After 100 days of President Donald Trump, we now know for certain what this is all about: hype.
There was little to learn from Trump assuming the presidency. There were only things that would be validated or debunked. American knew full well what it was getting.
This newspaper, just like almost every newspaper in the country, desperately tried to persuade voters to choose anyone but Trump for president. The last 100 days have illustrated why we were so adamant and concordant.
The blustering commander in chief is all about puffery, deceit and shifting blame.
Who knew? We did. You did.
Now we’re stuck with this poser for hundreds of more days, unless he tires of the job he finds much harder than he anticipated and just quits.
Amid an expanding list of appalling gaffes and missteps — which play out like newsreels each week on social media, late-night comedy shows and on Trump’s Twitter account — Trump at his 100-day mark had the temerity to declare victory at yet another gathering of the minions, to stroke his ego.
The only reasonable person in America who breathed a sigh of relief at Trump’s narcissistic rant Saturday in Pennsylvania was George W. Bush, whose infamous “Mission Accomplished” was finally pushed aside from the limelight at The Political Bonehead Hall of Lame.
Victory? Trump counts as victory the fact that he was able to roll the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch through a Democrat-proof Republican Senate, which cheated by changing the rules. Trump could have nominated Scott Baio from Happy Days and had just as easy a victory.
This is supposedly a Republican president in an overwhelmingly Republican Congress backed up by a Republican Supreme Court. Despite that, Trump has delivered nothing to his dwindling base that he promised — repeatedly, incessantly — on the campaign trail.
Instead, his administration has been drowning in a sea of scandal over potentially treasonous affiliates connected to the Russian government. China was once Public Enemy No. 1 before the election. Trump used to taunt China’s president for masterminding the great Global Warming Hoax and cheating Americans on trade. Now, Trump refers to him as “highly respected.”
As we race toward war with North Korea, Trump said in a Tweet this week, “North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!”
Trump doesn’t tweet, he twits. And you were warned this is what it would be like, America.
His spokespersons have been caught lying repeatedly. This newspaper and many others now run daily “Fact Checks,” like the weather. All this is in addition to the endless times staffers like Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway have stretched the truth to the point of agony when trying to rationalize or even just explain the comments and the behavior of the president.
There have been no victories for anyone, so far. Trump has marshaled out a flurry of executive orders like memos to Santa to be delivered some day to Americans not on Trump’s naughty list, but nothing has changed. You can thank the U.S. Constitution and the growing resistance for that.
The courts have repeatedly thwarted Trump’s centerpiece Muslim ban. Not even Trump any longer bothers trying to be serious about building a wall along Mexico’s border after repeated disclosures about the physical and fiscal impossibility of such a boondoggle. Even Saturday Night Live no longer bothers to parody the blunder.
Trump’s foray into international trade agreements has got industries across the country petrified of what Trump might try next. The president’s inept attempts to redefine NAFTA have resulted in a brewing trade war that numerous factions of Trump’s base know will inflict endless collateral damage here at home.
He has loaded his cabinet with a cache of clods and billionaire bone-heads who are clueless about the real world they’re supposed to manage. Scott Pruitt is contrary to the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency he leads. Pruitt, the former state attorney general for Oklahoma, fought the EPA for years to allow industries to sidestep environmental protections. His own state suffers recurring, damaging earthquakes because he and others repeatedly disregarded science and common sense in favor of oil industry dollars.
Pruitt has an even more toxic disregard for the proven science of global climate change and is dismantling the nation’s ability to combat it.
The list goes on. Trump’s choice for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, is an intellectual lightweight who sees the country’s education woes as all fixable with pep talks, charter schools and vouchers to private, religious schools.
Not only has Trump failed to provide for the entire country, he hasn’t even provided for his base. His first attempt at backing his most-promised chore, to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “so much better,” was a disaster. Even Republicans, whose campaign chant also focused on ending Obamacare, couldn’t stomach the disastrous Trumpcare plan. It was a program that not only would have significantly harmed all Americans, it would have especially hurt his aging, marginalized base.
Trump is exactly who we knew he would be, and his presidency so far has been a reflection of this incompetent narcissist gazing at himself in the pool of social media.
We’ve made it through the first 100 days, America, speaking to the strength and permanency of our unique nation. Each day, the resistance to his delusional nonsense grows. He is the most unpopular novice president, possibly ever.
And it only bodes more ill for Trump. As more Republicans recognize how toxic Trump’s presidency is, they will either push away from it, or suffer the consequences at the mid-term elections. Trump has given the diminished Democrats new hope, which Republicans can fight against only if they join against Trump.
Given Trump’s incompetence at foreign and domestic affairs and his propensity to twist whatever knobs he can to either deflect bad news or simply draw the spotlight, there is very real danger from places like North Korea and the Middle East. Grown-up international leaders have signaled they will babysit Trump until his replacement comes along. But that’s much more than 100 days away.
We can do this. The Constitution and more than two centuries of determination makes it clear we’ll not only survive the Trump presidency, we’ll overcome it. We just have to find a way to get through it.
Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]