Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 25, 2017--Jack: Trump's 100 Days

"What's this 100-days business?"

Jack is not a student of history so when he called, sounding annoyed, already annoyed, I said, "It refers to Franklin Roosevelt's first 100 days in office in 1933. During the Depression. He accomplished so much in his first 100 days that it became a self-imposed benchmark for the presidents who came after him. As a way to brag about the importance of their ideas and how much they would get done."

"But like Trump said the other day, it's not a real deadline. He could have said it's not a sprint it's a marathon."

"He can say anything he wants, but to me this sounds like a rationalization."

"He wasn't rationalizing."

"Well, he was and so are you." Jack didn't take that up, so I added, "Believe me if he got a lot of things done, like something, anything approved my Congress or if the Syrians agreed to a legitimate ceasefire after he launched 59 Tomahawk missiles, he'd be all over TV and Twitter pointing it out. Now he's trying to cover up. Which I get."

"Well he tried to repeal Obamacare."

"And? Is he all about trying or doing? That's what he promised during the campaign--that he knew how to get things done."

"He'll get Obamacare repealed maybe even this week. That would be quite an accomplishment."

"Only if you consider taking healthcare coverage away from 24 million people an accomplishment."

"It's Congress' fault. They couldn't agree to . . ."

"You can blame it on Congress all you want, but Trump is the president and he made all those promises. Forget 100 days. What did he say he'd do on Day One? Remember that? Among other little things, God help us, repeal Obamacare."

"What about the executive orders? He . . ."

"You mean the ones that got overturned by the federal courts?"

"I mean by that so-called judge who lives on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean."

"You mean federal judge Derrick Watson, who lives in Hawaii? Which by the way is a state. Even if a majority of Hawaiians are people of color."

"I was pulling your leg a little bit. But I love the way you liberals refer to black people and Mexicans as 'people of color.' Why don't you call them what they are? What are you hiding?"

"This sounds a little racist to me but since I know you better than to accuse you of that, I'll tell you. When talking just about African Americans we call them that. Or Cuba Americans. Or for that matter Mexican Americans, we call them that. But when we refer to all of them that's when we say 'people of color.' You have a problem with that?"

"It just sounds so phony and politically correct to me. I hate all this politically correct baloney. It's another way liberals look down their noses as anyone who is a conservative or supports Trump."

"You're straying from the subject," I said, "I thought we were talking about Trump's first 100 days, which end on Saturday."

"What about tax reform? And as I said Ryan is still working on healthcare."

"Both dead on arrival. On Wednesday Trump promises to unveil 'the biggest tax cuts in history.' He already boasted about that, calling it 'massive.' Even his Secretary of the Treasury says it will take at least a year to pass. It's not going to happen between this Wednesday and Saturday. And with his friends in the real estate industry already lobbying against any changes in real estate taxes, what chance does anything bold have to pass even a year from now?"

Jack shifted the subject, "Ryan says he has the votes to repeal and replace Obamacare. This week."

"He's dreaming. They have to pass legislation to keep the government from running out of money. That happens Friday. So maybe if they manage to do that it will go on Trump's almost non-existent list of 100-days accomplishments."

"So what did your favorite president get done? And don't forget there was the Depression going on, which made it easier to get things through Congress."

"Fair point. But in a legitimate 100 days, among other things Roosevelt got Congress to pass the creation of the FDIC and the bank holiday. Also, the Glass-Steagall Act and the Tennessee Valley Authority--the TVA--and Social Security--that's a big one-- and he ended the gold standard.  Which pretty much everybody would consider amazing. And I could go on. He got 15 separate pieces of New Deal legislation passed in a little more than three months. Against that, on Trump's list, you'd probably mention the new Supreme Court justice. Which he does get credit for though Gorsuch is not my cup of tea."

"I'm not really into this 100-days business. I just . . ."

"You just brought it up out the blue to bust my chops?"

"Not . . ."

"I'll tell you one big thing Trump could do by Saturday."

"I'm listening."

"Start a war with North Korea. Even if he doesn't know where our aircraft carriers are."

Jack hung up.

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