Donald Trump has just completed the second month of his Presidency and any sane person would say that it is too soon to evaluate his performance in office. But at this early date, it would be beneficial if reporters and commentators would concentrate on what he and his administration are actually doing, rather than on what they believe or fear he will do in the future.
Today, I would like to focus on some things he has actually done so far. In the first place, last week’s failure to get the health care bill out of the House of Representatives is regarded as a great defeat. Nevertheless, Trump’s behavior or deportment during the process was certainly above board and definitely “presidential.”
He got behind the proposed legislation promoted by Speaker Ryan and the Republican leadership, met with members of the House and listened to their concerns, showed flexibility in adopting changes, and was then magnanimous in defeat. One just has to contrast his behavior with President Obama’s eight years ago in passing the “Affordable Care Act.”
The Trump/Ryan plan was put out there for all to read and criticize. Remember when then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that she would read the bill after it was passed. Then, the bill had to include special favors to induce certain Democrat Senators to accept it. Finally, it was only passed with legal trickery. The Senate and House versions of the Bill were different but instead of sending the Bill to a joint committee of both Houses, the House of Representatives was “deemed” to have accepted the Senate version. It is amazing the people give Obama and Pelosi a pass on their tactics but then go on to brand President Trump as a fascist and a potential dictator.
Actually, after eight years of the Obama administration I believe that the defeat of the Trump/Ryan bill was a hopeful sign. Instead of ignoring the verdict of the House of Representatives, the House that most represents the people of the country, Trump worked with it and accepted its decision. What a change from the previous administration.
Secondly, I believe that Donald Trump should be given credit for putting together a distinguished and experienced Cabinet made up of a variety of serious and accomplished men and women. Each certainly seems capable of not only handling the duties of their post but also of reforming the bureaus that they will lead. During the Presidential campaign commentators called Trump an inexperienced clown but at the outset his Cabinet ranks with any in recent history. People who think that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former head of Exxon, lacks experience should remember that back in 2008 Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State by virtue of her name only. It is now obvious that President Obama and his closest advisors saw her as a figurehead and decided to handle foreign policy themselves.
Finally, who would have thought just a few months ago that Donald Trump would have nominated such a distinguished and experienced judge as Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Once again, opponents are letting their fears of the future take over, rather than looking at the actual record of Judge Gorsuch. During his career he has had remarkably few decisions overturned by higher courts. One just has to contrast his record with that of the judges involved in overturning the President’s temporary ban on immigration from countries that harbor terrorist threats. The West Coast Ninth Circuit Appeals Court has had a very high number of its decisions overturned by the Supreme Court.
So who are the clowns? Opponents like to portray Trump as a clown but what about the Democrat Senators who are about to fall into step and oppose at the behest of their two-faced and hypocritical leaders who have repeatedly espoused different of rules for nominees based solely on their own political preferences. Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer is ticked off that the Republicans would not even consider an Obama nominee in the last year of that administration. But years ago he took the lead in warning former President George W. Bush against any nomination in the last year of his term.