The first 100 days have been exhausting. We have watched the high drama from the White House with alarm- the very real threats to people’s liberty, financial security, health, and their very lives have been issued from the White House with distressing speed.
And yet for all the bluster and boasts of negotiating prowess, Donald Trump has accomplished very little.
It is tempting to describe the first 100 days of the Trump administration in Shakespeare’s words from Macbeth: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
And yet, that would be a mistake. For while the sheer chaos and incompetence that emanates from this White House have prevented the implementation of Trump’s radical and radically unpopular policies, these first 100 days have actually signified a great deal.
There is a very long list of important changes that have happened under the administration (well worth a full other post.) But here are six alarming things I want to call out today:
- The Trump administration along with Congressional Republicans have waged, and continue to wage, an assault on Obamacare that would insure fewer people with worse healthcare at a higher cost. They are absolutely dedicated to harming millions of Americans in order to benefit the billionaire class. The reason they cannot pass the legislation is because members of the “Freedom Caucus” feel it is not brutal enough.
- An illegitimate president appointed an illegitimate Justice to the Supreme Court. Trump was able to do this because Mitch McConnell subverted the Constitution. The GOP stole a seat and abolished the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations to accomplish it. This flagrant power grab was supported by even GOP moderates, normalized by the media and acquiesced to by an exhausted public. “Justice” Gorsuch- a man with a radically conservative view of the law- will now shape the law of this country for a generation. In so doing, McConnell, the entire GOP and Donald Trump have undermined the integrity now of all three branches of government.
- Despite the failure of Trump’s Executive Orders on immigration, Trump’s nativist campaign rhetoric has begun to be realized within the country. ICE agents are engaging in raids that terrorize communities- ripping apart families and destroying lives. Even dreamers are not safe under an administration that cannot be trusted to keep its word. CPB agents are exceeding and pressing the limits of their authority and abusing the authority that they do have- berating and detaining US Citizens and foreign nationals.
- Donald Trump has obliterated the very concept of ethics- using the White House to enrich himself and his family– through shady business dealings, proposed tax codes, the selling of access, even personally profiting from his Secret Service protection. He presides over a kleptocracy– robbing the government and the American people.
- Donald Trump and his cronies are also destroying the ability of the government to serve and protect the American people. The few appointments he has made to government positions show his outright disdain for government (and the American people). From appointing a man who has spent his career fighting the EPA to head it, to a woman who is invested in for profit charter schools to head the Department of Education, to appointing a man who once vowed to eliminate the Department of Energy to head that agency. Each of these appointments are alarming on their face. The consequences are terrifying.
- That Donald Trump has been able to do any of the things above is the result of an election which itself raises serious questions. Everyone agrees that Russia interfered with the election. Furthermore, there is enough evidence to warrant the suspicion that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russians.
Indeed, there was enough suspicion for the FBI and CIA to investigate. There seem to be more members of the Trump White House that have had inappropriate dealings with the Russians that those who have not. Let us be clear, if members of the Trump team colluded with the Russians to help elect Donald Trump, that is treason. And yet a GOP who was willing to impeach Clinton over lies about a blow job are unwilling to engage in a serious investigation of collusion with Russia to install a Republican candidate. The first 100 days of the Trump administration have revealed Republicans to be so morally bankrupt that they are willing to put the power of their party over country.
It is thus imperative that we remember how dangerous this administration remains. The damage they have already done to the institutions of government is great and the harm they pose to individual American citizens is catastrophic.