First 100 Days: Can We Say the Honeymoon Is Over If It Never Began?
April 24, 2017

 
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Last October, just ahead of the November election, Trump released a list of promises he intended to fulfill within his “first 100 days” if the voters just elected him president. He called his list: “Donald Trump’s Contract With The American Voter”… deliberately reminiscent of Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract On With America” that helped elect the first Republican Majority in the House in 40 years.

The significance of the “first 100 days” was invented by FDR, who pointed out that a president typically is never more popular than in the brief period when they first take office. And with a majority of the support of the American people behind them, they have the best chance of getting their agenda passed than at any other time in office. Over time, it became known as “the honeymoon phase” of any president. And as the saying goes, “It all goes downhill from there.” So if this was “The honeymoon”, what do you think the rest of the marriage will look like? Will we still be couple four years from now?

Donald Trump’s “honeymoon phase” comes to an end next Saturday, and with lots of questions being thrown at him about what he hopes to get done before then, he now calls the “first 100 days” benchmark: “ridiculous”… which it is. No question about it. But it’s HIS benchmark. During the campaign, Trump repeatedly said how “quickly” he’d get things done and how “simple” everything would be. He made a “Yuuuge” deal of all the things he would accomplish in his “first 100 days”… some achievements he promised “on day one” of his presidency, including “Repeal ObamaCare” (a law passed by Congress that requires an act of Congress to undo), and “designate China as a currency manipulator” (only to recently declare that China “is NOT a currency manipulator.”)
 

Trump Contract (front)

Trump Contract (back)

So let’s look at some of the things Trump believed he’d accomplish in just his first 100 days in office:

18 promises divided into three categories: “Clean up Corruption and Special Interests”, “Protect Workers”, and “Restore Security & Rule of Law”.

Right off the bat, promising to “Clean up Corruption and Special Interests” didn’t even make it past naming his cabinet/staff before even taking office. Trump appointed at least two lobbyists to serve in his administration (Trade Rep Lighthizer and most notoriously, Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign after only three weeks for lying about it), not to mention Paul Manafort… who was paid millions to lobby the Ukrainian government on behalf of Russia… was the first to RUN Trump’s campaign, and then appointed SIX former Goldman-Sachs executives to his Administration:
 

Goldman Sachs execs in Trump Admin

 

Six actions to fight corruption & Special Interests:

#1 (of 18): Propose term limits on Congress. This failed promise is striking because it required absolutely no effort on his part. He didn’t need to write a bill or even negotiate with members of Congress. All he had to do was say, “I want Congress to draft a Constitutional Amendment placing term limits on members of Congress.” His first Address before a Joint Session of Congress in February would have been the perfect place to bring it up. I searched and while I’ve found members of Congress (like Ted Cruz) bringing it up at CPAC, and Conservative columnists saying Trump is “on their side” on this issue, I can’t find one instance of him even bringing it up since taking office.

#2 Enact a “hiring freeze” on all Federal workers. He did this. It’s an incredibly stupid move Republicans just love and try all the time because they think it saves money, but the problems it creates ALWAYS ensures such a ban is temporary… and I do mean ALWAYS. Because the job of government is to serve the people, and the number of people needing to be served doesn’t stop growing just because you freeze the number of people serving them. Lines get longer, stacks of paperwork grow, and employees rack up more overtime pay… until finally there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Waiting rooms fill up and call centers become overwhelmed. And in the end, you end up having to hire more people anyway while all you’ve succeeded in doing is pissing off an awful lot of people for no reason. But congrats Donald, you got this one done!

#3 Require that two regulations are abolished for every one new regulation passed. No way to know if this is a promise “kept”. Trump has gleefully repealed “needless” regulations protecting public health (like allowing coal mines to dump poisonous coal ash loaded with mercury in our rivers & streams), but has yet to enact a single new regulation to mitigate the damage done by those repeals. Republican this regulations “destroy jobs” when in fact regulations actually do more to CREATE jobs since forcing compliance often means developing new technologies and hiring people to administrate those regulations and ensure they remain in compliance.

