The first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency are behind us. This standard, set in the days of FDR, as Trump correctly asserts is “ridiculous.” Nonetheless, since the media likes to make a big deal out of it, it’s worth taking a look at what Trump has been able to accomplish. To do that, we should analyze the promises made during Trump’s campaign and see if he has been able to keep them thus far.
As the evidence will show, Trump has actually tended to most of his initial campaign promises (meant to last four years) but the fact that he has expedited them has caused many of them to falter.
Let’s start with the easiest example…
Trump (and every Republican candidate over the last seven years) ran on repealing and replacing Obamacare. The truth is, that part of the blame goes on Speaker Paul Ryan who had seven years to run around the House of Representatives to figure out what needed to happen to get a new healthcare law in place.
But he didn’t.
That being the case, it would have been wise for Trump – a supposed deal making legend – to figure out for himself what needed to be in and out of the bill for it to pass. Instead, Trump rushed a plan, probably just so that he could say that he repealed and replaced Obamacare very quickly. Everyone knew that something was sketchy with the policy when Ryan and Trump refused to release the bill to the public eye.
When they did eventually roll it out they released a bill that made almost nobody happy. Liberals were upset that their precious Obamacare was being repealed, Conservatives were upset that they were being given Obamacare Lite. It was probably the first time that Linda Sarsour and Ben Shapiro agreed on policy, it was a bad bill.
Instead of taking the time to calculate the votes, Trump tried to rush the law to the floor and suffered an embarrassing defeat as a result. Clearly not one to learn from his lessons, it seems that he is already trying to form a new bill, which may also be rolled out too quickly. Trump should have learned the hard way that healthcare legislation is not a 13-day process.
Theoretically, it should be hard to criticize this one but it really isn’t. Trump accelerated the Gorsuch nomination, as such, he was the first president to ever get a Justice on the court within the first 100 days. But doing so without giving the Democrats time to grieve over Merrick Garland and the lost election led to them standing firmly against then Judge Gorsuch and made the nomination process harder than it had to be.
Instead of undergoing a smooth confirmation process, which Gorsuch deserved given his credentials, his nomination was dirtied by Republican lawmakers having to take “the nuclear option,” a loophole which they used changed Senate procedures to get their guy on the courts. A technique that opens the door for Democrats to do the same when their turn comes around (perhaps they would have anyway.)
Gorsuch was one that could and should have been easy but the haste caused turmoil.
To anyone who can read, this clearly wasn’t a ban against Muslims. But given his rhetoric over the course of the campaign, Trump had to know that this was going to be contested. Now whether you agree with the courts upheaval of the ban or not, there is little denying the fact that Trump could have employed legal experts that could have made it constitutionally impossible for the courts to find justification to nullify the legislation. Instead, Trump had his inexperienced advisors, namely, Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, roll out the order (which originally – inexcusably — forgot to exclude green card holders – another sign it was rushed) instead of experts in the craft.
Once it failed, just as he seems to be doing with healthcare, he threw out a new order in an unreasonable turnaround time that still wasn’t good enough for the courts. This has left him with nothing at the moment. Trump would have been better off going back to the drawing board, instead he swung and missed again, strike two on the travel ban.
Trump is fighting for his border wall. That is a good thing, elected officials should do their very best to keep their campaign promises. Trump tried and failed to get funding for the wall in this first appropriations budget that was recently agreed upon. Failure to pass the budget would have led to a government shutdown – not the look the President needed at the moment.
Why would it be so unreasonable to allow the first budget to go through peacefully in an effort to avoid a shutdown – which would only hurt his party politically? And now that he has conceded, it is terrible optics for with no political benefit for the President because he isn’t getting his funding anyway.
For the sake of unity, he ended up foregoing the wall, which at this point it might make passing it tougher the next time around. Now the Democrats see that he has and will compromise when it comes to his beloved border wall. Bad negotiating from the artistic deal maker.
Trump would have been far better off had he waited a bit before fighting for the wall, but once he committed, it is silly to show weakness by wavering on principle. It all could have been avoided had he waited and taken the time to think a plan through.
It seems as though Trump tried desperately to complete (or at least begin) all of his campaign promises within the first 100 days. An absurd tactic, because as mentioned, these are all issues that take a full term to comprehensively achieve, often it takes two of them. The argument can be easily made that had Trump focused all of his efforts thus far upon one of these tasks and has some success – it would be perceived by the public as a far better plan of action.
It seems as though Trump wanted to get the issues important to him done with so that he can move on. The obvious question is move on to what? This is not a grocery store where the term ends when you check off everything on the list. Trump is in this for four years, so unless he plans to resign soon – we must ask – Mr. President, what is the rush?