The Trump Administration SOP

Expect prolific and extensive citation of “alternative facts” going forward:

Source: Search term: “alternative facts”, Google Trends accessed 8:17 PM CST 1/22/2017.

Merriam-Webster has some thoughts on this particular “construct”.

I think Wotan’s Mickey Mouse would be proud.

I look forward to seeing yet more “alternative facts” regarding the trade balance, the budget balance, the incidence of taxes, whether a commitment to health insurance for all, and how China was declared a currency manipulator on “day one”.

27 thoughts on “The Trump Administration SOP

  1. Bellanson

    I’m unclear on the concept of “Alternative Facts” – is it “Other true things, but these facts paint a more favorable picture”, or is it “Black is White”, i.e. “I reject your reality and substitute it for a set of statements not in evidence”.
    Because as Trump and his spokespersons have used it, it could mean either/both.

  2. baffling

    menzie, at least you have observed, for quite some time by a few commentators of this blog, those who subscribe to the “alternative facts” belief system. the general public may not fully appreciate the alternative universe that exists in the world today.

  3. Paul Mathis

    Austerity is expansionary.

    A balanced budget will create jobs.

    Supply creates demand.

    Alternative facts are everywhere in economics.

  4. PeakTrader

    I think, the media is making a mountain out of a molehill.


    Synonyms: different, other, another, second, possible, substitute, replacement, alternate, standby, emergency, reserve, backup, auxiliary, fallback
    “an alternative route”

    1. baffling

      peak, you are in denial, or making excuses for lying. you confuse options, or opinions, with facts. but this is something you do every time you comment on this blog. i don’t think you understand what a fact represents. a fact is not debatable, and not changeable. 2+2=4, no matter how much you argue about it. there is no alternative where 2+2 equals anything other than 4. the trump administration is arguing that it is possible for 2+2 to equal 6, because it presents a better outcome. they may with this to be true, but it is not a fact. it is false. this is very immature behavior by the administration.

      1. Bruce Hall

        Baffling, as I pointed out in a different post, generalizations can tend toward the correct, but upon further, closer examination they may not be accurate. This seems to work on both sides of many arguments, especially political and social sciences where anything is rarely as precise as 2+2.

        1. baffling

          bruce, was the inauguration turnout for obama 2009 greater than the inauguration turnout for trump 2017? if the obama turnout is greater, that is a fact. if one were to argue the trump turnout was greater, that is not an alternative fact. that is false.

          so please answer the question, yes or no, to establish the “fact”. was the inauguration turnout for obama 2009 greater than trump 2017?

          1. Bruce Hall

            Baffling, I don’t believe anyone is disputing a large turnout for Obama in ’09 and ’13. CNN’s own photo shows a pretty good turnout for Trump’s inauguration as well.

            Perhaps it should be noted that an area of 50 miles around the Capitol is populated by people who voted predominantly for Obama and Clinton. So, it is understandable that this ceremony would draw larger numbers from this predominantly Democratic Party area. It really proves nothing about Trump’s claim that some pictures and reports are misrepresenting the facts.


            Selective facts by all?

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Bruce Hall: The question at hand is the number of people attending the inauguration and whether or not it exceeded those attending 2009. It was not whether attendance was representative. At least that was what Sean Spicer was addressing, by recounting clearly wrong numbers. I don’t disagree with the point that geographic/demographic factors may modulate attendance, but you are merely deflecting from the fact that Mr. Spicer knowingly made patently false assertions. My parents called that sort of a thing “a lie” when I was growing up. What would you parents have called it?

          3. baffling

            bruce, you are trying to move away from the stupidity of the trump claims, and your defense of it, with a modified argument. the trump administration was wrong in its arguments. there was no biased media. the trump inauguration was smaller than the obama inauguration. and smaller than the women’s march. he did not like that this was fact, and that it was reported in the media. period. his response was to try and change the reality with his own “alternative facts”. the weird part is it appears trump has begun to believe this “alternative” world is actually real.

      2. PeakTrader

        Baffling, you’re in denial believing alternative facts has only one definition.

        This is very ignorant behavior.

        I don’t know what Conway actually meant. However, it seems, she responded to the facts the media reported with “alternative facts” rather than “lies.”

        Yet, your only definition of alternative facts are lies.

        1. baffling

          once again, peak, it appears you to not understand the definition of fact. it is not arbitrary. and it is not up for discussion. it is settled and accepted as true.

          what conway tried to argue is that alternative opinions should be taken as facts. apparently you agree. but that is wrong. period.

          my impression is there are many conservatives who take the same view as you. an opinion repeated enough times in the conservative echo chamber becomes fact in your alternative world. sad really.

  5. Steven Kopits

    I’ll be speaking at the Union League on Thursday, addressing energy, security and politics in Eurasia since the fall of the wall. It is open to the public.

    FPRI’s Symposium, 25 Years since the Fall of the USSR: Where is Eurasia Headed? will take place this Thursday, January 26th, at the Union League of Philadelphia, 140 South Broad Street PA Philadelphia 19102. Registration begins at 1:00 p.m. in the Library Lounge

  6. Steven Kopits

    We could debate this.

    How statistics lost their power – and why we should fear what comes next

  7. Joseph

    Trump presented another “alternative fact” yesterday when he met with Congressional leaders. He stated that he would have won the popular vote but for the “alternative fact” that 3 to 5 million illegal immigrants voted for Clinton.

    This isn’t a mountain out of a molehill. This is the President making public immigration policy and voting laws based on conspiracies and lies.

    The man is mentally unstable.

