VANCOUVER, B.C. Aug. 14, 2016/ Troy Media/ – I’m glad I kept notes. The first 100 days of the Trump presidency have now meandered to their odd conclusion and it is time to take stock.
To begin with, it almost seemed like there was a plan. But, looking back, I’m not convinced. Some of it was predictable. For instance, the presidential executive order mandating all Obama appointees fired in the first week after the Trump inauguration. You could have seen that one coming.
It would have been harder to predict the rapid-fire “executive order tweets” that followed over the first week in office: the ending of Obamacare, the dismissal of all federally appointed climate scientists, the mandatory press restrictions on White House briefings, the unilateral abrogation of NAFTA, and the placing of the U.S. military on permanent DEFCON 1 status.
The compulsory, televised Christian loyalty oaths by the Trump cabinet members were also to be expected, as were the appointments of his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared as secretaries of State and Defence, respectively. Sarah Palin’s elevation to Homeland Security was predictable, but not as much as Rush Limbaugh’s elevation to the new executive department of Talk Radio and Cable.
The allocation of all domestic and foreign policy leadership and oversight to Vice-President Pence was a bold move, leaving the president free to “Make America Great Again.” It would be awhile before the full dimensions of that decision were made clear.
The immediate start by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Great Wall of Mexico was an obvious early example, but the Great Wall of Canada came as a surprise. The suspension of all Mexican and Canadian tourism, “until appropriate tourist screening mechanisms can be developed by Secretary Palin,” necessarily followed the repeal of NAFTA.
The “Send It Back Program,” requiring compulsory return of all Canadian and Mexican manufactured goods in U.S. corporate inventories was also given to Secretary Palin for detailed administration.
And then there was the Make America Great Again deportation of all designated illegal (DI) Muslim and Mexican aliens – President Trump’s much vaunted “M & M Program.” Hypothetically covering some 15 million DI M & Ms, this program was contracted to Trump Data for implementation as no executive department of government could be trusted “to deliver it like a private contractor.” Dick Cheney’s supportive words helped the public understand the decision.
Its initial time line for completion was one year, which from the start was problematic given that no list existed, and no screening mechanism was in place. The president went on the accredited cable networks to explain that, “The Trump Data’s HR Department is the best in the world, and they will make the list and develop the screen.”
After the first 100 days, however, no one had been deported and the actual lists were nowhere to be seen. “It’s going to take a while to do this right,” said the CEO-in-Chief.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the early presidency was the behaviour of the president himself. Many of his supporters were of course expecting an active program of achievements and self-promotions. The actual pace of the presidential day, however, was simply too exhausting for the 70-year-old warhorse to maintain.
After the first month of executive order tweets, things cooled down considerably. The president basically retired to the “Back Nine Whitehouse” in Florida and entertained his enthusiasms. Daily golf and fast-food buffet state dinners were often featured in a string of Make America Great Again infomercials. When quizzed by the accredited media, the president said that the old bone spurs in his heel were flaring up again, and he’d have to pull back on his commitments until the swelling subsided.
They say that the best indication of future performance is past performance, all things remaining equal. This being the case, Vice-President Pence is the man to watch. His profile has so far been pretty low, but the challenges confronting the United States will soon require him to roll up his sleeves. To start with, American exports have tanked, and maintaining DEFCON 1 is costing a fortune. And expert Mexican cartel tunnelers have breached the Great Wall. It’s time for a reset!
Troy Media columnist Mike Robinson has been CEO of three Canadian NGOs: the Arctic Institute of North America, the Glenbow Museum, and the Bill Reid Gallery. Mike is also included in Troy Media’s Unlimited Access subscription plan.
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