The Liberal Backlash Has Already Begun

Jonathan Chait - Democratic BacklashOf the many reasons a man like Donald Trump managed to win the presidential election… an important one was the imbalance in political passion between the two sides… Eight years of Democratic control of the White House had created complacency (as it did in 2000). Republicans were starving for power and willing to overlook their candidate’s glaring, grotesque flaws… The events of the last two days have made clear that Trump’s victory wiped those conditions away overnight.

It matters that Trump drew a sparse crowd to inaugural festivities that he had billed beforehand as a historic, Jacksonian uprising of The People. And it matters much more that millions of Americans came out on a Saturday to register their protest… The message has been heard by the political class, Republican and Democratic alike.

It might be easy to assume that Trump and his allies feel insulated from accountability. It is not quite so simple. Republicans in Congress have thus far given Trump near-total cooperation of the assumption that they could move quickly and with little resistance to implement their agenda. Democrats did not really wake up from their late-Clinton slumber until the middle of Bush’s term, after which a lot of legislation had already passed. Republicans assuming they could rush through Paul Ryan’s agenda, while allowing Trump to obliterate long-standing governing norms, will rethink. The kind of backlash Democrats eventually mounted against Bush, which drove landslide victories in the 2006 midterm and the 2008 election, is a… possibility. In those elections, many seemingly safe red states turned blue…

The governing party had probably assumed the clock would not start for months on the liberal backlash. Now the clock is ticking already.

–Jonathan Chait
Don’t Let Anybody Tell You the Marches Didn’t Matter

Phoenix Women’s March

I went to the Phoenix Women’s March yesterday. I wanted to talk to the attendees and find out why they went. Also, I went because I wanted to be in solidarity over the fact that the election was stolen from us by people such as Vladimir Putin.

Woman holding sign: It wasn't the emails. It was the white males.

Granted: that one probably will make a few people angry, but whatever.

On Friday, the day of the inauguration, Phoenix was shrouded in clouds and fog with a weeping sky. I honestly thought it was God weeping for what we have wrought. I thought that even more strongly yesterday, since the day dawned bright, clear, and with just enough breeze to make it slightly chilly. When my sister and I got to the event, it was already pretty crowded. The official start was 10:00 am, but loads of people had gathered by 9:40.

We wandered around a bit and then I climbed on something to take some video.

You can hear a man at the beginning yelling, “Mary!” Fear not, according to my sources, he found her.

A Big Event

The crowd was pretty big. Arizona doesn’t do much in the way of protests. Most of ours are pretty small — maybe a few hundred people. Relatively speaking, this one was huge: over 36,000 people.

And as always, there are signs at these things. Most of them were hand drawn:

Four Signs from Phoenix Women's March

Why March?

I had a chance to talk to a couple of the women there.

The first, Sloan, was at the march to resist and to show her support for the women like herself. She said, “I have spent 20 years in a career that is totally dominated by men, and I’ve been paid less than all my male counterparts. I was not invited to the Christmas party because it was held at Hooters.”

She also saw her attendance in generational terms — paying back to the women who went before and helping those coming after.

The second woman I spoke with was ZZ. She said she was there because she couldn’t believe that the fact that Trump admitted to committing sexual assault wasn’t enough to finish him as a candidate.

That is hard to understand. He should have been trash the minute that recording came out. But he wasn’t because, well, it seems that sexual assault doesn’t bother people in reality as much as it does in the abstract.

The Phoenix Women’s March: One Part of a Much Larger Whole

The Phoenix Women’s March was one of 600 that were happening worldwide — all of them reporting massive turnout, far exceeding what the organizers planned.

A friend, Jason Karsh, posted a large collection of pictures from the Las Vegas Women’s March. That’s worth checking out. But there were marches everywhere — even in Antarctica.