Every week on Monday, the WoW! Staff, our community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: How Would You Rate Trump’s Performance So Far?
Stately McDaniel Manor: As I’ve recently written, Donald Trump’s performance in the first two full weeks of his presidency has come as a great shock to many, and for many reasons. Perhaps the most interesting is his work ethic.
Trump is a highly motivated businessman, a type A personality, driven to excel. Rising early, working late, doing whatever is necessary to succeed, all of this is second nature to him, and he expects it of everyone that works for him. After eight years of a man who never held a traditional 8-5 job, who may or may not have dropped by the Oval Office in the morning, and who may or may not have put in a few hours of actual work on any given day, the Beltway is still reeling from his onslaught of accomplishment. Some have yet to understand precisely what is happening, why they are so befuddled.
Shocking too is the fact that Trump is keeping his campaign promises, without equivocation, without backpedaling, without concealment and spin. He promised it, he’s doing it, and shows every sign of continuing to do just that. Americans conditioned to expect lies from every politician, and particularly after the last eight years of in-your-face, what-you gonna-do-about-it, sucker, lies, many are still stunned into disbelief. Mark Twain may have foreseen this moment when he said “Always do right. It will gratify some and astonish the rest.” A great many Americans remain astonished.
Particularly fascinating is Trump’s defenestration of the media. He has thrown them out the window and most of America is still applauding as they continue to fall, screaming all the way to the bottom. No matter how the media lies or tries to claim their latest pronouncement will be the doom of Trump, he continues to side step them by social media, and with the exception of leftists, and a few never-Trumpers, no one cares. It is particularly delicious to hear media figures self-righteously lecture us that their survival is the very survival of the First Amendment. We don’t care, and it’s their fault. Interesting how they virtually never support the Constitution until they think it to their benefit. After years of spitting in our faces, it’s satisfying to see their growing realization of irrelevance, and the resultant panic.
Mr. Trump is also emasculating congressional Democrats, who, in their mounting impotence and rage, are driving more and more voters away from them in 2018. They’re providing an enormously valuable public service by producing winning Republican political ads two years hence at no cost to Republicans. They continue to refuse to understand that it was, in large part, their arrogance, hypocrisy, smugness, and their hatred of most Americans, that elected Donald Trump. Trump knows it, and he’s playing them like Bach at the organ. They’re the gift that keeps on giving.
He is also demonstrating–and I know I say this with two scant weeks of evidence–he knows how to play on the national and international stages. It’s as hard to imagine foreign leaders and tyrants putting one over on him as it was easy to recognize them bending Barack Obama to their will at will. He really does intend to put America’s interests first, an almost unimaginable concept.
His nominations are at the least, solid, at best, stellar. His advisors are mature, experienced, capable people. And he is willing to fire insubordinate employees, particularly those that demonstrate partisanship detrimental to the public they are sworn to serve.
We haven’t seen his like before.
Don Surber: I will give Trump a gentleman’s A because I am (yawn) tired of winning, right?
From his excellent inaugural speech in which he told the American people who sent him to clean up Washington that he will clean up Washington, to his sending of 20 ATF — the Feds — to Chicago, Trump has been an EverReady Bunny waking up Washington, a sleepy little Southern town where nothing ever seems to get done, in triplicate.
Pipelines will be built. A wall too. Companies will re-open factories. Japan will invest in our infrastructure, and the Wall will go up, paid for by a tax on liberal tears. Americans have longed for action from Washington to protect the people, and not just those in certain demographic groups, people with outlier lifestyles, and endangered sea slugs. Trump is doing so — and not at the expense of those in certain demographic groups, people with outlier lifestyles, or endangered sea slugs.
Plus, he is a lot more interesting than Obama.
The Razor: I’ll admit that at first I was a bit white-knuckled over the initial reports of his executive orders and such. But as I delved into the facts I realized that I was just being lied to once again by the media which still hasn’t forgiven Trump for winning. Now whenever I hear anything I wait to check the sources myself. It’s a bit of a pain in the rear, but given the lies I’ve recently bought including two laid out in this article, I think he’s doing fine.
Of course the polls are giving him a tough time, but these were the same pollsters that had Hillary winning in November. Oddly no one got fired over that miss…
JoshuaPundit: Oooh, just imagine! A president who starts work right after his inauguration and keeps at it relentlessly instead of playing endless rounds of golf, enjoying 5 star luxury vacations on the taxpayer’s dime and throwing a bevy of lavish parties. A president who was and still is labeled as a ‘con man’ by his opponents who actually does what he said he was going to do and is keeping his word to the people who voted for him. And all for the bargain price of $1 per year plus room and board!
That’s what we have in the White House. And when I read the news now, I’m smiling.
Trump’s vigorous start doesn’t surprise me. Once I realized that at age 70, he was traveling and doing 3 to 4 sellout events per day all over the country without slowing down, I had a pretty good idea of how he’d hit the ground running. Heck, if you remember, he was working at the job even before he was inaugurated, talking to CEO’s and letting them know things were going to be different. My own estimate is that he saved or crated something like 200,000 jobs before he was even sworn in, if you count the downstream vendors. His effect on foreign policy and the War on Jihad has been especially healthy. And it ain’t just America. A whole new order is rising up in Europe encouraged by Brexit and Trump’s victory. Europe may yet be saved.
