So this is it folks, Day #100.
Is it a vital deadline to set the tone of a President’s administration, or an overblown, useless metric? It depends which Trump you ask: Trump the Candidate referred to the benchmark regularly, promising definitive action to set the stage for an administration that would come through bigly for his voters. Trump the President (no, I have not magically stopped shuddering at that, so maybe 100 days is garbage) has taken a more measured approach– at least with his words, saying that it is unimportant in the grand scheme. His actions this week, however, speak much louder: early in the week, Trump postured about a government shut down if his border wall was not included in the Congressional budget, then quietly desisted when it became clear Congress had no intention of funding his ill-begotten pet project. Shortly after, he began touting what he described as a “tax reform plan,” though it only consisted of a single page that also receded rapidly, after Nancy Pelosi compared the so-called plan with the now-public pages of Trump’s 2005 tax return and calculated that Trump’s proposition would have saved him approximately $30 million dollars in that year alone. Following the same pattern, Trump and the Congressional Republicans briefly resurrected the zombie that is Trump(Doesn’t)Care which, as of now, has gained the support of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, but has lost the support of moderate republicans and has next to no chance of passing in the Senate, even if it does limp through the House. Speaking of Congress, they just managed to fund their continued operation so as not to shut down at midnight of the President’s 100th day, but this is nothing but a stop-gap: they only have through Friday to pass a budget or another extension. That is an incredible amount of political scrambling for a president and a party that claim not to care about frivolous deadlines.
In the vein of “things Trump failed to accomplish,” there is also this:
This rather fascinating little document promised an ambitious eighteen policy initiatives in 100 days. Let’s analyze, shall we?
Goal 1: Drain the Swamp
The irony is strong with this one.
- Term Limits– STATUS: Nope.
- Federal Hiring Freeze– STATUS: Fulfilled; rescinded (There was a brief freeze, which has since been lifted)
- One regulation in, two regulations out– STATUS: Fulfilled (of all the stupidity…)
- Five year lobbying ban on White House and Congressional officials– STATUS: Fulfilled the former by executive order, no progress on the latter
- Lifetime ban on White House Officials Lobbying for Foreign Governments– STATUS: Fulfilled, but apparently not enforced (see: Michael Flynn)
- Ban on Foreign Lobbyists Raising Election Funds– STATUS: Nope.
Goal 2: Protect American Workers
Yep, I can smell what the Rock is cooking, and it’s some more fresh, hot irony.
- Renegotiate NAFTA– STATUS: Nope.
- Withdraw from TPP– STATUS: Fulfilled.
- Label China a Currency Manipulator– STATUS: Nope. (see: this tweet)
- Identify and End Supposed Trade Abuses– STATUS: Fulfilled.
- Lift Energy Production Regulations– STATUS: Nope. Presently, regulations are under review per executive order, but that is all.
- Enable Production of Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines–STATUS: Fulfilled (ugh).
- Cancel UN Climate Change Payments, Redirect the Funds to American Infrastructure– STATUS: Nope. (The President doesn’t set the budget, that’s Congress, you dolt)
Goal 3: Restore Security and Constitutional Rule of Law
Oh hello again irony, my good friend.
- Cancel “Unconstitutional” Obama Executive Orders– STATUS: absurd, and unfulfilled by reason of impossibility.
- Fill the SCOTUS Seat– STATUS: Fulfilled (by way of a workaround)
- Cancel Funding to Sanctuary Cities– STATUS: Nope, unconstitutional.
- Remove Criminal Undocumented Immigrants, Cancel Visas– STATUS: to be determined
- Muslim Ban– STATUS: Nope, unconstitutional, twice.
In summary, that’s six promises out of eighteen that were fully realized and remain intact, and nine if you count partial and rescinded progress. Regardless, President Trump earns a solid F for his first hundred days, completing, at best, half of his promised tasks.
So, moving on from things the President has not been able to do, let’s also briefly discuss what he has done:
- Completed 19 games of golf, the highest (nine times over) of any modern President in the same period
- Attained the lowest approval rating for the first hundred days of any President since the beginning of popularity polling at around 43%
- Cost taxpayers $20 million dollars in trips to Mar-A-Lago, as well as an indeterminate number of millions spent protecting Melania and Barron Trump at Trump Tower in New York City
- Oversaw the death of over 1,000 civilians in the course of military action
- Lied, publicly, over one hundred times
- Presided over one of, if not the most corrupt and scandal-ridden administrations in American history
- Earned the accolade of “fastest President to become the subject of a federal investigation”
Now, some of these are difficult accomplishments, so let’s give credit where it’s due: that is a lot of golf for a man who had such painful heel spurs as to prevent his service in the United States’ military during the Vietnam War. Also, given the Presidential “honeymoon period” that usually accompanies the first hundred days, it takes hard work to achieve an approval rating that low.
There is plenty left to discuss– Michael Flynn deserves a post all to himself in light of recent events– but that is a subject for another day.
We survived 100 days. We pushed back against Trump at every turn, and won nearly every time. Now the fight continues. Settle in, Resistance. This is going to be a long, bumpy ride.
— This is the ALF, signing off.