The Monday Line
by Denis G. Campbell
The 45th US President Donald J. Trump, has nearly completed his disastrous first 100 days in office. Most global denizens wake up each morning relieved we were not annihilated overnight by a nuclear holocaust, a feeling not experienced since The 1961 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Vastly unqualified and unprepared, 45 has moved like a whirling dervish through these first 100 days. His antics have caused an unexpected resurgence in the careers of those producing NBC’s sketch show Saturday Night Live. In its 42nd season, they have become as much of a ‘must-see’ event as when they stopped Saturday night student university parties when it debuted. Indeed, satire seems the only vehicle ready to call 45 out directly (and brutally). The Main Stream Media has behaved like a feckless pack of baying fanboy/girl lemmings rushing to cover every word salad barfed from his gaping mouth. Comedians: John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert and Seth Myers owe most of their current success to this orange-faced, bizarre, Tweeting man-child. Also real investigative journalists, David Farenthold, Rachel Maddow and Robert Costa owe a similar debt.
The news cycle with this frenetic, hyperactive POTUS leaps from incoherence moment-to-moment. In a blaze of magician’s misdirection that would make David Copperfield proud, these 94 days (so far) have given us these general rules:
- If 45 is Tweeting, check to see what nefarious action are going on behind the scenes in Congress, Russia or his business dealings.
- 45 is the reigning king of ‘Opposite World.’ Not only did he abandon his pledge to drain the swamp, he instead appointed Cabinet members who were King Crocodiles inside that swamp. They are hell bent on doing everything they can to destroy the very agencies they were asked to shepherd.
- 45 is a serial liar who creates distractions to win the first and last word of every argument (the substance never matters to his loyal, rabid base). He often gives the impression of success even when he fails (which is most of the time). But his supporters and media see success without him ever actually doing anything.
- His legislative agenda and first 100 Days, indeed his on Day One campaign promises, lay in tatters. As an executive, he was able to rule by absolute fiat. If he said, “get something done!”, he expected everyone to jump and toe his line. Fail and “You’re fired!” Well welcome to the US Congress, Mr. President. They take orders from no one. Only their top funders. Not even the voters get listened to by this feckless group which often ranks below cockroaches in popularity. What made you think you would fare better?
- He told The Washington Post he would not fire his useless Press Secretary Sean Spicer because, “that guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in.” I have absolutely nothing I can add here.
- The West Wing is a poisonous, back-stabbing arena where staff are regularly forced to give up their mobile phones for inspection. Any Tweet or social media post in the past is grounds for an immediate dismissal and escort from the building. Nothing but blind loyalty to Dear Leader 45 is accepted.
- Journalists also experience the wrath of 45 being dubbed ‘FAKE News’ for not parroting the Administration’s ‘Alternative Facts’ as news. Too, the White House press room has become an unintelligible scrum as RW bloggers and so-called media outlets are given prime seating and question opportunities.
- 45 wanted military tanks and missiles featured in his sparsely attended Inaugural Parade. Something Kim Jong Un did on his recent celebration of Founder’s Day before a dud missile launch and film showing North Korean missiles destroying San Francisco.
- By Friday of this week, 32 executive orders will have been signed. Most are worthless, especially those requiring Congress to appropriate funds, but their signing creates a flurry of activity and gives the impression of action but is mostly meaningless.
- His legislative agenda was to:
- Simplify taxes and provide middle class tax relief
- Repeal and replace Obamacare
- School choice and Opportunity Act – sending a deathblow to US public schools
- American Energy and infrastructure Act – $1 trillion dollars of roads and bridge repairs
- End Illegal Immigration Act – he is rounding up Dreamers and other non-criminals
- Restoring Safe Communities Act – beefing up police everywhere!
- Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act
- Restoring National Security Act – spend $457bn more on defence
- End the Offshoring Act – bring money back to the USA
- Clean up Corruption in Washington Act – Snort!
- Simply, every initiative promised on Day One or in his 1st 100 days was not done.
- 45 promised to work with Congress, has pretty much poisoned that well and has the ‘very conservative’ Freedom Caucus voting against him.
- He is watching the Russia noose tighten around his neck quite visibly as House, Senate and FBI investigations are proceeding deliberately and thoroughly. When persons-of-interst offered to give testimony in exchange for immunity about 45 and his aides, the FBI responded, “no thanks, we’re good.”
- 45 complained about President Obama golfing yet spent his entire travel budget already on seven trips to Mar-a-lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida to golf without transparency.
- Indeed there is such a lack of White House transparency that he refuses to release visitor logs in any location. Not the best of steps to take when under investigation and this past Friday there was a furore over his reported private meeting at Mar-a Lago with two former Colombian Presidents who just happened to be there?
- And, of course, he still has not released his tax returns to the American people.
100 days does not a Presidency make, but this is a stunning indictment. His approval ratings stand at the lowest in history (39%) and have not budged. He tried to Tweet over this last weekend that 100 Days was an artificial measure, despite his failed promises.
I swear, you cannot make this up.