Lazy Saturday Reads: Yes, I’m Bitter


Good Afternoon!!

Yesterday was dark day for the USA. I didn’t see the inauguration ceremony, but I heard part of tRump’s speech on NPR while I was out in the car. To say I was repulsed by it would be an understatement. tRump painted a picture of America as a hellhole with no redeeming qualities except for the bigoted white people who managed to elect him with a minority of the popular vote. It was a stunning insult to the former presidents in the audience and to the majority of the American people.

Here’s a transcript of the brief, angry address annotated by Aaron Blake at The Washington Post. This is the part I heard before I switched off my car radio in disgust:

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction, that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

American carnage? I get the feeling that in a couple of weeks, tRump will be claiming credit for the growing economy that President Obama left him with. And then there was this:

We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first.


Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.


Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body and I will never ever let you down.

The slogan “America First” has very ugly historical connotations, and tRump know it, because he has been called out on it repeatedly. Brian Bennett at the LA Times: ‘America First,’ a phrase with a loaded anti-Semitic and isolationist history.


At the center of his foreign policy vision, Donald Trump has put “America First,” a phrase with an anti-Semitic and isolationist history going back to the years before the U.S. entry into World War II.

Trump started using the slogan in the later months of his campaign, and despite requests from the Anti-Defamation League that he drop it, he stuck with it.

 Friday, he embraced the words as a unifying theme for his inaugural address.

“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land,” Trump said on the Capitol steps. “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America First. America First.”

Here’s the historical context:

Those same words galvanized a mass populist movement against U.S. entry into the war in Europe, even as the German army rolled through France and Belgium in the spring of 1940.

A broad-based coalition of politicians and business leaders on the right and left came together as the America First Committee to oppose President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s support for France and Great Britain. The movement grew to more than 800,000 members.

While the America First Committee attracted a wide array of support, the movement was marred by anti-Semitic and pro-fascist rhetoric. Its highest profile spokesman, Charles Lindbergh, blamed American Jews for pushing the country into war.

“The British and the Jewish races,” he said at a rally in September 1941, “for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war.”

The “greatest danger” Jews posed to the U.S. “lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government,” Lindbergh said.

This certainly was not a unifying message from our new and illegitimate POTUS.

Joe Conason at the National Memo: Trump’s Inaugural: A Hostile Transfer Of Power.

Everyone who wondered what Steve Bannon has been doing in Trump Tower now knows the answer: He was drafting the new president’s vengeful and cliché-laden inaugural address, which is certainly the least impressive speech of its kind in memory and likely one of the worst in history.

With its repeated harping on “America First” and the thieving perfidy of Washington, condemning both parties in government, this speech plainly reiterated the same messages formulated by the former chairman during last year’s campaign. It sounded as if Trump were still on the stump, stirring up his fans, rather than seeking to unify the country and take on the profound responsibilities of the nation’s highest office.

But who can blame Bannon and Trump for returning to their battle-tested themes? Gazing out over the National Mall toward the Washington Monument, where a crowd less than a fourth the size of Obama’s 2009 audience stood, and pondering their dismal approval ratings, they had to yearn for the wild enthusiasm of rallies past. What better way to revive the base than to conjure again that dark vision of an America brought low by crime, drugs, immigration, joblessness — and elitist conspiracies at the center of government?

Of course, there is a good reason why a new president — especially one who failed to win the popular vote in an extraordinarily rancorous election — should try to strike a generous and welcoming note on Inauguration Day. The task of governing that the chief executive faces is vast, complex, and daunting, as Trump is now learning, and demands at least a gesture toward national unity. An inaugural speech crafted to encourage such harmony is the mood music of our “peaceful transfer of power.” And by the time a president takes office, the country is usually weary of partisan bitching and expects the victor to display a measure of grace.

tRump isn’t capable of displaying grace. He only cares about himself and the “glorious victory” he imagines he has won. Even at the inaugural balls last night, tRump was still bragging about how he won the primaries and the general election in a “landslide.” Ironically, even winning the presidency and becoming the most powerful man on earth will never satisfy the black hole of inadequacy inside this pathetic, narcissistic man.

A couple more reviews:

Alexandra Petri at The Washington Post: Donald Trump’s inauguration was a Gothic nightmare.


George Will at The Washington Post: A most dreadful inaugural address.

David Sanger at The New York Times: With Echoes of the ’30s, Trump Resurrects a Hard-Line Vision of ‘America First.’

