100 Days In

Everyone’s talking about Trump’s first 100 days in office, but I’m going to keep my comments fairly short.

Trump himself, as I’m sure you know, is now saying that this “100 Days” marker is arbitrary and doesn’t mean much. And he’s right,… mostly. The media started doing this awhile back, and it makes for a nice benchmark and a countdown for news stories, etc. But, unless those first 100 days are marked by significantly good or significantly poor performance, the time period should have no special, er, significance. Of course, if the President & Congress had gotten a couple more important pieces of legislation passed within the past 100 days, I’m sure Trump would have been TRUMPeting those accomplishments as the most amazingly YUGE first 100 days ever.

Speaking of Congress, their inability or refusal (for various reasons) to put together and pass bills that do what needs to be done — e.g., repeal and replace Obamacare being the biggest and most obvious — are a huge part of the problem. The President can only encourage legislation and then sign or veto it when presented with the final bill. He can’t force the Legislature to do their jobs. I truly pray that the Republican majority (and perhaps even a few centrist Democrats on some issues, at least) can unite behind a solidly conservative agenda, which is exactly what this nation needs.

Another major impediment, of course, has been from activist, progressive federal courts. I’m not saying the EOs to stem illegal immigration and enact “extreme vetting” (a term that I loathe) haven’t needed improvement. But, the intent behind them is clearly to protect American citizens (and legal residents), which is within the President’s constitutional authority. Same goes for withholding of federal funds from sanctuary cities (which never should have been allowed to buck federal law in the first place). These federal judges who have thrown roadblocks at Trump’s orders appear to be doing so purely for ideological reasons, which is shameful.

That said, I do not absolve the Executive branch from blame for some of the missteps, and there have been a few. In an understandably hectic time, the President has been trying to get his Cabinet and other high-level positions filled, including personal advisors, all while developing executive orders and dealing with foreign and domestic affairs. He has had personnel problems and verbal gaffes (e.g., Flynn, Bannon, Spicer, Conway, etc.), which have left smudges on the otherwise pretty successful fledgling administration. (I have concerns over other people and things in the administration, too, but I won’t go into them here.) But, hopefully, they are all learning from those mistakes. And, Trump does seem to be learning, as evidenced by things he has said and tough decisions he has had to make. I think the size, scope, and complexity of the various issues that the President must deal with here and abroad have become much more tangible to the New York real estate developer and “reality TV” celebrity.

I will say that, overall, I have been pleased with most of Trump’s appointments — from A.G. Sessions to Sec. Mattis to, of course, Justice Gorsuch. I had a little more concern about Sec. Tillerson, for example, but he seems to be shaping up to be a good choice, as well. Still, it has only been 100 days, and there will be plenty of time to take the true measure of President Trump and the rest of his administration. The “1 year” mark will perhaps be a more noteworthy milestone.

So, what *has* President Trump achieved in his first 100 days? Quite a bit, actually. Laying aside artificial time restrictions, and despite the stumbles and disappointments, I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. In fact, I think I’d grade him a solid ‘B’, maybe ‘B+’. Rather than stepping through it all myself, I point you to the following summary assessments:

“Trump’s Unconventionally Successful First 100 Days” by Mike Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America

“Promises Kept, and Not Yet Kept, in Trump’s First 100 Days” by Fred Lucas, White House correspondent for The Daily Signal

“The 10 Best Things About Trump’s First 100 Days in Office” by John Hawkins, columnist, commentator, owner of Right Wing News

I look forward to what comes next — e.g., healthcare reform, tax reform, increased energy independence, repeal of Obama’s internet regulations, various efforts that strengthen the economy, a wall on our southern border, etc. But, I also expect some disappointments, including implementation of tariffs and partial support of LGBT agenda. So, as always, I remain “cautiously optimistic”….

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