Quick Takes: “A Body Blow to Trump’s Populism”

* Of all the commentary about the #WomensMarch, Francis Wilkinson captured the impact best. He draws a contrast between the attempt by Trump to tout his populist roots in his inaugural address and the way that myth was shattered on Saturday.

In his broken beer bottle of a speech, Trump jabbed at the “establishment” he had defeated. “For too long,” he said, “a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”…

“What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

“January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”

Like countless populists before him, Trump has set himself up as the representative, voice and will of “the people.”…

Neither Trump nor the organizers of the Women’s March could’ve known how the populist words of his inaugural would be so devastatingly refuted by Saturday’s tide of humanity. True, it’s a short-term victory. The Trump administration will be the arena for a long and fierce battle. We are at the opening bell.

But it mattered. Everyone in Washington — from a determined Speaker Paul Ryan to a shellshocked White House, from tentative Democrats climbing out from the rubble to liberal interest groups searching for an ideological anchor — just got a look at a very different people from the one described by Trump.

* These thoughts were also summed up well in a couple of tweets.

* Lest you think that the gatherings on Saturday were the end of it, the people behind the #WomensMarch are organizing “10 Actions for the First 100 Days.” Go take a look.

* Here’s how some Democrats want to build on the momentum created on Saturday:

…Sen. Ben Cardin joined with Senate Democrats to reintroduce the Equal Rights Amendment.

“Many Americans would be shocked to find out that the U.S. Constitution still lacks a provision ensuring gender equality,” the Maryland Democrat said in a statement. “Think about that: in 2017, women lack the same constitutional protections as men. This is clearly wrong and needs permanent correction.”…

On Saturday, Cardin joined Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey in reintroducing the amendment. Co-sponsoring were Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Chris Coons of Delaware, Dianne Feinstein of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Ed Markey of Massachusetts in reintroducing the constitutional amendment first proposed in 1923.

* I believe that having a lawsuit filed against you on your first day in office is another way that this presidency is unprecedented.

A liberal watchdog group filed a lawsuit against President Trump in federal court on Monday alleging that he is in violation of a little-known constitutional provision that bars him from taking gifts or payments from foreign governments.

The group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said that because Trump-owned buildings take in rent, room rentals and other payments from foreign governments, the president has breached the Emoluments Clause. That clause in the Constitution says that “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” It was written out of fear that the young republic’s leaders or ambassadors could be bought off by a richer European power.

The meaning of those words has never truly been tested in court. The watchdog group says the text should be interpreted to mean that Trump’s businesses should cease all business dealings with foreign states.

* Here’s how Trump started things off today:

President Donald Trump signed a trio of executive orders on Monday that slash American aid to groups that provide or promote abortions overseas, withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade negotiations and put in place an immediate federal hiring freeze.

* Finally, John Mellencamp has weighed in with a contribution to music for the resistance.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.