So today it’s the “women’s march,” and there are a lot more people participating in it than the sad crowd for the inauguration. Plus there are women’s rallies in all fifty states and many foreign countries. I guess I should be thrilled, but after learning that the organizers had decided to leave Hillary Clinton off the list of women on their “This is Why We March” announcement, I’m a bit unenthusiastic. I doubt if this will make much difference if the focus is on dismissing Hillary’s achievements and fantasizing that Bernie would have won. I’m also having difficulty with Michael Moore hogging the spotlight on a day that was supposed to be about women’s rights. Time Magazine:

When the Women’s March, which will take place on Saturday, released its official platform earlier this week,the group included a section dedicated to women who inspired organizers but didn’t mention Clinton’s name. The list included activists like Grace Lee Boggs, Gloria Steinem, Winona LaDuke, Malala Yousafzai and Edith Windsor. But Clinton, the first woman to be the a presidential nominee of a major political party, was missing. The omission is especially notable because the March borrows one of its slogans — “Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights” — from Clinton’s famous 1995 speech on women’s rights in Beijing. Clinton has given no indication that she plans to attend the event.


Sonya Clay, who lives in D.C. and supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 election, started a petition to get Clinton’s name added onto the list, which now has over 5,000 signatures. In addition to Clay’s petition, Wise Women for Hillary sent a letter to the March’s organizers asking that they change their mind. Others agreed, tweeting to March organizers under the hashtag #AddHerName. Some women now say they may stay home if Clinton’s name isn’t added.

“A Women’s March without Hillary Clinton — that just makes no sense,” Clay told Motto in a phone interview. “Hillary Clinton has inspired people to participate in this March. Her service has been inspiring to people. And just the way that she’s handled the loss. She’s inspired people to keep fighting and fight back.”

Since Clay’s petition went live, the Las Vegas and Los Angeles contingents of the Women’s March tweeted that they would honor Clinton. The March also put out a statement on its official Facebook page, saying it was proud to include Clinton’s phrase words from her Beijing speech — but didn’t clarify whether it would add Clinton’s name to the honoree list.

To compound the insult, the organizers are using Hillary’s famous quote “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights,” as well as referring to themselves as “nasty women.”

So . . . I applaud the women who are marching in DC and around the country and the world, but I’m still not so enthusiastic this will lead to any meaningful changes. Sorry about that.

What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and I hope you enjoy your weekend.



68 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: Yes, I’m Bitter”

  1. purplefinn says:

    Thanks for this post, BB. I sent and email and signed the petition re the omission of honoring Hillary. I think it’s a petty and egregious oversight.

    Hillary’s not overly bothered though:

  2. RonStill4Hills says:

    I will restate what I said before because Trumps blather makes it so clear, it isn’t he inmate taking over the asylum it is the ignorant pitchfork wielding villagers who think the asylum is full of witches and demons, taking over.

    But we are protesting in Atlanta. My mom and sister are protesting in Washington DC, my son-in-law his wife and out grandchildren are protesting in Philadelphia.

    This shit ain’t over!!!

  3. Mary Luke says:

    Moore is a publicity hog who needs to get out of our way. We don’t know whether Hillary wanted to be involved in the march though she certainly should be credited on the quote. My feeling is that Hillary is better off out of politics entirely. The hatred isso intense and the trumpsters are busy whipping up more that I am truly concerned for her safety. The depth of the mindless misogynistic rage aimed at her is far worse than we had imagined. I hope she continues to enjoy her family and after some time has passed take her rightful place as the Eleanor Roosevelt of our generation.

    • joanelle says:

      I was blown away by the numbers of women all around the world, in so many major cities, you’re right Ron, “it ain’t over”

      Mary I agree with you, she has done so much she deserves to live a peaceful, love-filled life.

    • It’s not that the Clinton’s don’t deserve the abuse they took and therefore should just get out of politics, it’s that they never created a media channel for their supporters to rally around. Every achievement that the Clintons partook of in the 90’s was roasted by the progressive movement and the neo cons. Without a daily media platform from which to fight back from, the Clinton’s past achievements were systematically destroyed. And yet, she still got the majority of the vote. Now imagine how well she would have done with her own mini media channel. Doesn’t have to be on 24 hours a day, just 3 or 4 hours a day would do it.

  4. RonStill4Hills says:

    Remember the theee laws:

    Love Trumps Hate
    Trump Hates Love
    Trump Loves Hate

  5. ANonOMouse says:

    t-rump plagiarized his inaugural address a bit

  6. bostonboomer says:

    You probably saw this already, but I’m posting it for fun. Nazi Richard Spencer getting punched in the face.


  7. RonStill4Hills says:

    Totally could not communicate for some reason. John Lewis was amazing. The turnout in Atlanta is unbelieveable.