#4 A five year ban on anyone becoming a lobbyist after leaving the White House. President Obama enacted a “two year ban” on people becoming lobbyists when he took office in 2009, but Trump called Obama’s order (actually, one of those “unconstitutional Executive Orders” he promised to repeal “on day one”) “full of loopholes” and therefore needed to be replaced with a stronger order. But instead, Trump’s “five year” ban is actually full of more loopholes and is actually weaker than Obama’s ban.

#5 A lifetime ban on lobbying the White House on behalf of a foreign government. Of course, there was Flynn, who was already a paid lobbyist for Turkey serving as Trump’s National Security adviser, and as noted earlier, Manafort lobbying on behalf of Russia, but we should also consider Secretary of State Tillerson… the former CEO of Exxon who was working with Rosnef (Russia’s national oil company) on a project drill in the Kara Sea (northwest of Siberia)… as a foreign interest that has the presidents ear when setting U.S. policy. The very “conflict of interests” Trump’s “ban” was supposed to avert.

(Additional reading: “Trump Is Secretly Filling Government With Hundreds Of Lobbyists And Far-Right Conspiracy Theorists”.)

#6 A complete ban on foreign lobbyist raising money for U.S. elections. Other than the restrictions (aka: broken promises) mentioned above regarding becoming lobbyists or lobbying on behalf of a foreign government, Trump has proposed no new laws nor sign any executive orders prohibiting political candidates from raising money from foreign interests (and I personally suspect this is a rule Trump himself violated in spades while running for the White House as he made absurd business deals with foreign governments who paid him outrageous sums of money to earn his favor and fund his campaign.)
 

Seven actions to “Protect Workers”

#7 Announce his intention to renegotiate NAFTA. Good news! He did that… announced his intention to renegotiate NAFTA. He never had the power to do it on his own, and we tried to tell him he was making a promise he couldn’t possibly keep, but he DID declare his desire to “renegotiate NAFTA” on his third day in office, but the auto-makers screamed bloody murder and the vow was never heard from again. This is just one more instance where corporate interests win out over Trump’s policy agenda. Clearly, the idea behind “renegotiating NAFTA” was that it was costing us jobs (ala his feux “Carrier A/C” victory last December) and hurts American workers, but when corporations complain such a move would cost them money, corporate interests win out.

#8 Withdraw from the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). Well, you can’t “withdraw” from something we never joined (Obama wanted it but Hillary flipped to oppose it, so there wasn’t any point.) But Trump did indeed keep his promise to oppose the TPP. This is the only Trump policy promise I supported and am glad he kept.

#9 Designate China as a “currency manipulator”. As mentioned in the opening, this was one of Trump’s “Day One” promises. But it didn’t happen on “Day One”… or “Day 30″… or any other day for that matter. Instead, he declared that they WEREN’T in fact a “currency manipulator” at all. For years, it has been noted how China… being a Communist nation that owns every industry and all means of production… can arbitrarily set the value of their own currency to make they products artificially cheaper and undercut foreign competitors. Once again, Corporate America: 2, American Workers: zero.

#10 Direct officials to ID any & all trade abuses by foreign governments. On March 31st, Trump instructed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to begin that investigation, which we can only assume is ongoing. But if the two most obvious & glaring examples of unfair trade practices… China & NAFTA… didn’t make the cut, just hope much hope do we hold out for anything meaningful to come from this order?

#11 Lift restrictions on some of the dirtiest and potentially deadly forms of energy production in the U.S. And he did just that, first approving the construction of the ridiculous “Keystone XL” pipeline… with the stipulation it be made exclusively with “American-made steel”… until it was pointed out to him that nearly all the steal had already of been purchased (mostly from China) and they weren’t about to buy all new pipe just to fulfill his requirement (not to mention the fact 80% of the pipeline has already been built)… at which point Trump rescinded his “American steel only” requirement that he said was intended to create American jobs. Then he repealed numerous environmental regulations on the production of coal. Not fictitious “clean coal” where you increase coal production while still protecting the environment. NO. But instead a blanket “pollute all you want, we’ll learn to drink sludge and breath dirt if it means creating fewer jobs than building a new highway” deregulation that is going to cost thousands of lives, impair the health of millions more, and possibly cause irreparable harm to the planet. Oh, and while he was at it, DOW chemical “donated” $1-Million dollars to pay for Trump’s pathetic inauguration, and in exchange, the EPA approved a banned pesticide of their that was actually based on “nerve gas developed by Nazi Germany” [ibid] (I kid you not) and banned for making farm workers sick. Once again, Corporate America: 3, American Workers: zero.

