Sunday, April 30, 2017

President Trump's First 100 Days

From Marc Thiessen, at WaPo, "Forget the critics, Mr. President. Your first 100 days have been just fine":

Despite the best efforts of the White House “PR apparatus” to sell the president’s first 100 days as a success, the New York Times declared in an editorial, the new administration has, in fact, been plagued by “many missteps” including a “bungled sales job” on his first major legislative initiative and a “snakebit” confirmation process, all of which have produced “a flurry of articles bemoaning the lack of focus in the White House.” The first 100 days, the Times declared, is a period the president “might prefer to forget.”

The president in question is not Donald Trump. This is how, in April 1993, the Times described the first 100 days of Bill Clinton’s presidency. But not to worry, the Times reassured its readers: “It’s still early, and a hundred days don’t really mean very much.”

The Times is right: The first 100 days really don’t mean very much at all.

Right now, the Trump White House appears to be in a panic over the approaching milestone, looking desperately for last-minute accomplishments. It is pushing the House to vote this week on repealing Obamacare, and it is risking a government shutdown in an effort to make Democrats pay for a border wall with Mexico, instead of just passing a straight extension of current funding levels. And the president announced (to the apparent surprise of his own staff) that he would unveil his tax reform plan on Wednesday, before it is fully baked.

To which I say: Mr. President, slow down. There’s no rush. Ignore the critics. You’re doing just fine.

Trump has accomplished something more significant in his first 100 days than any president in recent memory has done: the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Trump’s predecessors’ early achievements were fleeting. President Barack Obama’s stimulus (with its false promise of “shovel-ready” jobs) is long forgotten. George W. Bush’s tax cuts were not signed until June and were partially repealed by his successor. But Trump’s success in placing the 49-year-old Gorsuch on the Supreme Court will affect the direction of our country for a generation. Indeed, Trump can count every 5-4 decision over the next three decades that goes conservatives’ way as one of his “First 100 Days” accomplishments. No other modern president can claim to have had that kind of lasting impact in so short a time...

PREVIOUSLY: "Donald Trump's First 100 Days" (featuring Salena Zito).