Opinion: One big thing Donald Trump hasn’t done in his first 100 days

Zach Gibson / Getty Images

Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug. Nearly 100 days in, we’re still watching Donald Trump and Washington to see which is which.

A burst of legislative activity this week seeks to quiet the narrative the Trump’s presidency has accomplished too little as it approaches that traditional milestone. No Obamacare replacement yet? Here’s a conservative-friendly tweak to the bill — but no timetable for a vote. No major jobs legislation yet? Here’s an outline of the tax reform we’ll tackle — after “listening sessions” next month.

But to a large extent, the fact we’re having this kind of conversation suggests Washington is winning so far.

Remember, the “Trump Train” was supposed to roll right through the capital, disrupting D.C.’s M.O. Americans didn’t vote for Trump because of his policy details, because for the most part those did not exist. They voted for him for his attitude, his non-adherence to politics as usual. He fights!

When it comes to rhetoric, Americans have indeed watched a presidency that in its first three months may well have been unlike any other. In terms of actions, however, what’s most surprising is how conventional Trump has been.

Trump’s primary policy-making tool so far has been the executive order. That’s hardly a departure from his predecessor, except that Trump so far is even more prone than Barack Obama to picking up the pen instead of the phone. One of those orders may have been to review regulations with an eye toward reducing them, but the basic problem — lawmaking via the unelected bureaucracy rather than the elected Congress — remains.

Speaking of Congress: Like Obama (in late 2009) and George W. Bush (circa 2005) before him, Trump is finding legislative majorities don’t necessarily clear the path for his legislative priorities. For all the time and energy we devote to the election of one person, and despite the ever-growing reliance on executive action, the biggest and most enduring changes in this country still require 1) a majority of 435 persons, and 2) a super-majority of 100 others. And they often have their own ideas about how to go about things.

On foreign policy, it’s too soon to say how closely Trump will follow convention. At the first sign of trouble in the Middle East, however, he did what a number of previous presidents have done (Bill Clinton, toward bin Laden in Sudan) or wanted to do (Obama, when Syria’s Assad crossed his “red line”): He lobbed some missiles at it. That’s not “boots on the ground,” but nor was it a clear sign of not “being the policeman of the world” and “let(ting) Syria and ISIS fight,” as candidate Trump said the U.S. must do. In other words, it was within the mainstream of past White House policy.

One might find specific actions that fall outside the usual bounds, but not many, and not very far. (Remember, we’re sticking here to actions, not merely words.) To date, Trump hasn’t altered the way Washington works so much as felt out ways to work within the parameters that existed when he arrived.

You might find that comforting. You might find it disappointing. But you won’t find a Washington drastically remade in Trump’s image. So far, he only talks as if he’s larger than life.

Reader Comments 0

364 comments
TomGaff
TomGaff

Can POTUS Trump fire Jay Bookman or was I just dreaming?

TomGaff
TomGaff

Actually, I was just kiddin, as I often do. Jay's an interesting fellow but just maybe, one of these days he and  I will agree on some issue?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Preexisting Conditions - AKA, welfare

Obamacare gave everyone an opportunity to get insurance with a subsidy if needed.

It's not rocket science what Congress needs to do on healthcare plans as to preexisting conditions.

If you have insurance, you are guaranteed to obtain insurance.

If you had insurance through your employer and lose your job, you are guaranteed to obtain insurance.

If however you do not have insurance and you want to wait until you are sick to get it, forgetaboutit.

That's welfare which we cannot afford.

That's like waiting until your house is on fire to purchase fire insurance.

Congress has no balls.

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

No money for any border wall.

Winning.

MAGA

LOL

Fact

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

@JohnnyReb @Resist Trump

So you numbskulls control the presidency and both houses of Congress and still you can't get nothing done? Useless. Sad. Conservative. Hahahaha.

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

Planned Parenthood funding continues.

Winning.

MAGA

LOL

Fact

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Resist Trump

As I posted above, no balls.

I am sure Ryan and Trump as being plastered by the base.

I know I've sent in my disdain.

TomGaff
TomGaff

@Resist Trump Just a reminder Mr Resist:  Trump won 33 States, Hillary won 17. Trump won 2600 Counties In this country, Hillary won 500. Kinda sounds like a landslide to me. Everyone got a chance to vote, not just the ILLEGALS & DECEASED voters of Calif and NY! If Congress(both sides) would get out of the way, he would fulfill his campaign promises. Other countries know now he have a POTUS who carries a big stick and not like the previous administration where Barack carried an Umbrella!  PS - Ask the military folks(not the appointed Generals but the troops on the ground and in the air)whom they support most, I think you know who has their back! 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@JohnnyReb  Since the lib/progs are controlled by their far-left masters they're ordered to read Krudman, or propaganda from media matters, salon the huffington post the daily kos or some other lefty site. Besides Sowell, is Black and conservative Blacks are shunned by these clowns.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

101 days without clinton or obozo defiling our nation and I thank God for this blessing.

breckenridge
breckenridge

For a brief period, with the emergence of Russell Moore, it looked like the Southern Baptist Convention had hope of no longer being the worthless sack of crap that it is. But the stinky old men oxygen tank toothless racist rank and file insist on clinging to their stupid foolishness, so Moore had his wings clipped and now the SBC sucks more than ever.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge

Why so much interest in the Southern Baptists?

