Well, that was quick. The Trump Honeymoon ended before it began. Now the First 100 Days begin.
This will probably be the most important, the most acrimonious, and the most hectic First 100 Days ever.
Trump is a man of action and will be facing a Congress that is the embodiment of inaction, with a timid Republican majority and an angry Democrat opposition.
Hang on tight. It’s going to be one hell of a ride.
Trump time starts now
By W. JAMES ANTLE III (@JIMANTLE) • 1/16/17
The first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency will set the tone for the next four to eight years. Described by House Speaker Paul Ryan as a “man of action,” Trump plans to hit the ground running with an ambitious reset of American trade policy and sweeping government reforms.
In addition to the new president’s own policy preferences, an entire Cabinet must be confirmed. Trump has to fill a Supreme Court seat that Senate Republicans left vacant until one of their own was in the White House. And he has to hire another 4,000 people for executive branch jobs.
“It holds a lot of symbolic meaning,” Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said of the first 100 days. “This is the report card to show progress.”
Not everyone is eager to cooperate. Progressive filmmaker Michael Moore has called for “100 days of resistance” to Trump. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich wrote a column titled “12 ways to disrupt Donald Trump’s first 100 days as president.” Massive protests have been planned for his inauguration this Friday.
They are opposed to much of Trump’s platform. They fear or claim to fear he is racially biased. They worry that he will not be transparent and that his failure to release his tax returns is a sign of how he will run the government.
“It feels like we are setting up for more of a dictatorship than a democratically elected president,” said Democratic strategist Bud Jackson. “That’s how it feels to many Democrats.”
That judgment or assumption about what a Trump presidency will be makes many Democrats passionate to oppose Trump from Day One. “We need to do everything we possibly can to slow down his roll and hope at the end of four years to get a Democrat in the White House,” Jackson said.
O’Connell said, “Democrats want Trump to be slimed early and often out of the gate.”
Republicans are more hopeful, but many of them also have serious questions. When Trump said in October that he would push for congressional term limits during his first 100 days in office, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it wouldn’t be on his agenda.
Some leading Republicans aren’t enthusiastic about Trump’s infrastructure plan. Details are sparse, but talk of a $1 trillion price tag makes fiscal conservatives queasy. The party fought President Obama’s $1 trillion stimulus eight years ago.
Not coincidentally, infrastructure is one area where Democrats have offered to work with Trump. He has promised to “build the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways of tomorrow.” His dilemma is that the more tax credits and private financing is involved, the more Democrats will balk; the more public spending is in the plan, the more skeptical Republicans will be.
Some liberals are already attacking the infrastructure plan as a bid to privatize roads and other projects across the country. But Rust Belt Democrats representing areas Trump won in the election might have an incentive to agree with whatever he proposes, especially if they get a place at the table in the planning phase. Rank-and-file Republicans from deep red districts might also swallow their ideological misgivings because Trump is popular with their constituents.
“I think a lot of the infrastructure plan is going to come from [Vice President Mike] Pence sitting with McConnell and saying this is where Trump is, this is where we’re comfortable going,” O’Connell said.