Friday’s presidential inauguration was portrayed as a great success by The Leader himself, but even his allies and accomplices did not seem so sure. His inaugural address — yes, we are talking about him doing exalted things like that now, instead of out-of-court fraud settlements and lewd comments — was, as could have been predicted, just a standard-issue Leader campaign speech with fewer ad libs, a skein of dystopian imagery relieved only by the shining prospect of himself as Leader. This caused some nervous rightbloggers to try to and spin the speech and the impression it would make on people who were not paid to praise it.
To make things worse for them, Saturday’s national and global women’s marches gave a rebuking sense of scale to The Leader’s opposition — most powerfully in Washington, where the march is thought to have drawn more people than the inauguration.
This led to a meltdown not only by The Leader’s flak Sean Spicer, and to retribution against the National Park Service for circulating the facts (first in a series, no doubt!), but also to the enragement of many rightbloggers, who are never so piquantlyflummoxed as when they’re flummoxed by females.
Pre-game, some conservatives suggested that The Leader pivot, as the saying goes, to something more presidential than his usual DeNiro-as-Al-Capone approach. That didn’t happen so, as soon as The Leader finished bellowing, rightbloggers leaped to tell us that it was good what The Leader did, real good.
Some made a virtue of his bellicosity. “There were no calls for unity or attempts to bridge the political divide,” said Sean Davis at the Federalist. “The speech was less ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ and more William Wallace…” Warming to his Gibsonian theme, Davis added, “This was Mel Gibson’s Benjamin Martin hoisting Old Glory and getting ready to slit some redcoat throats.” Well, why not — they’re both rightwing showbiz types with anger issues.
Some tried to explain it away. Confronted with The Leader’s bizarre and ahistorical claim that “when you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice,” National Review’s Dan McLaughlin parsed it thus: “The implication here is that America is a family: outsiders viewed with suspicion, but everyone within treated with love and respect.” You know, like the ignorant townspeople in Frankenstein movies.
McLaughlin added, perhaps at the urging of an embarrassed editor, “Obviously, we’re a long way from the latter goal, and Trump has hardly been innocent of exacerbating that, but it’s at least a worthy aspiration.”
Others declared that no matter what the squishes thought, real Americans (the angry white ones) were loving it. Peter Spiliakos at National Review said he heard in the speech “we’re-in-this-together nationalism” and “right-wing, working-class communitarianism.” He did not explain what those unique political terms might mean, but added that “I heard most [of] the sentiments in today’s Trump speech expressed more than a decade ago by a retired industrial worker.” Given the speech, I’m assuming that worker had actually been forced into retirement, perhaps by offshoring, then descended into madness, and was raving on a street corner when Spiliakos heard his sentiments. Spiliakos also said there are “millions” of citizens like that retiree, which would explain a lot.
The Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito returned to the Pennsyltucky interior, where she made her name as a White Working Class Whisperer to churn some Gettysburg prose-poetry: After “a call of duty took the lives of thousands of men in the shadow of the mighty Alleghenies,” she said, Lincoln strove to heal the “brutally divided country,” a task brought closer to fruition at a 1914 Blue and Gray Reunion, at which surviving Civil War combatants celebrated their mutual survival and whiteness and “forgiveness began.”
But not everyone was pulling their Civil War weight; as her colleagues had done the week before, Zito beat up Democratic Congressman John Lewis for trying to “hijack our insecurities for their political gain” by rejecting The Leader, who “like Lincoln…must provide sense to the divisions and biases that divide us.” Yes, Zito actually compared The Leader to Lincoln and portrayed civil rights hero Lewis as a dangerous sorehead for not getting over the war. She’ll go far!
Then the women’s march came, and its success relative to the inauguration unleashed a festival of mansputtering.
“The liberal media is looking for something to console itself,” said Legal Insurrection. “Anything to show that Obama’s election was bigger, better and more important than Trump’s.” Why, they’ve even resorted to facts! Legal Insurrection excused The Leader’s poor attendance, as other conservatives did, on the grounds that “lots of the people who voted for Trump may not have been able to get away from daytime obligations like, you know, jobs.” It’s a known fact only conservatives work at jobs, while liberals live off welfare, tenure, and intersectionality.
Legal Insurrection added that “left wing activists blocked entrance checkpoints for Trump’s inauguration to prevent people from attending” — a reference to protester blockades that forced police to redirect some attendees to other entrances. Defiant America claimed this “resulted in lower attendance,” perhaps due to attendees becoming so attached to their original entrances that they couldn’t bear to abandon them, even if it meant missing the inauguration.
At Right Wing News, William Teach claimed the marchers were “flipping people off while grabbing their vaginas.” He offered no link or photos to support this claim, though he did have a screengrab of a sign comparing The Leader to Hitler, by which he pretended to be mortally offended. (BTW here’s William Teach in 2011: “Der Fuhrer, Sorry, PBO, Creates New Communication Position.”)
At RedState Jay Caruso was enraged that women had “decided to traipse around our nation’s capital” and especially that on the rally stage Madonna had told The Leader to suck a dick (or, in Caruso’s rendering, “S**K A D**K”). Caruso then attacked “left-wing showboating” celebrities who “pretend they associate with the commoners” at such events; afterward, he raged, while “the lowly serfs are trying to squeeze into a Metro train, the jet-set are getting in their private jets to be whisked back to their multi-million dollar dwellings.” If only these traipsing females would listen to Caruso’s reasoned analysis! But how might that be accomplished, short of addressing them respectfully?
Not all the critics were male. Some women affiliated with pro-life groups had angled for an endorsement from the march, didn’t get it, and made a stink, which led to the desired Real Victims coverage by conservative media.National Review’s Ericka Andersen accused the organizers of hypocrisy because in a promotional video for the march, “a pregnant woman points to her stomach and says she’s marching because her unborn daughter’s life matters. So…an unborn child’s life matters — but they refused to partner with [anti-abortion activists] who exist to spread that very message?” Consent, as usual, remains a stumbling block for even female conservatives. Breitbart.com celebrated a group of anti-abortion women who “crashed” the D.C. march — that is, they joined it and started hollering, whereupon they were out-chanted by pro-choice marchers, winning the group several units of valuable Rightwing Victim Cred, which they can use like drink tickets at CPAC.
Asra Q. Nomani, who said she’s a Trump supporter despite being a “lifelong liberal feminist” and Muslim — maybe she thinks Trump’s Muslim registry means he’ll buy her a nice set of dishes — claimed she had been undecided as to whether to attend the march or the inauguration. (I know, sounds like a romcom premise, right?) Then she did some research and found many of the march sponsors, like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, get money from George Soros, who is to wingnuts right up there with chemtrails and FEMA camps, anathema-wise. This meant the march was “an extension of strategic identity politics that has so fractured America today,” said Nomani, so “I make my decision: I’ll lace up my pink Nikes and head to the inauguration.” Whew, that was a close one.
The Leader, unlike these factota, knew there was no need to make excuses or arguments of any kind, and just blandly lied about attendance at his event and blamed the media. National Review’s Rich Lowry shrugged: “he has lived and thrived for decades in the tabloid capital of the world, in part, by exaggerating all these kind of numbers, so it’s become second nature.” Translation: He’s a pathological liar; what do you expect? In any event, continued Lowry, soon “truly consequential things begin to happen in Congress and the executive branch,” so conservatives could ignore these “stupid” controversies and focus on destroying the country. He’s got a point, though it’s a good idea to note even comical outrages like these as they happen, so we may follow them like a trail of historical breadcrumbs back to sanity when this whole horrible ordeal is over.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 23, 2017