Sunday, January 22, 2017

An Inaugural Followup

A few things to add to my previous comments.  First of all, expert opinion seems to be settling in on a number of attendees at Trump's inaugural of around 250,000, not the 300-350, 000 that I had settled on.  I hope this is not too much inside baseball, but I believe there are two reasons that I arrived at my erroneously high number.  First of all, I initially started with a number of 600,000, before there were really clear pictures, and I guess when I saw the real photos, I just couldn't bring myself to believe a number that is so low.  And I don't like to underestimate their crowds, because they are always so small as it is, and I want to be able to defend my numbers as not being motivated by wishful thinking. It's not often that I am not cynical enough about Republicans, but this was one of the times. And here is another factor that I have realized for some time, but that I often forget.  Republican crowds are, in the aggregate, older than Democratic crowds, and the older people are, the more resistant they are to being packed in tightly with other people.  That alone should have probably shaved 30-50,000 off of my estimate.

Well, okay, on to an article this morning from the New York Times:

"Crowd Scientists Say Women’s March in Washington Had 3 Times More People Than Trump’s Inauguration...Marcel Altenburg and Keith Still, crowd scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain, analyzed photographs and video taken of the National Mall and vicinity and estimated that there were about 160,000 people in those areas in the hour leading up to Mr. Trump’s speech Friday.

They estimated that at least 470,000 people were at the women’s march in Washington in the areas on and near the mall at about 2 p.m. Saturday."

I guess they are assuming about 90,000 ticketed people between the reflecting pool and the Capitol.  That number seems significantly too high to me, but let's just leave the total at 250,000, or about one seventh the size of the crowd at Obama's 2009 inaugural.  That is a humiliation for Trump so profound that cutting his estimated attendance even further could hardly make it worse.

Here is a very interesting graphic from the Times article:

 Obama Inaugural crowd- 2008- the areas outlined in red are the areas of maximum crowd density
Trump Inaugural crowd
Women's march crowd

Well, I don't even think I need to explain this to you.  The events of these two days have stamped on the nation's consciousness the illegitimacy of Trump's Presidency, and how few people actually support him and his piggish, treasonous agenda.

The only thing to discuss about this any more is the insistence of Trump and his surrogates that his inaugural was the largest ever, despite the obviously ludicrous nature of those claims.  People are writing this off as a product of Trump's diseased ego, and while I take a back seat to no one in accepting that he truly has one of the sickest egos ever to be seen, I think there is something else going on here.  Right from the first full day of his Presidency, he is attempting to bully the American people into accepting whatever he says as true, no matter how patently false.  His speech at the CIA was little more than a mixture of self-adulation combined with an implicit but clear warning of the danger of contradicting him in any way, and the behavior of his spokesmen yesterday and today only reinforced the threat that Trump is going to force people not to say a thing in public that counters his narrative.  This is the behavior of Nazis, of Stalinists.  We'll see how far the supine mainstream media in this country go to abet him in forcing the American people to accept his lies, over and over again.


Jerry Critter said...

The truth appears to be the first casualty of the Trump administration. Of course, it is not a surprise. The truth took a backseat during his candidacy too.

Magpie said...

I'm encouraged, actually, this morning, to see the pushback on what is true and what is false.

"alternative facts"...
Conway obviously didn't give that phrase any forethought, but Orwell would probably have jotted it down for future works if he had heard it in his lifetime.

This is where we are, on the first day of a presidency, having to discuss what the word "fact" actually means, mid interview.

Green Eagle said...

Well, on the plus side, where we are is the weekend having proven that Trump is entering the White House with the lowest popularity and the lowest perceived legitimacy of any President in the history of the United States- and by a huge margin. As more facts about his being a tool of the Russians come out (and they will, because in the end, Republicans are going to be as anxious as anyone else to end the humiliation) we are likely, I think, to see his approval rate sink from its current 37% down into the 20's- a rating that Bush had to lose a war and destroy the economy to achieve. That will leave him still barricaded in the White House, but we'll see how long until the peasants with the pitchforks and torches show up. We're seeing history written here. Hegel said, as we have all heard, "History repeats ... first as tragedy, then as farce." Trump is on a path to do Hegel one better, by having the tragedy and the farce at the same time.