Random thoughts on the day after the day before.
America loves pomp and circumstance almost as much as the British. We don’t have a monarch to carry us through changes in government so military bands, Stars and Stripes Forever, a hand on the Bible, the familiar oath, are touchstones of continuity. We need that.
Our Presidents walk part of the parade route even if only for a few steps, post 9/11 and November 22. A good president recognizes optics. A presidents’ words must have music (to paraphrase Reagan).
Speaking of continuity, major kudos to Hillary and Bill Clinton for showing up at the Inauguration Friday on the steps of the Capitol and for the traditional congressional dinner at Statuary Hall. Sometimes we do triumph in defeat. And a small grace note (we take what we can get) from the New President for acknowledging them.
Trump’s speech was a disappointment. Very pedestrian. Annoying, even. George Will — one of those hated Establishment types that your Squire loves anyway — called Trump’s oration, “most dreadful.” At least it was only 17 minutes.
Brother Wigderson, who operates from Republican Central in Waukesha, delivered this bon mot:
I think Donald Trump’s speech was a lot funnier when Frank Costanza delivered it. “I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you’re gonna hear about it!”
The theme was there: triumph of the common man. But the music was not. A little Aaron Copeland, some de Toqueville, some Abraham Lincoln would have been welcome. If not “malice toward none” why not:
We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
The Policy Werkes would have liked some recognition that people who look to government for their salvation — even to a President as powerful as this country’s — are fools awaiting disappointment. Trump can blame the political class all he wants but the Constitution limits government. Get that government out of the way where you can. Lincoln again:
I appeal to you again to constantly bear in mind that with you, and not with politicians, not with Presidents, not with office-seekers, but with you, is the question, “Shall the Union and shall the liberties of this country be preserved to the latest generation?”
Yeah, Donald Trump was the focus on Friday, as was Melania — absolutely breathtaking in a Ralph Lauren-designed blue gown. But 10-year-old Barron stole the show. Couldn’t keep my eyes off him as he walked with his parents, sometimes ahead of them. Wonder how he’ll turn out. Great hair, great genes. As the three of them left a ramp that led to the White House, the little guy jumped off and out of the camera’s view. (Here he plays peek-a-boo with a nephew at a Presidential signing.)
Hope he gets to be a kid. A little mud and mischief is in order. Hoist that pony up into the White House!
Sand in the Gears
Like sand through the hour glass, these are the Days of Our Leftists. Those who cannot win elections work to subvert them.
Frances Fox Piven, if you don’t know it, is a central figure in America’s hard left, with people like Noam Chomsky, John Nichols, and Amy Goodman (“Special coverage of the Inauguration with Angela Davis!”)
Piven’s piece in The Nation (“Throw sand in the gears of everything“) amounts to marching orders for the Left. She advocates that election losers commit sabotage.
The cadres are listening. What’s the toll? Two hundred arrested Friday in D.C. Smashed windows on Starbucks, Mickie D., and the Bank of America. Limos set on fire. Six police officers injured. That will restore the Leftist caliphate!
Any prospects that our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances will abandon the destructive identity politics that has led them to electoral disaster is getting major pushback.
Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington (replicated here in Madison) is riven by class and race in addition to gender. Someone from a website called “Feministing” argues (in the New York Times) that identity politics is the beating heart of the Democrat(ic) Party.
This criticism echoes one of the most persistent attacks against Democrats, from the left and the right, after the presidential election: that a focus on so-called identity politics was in part to blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss.
The problem is not that “identity groups” have some undue obsession with their own agendas. It’s that the groups with the most power often fail to have a sense of solidarity across race and class that would allow for a vision of multicultural liberalism that could reinvigorate the Democratic Party.
We were tempted to check out the Feministing website. Current headline (01-20-17) “Sex workers protest shutdown of Backpage’s adult ads section following government pressure.” What did we say about limited government, liberals?
Another headline: “Fighting Texas’ anti-abortion burial and cremation law with art and used tampons.” Where were feminists at the Alamo?
But there is a moment of sober reflection, even on Feministing. “Feminists failed Aleppo,” they acknowledge. At least they’re no longer blaming George W. Bush.
Sand in Madison’s gears — Madison police officer Matt Kenny will return to street patrol sometime this late winter/early spring. He is the officer who defended himself against a convicted felon and chronic drug abuser in a narrow staircase. The hate mongers — supported by a number of Madison alders — will dog his every move. Resolved: the first day Matt Kenny hits the street, Blaska will walk with him. Make plans to join me. Look for updates here.
Your city tax dollars at work — “A community gathering in support of our neighbors subject to deportation or discrimination … in the face of potential changes by the next Federal administration.” Ald. Samba Baldeh is encouraging all Madison residents to attend the forum, even if they are not an immigrant, saying Trump puts everyone “at risk.” Scheduled for the afternoon of January 29 at Monona Terrace. It’s on the City of Madison website.