Inaugurating Trump: On The Ground

Violent protests at the DeploraBall and during the swearing in, why the Women’s Protest made more of a difference

By Jacob Engels

Being in the nation’s capitol from January 18th until January 21st, our publication had a unique taste of what actually happened during the historic transition of power from Barack Obama to Donald Trump.

DAY ONE

Even before we departed from Orlando International Airport I saw both supporters and opponents of Trump’s presidency in the terminal waiting to travel north. Tension, hope, trepidation… all of those feelings were present.

After touching down at Ronald Reagan, we elected to try a cab instead of Uber to see the difference of service. While the cab was triple the price of a comparable Uber, the driver was friendly and helpful.

The Falls Church Marriott was topnotch, especially so with concierge level residency for the duration of the stay. On to The Capitol.

Snagging our tickets for the Inauguration for Donald J. Trump was a bit complicated because of restoration to one of the oldest congressional buildings, the Cannon House Office. Nevertheless, D.C. was ours for the taking.

Lunch at a quaint French restaurant, Bistro Cacao, was exquisite. The vodka dirty martinis were breathtaking, with the best Blue Cheese stuffed olives I’ve ever had.

However, after an EARLY morning flight, I was beat. Exhausted and ready to prepare for the Deploraball the next day, our traveling party deemed it wise to head back to the hotel and rest up.

We had plans to meet the Queen of Versailles, Central Florida resident Jacqueline Siegel, but a delayed arrival into the capitol and French Vodka got in the way.
DAY TWO

On Thursday, January 19th, Orlando filmmaker Jason Jack Underwood and I were set to attend the much anticipated Deploraball. Unlike the other presidential balls, this event was powered by the people, not establishment types trying to suck up to President-Elect Trump.

After a nice morning swim and ironing our outfits, we joined Seminole County GOP State Committeewoman Susie Dolan with her husband Tim Dolan of WastePro for dinner at The Capital Grille.

The journey was not as easy as one would like, but we respected the enhanced security and frequent detours that it created. Washington, D.C. is a great place to get lost in, ripe with so many recognizable and historically significant fixtures.

The Metro ride from Falls Church into D.C. was uneventful and the walk from Metro Square to the Pennsylvania Avenue locale was a bit of a bear, but a great way to break in my combat style boots ahead of the raucous Deploraball.

Dinner was memorable, fueled by several bottles of fine wine. Seminole County Republicans are lucky to have Susie Dolan as their State Committeewoman.

I don’t say that because we enjoyed fellowship over food and drink, but because she spoke with such conviction about expanding the GOP’s message to include Millennials and other freedom minded voters, who have become dismayed with the two-party duopoly.

Imbibed and anxious about the communist protesters that were haunting the National Press Club, the location of the Deploraball, chants grew stronger as we got closer. After waiting for an hour to avoid the piss and shit balloons being hurled by the protesters, we began our final approach.

Masked cowards shouted obscenities and dialed in on guests entering the event.

“I’d fuck your mother bloody with a two-by-four.”

“We suck black cocks bigger than that cigar, rich white traitor.”

I could continue, but you get the picture. These people were out of control and were paid almost $4,000 to make a fool of themselves by former Hillary Clinton donors, mainly Nazi sympathizer/billionaire George Soros.

While I did not get violent or even address the communist scum, I put all my energy into kicking a rioter’s shitty bike that was blocking our path. The frame bent and the top of my $250 boots nearly scalped, carry on we did.

Once inside, we met DJT supporter David Clarke and had a brief encounter with #PharmaBro Martin Shkreli. Mr. Shkreli was quick to ignore us for a full chested 60+ blonde, while Sheriff Clarke was eager to interact with guests. To each their own.

DAY THREE

Drinks and street-side conversations with Pro-Trump vendors kept us out late after the Deploraball, setting our wake up call for later than expected for the big day.

We got into the capitol earlier in the day and eventually made our way back to the hotel as it had started to drizzle in the hours leading up to Trump’s swearing in, relaxing poolside for a few hours before tuning in while enjoying room service.

I thought the speech was a more presidential and uplifting version of his campaign messaging and I struggle to see how people can be upset or scared of an “America First” vision from President Trump.

Sane Democrats agreed, see Central Florida Democratic leader Jeremiah Jaspon’s Orlando Sentinel interview here.
George W. Bush’s struggle with the poncho was classic “Dubya”.

Early afternoon lunch plans at Bobby Vann’s off 14th street (just blocks from the White House) were set back a bit due to the violent protests that had been swarming through D.C.

Masked rioters hammered a hole into two of the street-side windows of Bobby Vann’s before using a trash can to do the rest. This happened while guests were inside and police responded with mace and concussion grenades.

Once safely inside we watched as rioters were pushed back by police in full riot gear, with military vehicles and helicopters hovering overhead. At one point, six fifteen-passenger police vans rushed around the corner to deploy at another location where protesters were turning yet another street into a violent riot.

The rest of the day was deemed a “Protest Pub Crawl” with our companions from the night past. Some bars refused entry, but The Hamilton allowed us in and gave everyone primo seats to watch the violence unfold.

During a trip to the bathroom, I ran into a Getty photographer who had been caught in the line of fire when police dispersed mace and flash bangs. He was clearly shaken up, but trying to edit photos to distract himself and nursing a few beers.

We eventually made our way to Old Ebbits and spent a few hours at the bar talking with a group of women who traveled to the capitol for the Women’s March the following day.

Several police officers from Syracuse, NY got us a round of shots and we of course returned the favor, Jameson of course. These were good police, not brown-shirts on a power trip.

Much of the rest of that night remains a blur, but D.C. was kind and we got back to Falls Church in one piece.

DAY FOUR

The last day we spent in D.C. was made up of packing, dodging the throngs of people heading to the Women’s March and making sure we arrived at the airport on time.

While some of the Women’s March headline speakers did everything they could to divide and polarize people, the actual people on the ground were respectful of the police and those around them.

It resulted in no arrests, but the amount of trash left behind was ridiculous. Many of those at the march did not even bother to find a nearby garbage can and simply threw their homemade signs to the ground.

But that was probably because of the communist protesters torching and destroying nearly every garbage can in D.C. the day prior, so I guess it’s not entirely their fault.