One of the more interesting aspects of tracking and analyzing a presidency is following what an administration does in its first 100 days. The hundred-days motif was initiated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt following the 1932 election. Roosevelt had very ambitious policy initiatives he wanted to implement in an effort to jumpstart America’s then-depressed economy. The idea behind it is that since a president is coming in new, the first hundred days are important for a couple of reasons.
First, it helps set the tone for the rest of the presidency. Second, it is also important because it is a president’s honeymoon period with the press, with the other two branches of government and most importantly, with the citizens of the United States. The honeymoon period is a time during which optimism for a new president is at its highest, and, theoretically, the perfect time to strike while the iron is hot with regards to certain policies. Opponents give you the benefit of the doubt, and Congress is more willing to work with an administration to help garner some legislative victories that Congresspeople can use to campaign on during the mid-term elections. Unfortunately (or fortunately), it doesn’t really seem to be turning out this way for President Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress.
Trump, in recent days, has claimed that the hundred day marker was “a ridiculous standard.” But one look at Trump’s Contract with the American Voter, a list of the 60 things he wanted to get done before his 100 days in office, and it’s very clear that Trump thought this whole ‘presidenting’ thing was gonna be a breeze. He appeared very eager to adhere to the 100-day standard he is now deriding as ‘unrealistic.’ I wonder what changed for him? It seems Trump is now attempting to have it both ways. We wouldn’t be hearing about how ridiculous the 100-day standard is had Trump been more successful with his policy initiatives.
The heavy work of this administration includes about 30 or so executive orders that really have only served to get rid of regulations that will eventually put those already making large profits to profit even more, with zero relief for middle-class families. The only major legislation even attempted by the Trump administration, the American Health Care Act, didn’t even get to the floor for a vote in the House in its first bill cycle.
“This is the problem with Trump that has been made very apparent during this hundred-day scramble: He’s tried to BS and smoke & mirror his way through this presidency. Bomb a country here, say some outlandish stuff there. Anything to distract from the Russia investigations being conducted by both Congress and the FBI, as well as the fact that the vast majority of people in this administration have no idea how to do the jobs they were chosen to do.”
Now Trump, like a kid who procrastinated until the night before to finish an essay, is frantically trying to alter the impending narrative that he and his party got absolutely nothing substantive done during the first 100 days of his presidency. Aside from downplaying the 100 days standard, he appears to be also touting his many executive orders, which were the most a president has ever completed in his first 100 days. I would give him props for that, except for the fact that not many of these orders are of any consequence, save from making the rich already richer. Also, there are many, many Tweets from Trump decrying Obama’s use of the executive order. Trump said that executive orders were an overreach of authority from the Obama administration. Now, all of a sudden, we’re supposed to applaud his administration’s use of them just because it’s the only thing this administration can muster up?
Trump is also trying to shove tax reform and health care bills through Congress within the next couple of days. Which is sorta incomprehensible when you realize that it took Obama over 14 months to successfully pass health care reform in his first and only try. Trump is now on his second attempt to reform health care, and he’s barely been in office for three months. This isn’t even coming from a place where I hate Trump so much that I lack the ability to be impartial when discussing his presidency. This administration has been a spectacular failure so far.
As Trump is fast finding out, hubris and unproductivity do not mix in Washington. Every decision he has made, good or bad, he will eventually have to answer for. Trump is good at stalling and BS-ing. But as he has even said in his book The Art of the Deal, “You can’t con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.”
This is the problem with Trump that has been made very apparent during this hundred-day scramble: He’s tried to BS and smoke & mirror his way through this presidency. Bomb a country here, say some outlandish stuff there. Anything to distract from the Russia investigations being conducted by both Congress and the FBI, as well as the fact that the vast majority of people in this administration have no idea how to do the jobs they were chosen to do. If Trump thinks that these first 100 days were long, just wait until even his most fervent supporters start to catch on and realize that they’re being conned, and that Trump spent the last 100 days doing all of this chest-puffing with little to nothing to show for it.