COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 1, 2017 — The first 100 days of a new presidency. It’s a concept first made popular by FDR and the supposedly lightning-like launch of his New Deal.
Today, the press is focused on that number like a laser.
Are the first 100 days of a presidency really meaningful? Has President Trump accomplished any of his agenda? Have the Democrats, fighting from a minority position, been able to slow or stop him? The facts are available, but it is challenging to sift through the media propaganda filter to discover them.
According to the Media Research Center (MRC), mainstream media coverage of President Trump has been 89 percent negative thus far. Does this track with reality?
So far in 2017, one Trump Administration victory that stands out is the president’s successful nomination of now-Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. This fulfilled a Trump campaign promise to nominate a justice from the list of candidates he released during the campaign.
The Democrats’ effort to slow the Gorsuch confirmation process only resulted in Senate Republicans invoking the “nuclear option” to prevent a filibuster against his confirmation. Taken together, both the nomination and the successful confirmation vote was really a double-win for Republicans.
Rumors in DC are that another justice is going to retire this summer. Does that mean another nomination will be made from Trump’s list? Given his initial success, he is free to go even further right, if he chooses, when another position opens up.
Prior to the Gorsuch vote, some observers thought Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer might hold off on his threat of a filibuster on that nomination. But outspoken, far-left Democrat activists apparently forced his hand, giving Trump and Senate Republicans a huge win with long-term consequences: The threat of a Senate Supreme Court nomination filibuster is now gone.
Since 2008, the biggest thing on voters’ minds has been jobs and the economy. Among the major factors in Trump’s election victory was his appeal to working class voters, a traditional constituency the Democrats had ignored in their long march towards a socialist utopia. What has Trump accomplished on that front?
Today, economic trends are positive. The stock market is up and unemployment is down. Certainly, there are no bills to point to as the cause. While leftists believe in positive government action to correct flaws in the economy, free market economists know that all government does is get in the way.
Trump has done precisely the right thing: He’s gotten out of the way. He negotiated a few early high-profile deals to set the tone. Entrepreneurs are responding in kind. Score one in the morale column. As Napoleon said, the morale is to the material as three is to one.
Trump said he would approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Done. The Dakota pipeline, too. Obama had them on indefinite bureaucratic hold. Live by the administrative state, watch your legacy die by the administrative state.
It’s not just pipelines on the energy front, either. The Western Energy Alliance is ecstatic. While they had been cautiously optimistic about the incoming Trump administration, the organization’s president, commenting on Trump’s first hundred days, said,
“We didn’t fully anticipate that not only would the punishing regulations stop, but the new Administration would make it a priority to roll back the last-minute, redundant regulation from the Obama Administration, and do it in such an effective way.”
“… the Executive Order on Energy Independence was truly a surprise. We knew the order was coming on the Clean Power Plan, but didn’t anticipate it would so comprehensively address other aspects of the Obama climate change edifice, and redundant federal methane and hydraulic fracturing rules.”
Meanwhile, morale at the EPA is reportedly in a shambles.
Part of Trump’s economic argument highlighted unfair trade deals that adversely affected the country and its workers. Early on, he backed out of the disastrous, impending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP was another of those massive, Democrat-inspired deals like Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, that were designed to radically transform America’s once-vibrant economy. It didn’t pass the Senate, however. So Obama used his pen and phone to the extent he could to push the TPP. Now it’s dead. Good riddance.
So Obama used his pen and phone to the extent he could to push the TPP. Now it’s dead. Good riddance.
Trump said this week that he won’t actually back out of NAFTA. Indeed, without Senate action, he can’t. Instead, he will attempt to renegotiate the original deal, which again has adversely affected key sectors of the U.S. economy. Again: the right path.
In foreign policy, Trump actually put teeth into the no-chemical-weapons “red line” Obama drew in Syria and subsequently failed to enforce. This was no first step on a slippery slope of involvement, as critics fretted.
The administration may be drawing up future plans to address this ongoing conflict, but there will be no unilateral action as there were with Obama in Libya and Egypt. This is especially significant because Trump’s Syrian response had nothing to do with a campaign promise. Stuff happens. Score one for restoring an appropriate place for American power in the international system. You can’t just pick up your marbles and go home when you’re the biggest player.
There’s more. Trump’s appointments have been uniformly good. We’re starting to see positive actions from people such as Nikki Haley at the UN and Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice (DOJ). But it is going to be a tough slog, as numerous Obama appointees remain in place as the pace of Trump’s nominations to many lower-level appointments slows.
Meanwhile, far-left Democrats, who seem to be the only ones left in the Democratic Party, have uniformly opposed everything Trump does. They’ve sued to stop his immigration policies, for example, although in the end, his executive orders stand on clear and solid Constitutional footing.
What do Democrats think of their party’s efforts?
Recent Rasmussen polls have produced some interesting results: Only 11 percent of likely Democratic voters believe efforts by the Democrats to oppose Trump were successful; 24 percent think those efforts were a failure, while most respondents—63 percent—say they’re somewhere in between.
But, successful or not, is this implacable Democrat opposition a good thing?
Forty-four percent of Democrats feel it’s better for both the country and their party if they oppose the new president as much as possible. But 46 percent say it’s better for America if Democrats try to work with Trump, and 45 percent say it’s better for their party, too.
Only 29 percent of all likely U.S. voters think it’s better for the country if Democrats oppose the president in every way possible. Sixty-three percent say it’s better for the country if Democrats try to work with the president instead.
Is anyone at the DNC listening? Is this the way to win Congressional seats in 2018 or the presidency in 2020?
Neither seems likely. Victor Davis Hansen, writing this week for Townhall, compares the current Democrat strategy with that of 1972. Moving further left than they had in 1968, the Democrats nominated leftist South Dakota Senator George McGovern for President. In the end, McGovern carried only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.
Democrats seem to hope that 2020 will more closely mirror 2006 and 2008, when the relentless hounding of G.W. Bush by Democrats and the media produced victories for the party.
The problem is, leftists, with their eyes fixed upon their utopian future, neglect to learn the lessons of the past. Socialism fails again and again.
And Trump is not Bush.
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