Editor’s note: The writer is addressing the question, “How would you rate President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office?”
There’s an old joke in which a guy complains about a local deli: “The food is awful … and such small portions.”
I think that joke sums up Donald Trump’s first hundred days as president. He’s had very few substantive achievements, and what he has pulled off has ranged from the very bad to the truly horrific.
By now, we are all well-versed on the failures. Unlike every other modern president at this juncture, he hasn’t signed a single piece of major legislation into law even though his party controls both houses of Congress.
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His first major initiative – repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act – crashed and burned because the bill he embraced was too radical for even many Republicans.
His Muslim ban was poorly thought out and poorly drafted. It was struck down by several judges, including several Republicans.
He hasn’t appointed even a skeletal crew of executive branch employees, and both his proposed budget and his second “tremendous” proposal on tax reform appear dead on arrival.
The ironic and sad thing is that as obvious as his failures have been, we can be grateful for them.
A great example is the health care bill he embraced.
During the campaign, he made it clear he wanted to replace Obamacare. However, he never offered specifics on its replacement. All he said was that it would be “tremendous” and “really terrific.”
It turns out that what everybody was supposed to “love” would have taken away care from 24 million people and allowed insurance companies to stop covering even basic care such as “hospital visits” and “childbirth.”
If his Muslim ban had succeeded, we would have ended our already embarrassingly small commitment to helping desperate refugees fleeing oppression.
His tax plan is basically huge tax cuts for corporations and the richest Americans at the expense of our social safety net, education and environment.
Further, he has appointed people to powerful positions whose only qualifications appear to be their aggressive hostility to the jobs they are supposed to do.
For example, President Trump appointed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency Oklahoman Scott Pruitt, whose only relevant experience is his history of suing the EPA to stop it from interfering with his state’s right to pour as much poison into the atmosphere as possible.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has led a decades-long crusade against public education, and new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson doesn’t believe his agency should be involved in the business of helping people find housing. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
Finally, Trump’s first 100 days have been marred most by Trump, who has revealed himself to be no different than candidate Trump and business-cheat Trump before that.
He is simply temperamentally unfit to be president. A total narcissist, he is someone who lies about even silly things that are easily checked. He continues to spew out bizarre allegations of wild conspiracies without any evidence.
Think “Obama tapped my wires.” Like the dictators he aspires to be, he routinely delegitimizes all institutional checks on his power, calling the judiciary “so-called” judges and the free press purveyors of “fake news.”
Trump has even managed to pick unnecessary fights with not only our adversaries but traditional allies like Mexico, Australia and Germany. And he has turned nepotism into an art form.
In short, Trump’s first 100 days have been a disaster. It is critical Americans of good conscience continue to resist his vision in order for our nation to have any chance of surviving the 1,300 days to come.
The writer is a state senator in Pennsylvania and national president of Americans for Democratic Action.