Donald Trump’s first 100 days are a complete failure, and he knows it. Trump has squandered the beginning of his presidency, historically the most productive period for a new president as he or she is in a “honeymoon” with the public and the press.
While the mainstream media is bending over backwards now to act as if the 100 days yardstick no longer matters, Trump has failed.
He came into office as the least popular election winner ever, surpassing George W. Bush after the Supreme Court anointed him the winner in the fall of 2000.
Trump ran on racism and division, and through a combination of Democratic mistakes, media amplification of lies and Russian interference, he stumbled into the presidency. And it shows.
By all appearances Trump and his top team thought he was going to lose the election, and were making preparations to profit from the nativist wing of the right they had activated during the campaign. They were more surprised that they won than anyone else.
Since then, Trump has stumbled through the basics of the presidency. His party dominates Washington, yet they cannot unify around his plan to destroy Obamacare. His Muslim ban is suffocating in the courts, and he has been reduced to executive orders, which while destructive, do not have the reach or permanence of legislation. His one “accomplishment” is installing Neil Gorsuch in the Supreme Court seat stolen from Merrick Garland, which will plague America for years, but has no serious fingerprints as someone associated with Trump or his movement.
Personally, Trump is even worse off than his presidency. He is amazingly unpopular, and while the mainstream press is obsessed with the fact that his base sticks with him (a data point they didn’t report on nearly as frequently under President Obama), nobody else has. He is seen by America and the entire world as the vulgarian that Democrats said he was, uninterested in the mechanics and import of being leader of the free world, he puts more thought into his weekend jaunts to advertise his tacky properties than in the well-being of the citizens he was elected to help.
In order to salvage something, Trump would have to change who he is, and while the last year showed that those of us who engage in predictions court disaster, there is nothing in his long public record to indicate that he has any idea how to change.
Trump’s failure does not automatically translate to Democratic success. The party is still in the midst of a struggle to untangle what, exactly, its purpose is and that will continue for some time to come.
But by being both corrupt and ineffective, he has set the table for a backlash that we have seen in very real terms for every week of his unfortunate presidency.
The window is open, and soon it will be time to go through it.
Featured photo via Gage Skidmore