#12 Lift the obstruction of projects like the Keystone XL. Covered above.

#13 Cancel billions in payments to the U.N. and use that money to pay for infrastructure. Perhaps “billions” over time, but Trump has promised to cut $500 Million in payments to the U.N. fund to fight Global Warming. Shocker I know. But when you believe Climate Change is “a Chinese hoax”, it’s easy to cut funding to fight it. As for using that saving to fund infrastructure projects like clean water”, Trump has made no such promise on what he intends to spend that savings on (if anything). Might I point out that the cost of ensuring “clean water” just went up exponentially by allowing coal mines to dump toxic ash/mercury in our rivers & streams. Funny how one bad decision always seems to make another one worse.
 

Five actions to “Restore security & rule of law”

#14 Cancel every unconstitutional Executive Action ordered by Obama. Republicans are such idiots. Arguably I could label this one true since NO EXECUTIVE ORDERS ARE “UNCONSTITUTIONAL”, so Trump failing to cancel all of Obama’s EO because none of them were “unconstitutional” would technically be true. When it comes to how the government operates, the president can dictate whatever policy they choose. They CAN’T impose “laws” that affect private industry or violate people’s rights (THAT would be “unconstitutional”), but requiring government contractors pay a higher minimum wage than the private sector is WELL within the presidents power. If “Executive Orders” of and by themselves were “unconstitutional”, Trump would be in big trouble having already signed twenty-five himself in just his first 90 days… that’s more than one every 4 days.

#15 Begin the process of replacing Scalia. He accomplished this too. It took Congress breaking with over 100 years of tradition and going “nuclear”… thus ensuring the Supreme Court will become filled with ideologues voted in straight down Party lines for generations to come (assuming we survive that long.)

#16 Cancel funding of sanctuary cities. This is currently in progress and may or may not be done by Saturday. This is another shortsighted moronic Republican touchstone (like the “hiring freeze”). Yesterday on ABC’s “ThisWeek“, Attorney General Sessions argued that “sanctuary cities” were basically crime infested rat holes that were making lives of the locals miserable, and if they didn’t stop, they’d lose all Federal funding. So one might ask the obvious question: If giving illegal immigrants “sanctuary” results in rising crime that strains city resources, why on Earth would they… no only do it… but fight to keep it that way??? Because Sessions is full of crap. Not only do most sanctuary cities have a LOWER crime rate (because more people are willing to call the cops to report crime if they don’t fear being found out they’re undocumented), but it frees up the police to concentrate on fighting REAL crime instead of wasting time (and money) deporting tax-paying mothers of disabled children.

#17 Begin deporting the “two million” violent criminals here illegally. Not really sure how to grade this one. We ALREADY deport anyone here illegally that is arrested in the commission of a crime. That’s not new. So to “start deporting two million undocumented criminals”… one must actively FIND them. And that would require a house-to-house search of literally tens of millions of homes… a WARRANTLESS search to be sure unless you plan to clog the courts obtaining tens of millions of search warrants either without Probable Cause or demonstrating it isn’t needed. And the first time The gub’mint… sans warrant… kicks in the door of some redneck while looking for “illegals”, someone is going to get killed.

