A delusional Donald Trump said yesterday that so far his administration has been one of the "most successful" in history. History, I suspect, will beg to differ.
Today is the one-hundred day marker, the unofficial call to judgment for a new administration, the time when the President gets his first report card. Donald Trump, a man of infinite ego and boundless bluster wants us to believe that the achievements of his first one hundred days in office are amazing, and that he is perhaps the greatest world leader since Alexander the Great. The hard facts, however, suggest otherwise.
Trump the Warrior did order a few Tomahawk missiles lobbed onto an airfield in Syria, but that airfield was operational again the very next day. The venture fell far short of being the stuff of military legend.
Trump made a nomination to the Supreme Court, and that nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, managed to gain Senate approval and take his seat on the Court - but only after Mitch McConnell had to change the rules of the Senate in order to get Gorsuch approved on a squeaker vote. Other victories for Trump in Congress have been few and far between, and Trump's final cabinet secretary, Alexander Acosta, the new Secretary of Labor, was approved by the Senate only two days ago.
Trump has not worked much since becoming President, and much of the effort that he has put into the job has been aimed at eliminating all vestiges of the Obama presidency. A big focus of the first one hundred days was the planned obliteration of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), a move which initially stalled and then died in the House. This past week a newer, meaner version was put forth, one that staunch House conservatives could support, but so many moderates in the Republican membership opposed the measure that it was not brought to the floor for a vote.
So at the end of one hundred days under Trump, Obamacare still reigns as the law of the land. You get an "F" on that one Donald John - a HUGE "F"!
Not wanting to take the time to build bridges to Congress, Trump chose instead to govern by fiat - through Twitter and executive orders. He issued thirty executive orders during his first one hundred days in office, an extremely high number for a device normally employed during the "lame duck" period at the end of a presidential term. Even so, his most notorious executive orders went down in flames when they were reviewed by the judicial branch of government. Trump's Muslim ban was thrown out by a couple of federal judges, then it was rewritten and a judge again bounced it. A chastened and chagrined Trump is now making noises about "restructuring" the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to make it more accepting of his biases. A federal judge has also labeled the Trump administration's plan to withhold federal money from sanctuary cities as being unconstitutional.
Those danged judges weren't elected by anybody - snorts the popular vote loser!
And so far not one dollar from the United States nor a single peso from Mexico has been appropriated for Trump's grand border wall. Immigration issues would also appear to be an "F" for you, Donald John.
But while Congress may be ineffective and the Courts openly hostile, Donald John Trump is, himself, hugely popular with the people. Or is he? True, Trump may have lost the popular vote by more that three million ballots (or those could have been cast by sneaky day laborers who came in through a tunnel in Tijuana just to vote against him), but the people love him - God Almighty do they love him - unless, of course, one chooses to believe the polls.
The Gallup organization has polled Americans regarding each President's first one hundred days in office since the administration of Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950's. Those numbers are telling:
Dwight Eisenhower - 73% (approval)
John F. Kennedy - 83%
Richard Nixon - 62%
Gerald Ford (not provided)
Jimmy Carter - 63%
Ronald Reagan - 68%
George H.W. Bush - 56%
Bill Clinton - 55%
George W. Bush - 62%
Barack Obama - 65%
Donald Trump - 39%
That, apparently, is what real Americans think. So, when it comes to actual popularity, Donald John, yours is in the toilet. You earn a big, stinking "F" there also.
If Donald Trump has failed to produce much of substance during his first one hundred days in the White House, what has he been doing? In the area of non-presidential activities the grade goes below "F" to "G" - for greed, gluttony, and golf - three areas at which Trump continues to excel.
Government ethics and a sense of decency would dictate that the incoming President divest himself of all of his business activities, but Donald Trump defines himself as being a businessman and he has deliberately chosen to stay enmeshed in his business ventures. Yes, he did say that he was turning the management of his business interests over to his adult children, but he did not enter into any "blind" trusts and is still assumed to be the clearing point for all important decisions with regard to the family businesses and on-going scams. And, Trump makes a habit of visiting his businesses with guests and the press in tow - visits which generate immediate income as well as publicity for the Trump-branded establishments. Trump's greed remains in full flower.
Trump is also a man who has grown in office. He is already deemed to be the third largest man to hold that office - following only William Howard Taft and Grover Cleveland - and he appears to be working on moving into the lead. If fact, if he grows much more in office, it will take a crane to lift him on and off of Air Force One. I remember the late comedian Joan Rivers remarking on Elizabeth Taylor's weight and saying that Liz put mayonnaise on an aspirin. Ms. Rivers could have just as easily been describing Donald Trump, the man who drooled for the press as he talked about the chocolate cake at Mar-a-Lago.
And then there is golf, apparently the only exercise that Trump gets aside from the grueling climb up the steps on Air Force One. The press can count the number of times that Trump "visits" golf courses (somewhere around twenty so far), but they are barred from entering the gated, private clubs, so it is difficult to know if he actually plays or not. A state secret, one must suppose. Be that as it may, it still looks s though Trump is on his way to being the third most avid golfer to live in the White House - following only Woodrow Wilson and Dwight Eisenhower. During the campaign Trump enjoyed criticizing President Obama for playing too much golf, and said that as President he would be too busy to enjoy the game. At this stage in his presidency, Obama had not played any golf at all.
But, give the devil his due. Donald John Trump is the oldest individual ever elected to the presidency, and, as he admitted this past week, the job is much harder than he envisioned.
Perhaps he should retire so that he could spend his time promoting his businesses, tweeting, vacationing in Florida, and playing golf.