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A Failed Presidency in only 100 Days

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What has Trump accomplished so far? Practically nothing. It is true that he has changed the conversation. It has gone from Obama’s rational and considered governing to the ridiculousness of Trump’s reality show: a non-stop barrage of scandal, failure, blunders, lies, insults, buffoonery, incompetence, damage control and international ridicule.

Oh, sure, through his executive orders (another thing he criticized Obama for) Trump has managed to undo much of the environmental work previous governments had accomplished over decades; he is throwing science overboard. But this is not what his base voted for. The big promises he made have turned out to be vaporware.

Trumpcare famously went down in flames. He promised to repeal and replace Obamacare on Day One. Some repeal! Some replace! Didn’t happen, and it’s hard to see how it will, since the same divisions within the Republican Party—moderates versus tea party—remain. (And Democrats will resolutely refuse to pull his chestnuts out of the fire.)

The Muslim travel ban also exploded in his face, and it’s hard to see anything like it coming back, given the disposition of every Federal court so far that has declared it unconstitutional. I suppose there’s a chance the conservative majority on SCOTUS, which now includes Gorsuch, could rescue it, but I haven’t seen any analysis that thinks it will.

Tax reform? “Timing of Tax Plan’s Release Is in Dispute,” headlined the weekend’s Wall Street Journal. The article described the tensions within the administration over details—how “administration economic officials were caught off-guard,” with “fundamental questions still unresolved” and “diverging timetables” making any sort of agreement “a risk” despite Trump’s “campaign-style rhetoric.” This does not sound like a formula for success.

Then there’s Trump’s central campaign promise, “The Wall.” He said he’d build it. He asked his tea party audiences hundreds of times “Who’s gonna pay for it?” and they roared back, Nuremburg-style, “MEXICO!” We now know Mexico won’t pay for a single brick. So who will fund this multi-billion dollar fiasco? “Lawmakers Balk Over President’s Wall Request,” the weekend Wall Street Journal reported. It’s not just Democrats who are against it: “Most lawmakers…both Democrats and Republicans…said they are opposed [to the wall] and many [others] said they have unanswered questions.” Democrats are united in opposing it—and they will voice their objections later this week and beyond, as they make the wall an issue in whether or not to fund the government, a fight that the Republicans will lose in the court of public opinion. And–breaking last night, as I write–apparently Trump is now conceding defeat on the wall–he says he won’t push for it until Fall. Another broken promise, another defeat!

How about Trump’s much-touted “Buy American, Hire American” push? He seems to pop up once every few days at a factory bragging how he’s saving and creating jobs. But—same weekend Wall Street Journal—“’Buy American’ Push Looks Tough for Government.” Trump can rant all he wants at CEOs, but in the end they’re going to do what’s best for their profits and shareholders. In the first three months of this year, “foreign-owned companies [in the U.S.] hauled in more money from federal contractors…than in any corresponding period in a decade,” a trend “likely to continue” well into this administration’s shelf life.

He promised to “drain the swamp,” too—and then hired a good chunk of his administration from Goldman-Sachs. The Liar really, really wants something to brag about for his first hundred days. But he has nothing, so he’s already playing down the importance of that symbolic deadline. We’ve gone from his pre-election boast that “this 100-day plan…will make America great again, believe me,” to the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days.”

Donald J. Tump’s “believe me’s” are starting to sound more and more like his fake promises to Trump University enrollees.

One recurring theme on this blog has been to wonder when his supporters will tire of the bull. They are experiencing now what psychologists call cognitive dissonance, but at some point the gap between their beliefs and reality will become so great as to throw them into crisis. His tea party supporters remain with him for now—they’re a tough, stubborn bunch, immune to facts and proud of it, as proven by yesterday’s new Washington Post/ABC poll, which shows—astonishingly—that only two percent of his voters now regret voting for him! That percentage seems like it has to rise, but on the other hand, some forms of mental illness are remarkable difficult to cure.

  1. One of your best, love the last sentence.

  2. Thank you Alain!

  3. Amy Corron Power says:

    You’ve really found your passion Steve. Keep it up!

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