  8. Enheduanna says:

    Hi ya’ll – so proud of the yoogest inaugural protest in history today! I accidentally put the teevee on Fox News Business this morning and even they were gushing about the size and enthusiasm of the crowd.

    Not related but nice post at Shareblue:

    The picture there looks like Hills, Bill and GWB are having a laugh at tRump’s expense to me. GWB mimicking the :thumb’s up” thing tRump does ad nauseam.

  9. ANonOMouse says:

    text women to 40649……..Sign up!!!! Fight!!!!! RESIST!!!!! WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER.

  10. bostonboomer says:


  11. Sara says:

    Just returned from Traverse City, MI sister march. Expected 800, more than 2,000 in preliminary count.

  12. janicen says:

    I’m excited about the enthusiasm and the massive attendance of the rallies. I wish to goddess I could have attended. I am heartsick that those on the left are seizing another opportunity to punish and blame Hillary Clinton for the election of Trump. I am particularly upset about the people who are saying these marches are not about Hillary. Does anyone believe that if Trump’s Democratic opponent would have been a man, any man, that the marches would have happened? The default position of people in the media is to give Hillary credit for nothing but there is no other way to analyze what is happening. This is all, absolutely about Hillary and all of the “Stronger Together” signs you could see if you were watching on C-Span were proof of that.

    • AnoNonOMouse says:

      I imagine Hillary doesn’t want this to be about her. If it is it will not succeed. I did hear Hillary’s name invoked a number of times and each time the crowd roared. Hillary is smart to keep a low profile and allow leaders to emerge that will move this forward and I feel certain it will move forward.

  13. RonStill4Hills says:

    Heading home. Great event. Lots of signs and support for Hills. Several people commented on my Hillary buttons. All positive.

    My favorite sign was the “There is way too much wrong with this administration to be encompassed by a single sign” sign.

    I am still mad. I am not over it, but I feel like I am getting back in the fight.

  14. palhart says:

    If there wasn’t the fear of assault, I’d promote that we symbolically carry this fantastic outpouring of women further by shaving our heads in solidarity. Or we could wear Mother Earth pins or badges which could combine attention to assaults on women and on the Earth. We could wear women heroes’pins or larger badges. Over a million people have marched today and we should somehow continue their protests.

  15. Jslat says:

    IMO the best way to continue is to recruit and support women to run for local, state and national offices.

    • Jslat says:

      On November 6, 2018 there will be 33 Senate seats, 435 House of Representatives seats and 14 governorships will be up for election. Let’s take our disappointment, depression and anger and focus on what needs to be done to counter tRump and the repugs agenda. The president is only one cog in the government. State and local elections can be won if we keep the momentum.
      Yes, I am becoming positive again. There is work to be done and many who feel the way we do. Those marches today we’re AWESOME!
      BTW my favorite sign of the day was “DJT, Don’t make us come back here!” A mom voice that shouldn’t be ignored!

  16. NW Luna says:

    Back from my Women’s March. They expected 50,000, got 100,000, and police at the event estimating 130,000! There were babes in snugglies, kids, teens, young adults, middle aged people, older people. One silver-haired woman held a sign with the years of her protest marches, starting in 1970. All colors and shapes of people. While waiting the cops came by a few times, were applauded. Most were on bicycles — normal for a contingent of downtown cops.

    I was in the overflow area, lining the route just a bit ahead of the start. The cop who rode on a motorcycle down to announce the march was starting was a woman of color, and she ended by saying “Thank you for being here.” 🙂 She was applauded.

    Forecast was for 80% chance of showers, but we were dry and had sunshine to slightly overcast! Remarkable for January here in Seattle. Lots of creative signs. The indigenous women’s groups started off the march. The route went for 3.5 miles, though there were points along the way where you could join in.

    I got several compliments on and pictures taken of my sign — Thank you Hillary! on one side, and Hillary R Clinton: “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” on the other side, plus some I’m with Her and Love Trumps Hate campaign stickers There were a lot of other Women’s Rights are Human Rights signs, but only 1 other had Hillary as the source. Lots of signs with the “I’m With Her” and “Love Trumps Hate” sayings, but not with mention of Hillary. Did see a few Hillary T shirts and buttons. Saw more Bernie buttons, at which I made disgusted faces, nasty woman that I am.

    Chatted here and there with people — I got separated from the friends I came with, but it was such a crowd, and we all had something in common, after all.