This is the South.

You can hardly drive a block without there being another church.

Try another.

Just don't expect to find one that molds its ideology daily to fit your personal wants.

breckenridge
breckenridge

IMO, the problem on the Left and with people like you breckenridge is you let personal desires regardless of their damage including collateral damage guide you instead of common sense, morals and character.

If you think religion should be legislated then you're not only a traitor and part of the faction that destroyed the republican party.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge

The post was about you and your kind breckenridge, not me.

I'm not the one that seldom misses a day posting disparaging remarks about people and their religion.

I learned from youth one is a fool to do so.

And, my point is well made as just above you have did it again.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Well, Bookman is at it again whining about Trump and spinning the latest on the budget and healthcare insurance to the tune his lunatic base expects.

On the tax cuts, the biggest benefactors would be middle income American business owners who pay taxes as S-Corps.

Mom and Pop businesses.

Not the richest Americans as Bookman and the looney Left are preaching.

And my challenge remains open.....the Left cannot point out not a single person for whom their heart bleeds that employ people, pay federal income tax, and make America work.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@JohnnyReb  Bookman, is indeed a stooge for the far-left. Nothing creative with this guy as he only parrots news from the leftist internet sites and the MSM. However, he does work hard unlike his supposed counter point blogmeister on here.

Starik
Starik

@BuckeyeGa @JohnnyReb Mom and pop businesses will soon go the way of family farms. I am sympathetic. I wonder if Trump has met anyone who runs a really small business.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit @JohnnyReb Trump but Wingfield in a bind; Trump is not a conservative; he's a salesman who is in far, far over his head. Wingfield knows it.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@JohnnyReb

You're pretending this Cliff's Notes-of-a-Cliff's Notes one-pager is a "plan"?

Well goodie for you. Fortunately nobody else in DC is bothering to.

And nice job bringing up the healthcare clusterfoxtrot without following up. Probably smart move on your part.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Is Kyle a part time blogmeister at the AJC?

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Trump is considering new Glass-Steagall-style bank rules

[snip]

He has also promised to roll back legislation covering the banking sector, including the Dodd-Frank regulations introduced following the financial crisis.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-39770289 

EXCELLENT!

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@JohnnyReb @FIGMO2


The big lie is that the gubment did a good thing in separating banks and investment banks a long time ago. But economists have long since gone back and done empirical studies and found that banks that also had an investment arm were actually more stable than banks that did not have an investment arm. Like everything else the gubment do gooders sought to fix a non existent problem. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@FIGMO2

Yep, splitting up the banks is needed.

It may have allowed the housing collapse but the peanut farmer laid the ground work with the Community Reinvestment Act, and Clinton put it on the suicide course when forcing banks to make loans to people who could not pay them.

The banks naturally wanted to unload the liability so they bundled and sold.  The rest is history.

The LibProgs won't face the music the root of the recession was CRA coupled with their bleeding hearts.

rimsky
rimsky

Hey JR I see you quit going to Mr Jay.  

What happened to your favorite hero Gorka that slime ball POS.

Bawahahahahah

breckenridge
breckenridge

@JohnnyReb @breckenridge @rimsky 

Now Johnny.........the number of Christians in America is in steep decline. 12 years ago 79% of Americans said they are Christians; today that number has fallen to 67%, and it continues to decline at 1% per year. 


It's the young people, the 35 and under set, that want nothing to do with Christianity. And guess what? Many of them say they have no interest in Christianity because the grew up thinking social conservatism and Christianity were the same thing.


Congratulations to you and and the rest of the Religious Right for turning Christianity into a religion of hate and intolerance for the youngsters. I'm sure you're proud of yourself.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@breckenridge @JohnnyReb @rimsky  The Bible is the most read and the best selling book in the world. Jesus Christ is the most influential man who ever walked as a man on this planet. Christianity isn't going away anytime soon despite what people like you hope for.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge @JohnnyReb @rimsky

There's a stark difference within people today vs years past as to what is right and wrong.

I think some of it is inherent, but certainly family upbringing pays a big part.

Religious families are a plus.

IMO, the problem on the Left and with people like you breckenridge is you let personal desires regardless of their damage including collateral damage guide you instead of common sense, morals and character.

Abortion and gay marriage are just two examples of where our country has gone down the pooper.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@rimsky

Bookman went off the deep end with Trump's election.

His posts and hardcopy pieces are like a petulant child.

The end was where he accused me of lying when the evidence was to the contrary.  Of course he either had to call me a liar or admit his piece was lying.

I look forward to his promotion to used car salesman.

The only thing I remember writing about Gorka at Bookman's was when you LibProgs had never heard of him.

His challenge is telling the truth loudly.  Apparently he's a little to hot for the new national security group. 


breckenridge
breckenridge

During his first 100 days in office, Trump doubled down on a campaign promise and said he’d “get rid of and totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment – the more than 60-year-old tax law that protects the integrity and independence of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates.

Trump to needs to stop catering to the filthy trash that is the social conservative movement.

Pub Heaven
Pub Heaven

Trump first President to duck dinner since Reagan.

Reagan survived a gun shot.

Trump couldn't survive a joke.

#snowflake