The Monday Morning Teaser

Well, here we are, living under the Trump administration. We now know that no fairy dust sprinkles over a person during the inauguration and makes him presidential. The Trump we have gotten to know these last two years is the same man who has the nuclear codes now: small, impulsive, and constantly lying to protect his fragile ego.

A better human being might have acknowledged that he entered office without the support of a majority (or even a plurality) of Americans, asked for our patience, and pledged to prove himself worthy of our trust. He might have appealed to our highest hopes for our country, reached out to those who remember his hostile campaign rhetoric and feel threatened, and reassured allies who count on America to fulfill its commitments.

But there is no inaugural fairy dust. The one hopeful thing about the week is that millions of Americans took to the streets to protest.

Anyway, that’s the week I’ll be trying to cover today. The featured post, “The legitimacy and illegitimacy of Donald Trump”, will consider the ways in which Trump either is or isn’t a “legitimate president”, to use John Lewis’ words, and what that implies going forward. That post should be out by 8 or so EST.

The weekly summary mainly discusses the inauguration and the Women’s Marches. Also the small-scale protests that focused on getting Republican congresspeople to face constituents who will lose their health insurance if ObamaCare is repealed. In other news, we’re finding out more and worse stuff about the cabinet nominees, Chelsea Manning will go free in a few months, 2016 was yet another hottest-year-on-record, and a few other things are worthy of your attention. But all that wintry seriousness deserves a summery closing: Carpool Karaoke takes a pre-Tony-Awards ride down Broadway. That should come out maybe around 10 or 11.

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  • Nand Kishor Lodhi  On January 23, 2017 at 7:47 am

    “We can’t judge a book by its cover”
    Let him have some time & wait & watch…
    Hope for the best

    • Carol  On January 23, 2017 at 7:55 am

      There is no book. What you see is what you get. Judge by actions and behavior. He managed to blow through a million “give him a chances” in one weekend

      • Nand Kishor Lodhi  On January 23, 2017 at 9:45 am

        Please don’t take me otherwise…
        I just wanted to say that he will be a good president….

  • mikelabonte  On January 23, 2017 at 7:57 am

    My advice is to refer to “the President” going forward, no longer using his name. That name is associated with the low expectations that allowed him to wage his “unconventional” campaign and win, despite saying things that would have sunk anyone else. When we write that he lied, he insulted someone, or he nominated someone totally unqualified, with his name in front of it it sounds like business as usual. But it sounds as horrible as it should when “the President” does it. One downside is losing search rankings. And if everyone did it the historical record would be skewed, so maybe #HeWhoShallNotBeNamed could be substituted (kidding).

    • 1mime  On January 23, 2017 at 11:44 am

      Great suggestion. Our TV ran westerns all Thurs/Friday last week…not only to deny the president any boost in ratings, but to increase ratings of other channels/networks. I will pass along your suggestion. “HWSNBN”

  • Bill G  On January 23, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Nand……I’ve given him time, waited and watched over the last year. I have no hope for the best. Sorry.
    His Cabinet picks confirm my assessment, and his behavior in the last 72 hrs. reconfirms. He’s an intellectual vacuum and dark, serious danger.
    A useful idiot only to Putin.

  • mikelabonte  On January 23, 2017 at 8:44 am

    If he campaigned as a demagogue but will govern as a respectable person, this would be the most extreme example ever of broken campaign promises, and we should fix whatever it is that makes winning an election that way possible. But that isn’t it, because no switch flipped on Nov. 9. He is still pandering to his base, which I estimate at 34% of the population based on election results and current polls.

  • Elaine Corn  On January 23, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I don’t understand the cruelty of leaving people uninsured and returning to the insurance-invented punishment of having a pre-existing condition (like a hangnail) to hike premiums or deny coverage. To avenge Obama seems the GOP’s only goal. To cause suffering will surely be the callous result.

  • Bill Camarda  On January 23, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Regarding viewing one’s fellow Americans as enemies, as Trump does: For years I thought the driving force of the modern Republican party and conservative movement was racism, or bigotry, or nativism. There’s plenty of that there, but I’ve begun to think what they despise most is just us liberals. We really are the enemy. Trump speaks for many.

    I think for many of us — paying our taxes, raising our kids, trying to understand the issues and behave as good citizens, trying to bring some compassion into the public square, perhaps right on some issues, perhaps wrong — it’s hard for us to see ourselves that way. But that’s how we’re seen — and that has a tendency to end very badly. (Consider what happens next if we somehow do bring Trump down and save the Republic from him.)

    I don’t think we’ll ever change the perception of the half of Trump voters who are passionately bought into that worldview, but we’d better get to work on building bridges to more of the rest.

    That’s going to have to start with figuring out ways to point out what Trump is really doing without gratuitously insulting them, even if we’ll never truly understand what possessed them to do the horrific and self-defeating thing they did. (“Turns out he lied to all of us.”) Nobody ever won an election by browbeating their potential voters. It just doesn’t happen. Even Trump didn’t: he browbeat his core voters’ shared enemies.

    Change the electorate, starting today: get *everyone* registered, make sure *everyone* knows how critical the next election(s) will be. But also reach the reachable. Hillary’s 2.8 million vote plurality notwithstanding, the last election demonstrates that demographics alone won’t save us.

  • Mary Scriver  On January 23, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Medical experts and lay people with experience make a strong case for our new president having Alzheimers, as did Reagan though it seems not to have affected him so much in the beginning of his administration. It appears that a naturally problematic temperament is now moving into insanity. Does this affect how you think about the situation? Make politics less of a consideration?

  • ccyager  On January 23, 2017 at 10:50 am

    And what about that speech at the CIA? He only made matters worse by not acknowledging his many mistakes regarding the intelligence community and apologizing for being so disrespectful toward them publicly. He’s not just small, Doug, he’s tiny. I’ve never witnessed such pettiness from a president in public, not even Nixon, who could be vindictive and petty. And “alternate facts”? Pu-leeze. Conway is no better than her boss. By alienating the press, these people (including Spicer) are just giving the press motivation to continue their hard-hitting questions and investigations. It shocks me that Ryan and McConnell are so quiet.

  • Jene Smith  On January 23, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    thanks for this awesome web page, i like it

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