the context of his rhetoric. His ability to directly communicate with the people by-passing the biased media filter is a powerful tool.

As far as the marches I think it is a good thing as it signals opposition. The open question is can they be sustained in any meaningful way and will they be able to translate to real political debate.

The country has been divided for decades. Unfortunately this divide has coincided with the rise of identity politics. It's no longer a clash of ideology or principles. Every one has self segmented into narrow identity groups and confirmation bias rules supreme. We'll know a lot more as this year rolls forward.

Ishmael Zechariah

Colonel,
I thought that this was a well-thought-out and very pointedly delivered declaration of war against the uni-party and the Borg. We will be watching Syria in the next few weeks. If the airdrops supplying the unicorns dry up, then President Trump really means what he says.
Ishmael Zechariah

mike

They have no leverage. But they did inspire the rest of us. My SWMBO wanted to be there, but at 73 with a bad case of the flu, she decided to heed doctor's orders. But she was with them in spirit. I hope Nancy K made it through safely.

Speaking of inspiration, the new President goes in front of the CIA and tells them: "Trust me, I'm like, a smart person." That was articulate, persuasive and uplifting (snark). And then later: "I love honesty!" The man has no shame.

Off topic - Coalition destroyed 90 boats and three barges in the Tigris river containing Daesh terrorists trying to flee from east Mosul to the western side:

http://aranews.net/2017/01/coalition-airstrikes-destroy-isis-boats-fleeing-east-mosul/

turcopolier

mike

Semper Fidelis? Faithful to what? The Marine Corps? When the civil war starts remember this day. pl

DickT

I went to the Statehouse Rally in Montpelier, VT today to support my wife, daughter, and granddaughter. It was a big crowd of 15000 mostly fellow quirky Vermonters. Bernie Sanders gave a rousing speech. Yesterday I watched the Inauguration on TV and was moved by the ceremony, particularly the reading of the Beatitudes and Jackie Evancho singing the National Anthem.
Glad I did both and I don't think one experience negates the other. Feelings aside it seems to me that details matter and if, for example, saving Social Security is one's issue, then hammering at it repeatedly creates more leverage than vague ad hominem attacks .

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