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Mike Littwin

"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles."

Littwin: After 100 days, it’s not all Trump’s fault (just mostly)

Littwin: After 100 days, it’s not all Trump’s fault (just mostly)

As we hit the 100-day mark for the historic failure that is the Trump presidency, the question we should be discussing is not whether his first 100 days have been a disaster — of course they have been— but why they’ve been a disaster.

And the one unavoidable conclusion is that it’s not all Donald Trump’s fault.

Congressional Republicans — starting with Paul Ryan — are major players in the disaster. It’s not just that they enabled Trump. Which they did. It’s not just that they stood by while Trump played the race card and the xenophobia card and the whole ugly deck of cards. Which they did.

It’s not just that GOP leaders sold their souls for legislation they can’t even seem to pass. Which they did. (At least when New Deal Democrats sold their souls to Dixiecrats, they got legislation passed for their sins.)

It’s not just that GOP leaders who know better stand by as Trump sends ICE agents to round up non-criminal undocumented immigrants, forcing people back into the shadows, ensuring that millions of them — most lured here by the promise of jobs — must live in fear. Which they do.

That’s just the beginning. There are the various House committees that can’t bring themselves to investigate the Russian impact on the 2016 elections or admit that a special prosecutor is needed. And the Senate that confirmed some of the least qualified cabinet secretaries in recent history. And the members from both houses of Congress who largely look the other way as Trump rattles his sabers. (This just in: Even as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was sounding out North Korea for possible direct talks — and strategic patience — Trump is being quoted as saying we could be looking at a “major, major conflict” with North Korea.)

It’s not even the fact that Republicans can’t bring themselves to concede the level of Trump’s ignorance, even as Trump gladly does so. In a Reuters 100-day interview, Trump said he was surprised at how hard the job was. And the sad thing — for once, truly sad — is that he said it without embarrassment. He just doesn’t know enough to know he should be embarrassed.

No, the real blame here is that the GOP Congress, after standing firm in opposition to all things Obama, seems to have nothing to offer in Obama’s stead. If Trump’s report card after 100 days is a solid F, what do you give Congress?

Let’s take two of Trump’s most notable failures. The first is the wall, or the non-wall, or the fantasy wall, or the never-to-be-built wall. No one wants to pay for a wall, for which estimates run as high as $25 billion and which, if built, would be a testimony to the failure of America’s foreign policy with Mexico. Of course Mexico is not going to pay for it. That was just Trumpian bluster. And, of course, Congress is not going to pay for it. He tried the bluff on Congress, which immediately called him. And clearly every poll shows the people don’t want to pay for it because that was never part of the deal.

OK, so that’s on Trump, who was ready to let the government shut down for a wall most people don’t want. But it’s also on those many timid Republicans unwilling to say how absurd the idea is, even when, according to the Wall Street Journal, not a single Republican whose district stands along the Mexican border now publicly favors the non-wall.

But then there’s the bigger failure, the one that was much harder to foresee, the failure to repeal and/or replace Obamacare. Byron York has a piece in the Washington Examiner in which he says Republicans tell him that as many as 50 GOP House members don’t want to repeal Obamacare. If you can do the math — and Trump’s one-entire-page tax “plan” suggests he can’t — you see that that means they don’t have the votes to repeal or replace Obamacare.

Yes, you can blame Trump for saying that he would repeal Obamacare on his first day, but you can’t blame him for assuming Republicans were serious about repealing it. They had voted, by one count, 74 times to repeal or delay or replace it. Why wouldn’t he assume that Obamacare must really be the horror show that virtually every Republican in every state has been saying for years?

And if it’s fair to say that Trump couldn’t negotiate a deal because he doesn’t know anything about health care or that cutting a deal with the far-right Freedom Caucus would lose votes from centrist Republicans, it’s also fair to say that Paul Ryan should have known he couldn’t get the votes. It’s clear now that Republicans who represent moderate districts know they’d get crushed in 2018 if they voted to pull the plug on a law that Trump’s opposition has suddenly made, well, popular.