#18 Trump’s “Muslim ban”. He tried (three times) and failed (three times) to get his unconstitutional “Muslim ban” passed. The most glaring thing about Trump’s Muslim ban was all the nations he DIDN’T include… countries from which actual terrorist attacks have been launched, but which had powerful business interests with the United States… including several with Trump branded hotels in them. Hmm. But as recent events have shown again & again, “country of origin” has almost NO bearing on how likely someone may be as the source of a terrorist attack (ISIS & alQaeda LOVE recruiting locals… already in the country and above suspicion… to carry out acts of domestic terrorism.) The terrorist attacks in Germany, Brussels and France (more on that last one next week as the French elections conclude) were all committed by either citizens or Muslims living in neighboring European nations. An arbitrary ban on people based on nothing but that countries’ primary religion would do almost NOTHING to fight terrorism. Trump briefly promised to give preferential treatment to “Christians” emigrating from those same nations, which would have been a clear violation of the “Establishment Clause” of the Constitution by showing preference for one religion over another. Trump wasn’t in office even a full month before he was issuing his own (truly) unconstitutional Executive Orders that would of had Republicans screeching like banshees if a Democrat had tried it (just imagine if President Bill Clinton had tried to ban all gun-toting white Christian extremists from crossing state lines after the Oklahoma City bombing? Now imagine if Obama had carved out an exception for Muslims?
 

So, Trump is 9, 8 & 2 on his “first 100 day” promises, and most all of the ones he kept, are horrid (“No Polluter Left Behind”). Getting Gorsuch passed required Congress to break the system in a way from which we might never recover, and most of his failures failed… not for lack of trying, but because wiser heads prevailed in obstructing him (like his “Muslim Ban”.)

What is most significant about this list is not how little he actually achieved, but how little he clearly understands about how government works, making promises to do things that were not within his power (like unilaterally repealing laws passed by Congress.) In Trump’s mind, he’s wildly popular (remember his bizarre claim of actually winning the popular vote?) and has the support of the American people on his side because we all want exactly what he wants, therefore, Congress can & will simply approve his every wish because that’s what the people want.

Only to find out it’s not even what a majority of REPUBLICANS want.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am THRILLED Trump failed at pushing through his “first 100 days” agenda. But despite his record of failure and turning out to be both a monster hypocrite and flip-flopper, 96% of those who voted for him still support him. One elderly Trump supporter who was disappointed to learn he was defunding her senior center said of him, “I give you TEN chances, and that was strike one.” TEN? Others still don’t care what a miserable failure he is so long as he “deports the Mexicans, builds the wall and bans the Muslims.” (He’s 0 for 3 on that by the way.)

Whether or not you see these as Trump “successes” depends upon whether you see defunding the EPA and deregulating polluters as “successes”. If you’re a neoconservative Luddite with less sense than God gave a brain-damaged hamster… like these guys:
 

Douchebag Mt. Rushmore

 

…then you probably think (pardon my French) that Trump is a brilliant man that is going to save the country. Former labor secretary Robert Reich put it best when he remarked how “JFK invited the most brilliant minds and Nobelist humanitarians to the White House, showcasing the best of America to uplift us and make it’s citizens proud.” Trump invites these three redneck douchebags to the Oval Office to take obnoxious snarky selfies beneath the portrait of a former First Lady.

Last week, in a stunning display of denial that is rapidly becoming Trump’s trademark (see: “Popular vote” above), he actually claimed: “No administration has accomplished more in their first 100 days” than he has… which of course isn’t CLOSE to being true. Trump’s most recognized promises… building a Mexican border wall and getting Mexico to pay for it, repealing ObamaCare, replacing ObamaCare with “something great that covers everyone”, and his “Muslim Ban”… ALL massive failures. He tried to take credit for excellent employment figures in the first two months of the year as the end of the Obama economy fades, but made excuses for the first sub-100K job creation total in seven years at the end of March. And that Stock Market rally that broke 20,000/21,000/22,000 after he took office is already back down close to 20K and falling.

For every Trump failure there’s a flip-flop. His promise to make Mexico pay for the wall? Now he’s threatening to shutdown the government if Congress doesn’t give him a $1-Billion dollar advance on starting construction for the wall he promisespinky-swear… to figure out a way to get Mexico to reimburse us for later. That promise of his to declare China a “currency manipulator”? Now he says “they aren’t.” Trump has more flip-flops than “accomplishments.”

If Trump does shutdown the government this week over a budget dispute, he would be the first president in U.S. history to do so in his first 100 days. Now THAT would be historic!

He already has the lowest approval rating of any president in their first 100 days. Woo-hoo! Trump’s “historic” presidency!
 


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April 24, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: General, myth busting, Partisanship, Politics, rewriting history, Right-Wing Insanity