Moulitsas: Reality of not being popular

Moulitsas: Reality of not being popular
© Greg Nash

It seems Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE is having a hard time dealing with his historic unpopularity. On Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer admitted that Trump was “demoralized” by the nation’s negative reaction to his undemocratic ascension to the nation’s highest office.

“[There is a] constant theme to undercut the enormous support that he has,” whined Spicer, fresh from trying to rewrite the reality of Trump’s anemic inauguration crowds: “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period.” Photographic evidence clearly showed the embarrassing contrast between President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGovernment's misguided holiday to celebrate itself Virginia can be better than this Democrats have a chance of beating Trump with Julian Castro on the 2020 ticket MORE’s inaugural crowds and the half-barren mall as Trump wailed about “carnage,” “rust” and “tombstones.” As Trump insanely claimed 1.5 million had attended his inauguration, media clips showed empty risers on the parade route, and Nielsen ratings unequivocally proved Obama easily had drawn the larger TV audience. So how did the nation’s top narcissist process this humiliation? As Trump’s Orwellian adviser Kellyanne Conway admitted, they simply deployed “alternative facts” to try and rewrite history.

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But while Trump propagandists and their allies in fake media work to craft an alternative, reality keeps getting in the way.

Public polling shows Trump’s favorability at record lows for a freshly inaugurated president. Fox News, to cherry pick the friendliest conservative outlet, has Trump’s favorability ratings at 42 percent, with 55 percent unfavorable. By comparison, Fox had Obama at 76-15 in 2009, and even George W. Bush was at 58-31 despite his own popular vote defeat. Trump can attack the veracity of all that polling — and he has — but when even Fox News can’t give you good news, it’s going to be a long four years.

And of course, it’s hard to pretend opposition doesn’t exist when the nation hosted the largest protest in its history this past Saturday, with over 4 million people taking to the streets all over the country. Conservatives might be able to shrug off half a million in D.C., 750,000 in Los Angeles, 400,000 in New York, 100,000 in Oakland and 175,000 in Seattle. Those are liberal cities! But what about 3,000 in Sioux Falls, S.D., or 10,000 in Helena, Mont.? How about 2,000 in Fairbanks, Alaska, with a temperature of minus 19? Or even colder, Unalakleet, Alaska, where 38 marched in a village of just 700 at minus 20?

Thirty marched in Stanley, Idaho, population 63. Another 500 marched in Vermillion, S.D., population 10,571; 400 in Cody, Wyo., population 9,833; and 100 in Jerome, Ariz., population 448. Three thousand marched in Knoxville, Tenn., over 1,000 protested in Tulsa, Okla., 3,000 in Topeka, Kan., 7,000 in Park City, Utah, and 12,000 in Omaha, Neb. People turned out in hundreds of communities, both blue and red.

Unable to dismiss these protests as “bad” or “skewed” polling, Trump’s own Baghdad Bob took a different approach: “A lot of these people were there to protest an issue of concern to them and not against anything,” claimed Spicer, working hard to pretend the protests had nothing to do with his petulant, demoralized boss.  

Of course, an adult, mature, and competent president wouldn’t concern himself with ratings and crowd sizes. But the man-child Trump is neither mature nor competent. So what happens when the reality of his deep unpopularity continues to seep through to him? For better or for worse, we, as a nation, are about to find out.

Moulitsas is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos.