Trump at Year One.
A review of President Donald Trump’s first year in office.
Until Donald J. Trump became president we have always thought that the presidency would transform someone to a more moderate leader with a vaguely mainline style.
But Mr. Trump’s style remains the same as shown in his pre-presidential years, like a reality show.
His administration is so controversial that even a story in the “Wall Street Journal” about him and a porn star gets little notice.
Here’s our summary.
A SAMPLE OF WHAT WE DON’T LIKE:
His inaugural speech. His crude style. The bombastic tweets. The nicknames. (Calvin Coolidge and George W. Bush used nicknames but they weren’t designed to insult.) The bungled health care debate. His attacks of Republican allies like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Senator Mitch McConnell, and Chief of Staff John Kelly which remind us of his vitriol against Ted Cruz and his claim that the Bush administration lied to get us into the Iraq War. The bungled negotiations preceding the government shutdown. The edging toward racism – at least as a plausible interpretation – in his remarks about “good people on both sides” at Charlottesville, which his people later claimed he meant to apply to the Confederate statue controversy. The “s—hole” comment which he evolved toward saying he didn’t say. The withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. His adulterous past. His attitude toward NAFTA. His arming of the Ukraine which escalates tensions with Russia. His taunts to Kim Jong Un when it comes to the capability of nuclear weapons.
A SAMPLE OF WHAT WE DO LIKE:
ISIS is reduced. Consumer confidence is up. Unemployment is down. Black unemployment is down. Growth is up. Wages are up. Two million new jobs have been created. The appointment of Neil Gorsuch and various appellate court judges. His speech about Western Civilization in Poland. The appointment of Nikki Haley. The designation of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Suspension of aid to Pakistan for its harboring of terrorists. North Korea has agreed to talks with Seoul. China may, repeat may, be starting to pressure North Korea to stop firing missiles.
“…We disdain Trump-as-Hitler comparisons and, similarly, GOP Senator Jeff Flake’s likening of Mr. Trump to Joseph Stalin. These comments are ahistorical, gravely insulting to the millions who died in Hitler’s ovens or starved to death in the winter in Stalin’s Ukraine. “
SOME WAIT AND SEES BUT MOST OF WHICH ARE TYPICAL FOR REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS:
The tax bill. The removal of lots of regulations. The quitting of the Paris climate treaty. His new sanctions on Russia. Troop deployments in Eastern Europe as a NATO commitment.
WHERE WE UNINTENTIONALLY ALIENATE FRIENDS AND RELATIVES:
We disdain Trump-as-Hitler comparisons and, similarly, GOP Senator Jeff Flake’s likening of Mr. Trump to Joseph Stalin. These comments are ahistorical, gravely insulting to the millions who died in Hitler’s ovens or starved to death in the winter in Stalin’s Ukraine. The comparisons, usually offered unctuously, come off to us as moral preening. Senator Flake is a good conservative but he is not Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The Trump-as-Hitler people are not Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
We also are apart from those who see Mr. Trump’s tweets as part of a masterful strategy. We see him as unfiltered and crude. From the time of his announcement we have seen him as lacking in the character required to be a good president. To close on a pathetic note: We wanted Jeb Bush. Then Marco Rubio. Then Ted Cruz.
NEXT UP IN 2018:
• Whether the Democrats will take the House and/or the Senate.
• The work of Robert Mueller and the sexual harassment charges.
The future is unclear.
President Donald J. Trump has under-performed against our expectations in the areas of temperament and character and over-performed against our expectations in the area of policies.
That’s it for Year One – or should we call it Season 1?