Douglas E. Schoen – One hundred days into President Trump’s administration, it is becoming evident that when considering his base, the president has been more successful than many would like to give him credit for.
There have been clear shortcomings though, which many Democratic analysts like myself have been quick to address.
President Trump has accomplished many of the campaign promises he ran on in 2016, and is currently enjoying an 84 percent approval rating among Republicans in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll. More importantly, a full 98 percent of people who voted for him in November say that they are happy with their decision.
Maintaining this level of loyal Republican support has been critical to the president’s success as his approval rating among all Americans, including Democratic voters, hovers between 40 and 50 percent.
Let’s grade President Trump’s first 100 days, with specific attention to his ability to successfully meet his campaign promises:
Foreign Policy: A+
President Trump’s reassertion of U.S. leadership around the world was a foundational component of his campaign, and already his style of leadership has positively changed the way our global allies view the United States. In particular, the U.S. Navy’s Tomahawk missile strike on Syria’s Shayrat Airbase in response to the Assad regime’s horrific use of chemical weapons, made it clear that the president of the United States will not tolerate a red line being crossed or an appalling human rights violation to be committed on his watch.
Just one week later, President Trump authorized the use of the largest non-nuclear bomb in the US’s arsenal in Afghanistan to destroy a critical network of tunnels used by ISIS, as well as large caches of weapons.
Finally, the president has shifted U.S. foreign policy goals with China. Trump chose, instead of labeling China as a currency manipulator, to work on building a partnership with them in order to address the threat of North Korea.
Trump made good on his promise that he would ensure the United States would negotiate better deals with our international partners, and both his willingness and ability to pivot on China’s currency practices to address the North Korean threat demonstrates the president’s negotiating abilities.
Domestic Policy Agenda: C
President Trump’s inability to follow through on a signature promise to immediately “repeal and replace” ObamaCare within the first 100 days now presents serious challenges for other aspects of the president’s policy agenda.
President Trump was unable to unite moderate Republicans and more the conservative House Freedom Caucus behind his proposed replacement plan. This plan should have been formed through bipartisan means, and instead of focusing on repeal and replace, President Trump could have put fixing ObamaCare on the table. As it stands, even with the new addition of the MacArthur amendment in the latest iteration of the American Health Care Act, it does not appear that President Trump will be able to pass an effective ObamaCare replacement in the near term.
President Trump’s struggles with his domestic agenda will not end with healthcare. Democrats are not going to consider his tax plan, with the tax cuts too heavily weighted on cuts for the rich. His plan will hurt states disproportionally with high state and local taxes, and putting their social safety net at risk.
President Trump’s tax plan is also indicative of how his policy prescriptions and rhetoric haven’t even hinted at a plan to reach out across the aisle. The upcoming infrastructure bill is an excellent opportunity for Trump to appeal to Democrats. That being said, the Democrats have to take the blame as well. Instead of constantly resisting his every move, Democrats need to article an agenda that could potentially win bipartisan support and help move this country forward.
The Supreme Court: B+
President Trump ran on the promise that if elected, he would appoint federal judges who uphold the constitution and support the Second Amendment. The nomination and appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch has accomplished just that, and will be one of President Trump’s lasting successes from his first 100 days.
Regulations, Trade and Jobs: A-
Trump promised that he would renegotiate or cancel many the United States’ trade agreements. Just this week, Canada and Mexico have agreed to begin renegotiating NAFTA, which from the outset has largely occurred on President Trump’s terms.
Previously, President Trump also pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, enacted tougher enforcement of exporters who sell products below the cost of production, and requested a comprehensive report on “every possible cause of the U.S. trade deficit.”
Another key campaign promise was job creation. In particular, President Trump has begun the process of cutting federal regulations and expedited the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
Additionally, President Trump also ran the plan to crack down on companies outsourcing jobs. The president has called out corporate leaders and companies to help ensure jobs do not go to Mexico, all while negotiating with corporations to invest in new facilitates and factories in America as a “vote of confidence” in his administration.
The president has done exactly as he said he would do with regards to immigration. Trump has proactively tried to enact a constitutionally acceptable version of the travel ban.
More importantly, however, President Trump has worked toward reforming the H1-B visa program in order to ensure that American workers will be a prioritized over foreign workers.
Finally, Trump has held steady on his promise for a wall along the U.S. Southern border, and has initiated funding talks, as well the possibility of public-private partnerships to ensure the wall’s completion.