Trump opens the door is his first 100 days.
The American people have been ringside witnesses to something extraordinary these past 3 months, the metamorphosis of a highly capable man with deep patterns of thought and behavior, into a new born, a brilliant man beginning all over again — changing rapidly into a President of the United States.
Each time this happens I hold my breath in awe at the amazing transformation unfolding before me.
In the old days, Kingdoms would carefully watch their Prince’s GRADUALLY grow up and then become new Kings. Young Kings were immature, brash, more warlike, and their subjects understood this, feared it, and held their breath as I do.
In the Presidency, we condense that 25 year maturation process into a first year trial by fire, where we watch every move the President makes to gauge the quality of our choice, and pray we made the right one.
This process of either blossoming — or not — on the part of a new President – begins with the first real crisis. Nothing can prepare a man for this moment.
This first national or international crisis establishes a dividing line between great Presidents and all the others. Why? Because history suggests a model where two different types of men emerge (or are revealed) in this first crisis, the careful type that sits back and lets a non White House solution emerge from the range of possibilities in the macro environment, or the bolder types that believe they know what it means to be a POTUS, and that either craft a WH solution, and/or force a situation that will break the crisis/impasse.
This moment for Trump came before he had his furniture moved in and the locks changed. The Assad regime dropped a chemical gas bomb on some civilians, something they had done repeatedly during the Obama administration (after Obama warned them not to) and gotten away with.
Trump did not have to react here, BUT he decided to strike the Syrian airbase with nearly as many cruise missiles as civilians killed. It was a good idea and was widely applauded domestically and abroad — but the message about the kind of President — Trump is becoming — was much more important than the strike itself, which will be forgotten in time.
In that moment, Trump erased 8 years of doubt, whining, crying, apologizing and appeasement, by the Obama administration and Secretary of State John Kerry.
I believe great Presidents are highly proactive intellectually; they work on establishing a concrete list of objectives they believe will help the American people, and they bring these forward, into the spotlight, lancing the boil before it becomes an infection like Hitler after the Sudetenland.
Great Presidents look for those pressure points where they can spend a small amount of political capital and get results.
This is a balancing act because the American electorate fears military adventurism on the part of the President, as much as they are proud of it –when it works.
The Syrian missile strike was a perfect blend of strength and restraint. I think the next test, North Korea, will be the acid test. Obama put the nation in a terrible box with seemingly few options, by allowing NK, YEARS to build, test, launch and threaten other countries with nukes and even missiles capable of carrying them, although not yet to our shores.
Right now, the NK missile and nuke program is a threat to Seoul and Tokyo, a situation Obama tolerated and should not have. Obama’s own words by the way.
Trump is a smart man and he is doing smart things, compromising where he should, learning on the job, and keeping his eye on service to the American people, not his personal vanity — I could not wish for more.
I give him an A for his Cabinet appointments, not only are they America’s best and brightest, they all seem to sense the importance of the rare opportunity they have been given to really change things in Washington.
Trump’s Supreme Court choice was a clear winner.
I predict the President and Paul Ryan will pass an ACA replacement bill this year — and it will swing on the McArthur amendment — an idea I proposed FIRST in this column weeks ago, and that I think is the only way out of the
“Pre-existing Conditions” revenue trap, created by the ridiculous structure of the ACA.
No one in the world will agree with this next point, but it will be proved out; not only is the Republican Congress doing a good job right now, they are helping this new President.
The Democrats meanwhile, as a reaction to Trump, have done more damage to the Democratic Party in 100 days — than Nixon did to the Republicans in an entire year. This isn’t obvious yet in the polling or one-off election results, but it’s true.
The violent street protests, the tone of the Democratic narrative, the poor use of the mainstream media, the silly spiteful personal attacks on Trump and his team, the stupidity of not voting for — or confirming — things the American people want addressed — is just political suicide.
The Dems are in big trouble if they stick with Warren, Pelosi and Schumer as the Party shot callers.
This was not true for years and years.
The difference now is Trump. He found a way around their strangle hold on the national media, called their lies what they are, leftist propaganda, and America listened. Those same shot callers have now presided over the worst collapse of a major political party in decades and nobody is holding them accountable – except at the ballot box, where their power is shrinking every election and the Party is weaker than anytime in 100 YEARS.
That collapse isn’t all about Trump of course, in fact most of the credit must go to Obama – who shattered key constituencies in the Party; Jews, non-educated whites, professional blacks, even a growing number of Hispanics don’t support the Democratic agenda anymore and are looking for a home.
It’s impossible to be soft on terrorism and immigration like Obama, and simultaneously advocate for LGBTQ rights. It would be like being a Jew — and a Nazi — irreconcilable.
Trump didn’t open this door, the idiot Democrats did – he’s just waving the Democratic Party discontented — out through it and into his door.