April 26, 2017 (San Diego) During the election, and later during the Transition, the president made promises of how he was going to turn the country around in 100 days. It is summarized in the Contract with America that he released on November 8.
So what has been done from that contract? It is also important to note that President Donald Trump has been in the process of lessening the importance of this contract, mostly because most of what is in it has not bee done.
Here are a few that made us shake our heads:
FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
Not only has it not been done, but some of the people who were formerly part of the campaign, and the government, (Paul Manafort and General Michael Flynn are currently registered as foreign agents. The latter lied in his clearance paperwork
They have also obtained permits for people who were lobbyists to join the government in large numbers. So the revolving door is alive and well.
As to trade here are some important things:
FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205.
Trump keeps threatening to do this. And now that he has both gone after Mexico and Canada and we believe that he will not renegotiate the treaty, but scrap it altogether. The reasons are ideological, not market based, and this is already leading to trade wars with both countries. Some of the actions taken by the Administration, such as furthering a trade dispute with over Candadian lumber from entering the US (announced today), could also be a violation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which preceded NAFTA.
SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Paci c Partnership.
He did that. But arguably the TTP was dead on arrival and had a lot of resistance in the Senate, where it faced an uphill battle to get ratified. So given those political realities, this was a given that it was going to happen.
THIRD, I will direct the Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator.
Not only is the talk gone, but China is now one of our best friends.
He also promised to identify all matters that in his view damage the American economy and workers, and one of them is to order American companies to use American steel. However, the renewal of the Keystole pipeline immediately got an exception, and will not use American steel. Other projects may still be in the courts, and Keystone is likely to end in the courts. He is also going to cancel billions of funds to the United Nations, not just to environmental projects, but foreign aid in general. There are hints that they will be leaving the Paris climate agreement, doing severe damage to American reputation in the world and any future administration. Obviously treaties are not even worth the paper they are signed on. American presidents no longer respect these documents from one administration to the other.
This will weaken American standing in the world, incidentally.
As far as the law and order part, we will highlight some of it.
FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama.
This has not happened, and many of those executive orders are still in place.
SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution.
This is honestly the one promise kept, Judge Neil Gorsuch is now an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and he is quite conservative. Regardless of what happens next. He will be part of the record of this administration.
THIRD, cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities.
While he, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have said they want to do this. The president also signed an Executive Order on this, it has now been blocked by a San Francisco Federal Disttrict Judge. This will probably go to the 9th circuit, and could end up in the Supreme Court. But for the moment, the order is blocked.
FOURTH, begin removing the more than two million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back.
The rate of deportations has not increased from the Barack Obama administration,. In fact, numbers dropped after 2012. So while the president is taking credit for it, in reality this is not the case. The entries into the US have also significantly slowed down.
Those numbers started to slow down in 2007 during the George Bush administration, not even during the Obama years. They started to decline right as the Great Recession was starting to spin up
FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered “extreme vetting
The second executive order that reduced the number of Muslim countries in the ban by one was also stopped by a Federal Judge. There are questions about the Establshment Clause and this is expected to remain in the courts.
None of us expect to see an actual tax bill, and the repeal and replace of Obamacare, crashed and burned when it did not even reach the floor for a vote. The American Healthcare Act was going to leave more people without coverage. As of now, they are negotiating to try to get both factions of the GOP to the table, and a vote, but will not get there before the 100 days.
The Wall will not come to be in the 100 days, and truth be told, there is quite a bit of bipartisan dislike among members of congress along the border. Nor has the End illegal immigration Act gotten even to committee.
So overall, very few, if any of the first 100 days promises have been kept. This is one reason why the White House is not emphasizing any of this. The White House is also discovering that unlike the private sector, things just do not happen because you want them to happen.
The rhetoric however, is getting us possibly a few trade wars, and diminishing our place in the world.
Trump also ran on a nationalist, America First platform. However, he did launch missiles to Syria, not unlike Bill Clinton used to do. They are symbolic, but that is about it. However, they betray the isolationist rhetoric of the administration, He is also raising the stakes in the North Korean Peninsula, and we may very well end up in a war. These are hardly the actions of an isolationist, anti-globalist, populist president.