The kindest thing I can say about Donald Trump’s first 100 days as President is that he doesn’t know, and doesn’t realize he doesn’t know. His bull in a china shop approach to legislation, filling out his administration and both domestic and foreign policy has made him a dismal failure on every level. The one thing he can claim. Getting a Supreme Court pick confirmed wasn’t really his win. The selection was made for him by right wing think tanks. The confirmation was navigated by Mitch McConnell who changed Senate rules to make it happen. Trump and Republican Senators overlooked plagiarism which has derailed past nominees. He most likely appreciates Gorsuch’s propensity for valuing corporations over people and dismissing the rights of women and the LGBT.
Then are of course the lies. Even if we gave him a clean slate for every lie he told before the inauguration. He began anew on his first day in office by saying his crowd size topped that of Barack Obama’s first inauguration despite all the visual evidence refuting it. His administration is still deluged with new information about undisclosed contacts with Russia which many of them lied about as well. What should be worrisome to Trump is that his second hundred days may be even worse than the first given the various investigations closing in on members of his administration, his family and possibly Trump himself. Let’s review:
- Trump’s inauguration would have went off without incident but for claims that it was “the biggest ever” which was obviously untrue. He then gave us his White House spokesman Sean Spicer who introduced himself to America and Saturday Night Live by dressing down the press and began the trend of “Trumpsplaining,” defined as trying to justify the lies Trump tells. The inauguration and related concerts and balls were noteworthy for his inability to attract major entertainers because there were some things they wouldn’t do for money.
- Technically, the failures of the Trump administration began during the transition. Perhaps due to not really believing they would win and having to relieve Transition Coordinator Chris Christie who had problems of his own (Bridgegate). They were unprepared to conduct normal transaction activities. Outsider Trump had few around him with any actual government experience and they frankly didn’t know what they were supposed to do. On a visit to the White House a month just before the election. Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner was overheard asking an Obama official about the hundreds of people working there, “How any of these people stay?” The answer was supposed to be, “none of them.” Because the Trump administration was unprepared to fill the jobs that ran a government. They ended up asking a large number of Obama staffers to remain temporarily. This doesn’t keep Steve Bannon and others from referring to the people literally bailing them out as “the deep state.” Viewing them as spies and leakers.
- Trump got to work on his image of being an impactful President. He rushed to sign executive orders. Some of them insignificant photo-op’s. Others harmful like the hiring freeze which did far more harm than good. Then there was the Muslim Ban which in two separate versions has been declared unconstitutional and would have kept out Iraqi translators who served alongside Americans in the Iraq war. The first would have blocked current Green Card holders who were already authorized to re-enter the country. Let’s not forget the “beautiful babies” from Syria that he rushed to allegedly save from chemical attacks from the Assad government in Syria. But his ban wouldn’t care those same babies died from starvation, barrel bombs or any number of causes that made them legitimate refugees.
- Trump backed a Health Care plan he had no understanding of in an attempt to have some sort of legislative victory. He reversed himself on campaign promises to preserve coverage for preexisting conditions and to make premiums lower. The actual plan would have thrown 24 million people off their healthcare and raised premiums for many. The only benefit would be to the rich who would have received tax cuts based on no longer participating in paying for The Affordable Care Act which was the Obama healthcare plan. This attempt to “repeal and replace” Obamacare was thwarted by the American people who showed up at town halls across the country to let their representatives know what they thought of the new plan. Although Trump tried to dismiss the protesters as being “paid.” Republican legislators got the hint and failed to bring the plan to a vote.
- Speaking of protests. The Trump Presidency has brought out a level of protest not seen since the Vietnam War and which may soon be exceeded. Not long after his Inauguration. We witnessed the Women’s March in Washington, DC which was also larger than the Trump’s big day although he denies that as well. All across the country since January we’ve seen continued protests against Trump policies.
- While Trump loved many of the polls during his campaign. He isn’t feeling them so much now. His approval ratings are the lowest in history for the first 100 days of a Presidency. His disapproval ratings are the highest. He hovers somewhere on average in the high 30’s. In his favor is that a high percentage of Trump supporters would vote for again. Fortunately the rest of the country sees him clearly and this mistake won’t be repeated after four years.
- His Cabinet is the wealthiest in the history of the nation. That isn’t bad in and of itself but some of them intend to go right on enriching themselves while allegedly serving the rest of us. Of course they are led by the example of the President himself. Starting with the Cabinet; DeVos, Price, Pruitt and others have clear conflicts of interest that remain unresolved. DeVos along with Carson have the secondary issue of being totally incompetent to run their Departments but they were loyal. Carson has apparently turned the other cheek after Trump said about him during the Republican nomination process that Carson had a “pathological temper.”
- Trump promised at every campaign stop that we would build a wall along our southern border and that, “Mexico will pay for it.” Another promise unkept as we aren’t building and Mexico isn’t paying. Trump just removed funds for the wall from his proposed budget with more promises he’d get back to it.
- There’s so much about Trump’s first 100 days worthy of mention but one thing that cannot be left out; Russia. The country except in some deep corners of Trumpland realizes that Russia interfered in our elections. The questions being asked louder and more often is, “Did the Trump campaign collude with Russia” and “What did the President know and when did he know it?” Michael Flynn left his role as National Security Advisor after 24 days once undisclosed contacts with Russia were exposed. We also learned about undisclosed payments from Russia and he retroactively disclosed his role as a Foreign Agent for Turkey. A role he still played during the Trump campaign. Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General with a history of racist comments, had undisclosed meetings with Russia as well. Something he denied under oath when testifying to Congress. He has since recused himself from the Justice Department’s Russia Investigation although he personally is pushing to find out who’s leaking about the same investigation where he may ultimately appear as a witness… or defendant. Jared Kushner had undisclosed meetings with Russian officials and bankers. Ivanka only met with China and on the same day got multiple patents approved in that country which is different I guess, but not so much. Carter Page has had FISA warrants out to uncover his full relationship with Russia. Paul Manafort left his role as campaign manager after cash payments from Russia friendly Ukrainians came to light. Trump himself has collected millions in real estate deals with Russians, some of those deals were far above the market value of the property. What we know now will forever taint his Presidency. What we learn later may end it.
- Apologies to all the issues I didn’t really get to. His misogyny, ongoing lawsuits from women he sexually harassed. The settlement of the Trump University lawsuit for $25 million. His vouching for fellow serial harasser Bill O’Reilly. His failure to pass any significant legislation despite having a Republican House and Senate to work with. His failure to condemn Russia for anything looms large given their actions and the charges against him. Bombing Syria doesn’t count because he warned them and told them to move. His child-like bickering with North Korea and lying about an aircraft carrier. Let’s not forget his continued blaming everything he’s done wrong on Barack Obama. The White House just refused to provide requested documents on Michael Flynn to the House Select Committee on Intelligence. Stay tuned for the Second Hundred Days, assuming he lasts that long.
- Also forgot tweets, nepotism and a whole article about Trump’s own conflicts of interest. The worst hundred days should actually be a book and not a blog post.
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