Donald Trump's first 100 days: Few accomplishments, little to brag about for the new administration

While US President Donald Trump and his aides like to claim that he's done more in his first 100 days than other presidents have done in an entire administration, nothing could be further from the truth.

President Donald Trump. AP

President Donald Trump. AP

Trump, for all of his bluster, has accomplished little. Unlike most others presidents in history, Trump has no legislative accomplishment in his first 100 days. His administration has seen a series of high profile and embarrassing blunders.

His first healthcare bill, dubbed Trumpcare, was an embarrassing public debacle that died moments before it was brought to the floor of the US House. The new bill, dubbed Zombie Trumpcare by its detractors, is reportedly on life support.

His "tax plan" is a pie in the sky fantasy that has little chance of ever passing the House and the Senate. His immigration orders have been halted by the courts. His approval rating is at a historic low.

This is a staggering failure. The first 100 days of a new presidency is usually regarded as a honeymoon period through which a popular commander-in-chief can push through his big ideas. Compare that to Obama, who, in the midst of a national financial crisis, passed a stimulus plan, an auto bailout and a fair pay act.

Trump and his supporters would point to having a Supreme Court justice confirmed. That's an important win, however, Trump had little to do with it himself. He merely picked a name from a list of eminent jurists presented to him. It was left to the machinations Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell to push it through.

What Trump has done is sign 30 executive orders, higher than any of his predecessors. However, CNN's Fareed Zakaria has described these as "mostly hot air, lofty proclamations that direct some agency to 'review' a law, 'report' back to him, 'consider' some action or reaffirm some long-standing practice."

More importantly, these executive orders can be easily reversed by the next president, so they have no real lasting impact.

Let's examine his three major fails:

Fail 1: The travel ban

Trump's most notable and highly-publicised executive action: the travel ban. It was delayed — indefinitely — after a three-judge panel said the ban did not advance national security and the administration had provided no proof that any of the individuals from the seven countries banned had committed any acts of terror in the United States.

Meanwhile, the administration quietly dropped any plans to appeal and decided to came up with a revised order. Which looked a lot like the previous order. The one CNN's Fareed Zakaria described as "so poorly conceived and phrased that it got stuck in the court system and will have to be redone or abandoned."

That order too, was blocked by a judge in Hawaii.  Trump has been stymied and stifled by the courts at every turn, and this looks likely to continue, despite his threats.

Fail 2: Repealing Obamacare: And replacing it with "something terrific"

This has been Trump's highest profile failure.  According to President Trump, no one knew healthcare could be so complicated. However, candidate Trump sang a different tune: Calling Obamacare a disaster and promised to replace it with "something terrific". He promised to repeal Obamacare on Day 1.

According to former Republican House Speaker John Boehner, that is not going to happen. Ever. "I started laughing," said Boehner , discounting the possibility of a fast replacement. "Republicans never ever agree on health care."

The first healthcare bill, dubbed Trumpcare, died an ignominious death. Everybody hated it. Moderates hated it because it would have, according to the Congressional Budget Office, thrown 24 million Americans off the insurance rolls. Not to mention, it would have been a political catastrophe, dooming the Republicans in the 2018 mid-term elections.

Conservatives hated it because it didn't sufficiently take away coverage from the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable. Voters hated it. Doctors. Seniors. Insurance companies. The list is endless. If there was a method to poll babies in the womb, they would have probably overwhelmingly come out against it as well. It had a 17 percent approval rating.

The second iteration of Trumpcare, is reportedly dead on arrival. Moderate Republicans in the House have refused to support it after the president reportedly made concessions to the more conservative members, stripping the bill of protections for citizens with "pre-existing" conditions. In the words of House Speaker Paul Ryan, it seems that Obamacare will be, for the foreseeable future, the law of the land.

Fail 3: Building the Great Wall of Trump: And making Mexico pay for it

Trump signed an executive order authorising the building of a wall between Mexico and the United States. Just one tiny problem — the money to pay for the wall is controlled by Congress, who haven't lifted a finger — and have shown no inclination to do so.

A reading of the executive order shows it mandates nothing beyond what was already accomplished in a 2006 Secure Fence Act, which authorises construction of fencing and fortifications across the border. So, it accomplished precisely nothing.

Trump has already began to back off his demand for a wall. During the first real chance he had to push for the border wall, Trump folded to avoid a government shutdown. And Democrats are confident that they can continue to deny him the funds in the future.

As for Mexico paying for it? That promise seems to be history too.

 

 

Trump may thrive in chaotic situations, but voters don't care about anything except results. And so far, he hasn't delivered.


Published Date: Apr 29, 2017 01:11 pm | Updated Date: Apr 29, 2017 01:11 pm


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