The Donald Administration is nearing the 100 day benchmark. Personally, I think this is a media construct, but it does serve as a place to take stock. That is, if you can bear to look.
Where to begin? We’ve had the immigration non-ban, the “We’ve Been Wiretapped by Those Obama Meanies!” controversy, the ACA repeal and replace drama, not to mention the Russia connection story (aka the story that won’t die) and the folksy Gorsuch confirmation hearings. Meanwhile we continue to be subjected to badly worded statements badly read aloud by the combative Sean Spicer.
One at a time, shall we?
The immigration non-ban. This is still tied up in the courts. Most of these federal judges are Obama appointees and thus are not inclined to give the Trump people a break. Look for this one to continue into oblivion and/or the Supreme Court. I’m not betting on this horse to even make it across the finish line. This is partially the Donald Administration’s fault; shoddy legal work done on a self-imposed and impossible deadline is never good when you’re arguing delicate stuff like the appearance of religious discrimination with judges who have a liberal bias to begin with. Note to the Donald Administration: stop confusing political stratagems with good legal work.
“We’ve Been Wiretapped!” Right. This engendered hours of retired CIA/NSA people relating foreign wiretapping rules and regs to confused if perfectly coiffed cable news presenters. This also suffered from the FBI’s Comey’s non-answers with regard to potential wiretapping of any installation, much less Trump Tower. I would point out here that, considering Mr. Trump’s tweeting habits (4:00 AM and out of control), such wiretapping would not be entirely necessary. The news people, half tongue in cheek, have as of yet found no evidence of such wiretapping. Representative Nunes’ news conference regarding surveillance of the Trump Transition Team made no sense; the information he had turned out to be either untrue, of no consequence or was too classified to discuss. Meanwhile, the ultra right wing conservatives are talking Deep State Conspiracy (I’m looking at you Mark Levin). I’ll let Mr. Levin explain that one.
ACA Repeal and Replacement. The next time these guys party I want to know what they’re smoking; it’s got to be good stuff. Repeal and Replace came up for vote twice in two days in the House, hitting the failure cliff both times. Mr. Trump, with help from the lovely Mr. Bannon, personally bawled out the Freedom Caucus which responded, point blank, that it would not be voting for the bill. No dissent, no waffling, no histrionics. Just no. I got the feeling this was Mr. Ryan’s baby and that Mr. Trump was a fellow traveler on the issue. The House, dominated by conservatives, could only be trusted to come up with something stupid in the first place, et voila! These guys hate Obamacare and have since it was forced down their throats in 2010. To come up with a bill that promoted universal healthcare was beyond the pale; there was no way they were going to vote yes. We were then treated to the spectacle of the Speaker of the House and the President, two of the most powerful people in the land, walking away from the issue. Freedom Caucus (and the Democrats): 1. Paul Ryan, Moderate Republicans and the Donald Administration: 0. For a zero sum guy like Mr. Trump this defeat has to stick in his craw.
The Russians. Democrat noises regarding Trump’s Russia ties are becoming more than just political flack. Now that Trump has left the moderate members of his party, not to mention Mr. Ryan, hanging out to dry, I figure the Russia story will gather steam. Despite several good Republican foot stampings, the story will not disappear. This one has the seeping quality that the Watergate break in had way back when. Never a good sign. We’ll see if Mr. Manafort pleads the 5th in next week’s hearings.
The Gorsuch Hearings. These were overtaken by events. First there was the attack on the Westminster Bridge in London and then the ACA drama. What little I have seen proves that Mr. Gorsuch knows his stuff, that he wants to be independent of the Donald Administration (but then, who wouldn’t?) and can discuss mutton busting with the best of them. (Look it up on CSpan.) He seems like a nice guy, I guess. His record is reliably conservative, otherwise he wouldn’t be there in the first place. Beyond that he, like all Supreme Court nominees, is a crap shoot.
In summary: Immigration Ban: look for more arcane judicial arguments flavored with glacial courtroom proceedings. Trump’s justice department was never completely behind it anyway. Wiretapping: Unless some investigator comes up with something real, this one is just embarrassing. Look for Mr. Trump to ignore his claim or simply state that it’s too classified to discuss in public. ACA/Obamacare: It’s the law of the land. The Russians: perhaps Mr. Trump will blame Mr. Bannon for that one; he will disavow Mr. Manafort. Gorsuch: the revived Democrats may filibuster this one; if so, look for Goodnight Moon to be read aloud on the Senate floor not to mention granny’s recipe for yummy chocolate chip cookies.
Come on, all you orphans; time to troop down to the mess for milk and cookies before bed. Maybe we can get that senator to print up that cookie recipe for us.