To understand the failure, look to our own Mike Coffman, who made the spectacular gaffe of publicly supporting the first Ryan AHCA bill, the one that didn’t even come to a vote because it would have been defeated. Now that we’re in Round 2, with a replacement bill rushed to the front to give Trump a 100-day boost, Coffman says he’s a “no” if the vote were today, even though there won’t be a vote this week — because Republicans still don’t have the votes.

But Coffman needed to get on record fast because he needed to get on board with his district. It was an embarrassing cave for Coffman — who is trying to distance himself from Trump without distancing himself too far —but not just for Coffman. The first 100 days are an embarrassment for Trump, for Republicans, for the nation.

 

Image by IoSonoUnaFotoCamera via Flickr:Creative Commons

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About the Author

Mike Littwin

He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.
mlittwin@coloradoindependent.com | Twitter @mike_littwin

4 Comments

  1. buford on said:

    Let us Name names…Senator Cory Con Man and liar Gardner…front and center…then there is Congressman Scott Who, What Where? Tipton….Still lying in his email flyers…still trying to coverup the russian coup…and then, we have Senator Michael “Corporate Blue Dog” Bennet…always willing to sell out the little guy….Has he even in DC? Is he even participating? the American Corporate Oligarchy has won…they are now pulling their stings on their puppets, and we will all suffer from the republican corruption of our government…

  2. Don Lopez on said:

    Clown car delivers Obama to Wall Street speech.

    “Hiding news that doesn’t fit an ideological or a partisan agenda is perhaps the worst form of media bias. And it’s one more reason the public holds the press is such low esteem.” – Investor’s Business Daily

    Mike Littwin on anger in politics:

    “Anger rarely wins in American politics.” – July, 2016

    “It was the anger, of course, that got (President) Trump elected.” – April, 2017

    }{

    When it comes to predictions Mr. Littwin has a losing streak longer than the Washington Generals. His predictions are, not to put too fine a point on it, worthless. For example:

    – “There is no way that fully half of Republican voters would ever support Trump. Because come on.” – February, 2016

    – “If the polls are right — and, while they’ve been wrong before, they’ve never been quite this wrong — the only remaining question in the presidential race is how badly (or, if you will, how bigly) Donald Trump will lose.” – October, 2016

    – “Debates aren’t supposed to matter, but as Nate Silver points out, Clinton was 1.5 points ahead on the eve of Debate I, and now she’s seven points ahead and probably still climbing. I don’t know why it took this long for people to see the real Trump, but after four and a half hours on display, the worst has now become clear.” – October, 2016

    – “Trump whose polls are cratering, whose not-likable-enough numbers are soaring, whose orange-haired popularity is only slightly higher than that of green-haired Ryan Lochte, whose PR team is probably right now putting together a sorry-if-I-caused-any-personal-pain statement. But, to Lochte’s credit, he has insulted only two nations. Trump is working on an entire planet.” – August, 2016

    So when he makes silly predictions like this consider the source and try not to laugh:

    “If Trump sees the wall as a seminal campaign promise, so do Democrats. Now Trump is saying he’ll delay the fight until September. He’ll lose then, too. In fact, it’s more likely that Trump will put a man on Mars by September than that he’ll get his wall built.”

    Next time, try harder.

    Mr. Littwin now seems to be applying that same, uh, thought process to evaluating President Trump’s first 100 days in office and ends up, predictably, missing the mark entirely by failing to mention the one name that will make President Trump’s first 100 days memorable for years, even decades, to come: Neil Gorsuch. It was the appointment of Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court that historians will remember about this administration’s first 100 days

    And despite Mr. Littwin’s best efforts to paint President Trump’s first 100 days as a dismal failure more objective voices see a much different picture. This from the Washington Examiner:

    – “Candidate Trump promised to “begin the process” of selecting a Supreme Court Justice to replace Antonin Scalia. As president, Trump did just that, and Neil Gorsuch is now on the Court.

    – Candidate Trump promised to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As president, he did it.
    Candidate Trump promised to require that “for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.” As president, he did it.

