100 Days of Trump — Dems Can’t Capitalize on Presidency of Blunders

Donald Trump, Tom Perez, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi
We are still waiting for demographics to do our jobs for us. Photo credit: DonkeyHotey / WhoWhatWhy (CC BY-SA 2.0) See complete attribution below.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Donald Trump has been president for 100 days and things are going pretty well for him. In many ways, he resembles the classic character of Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther series — a comically inept, bumbling fool who solves cases through sheer luck and gets promoted in spite of his stunning incompetence.

Most of the assessments of Trump’s first three months in office are overwhelmingly negative, as journalists are still grappling with the phenomenon of the 45th president and his loyal followers. If Trump’s presidency were viewed through the same lens used to evaluate previous presidencies, then it would truly be considered a disaster.

Hardly a day goes by without some anecdote revealing that Trump is in completely over his head, is caught in some blatant, easily disprovable falsehood or grasps the intricacies of the US government at the level of a high-school student who has done none of the reading but hopes to get a C.

But the old standard does not apply anymore and none of the above has really hurt Trump. His apparent conflicts of interests have also not been a problem for him; neither has his habit of spending weekends at his properties golfing.

A whopping 93% of Republicans approve of the job he is doing and a recent poll shows that, if last November’s election were held with the same cast of characters, he would beat Hillary Clinton 43-40.

Those numbers reveal a major problem for the Democrats. They lack leadership. Clinton largely disappeared after her loss, and, just like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, she is old. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, dropped off the radar for those first 100 days; he only reappeared in the headlines when it was revealed that he would take a huge Wall Street speaking fee. None of these “leaders” are endearing themselves to the progressives who are fueling the anti-Trump surge. While Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is also old, remains popular with that demographic, he is neither a Democrat nor has he been much of a team player since the election.

Therefore, Trump benefits from an opposition divided between an unpopular party and a resistance movement that still lacks organization. The numbers back that up. Individual candidates, especially “darlings” of the progressive movement, have raised a lot of money, but the Democratic Party trails the GOP in terms of donations received in the first quarter of 2017.

While a couple of Democratic candidates have closed the gap in conservative districts in two special elections for open House seats, they haven’t won either — although there is still an outside chance that may happen in Georgia.

None of this bodes well for a party whose best chance of truly stopping Trump is to win back either chamber of Congress next year.

One reason the chances of that happening are not great right now is that the Republicans have proven to be inept at governing. While that might seem like a contradiction, it is not. Trump’s agenda, if passed, would significantly and directly harm millions of the voters who put him in office. The president’s inability to, for example, sign an Obamacare repeal into law actually helps him because millions would lose their health insurance under “Trumpcare.”

So far, the vast majority of the new president’s actions — mostly executive orders — have had little  short-term effect. Instead, their impact, in particular on the environment, will be felt in years to come.

Another issue that helps the president is the sheer volume of outrageous statements, potential ethics violations, breaches of etiquette, reports of infighting, and rumors coming out of the White House. It’s difficult for anybody to keep up.

Finally, Trump has also learned that military strikes gain him positive media coverage because the corporate press loves images of America asserting its will in faraway places. The president has a great instinct for these displays of force and he also seems enamored of the power he now has at his fingertips, so there is a good chance we will see more military actions — in particular, targeted strikes that might not deter an enemy but will surely help Trump’s standing at home.

Where does that leave us after 100 days? Yes, Trump is historically unprepared for the job. He is also incredibly unpopular for a first-term president at this stage of his time in office. In spite of all that, the Democrats’ path toward taking back the House (probably the more likely chamber for them to win), seems narrow. There are reasons for that beyond their own ineptitude, such as the gerrymandering of congressional districts and voter-suppression measures being passed in many GOP-held states. But it’s also true that, so far, Trump is doing what he has to do to keep control of Congress in 2018. And that is the only measuring stick that really counts.

