Relax, Donald: After 100 Days, You’ve Already Done So Much

Relax, Donald: After 100 Days, You’ve Already Done So Much

Relax, Donald: After 100 Days, You’ve Already Done So Much

President Trump shouldn’t be so defensive about Saturday’s milestone. The list of his accomplishments is long.


“No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days,” President Donald Trump claimed at an event in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last week. Even so, Trump is scrambling to add more accomplishments by Saturday, his 100th day in office. At the same time, however, the president criticized the very idea that he should be judged by that benchmark, taking to Twitter to predict, “No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.)”—a reference to his appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court—“media will kill!”

The president shouldn’t be so defensive. He has indeed accomplished a lot in the 100 days since his inauguration. Here is just a partial list of all that Trump has already achieved:

  1. Revitalized Alec Baldwin’s otherwise fading career and expanded Melissa McCarthy’s visibility due to their respective impersonations of Trump and press secretary Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live.
  2. Galvanized a massive resistance movement that included what was likely the largest protest (as many as 5 million people) in American history—the January 21 women’s marches and rallies in over 600 cities.
  3. Flunked basic geography—and frightened people around the world—when he mistakenly told Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo that the United States had launched Tomahawk missiles against Iraq, before she jumped in to correct Trump that we had actually attacked Syria.
  4. Inspired the lowest favorability ratings of any of the last 11 presidents (going back to Dwight Eisenhower) at this point in their first terms.
  5. Refused to release his tax returns (breaking a tradition begun by Richard Nixon), despite polls showing that 80 percent of Americans, including 64 percent of Republicans, want him to do so.
  6. Declined to throw out the ceremonial first ball at Major League Baseball’s opening day game in Washington, DC (a presidential custom), fearing—rightly so—that he would have been greeted with a deafening chorus of boos.
  7. Demonstrated an appalling ignorance of African-American history when he indicated that he thought abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass was still alive. (Douglas died in 1895.)
  8. Sparked a grassroots upsurge of political activism, through groups like Indivisible and Swing Left, that threatens to defeat pro-Trump Republicans running for Congress next year, perhaps even leading to a Democratic majority in the House.
  9. Breaking all known records for taxpayer-funded extravagance and spending nearly twice as much for trips to his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida in the first 100 days than Obama spent on travel costs ($12.1 million) in a year.
  10. Set a record for the number (15!) of high-level appointees who withdrew (such as Andrew Puzder, his pick for labor secretary), quit (such as deputy White House chief of staff Katie Walsh), or were quickly fired (such as national-security adviser Michael Flynn) within a few weeks or months as a result of conflicts of interest, lousy vetting, ethics violations, negative media stories, and/or their inability to handle the White House’s chaos.
  11. United both House Democrats and the hyper-conservative Freedom Caucus, as well as the American people, in opposition to his plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, leading to the resounding defeat of a bill he had pledged to make a top priority. Polls reveal that the ACA is more popular than ever, with 61 percent of Americans preferring to “keep and improve” the law compared with only 37 percent who want to “repeal and replace” it.
  12. Triggered widespread protests at airports and elsewhere against his travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries, before seeing the ban voided by two federal courts.
  13. Lost his closest and most influential media ally when Fox News fired his fellow sexual predator Bill O’Reilly after several former employees (and The New York Times) exposed the host’s history of sexual harassment and hush-money settlement deals.
  14. Issued a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day that failed to mention Jews.
  15. Exposed his administration as even more incompetent than many assumed when it announced that a fleet of US warships, including the USS Carl Vinson, was heading toward North Korea when, in fact, it was going in the other direction, toward Australia.
  16. Inspired an unprecedented boycott by New England Patriots players of a White House event celebrating the Super Bowl champions (owned by Trump’s close friend Robert Kraft). Only 34 players (out of 65 players on the 2017 roster) made an appearance at the White House, a poor showing compared to the 50 who attended the 2015 ceremony with Barack Obama. At least six players publicly announced that they shunned the event out of political differences with the president.
  17. Despite his 2013 tweet criticizing Obama for playing golf instead of “talking to Congress about Syria,” spent at least 17 days on the links. At this point in his presidency, Obama had not yet played any rounds of golf.
  18. Exempted the Keystone XL pipeline from his executive order requiring infrastructure projects to be built with American-made steel, only one of many reversals of his campaign promises.
  19. Despite having called Obama (in 2012) “the least transparent President—ever,” reversed Obama’s policy of voluntarily disclosing the names of visitors to the White House.
  20. Despite pledging to “drain the swamp” of moneyed interests in Washington, DC, appointed many business executives, corporate lobbyists, billionaires, and Wall Street titans as his top advisers and cabinet members, including former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn, and heiress Betsy DeVos.
  21. Took nepotism to a new low by inviting daughter and adviser Ivanka to sit with the president of China at a Mar-a-Lago dinner, followed a day later by the Chinese government’s grant to her company of monopoly rights to sell her jewelry, bags, and spa services—just one example of how he has turned his administration into an extension of the family business.
  22. Told so many obvious lies in speeches and tweets—about the size of the inauguration crowd, how “voter fraud” deprived him of a popular-vote majority, and how Obama wiretapped Trump Tower—that for the first time in modern history, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other mainstream papers used the word “lie” in stories and headlines to describe a president’s statements.
  23. Got caught in an embarrassing web of conflicts between his campaign and administration officials and Russia, leading to the widespread perception that his election and his policy agenda are compromised by Russian connections.
  24. During a press conference this month with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, called opera singer Luciano Pavarotti a “great friend of mine,” seemingly unaware both that Pavarotti died in 2007 and that last year, to protest Trump’s use of the singer’s famous aria “Nessun Dorma” at campaign rallies, his widow issued a statement noting that “the values of brotherhood and solidarity that Luciano Pavarotti expressed throughout his artistic career are incompatible with the world vision of the candidate Donald Trump.”
  25. Claiming that “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” revealed his ignorance of major policy issues he had expressed opinions about for years.

Despite all of these accomplishments, Donald Trump is no Franklin Roosevelt. He’s not even a George W. Bush or Barack Obama. But he can take solace in the fact that he has set a standard for incompetence, ignorance, corruption, and chaos that no future president is ever likely to match.

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