    An incidence at the end spoiled the mood for me. I saw again a young man with a “It’s Her Fault We Have Trump” sign, in faux Hillary campaign design. As I came up to him, I saw the other side had a picture of …. yep, Sanders.
    I said “What do you mean by that?”
    Berniebot: “She lost. That’s how we got Trump.”
    Me: “Bernie lost the primaries by several million. He even lost our state in the primary even though he won the caucuses. No way would Sanders have won the general.”
    Him: “She colluded (?) so Bernie would lose the primaries.”
    Me: Incredulous stare. “Hillary won more votes in the primaries, and she won the general election by nearly 3 million. The Electoral College—-”
    Him: “No, she didn’t win, she lost. Therefor it’s her fault,” points to sign.
    Me: “On that logic, it’s you Berniebots’ fault that we have Trump,” swirling around and heading off.

    WTF? Why was this irrational man attacking Hillary at a march for women? Oh, never mind. He’s got arrested intellectual development and is probably a Rethug anyhow. I thought of lots more comebacks later, but there is no point to arguing with these people. Logic doesn’t work.

    So I will remember all the people who were delighted that I had a “Thank You Hillary!” sign. Most of them were middle-aged to older women, people who have been through some history and know how hard progress can be. Who know that incremental change is often the only way we advance. Who are not so narrow-minded that they make the perfect the enemy of the good. And I think about all the caring and strong men who wore pink PussyHats, or carried signs saying “I love my Nasty Woman” and “Love my Nasty Woman Daughters.” And the young, some of whom find that marching in the streets is an occasion for selfies and giggling, and who don’t quite believe things will get worse, but will find out, and some of whom are sombrely and impressively determined. The afternoon gave me a comforting sense of camaraderie (except for the session with the Bernedbrain), and I needed that.

    Now I will go throw myself into a mystery novel for a while, or a fantasy, or something else — anything except here in 2017 with PuTrumpkin in office.

  17. NW Luna says:

  18. NW Luna says:

    • RonStill4Hills says:

      Simply the best.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      A classy woman whose shoes trump isn’t worthy enough to lick.

    • NW Luna says:

      I admit that looking over the news clips on the March in the red states I think: “Where were all these people on Nov. 8th?” Hope that in 2018 there’s enough groundsurge to turn the House and the Senate around.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        You know there were 15k marchers in Nashville. Nashville is a progressive city that voted overwhelmingly for Hillary. The problem in the South is that the rural white vote is still predominantly anti-choice, anti-gay, christofacist. That is beginning to change, but it will take a while for the Southern cities to dominate the State vote in the way the Northeastern cities do.

  19. NW Luna says:

    “Awesome! Where I have been standing, a steady stream of people have been coming by, cheek to jowl, old people and young people, women and men, every color imaginable, signs ranging from environment and social justice to snarky things about Trump. ….

    Even University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce has posted on her Facebook page a picture of herself in a “pussy hat.” Would the suits who preceded her have done likewise?

    And our Gov marched, too:

  20. NW Luna says:

  21. Fannie says:

    Rain/Snow wasn’t going to keep us away from the Woman’s March in Boise. I was so pleased, so happy to see the young girls, the very little babies, and really happy to know that these were the REAL Americans, not the make America better again, or America First, but the real ones, that represented all of us, and I somehow knew that as I chatted, as I shouted, and as I marched, that yes, these are the people who are willing to work make it politically workable again, make it Real for all of us. And as I left, and looked back at 5,000 strong, and the beauty of the snow, and heard the sounds of a crowd shouting, I somehow thought what a phenomenal experience, like I’ve been here before, and I see many looking at racism, looking at sexism, looking all people, and wanting acceptance, and social justice. And they wanted it now. Was the beginning in each and everyone, even me, or in my mind, please don’t let this ever end.

    And you know, when I came home, I gave my husband a high five, betting that this was on a higher level than we’ve ever known. And so it was, in the Women’s March – Idaho- and in our country and around the world. We got something to build on…………says building 2017

  22. NW Luna says:

    Excellent article, if it hasn’t yet been posted.

    The road to President Trump was long and bumpy. There were many turns not taken, countless alternative routes that would have spared us this outcome. Instead, we kept going, corruption, infighting and sheer obliviousness stopping us changing course.

  23. NW Luna says:

    Click thru for crowd estimates. Whoo-hoo!

  24. Sweet Sue says:

    Today was a good day.

  25. MsMass says:

    Thanks for all the reports from on the ground. Stronger Together!

    And for music- “Trump, the protesters sang to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” is “the cherry on the cake of the racist and the rich/So afraid to pay their taxes, they will scratch a fascist itch/They believe he’s Mussolini, but he’s only Putin’s bitch/Now we are marching on!”

    Another verse of GAG’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic” rewrite said, “He will someday learn the lesson this catastrophe can teach/We will say good-bye to liars and the hatred that they preach/Yes we’ll dance from coast to coast the day this Cheeto is impeached/The truth is marching on.”