I sit here trying to hammer out an assessment of the horror show that was Trump’s first 100 days in office. The first words that come to mind are embarrassing, incompetence, failure, fiasco, and disaster. However, according to the man himself, he’s got them right where he wants them, though he misses his “old life.”
“I don’t think that there is a presidential period of time in the first 100 days,” Trump said in a Fox Business interview, “where anyone’s done nearly what we’ve been able to do.” The President touted his phantom accomplishments while simultaneously downplaying the 100-day benchmark as a “ridiculous” standard.
You don’t have to be a history major to realize that the claim was hyperbolic and delusional. If your administration is downplaying the significance of the first 100 days, which may be in fact semi-irrelevant, then it is best not to say you accomplished more than FDR. You especially wouldn’t say it when your first stretch in the oval office is marked by a constant cycle of controversy and failure.
Most recently Trump promised to roll out his plan for tax reform. It was largely a bust.
Two of Trump’s top henchmen, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Director Gary Cohn, presented the outline to reporters which may have well been a sheet of paper saying “make the tax system great again.”
The Goldman Sachs stooges were just a pair of fedoras away from resembling every pair of flat character cronies in a B gangster movie. Mnuchin playing the brains who calls the shots and Cohn, the muscle of the operation.
One reporter asked, “How will a median American family of four making $60,000 see their tax bill affected by this proposal?”
“We will let you know the details at the appropriate moment,” Cohn said. The entire display was lacking in specifics and devoid of mathematics of any kind. It was another dud for the Trump administration, after their complete flop on repealing and replacing “Obama Care.”
Republicans have all the elements in the equation, both houses of Congress and the Presidency, yet they still haven’t been able to get the votes in the House to push a health care bill through. Trump has blamed Democrats, though they needed not one of their votes to pass The American Health Care Act.
The bill, which is something much less than “repeal and replace,” was held up due to the blood-thirsty and budget fetishistic “Freedom Caucus,” who didn’t feel the bill went far enough.
Another swing-and-a-miss from the billionaire president was his two attempts at the infamous “Muslim ban” that Trump promised crowds of red-hatted scapegoaters.
First, as Trump put it, “so-called” U.S. District Judge James L. Robart of Washington State, froze Trump’s executive order banning Visas from some all too carefully selected countries. The administration slapped together another order, but this time it was halted by “a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific,” as AG Jeff Sessions so eloquently put it.
That island in the Pacific was, of course, the 50th state, Hawaii. Still, Sessions was “amazed” that they could stop the President from enforcing his absurd and ineffective travel bans.
There have also been some major shakeups within the administration itself.
Steve Bannon’s influence seems to be waning as Trump’s incomprehensibly inexperienced son-in-law is now in charge of saving the world. Trump’s two biggest mouthpieces during the campaign, Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer, have also seen themselves on opposite trajectories.
Kellyanne Conway first stepped in it with her cringeworthy “alternative facts” statement while defending Spicer’s claims about the size of Donald’s inauguration crowd. She then also made a perfectly ridicule-ready comment about government spying via microwave ovens. Since, she has seen much less air time. Spicer’s press briefings, however, are becoming must-see-TV.
Just after lunch time, the Spiceman is pushed out into the shooting gallery that is the briefing room and tasked with defending whatever atrocity Trump tweeted the day before. It is a job that could draw sympathy if he didn’t seem to be enjoying it so much.
Spicer is averaging a gaffe a week as he, flustered and frustrated, tries to twist the truth out of the media hands. These flubs range from misrepresenting US policy on the use of barrel bombs in Syria, to the incomprehensible evoking of the new term “Holocaust centers,” as tried to defend his comparison of Hitler and the Syrian President, where Bashar Al-Assad came out as the bad guy.
Trump rejected calls for him to fire Spicy for his comments because he “gets great ratings.” The hardest part of the Press Secretary’s job is and will continue to be, dealing with the constant cloud hanging over this presidency, the Russian interference into the election and potential collusion.
Newly sworn in Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from any investigations into the matter, after failing to disclose meetings he had with the Russian Ambassador. By “failing to disclose” I mean that he said, under oath, “I did not have communications with the Russians.” He seems as though he will survive his blunder, but Mike Flynn hasn’t fared as well.
Flynn, who was appointed as National Security Advisor, was ousted after he lied to the Vice President about his conversations with the Russians before and after the election. Flynn has gotten the attention of the House, Senate, and FBI investigations as well as the Pentagon for receiving money from foreign governments.
Trump’s bizarre tweet storms, including one where he accused Barack Obama, with no evidence, of wiretapping Trump tower during the campaign, and his erratic policy shifts and failures may distract the public from the Russian angle, but it still looms large over this administration.
Those looking for a way out of this disturbing presidency are placing all their hopes in the Russia investigating, praying for impeachment. The rest of just hope Trump’s governmental ineptitude can allow America to roll with the punches. The area where Trump is dealing out the most punishment, however, is perhaps where we can bear it the least, the environment.
Trump’s cabinet picks have mostly gone through, with exceptions. The cheeseburger champion of soft-porn advertising, Andy Puzder, couldn’t squeak by as Labor Secretary, but Scott Pruitt did, as head of the EPA.
Trump has been firing up pipeline projects and signing executive orders undoing the meager measures put forth by the Obama administration that aimed at curbing the effects of climate change. Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier and staunch opponent of the EPA during his time as AG Oklahoma, pulled critical climate change data from the EPA’s website.
It was just hours before people took to the street for the People’s Climate March. The increased enthusiasm of people resisting the President’s proposals is a sprinkle of rain on this 100-day dumpster fire.
The people on the left and traditional conservatives have been very outspoken and active. Marches across the country have shown that people are engaged and ready to resist, even if Democrats are still feeling sorry for themselves after 2016 shellacking.
Though the people are motivated, there hasn’t been a terrible amount of introspection within the Democratic Party establishment. Instead of embracing the policies of the Bernie Sanders supporters who carved off a significant percentage of their base, they try to rope them into phony “unity” rallies, deaf to the boos raining down on DNC chairman Tom Perez.
But we can talk about them later.
As far as accomplishments for this new administration, well, Trump did get his Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Republicans had to break with precedent and the constitution a bit, holding the seat hostage until after the election. They also had to change the rules to get him confirmed over the Democratic filibuster, but they did it.
Trump, to his credit(?), hasn’t tanked the economy or launched World War III, so that’s something. Though he did play around with his new toys, bombing Syria and Afghanistan. And, I guess the whole thing should come with an asterisk since he’s ramped up tensions with the nuclear-armed North Korea, to its highest levels in years.
He has also signed a slew of executive orders, in place of legislative progress.
Tonight, as tipsy and tuxedoed journalists take a few moments to giggle at Trump during the White House Correspondents Dinner, the man himself is bathing in adoration. At a campaign-style rally, his customized view of the country confirms his claims of success, even if only for himself.
The only thing I’m wondering is whether these first hundred days are just as bad as I thought they would be, or worse.
I could dive into the smaller tragedies and try to cover every humiliation of this fledgling administration, but I won’t.
I know it’s not much, but for now, this is all I have for you. As day 100 somehow turns into 101, this is all I can stomach. And besides, it’s still 1,000 words more than our President’s Tax Plan.