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After 100 days – your take.

April 24, 2017

So, what’s the take on the street for President Trump’s first 100 days?

Mostly, people see it as a media event, not a yardstick.

“Mack” is happy that the President seems to have successfully addressed most if not all of the initial executive orders he promised to do, because he feels that higher business optimism helped his two nephews get jobs.

As far as the bigger stuff goes, Mack doesn’t think the 100 day mark means much, saying that it took months and even years for former presidents to “muck up the country” and he doesn’t expect it to be fixed overnight.

If he could write a law himself, what would Mack, who lives 30 miles from Chicago, do?  He says “Make it a Federal crime to belong to a gang, any gang.”

Others that stay a bit more engaged in the general political theater are also mostly willing to give him a temporary pass.

That’s based on both the historically lengthy amount of time it is taking for him to get his Cabinet and mid-level personnel in place, and the fact that Republicans clearly misled him about having a replacement ready for Obamacare. They do applaud his tough stance with Syria and North Korea, and on the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch.

They are also willing to give him full credit for the dramatic slowdown in illegal border crossings, and for beginning to deport criminal illegal aliens.

As far as what he has been able to do on his own with executive orders, his supporters are pretty happy with his performance, with most giving him an A-minus.

That’s not to say everything’s coming up roses.

His high-profile legislative victories are so far nonexistent, save the Gorsuch confirmation. That may be due to his political naïveté, i.e., just not knowing how long it takes for an idea to become a law. Others say that it will take time to “break Congress’s bad habit of getting paid for doing nothing.”

They are just fine with him keeping the spur in play to keep Congress moving.

With Dems vowing to oppose anything he proposes, and 30 or 40 of his own party’s Conservative stalwarts opposing him as well, the future doesn’t look promising for quick solutions.

Realists among Trump voters don’t find that surprising. If they fault the President for that at all, it is for giving the GOP members of Congress, particularly the establishment wing, far too much credit for actually being interested in governing versus protecting their own skins.

There is also the matter of whether there are too many cooks in the kitchen among his advisors.

Almost no one seems happy with the influence of Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn, men that  most Trump supporters still see as Democratic party operatives. They point out that President Trump was already a centrist, and they don’t want him “to fall for all the phony touchy-feely stuff from the left.”

What about those nonvoters and Democrats? How do they think the opposition stacks up in the first 100 days?

Predictably, they don’t like Trump, but most tellingly, they are highly critical of the Democrats as well.

Janice, a Democrat who didn’t vote in 2016, says,

“Democrats have to come up with something besides “we hate Trump.”  They don’t seem to be able to find anything to be FOR. Keep that up, and a lot of us won’t be voting in 2018 either.”

Still, if the collective “we” haven’t learned anything else, we should have learned not to assign our own deadlines, motives and opinions to this President. So far, he seems to be mostly setting the stage for the rest of his 2017 agenda, rather than seriously expecting huge legislative changes to be passed in the first 100 days.

If that is true, how much patience does the electorate have now?

It seems that while his supporters may be willing to ignore the first 100 days, the next 100 won’t be so easily glossed over. They expect him to start some serious arm-twisting as soon as the budget fight is over, if not before.

As far as probably half the Trump voters are concerned, his probationary employee status is over, and it’s time to start achieving some of the common goals that he was elected to meet.

For them, that’s more  jobs and lower taxes, with Obamacare and immigration reform coming in third and fourth, domestically.

With jobs seemingly loosening up a little, taxes seem to be taking a larger share of the voter’s attention, and most say they are interested to see what Trump’s “big tax plan” will look like. Of all of his campaign promises, this seems to be the one they are most suspicious of him being able to deliver on as it was promised.

And foreign policy, particularly as regards North Korea?

Todd, a retired serviceman, summed it up like this:

“Look, there was never any doubt that we will have to address our enemies, if for no other reason than our own security. North Korea may well be one of those things that will wind up in a shooting war, but hopefully he can keep a lid on it through diplomacy.  If not, there are certainly military options available. That doesn’t mean we should go out of our way to install armies in every hot spot in the world, or shoot first and ask questions later.  So far, I’m OK with what he’s done, but I was in Afghanistan, and that’s just a pit of quicksand. We haven’t helped them or ourselves yet by being there. No more stuff like that, please.”

What about the left and it’s never-ending and more than slightly ridiculous war on Trump?

Eileen says:

“The best way to handle that is to make them politically irrelevant, and you do that by defeating them at the polls. We can only do that if the Trump administration can produce some good results between now and November 2018 that even the lunatics on the left can’t deny.  So yes, he does need some popular wins between now and the end of the year.”

On balance, what’s the grade and does it even matter yet?

Most people willing to assign a grade think it’s about a B-minus, but in general the answer seems to be “ask us again in early August.”

From → op-ed

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