The cartoon above was created by DonkeyHotey for WhoWhatWhy from these images: Tom Perez caricature (Donkeyhotey / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), Nancy Pelosi caricature (Donkeyhotey / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), Chuck Schumer caricature (Donkeyhotey / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), Donald Trump caricature (Donkeyhotey / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0), golf course (Dan Perry / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), bench (Garry Knight / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), Trump body (Holmdel Kiwanis / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), Pelosi body and pigeons (Elvert Barnes / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0) and Perez and Schumer bodies (Elvert Barnes / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0).

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7 responses to “100 Days of Trump — Dems Can’t Capitalize on Presidency of Blunders”

  1. Tak says:

    The Democratic Party power structure is NOT inept, they’re just trying (actually rather successfully so far) to keep a lid on dissent. That they have very different priorities has apparently not occurred to the authors.

    • raysusan49 says:

      I could hardly say they are “inept.” After all, so far they have gotten away with vote rigging and a whole litany of other egregious criminal behavior. Even Trump’s promising chant of “Lock Her Up” was reneged on as soon as he was elected. Which many of us knew that promise, as well as others, would be swept aside… We could even discuss Hillary’s continued crying about how Russia and Comey “stole her election.” Hillary “WON” the popular vote by almost 3 Million votes; 2.7 Million to be exact. So, taking just that little bitty FACT into account we would all have to ‘believe’ that it must have been a small portion of ppl (Democrats) in those Rust Belt States that tuned into Comey’s TV announcement of his reopening the investigation. They must have also been the only ones that read all those “stolen” WikiLeaks emails. There have been so many excuses spit out as to why “It’s Her Turn” lost the election. There’s the Russia did it, Comey did it, WikiLeaks’ “stolen” email did it, Bernie Bro’s did it, Jill Stein did it, and we are still hearing this ad nauseam almost daily from Hillary’s crowd.

      No, maybe the DNC and Hillary aren’t “inept” But just like any Criminal Cabal or a Too Big To Fail Bank, that aren’t “inept” either, but just have a … greater protection under the law … as we see so often in these times….But IMPO, one has to wonder at the ineptitude of the ppl who have remained in the now, very elitist Right Wing leaning, Democratic Party and choose to support such ridiculous and outlandish lies.

  2. MBrooklyn says:

    The authors are forgetting that people are very reluctant to admit that they have made mistakes. 100 days is much too short a time to expect much “buyer’s remorse” from those who voted for Trump.

  3. (Comment by reader @MarciaArndt2) Trump legacy will be that history will see him as the worst president. What president has ever been more despised?

    • raysusan49 says:

      We all can despise him all we want, but that doesn’t solve one little thing within the elite corporatists Democratic Party. The Party of Shame.

  4. Mackenzie says:

    I had to turn off this interview when the guy said Trump pushed the biggest lie in the history of American politics – that Obama wasn’t born in the US. First off, Presidents absolutely need to be up to the highest level of scrutiny especially considering how much power a POTUS claims these days (which goes WAY beyond what is listed in the constitution). Second, is that really such a big deal in the grand scheme of things? If that really was the biggest lie in the history of American politics (and it most certainly WASN’T) then politics would be squeaky clean (which, again we know is not the case). A candidate needs to be a citizen to be eligible to be POTUS so asking for a birth certificate is COMPLETELY reasonable.

    But that argument is just distraction. I’m no fan of Trump and DO think he should be impeached but my reason is that he went to war without congressional approval. Sadly that’s what POTUSes have been doing for quite a while now. The last time the US had a declaration of war was WW II. So I guess in this Orwellian world we live in, the post-9/11 killings of foreigners have not actually officially been “wars”.

    • raysusan49 says:

      More “birther” nonsense? IF Obama’s birth was really ever in question … for real, then why didn’t Trump, OR the GOP, make a BIG deal out of Cruz, or Rubio’s birth certificate? There was only a tiny little peep about their B.C.

      And yeah, “we” should care about the Constitution, bc our Congressmen sure don’t seem to care much about it. So let’s all just collectively shrug our shoulders … and just pretend none of this matters, …. bc it’s been done before.