      1. 2slugbaits

        Wrong. The study you are referring to was about non-citizens who were erroneously listed on voter registrations. There is no evidence that they actually voted. The study authors have disputed this misinterpretation.

        BTW, did you know that there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents non-citizens from voting? Did you know that non-citizens legally voted in several states in the 18th and early 19th centuries?

        You’re getting more and more desperate trying to defend this madman.

        1. PeakTrader

          The study showed 14% of non-citizens were registered to vote in 2008.

          It may be much higher now, particularly in California, where illegal non-citizens can get drivers licenses and be registered to vote.

    1. 2slugbaits

      The man is mentally unstable.

      Yes, and I think we need to treat this seriously. There is something very wrong with this man. Look at the bizarre family photo with him sitting down and at the center of attention, with Melania standing next to and slightly behind him, and Barron about 10 feet off to the right riding a stuffed lion. Frankly, it’s a creepy family photo. Maybe people should have believed what his ex-wives were saying about him.

      His lies are really starting to pile up. He claimed to never settle lawsuits out of court, but just a few days ago he settled the Trump U. lawsuit for $25M. And several years ago he settled a lawsuit brought by an underage girl who claimed he raped her. He denies ever bad mouthing the CIA, which is an obvious lie. He says he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning, which is a provable lie. He lied about his role in the “birther” movement. He lied about his reasons for not releasing his tax returns. He lied about being willing to release them after the election since just this weekend we found out that he won’t ever release them. And last night he lied about illegal immigrants throwing the popular vote to Clinton. Nixon’s got nothing on this Pinocchio President. I think his top advisor should have been Jiminy Cricket.

      And on background his own aides complain that the only way they can communicate with him is by appearing on TV. He has no attention span and cannot sit through a briefing. He’s careless with words and casually talks about sending the Army back to Iraq for a second crack at the oil.

      At this point no one should trust him anymore than they would trust a used car salesman. Trump voters owe this county an apology.

  8. Bruce Hall

    Here is a good example of media “alternative facts”
    NBC OUT JAN 24 2017, 2:01 PM ET
    Trump Administration Removes LGBTQ Content From Federal Websites

    Was that false? No. Was it complete? No.

    Now, “the rest of the story” (note that the blog owner, Jim Hoft, is “gay”)
    Liberal media has been in a panic the past few days after they noticed that the LGBT Rights page was removed from the White House website. First off, pages for homeland security, seniors, taxes, trade, and the economy were also all deleted. Does that mean they also hate seniors and homeland security? No, no it doesn’t. The new administration just took office and they are adding pages with their own policies. This isn’t the first time lying liberal media went into panic mode over LGBT issues.”

    “We should call bullshit on liberal baiting with identity politics. What is better, a president who literally doesn’t care if someone is gay or not, who has been to gay weddings, hired gay people, and never instituted a policy pro or against gays? Or is it better to support a president who catered to gay and trans people by taking even more of your hard-earned tax dollars to come up with new made up gender restrooms, and appoint more bureaucrats to go on TV interviews and talk about how great their administration is for gay people?”

    1. 2slugbaits

      Yes, I don’t think Trump is anti-LGBT. Given the content of Putin’s videos I can only conclude that Trump isn’t hung up about sexual preferences. But his Veep is about as anti-LGBT as you get, so you can probably understand why the LGBT community might be a little sensitive about the LGBT issues page disappearing.

      And yes, other pages on more mundane issues were also removed as part of the new WH website overhaul; however, if you go to the new WH website you will see that homeland security, the military, taxes, trade, the economy and other issues are included under the “Issues” tab. Will there be an LGBT item in the future? I wouldn’t want to bet the farm on it. Like I said, Veep Mike “Pray Away the Gay” Pence is a fierce opponent of LGBT rights. Besides, Trump has such a short attention span that he may not remember how he and Rudi used to dress up in drag.

      1. Bruce Hall

        randomthoughts, exceedingly thoughtful.

        Hoft may not be your choice for a soul-mate because he is an admitted homosexual, but that doesn’t make him stupid. Or do you have some other prejudice?

        His point was that the presence or absence of a group page is not a position for or against that group. It is simply a position about priorities. Since homosexuals now have the right to pay divorce lawyers just as any other couples, the issue is not that much of a priority. As for bathroom usage… hardly White House material.

  9. Joseph

    Last night Trump tweeted: “Congratulations to @FoxNews for being number one in inauguration ratings. They were many times higher than FAKE NEWS @CNN – public is smart!”

    Does this seem like a mentally sound person? He is obsessed with his inauguration TV ratings.

    Now he wants a national investigation into the 3 to 5 million illegal votes he claims were cast. He is obsessed with the fact that he lost the popular vote. This is right out of Alex Jones.

    Recall that he spent eight years disputing the citizenship of President Obama. This is what he said on the Today Show:

    “I have people that actually have been studying it and they cannot believe what they’re finding,” Trump told host Meredith Vieira.

    “You have people now down there searching, I mean in Hawaii?” she asked.

    “Absolutely,” he replied. “And they cannot believe what they’re finding.”

    He wants to start a new investigation into voter fraud but he still hasn’t given us the results of his private detectives in Hawaii.

    The guy is a nut. Hard to believe we are in store for four years of this crazy ranting.

  10. Robj

    I see that some posting here would turn themselves inside out to argue that alternative facts aren’t really alternative, they just sound good so must be at least facty.
    Alt fact fanciers are right out of Orwell. (Definitions of alternative facts may differ!–it wasn’t murder, officer, I was just getting a bit too enthusiastic with the hammer.)

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