Originally Published: May 8, 2017 6 a.m.
Ask the New York Times and they’ll tell you President Trump has been an abject failure in his first 100 days or so. Ask Trump and he’ll tell you he’s a “yuge” success.
So, which is it? It depends on how you’re keeping score.
If you’re scoring by how many presidential memoranda and executive orders have been written, Trump beats Obama 51-49.
But, that’s like reading a low-scoring basketball box score with no story behind the numbers.
He failed to repeal and replace Obamacare on day one. Of course, he did keep this promise: “On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.”
He did sign an executive order requiring that for every new federal regulation implemented, two must be rescinded.
He also kept another promise by signing an executive order for a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying for foreign government.
In addition, Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as he’d promised he would.
He sure did waffle on declaring China a currency manipulator. In fact, he told John Dickerson on what Trump calls, “Deface the Nation,” that, “When they talk about currency manipulation, and I did say I would call China, if they were, a currency manipulator, early in my tenure,” Trump said. “And then I get there. Number one, they — as soon as I got elected, they stopped. They’re not — it’s not going down anymore, their currency.”
“And I would say that I was the one that got them to stop,” Trump added. “But forget that.”
The truth is China reversed their practice of undervaluing its currency to boost exports two years ago, “burning” through foreign reserves to support the yuan amid an economic slowdown and capital outflows as reported in the press.
Trump explained it as a negotiating tool this way: “Can you imagine if I say [to China], ‘Hey, by the way, how are you doing with North Korea? Also, we’re going to announce that you’re a currency manipulator tomorrow.’”
The real game is in the details. There are quite a few.
If you’re a liberal against the XL Pipeline, Trump failed because he signed off on it to be built.
If you’re against cutting funding to sanctuary cities, you win and Trump loses, but it’s early in the game.
How about suspending immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur?
That one looks to be going into Supreme Court overtime.
Millions are cheering Trump’s reversal of the $11 billion school lunch boondoggle that created millions of dollars of food scrapped by kids who refused to eat it, and such idiocies as a child’s healthy lunch from home being thrown out in favor of government-approved mass-produced “chicken fingers.”
Liberals don’t much care for Trump’s order for the “Immediate Review of All Agency Actions that Potentially Burden the Safe, Efficient Development of Domestic Energy Resources” instructing heads of agencies to review all existing regulations, orders and policies “that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources. “
Drill, baby, drill.
Then there’s the memo from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, articulating concern for “officer safety, office morale, and public respect,” declaring local control is more important than federal control of local law departments: “It is not the responsibility of the federal government to manage non-federal law enforcement agencies.”
This is a complete reversal of President Obama’s desire for federal oversight of all local law enforcement agencies.
Trump wanted $54 billion for the military. Congress gave him $15 billion.
He wants to cut the National Institute of Health by a billion. Instead, it gets a $2 billion increase.
He threatened to pull Planned Parenthood out and put wall-building money in the budget. Both of those shots are blocked.
So, isn’t it true that Trump’s “accomplishments” or “abject failure” in his first 100 or so days is determined by your political perspective?
After all, putting conservative constitutional constructionist Neil Gorsuch on the bench is like a game-winning 3-point shot from half court.
Rick Jensen is Delaware’s award-winning conservative talk show host on WDEL. Contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @Jensen1150WDEL.