    – Candidate Trump promised to “lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks” on the Keystone Pipeline and other infrastructure projects. As president, he did it.

    – Candidate Trump promised to “begin removing the more than two million criminal illegal immigrants” in the U.S. As president, he did it.”

    Mr. Littwin has also proven to be politically tone-deaf devoting only one very dismissive sentence to President Trump’s Cruise missile strike on Syria and it took him almost 3 weeks to do even that. He also failed to acknowledge that President Trump ordered the attack in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of banned chemical weapons against innocent Syrian men, women and children.

    Here, from the New York Times, is something else Mr. Littwin will not be devoting any column space to:

    “The Supreme Court turned down an appeal on Tuesday from an Alabama death row inmate who said the state intended to kill him using chemicals that could cause excruciating pain. As is the court’s custom, the justices in the majority gave no reasons for declining to hear the case.”

    Justice Sotomayor and Justice Breyer were the only dissenting votes.

    Mr. Littwin continues to make mindless rah-rah statements like this:

    “We’ve seen the (Democrat) base at work, threatening Republicans in special elections in the most Republican of Republican districts. We’ve seen the marches. We’ve even seen the base go after Bernie Sanders for being lukewarm on Jon Ossoff. Democratic activists demand that Democrats fight Trump at every turn — even at the risk of losing, as they did with Neil Gorsuch — and the chance to go toe-to-toe on the wall was irresistible.”

    The entire nation witnessed the energized, fearsome, ferocious, frightful, awe-inspiring, savage, take-no-prisoners Democrat base at work last November 8th. How’d that work out?

    November 08, 2016

    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner

    Greenlight a Vet
    Folds of Honor
    Special Operations Warriors Foundation
    Garysinisefoundation.org

    Memorial Day – May 29, 2017

  3. Will Morrison on said:

    The fact is that the country, through idiocy and lack of concern has put in the white house a man who is not only temperamentally unsuited for the office, but is actually a NEGATIVE in the seat. He3 has NO clue whatsoever of what the job involves, how serious it is, how it affects people’s lives, or even how it’s important to people OTHER than HIM.

    This is the SINGLE WORST person to EVER hold the office. EVERYTHING he does is for his own benefit, no one else’s. His “tax reform” plan is nothing but a HUGE giveaway to HIMSELF and his children. This “plan” goes NOWHERE to helping anyone BUT himself and his 1% buddies. We’ve seen how that plan works out, we called it REAGANOMICS, and it was a complete and utter disaster for the majority of those in the country. Rump’s CRAP is nothing but that on steroids. May it die of the brain cancer it deserves.

    Just his own admission that he didn’t think this would be so difficult shows how INCREDIBLY STUPID and UNPREPARED for this job. He NEVER should have been allowed to run in the first place. That he’s in the office is a national DISGRACE!

    Why ANYONE still thinks this “man” is anything but the WORST possible choice we could have made is a blazing FOOL. It’s a damned GIFT that we haven’t been nuked by the rest of the world for this choice. We SHOULD be.

    To hell with this man. He’s an incompetent as a person can be, as unsuited as possible for the job as can be, and if he isn’t removed, this country will NOT be recognizable by the time he’s done. I will NEVER forgive the republican party or a single republican voter for this. Nor will I forgive those who didn’t show up to keep him from being put in office. DAMN ALL OF YOU! The country’s future is NOT a place to do such stupidity as putting this ASS in the white house. How does DESTROYING THE COUNTRY make us ANY better, YOU MORONS? ALL of you DISGUST ME! You’re SUPPOSED to use your BRAIN to make this decision. Maybe it’s time some of you STARTED doing that for a change.

    Oh, but I know… emails, right? God, how has this species survived this long? I don’t understand. With such BLATANT stupidity going on, it’s a wonder we’re still alive at all. This may be the thing that ends that once and for all. Congrats.

  4. Jay D on said:

    Take a chill pill, Will. This country survived both Richard Nixon and Barack Obama. It will survive Donald Trump.

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