If I’m grading his overall performance, I’d give him an A minus, and admittedly I’m nitpicking. What we’re seeing is a few errors in execution from someone who is used to being a CEO and is learning that the presidency works a little differently. And perhaps he wasn’t quite prepared for the lengths the toxic Left and the majority of the Democrat party are prepared to go to in attempting to sabotage his presidency and fight what amounts to a civil war, no matter what the cost to the country. But following his campaign, I found out that The Donald is a quick learner who rarely makes the same mistake twice.
He’s going to win this thing. Or as the president would undoubtedly say himself, we’re going to win it.
Mistakes? Well for one thing I think he would have been far better off waiting until he got Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court before issuing that Immigration order. It makes so much common sense and is so entirely legal and within presidential authority that President Trump may not have realized the Left would go judge shopping and attempt to block it. With Gorsuch on the bench, we would have seen a 5-4 or perhaps even a 6-3 decision. We still likely will, but this makes it a tougher battle that will almost certainly require the nuclear option. Finding a way to quietly freeze up the Refugee Resettlement program might have been a better first step. Getting Jeff Sessions in place as Attorney General first would have been helpful too. Trump knows better for next time, I think.
I’ve been very pleased with his appointments in general with one exception. Sean Spicer is a decent guy, but I think he lacks the poise and control he needs to deal with the media jackals. He comes across uncertain, like someone who’s constantly trying to avoid being caught at something. The part of me that enjoys this as a blood sport would love to see Ann Coulter or Milo Yiannopoulos in the role, and I giggle happily at the thought of what either of them would do to the likes of say, CNN’s Jim Acosta. But a more realistic choice might be talk show host Hugh Hewitt. Aside form his genial persona, he knows a lot of the players well, is smart and well spoken and has a real flair for making the Left look ridiculous while maintaining his sense of humor. I bet he’d do it if President Trump asked him. At any rate, I think Sean Spicer may be moving to a different role soon.
The Glittering Eye: Just a few weeks after taking the oath of office is really far too early for making any sort of evaluation of the Trump presidency but I’ll do my best. In the following table I’ve listed four areas (domestic policy, foreign policy, execution, and style) with a maximum of 25 points for each area, 100 points in all.. Within each of domestic policy and foreign policy, I’ve listed five key actions, with a maximum of 5 points per action.
|Cabinet apppointments||B-||3.67||But for his NSC appointments IMO President Trump’s appointments have been pretty good.|
|Gorsuch appointment||A||5.00||Neil Gorsuch is a solid appointment, well-qualified for the job and under any other circumstances his confirmation should sail through. He will ultimately be confirmed but no until after considerable Sturm und Drang.|
|Regulations EO||B+||4.67||If there had been a little more meat in President Trump’s EO requiring executive agencies to remove two regulations for each new regulation imposed, I would have given this a solid A.|
|Pipelines EO||B+||4.67||President Trump corrected an error made by President Obama, who acted against the recommendations of his own advisors in blocking the Keystone pipeline.|
|Fiduciary rule EO||C||3.00||I don’t have strong feelings about this one way or another and there are good arguments in both directions. I don’t think it’s of vital significance.|
|7 country travel stay EO||C+||3.33||The basic idea of what’s being referred to, incorrectly, as the “Muslim ban” is reasonable enough but more deliberation would have resulted in a better policy. It should include more countries, esp. KSA, and it should not have include present green card holders, those who’ve worked as translators and their families, and the like. The execution and style were seriously bungled and are taken into account below.|
|Mexico City policy EO||C||3.00||Pure domestic politics.|
|The Wall||C-||2.67||The need to fulfill a campaign promise central his campaign made this inevitable but it’s expensive, unnecessary, and inadequate. Most illegal Mexican immigrants are economic migrants and the only effective way to control the situation is via workplace enforcement.|
|Russia||C+||3.33||Putin is not a good guy. He’s a very bad guy. However, the U. S. bungled any possible rapprochement with Russia 20 years ago. There are some areas in which we should cooperate with the Russians and some where we should oppose them. The sweet spot is having a better relationship with Russia and China than either does with the other.|
|China and East Asia||B-||3.67||On the one hand Trump clearly has the Chinese off balance and isn’t as supine with respect to them as American presidents have tended to be over the period of the last forty years, IMO a good thing, but he’s imposing uncertainty among our allies in the region, too.|
|Execution||C||15.00||It’s really too early to tell.|
|Style||D-||7.00||President Trump has already exhibited an alarming tendency to make rash and inflammatory hipshot remarks. A generally unfriendly media then blows these out of all proportion, resulting in his having less support from moderates and centrists than might otherwise have been the case. There’s a middle ground between blind approval and knee-jerk, over-heated disapproval and President Trump is making that middle ground hard to maintain.|
In summary, I think President Trump is doing pretty well in domestic policy, fair in foreign policy and execution, and poor in style. Overall rating: C-. The readership of my blog covers a fairly broad spectrum of views. I assume that my more progressive readers would be appalled that I would give President Trump anything higher than an F while my more right wing readers would be upset that I would give him anything less than an A.
Bookworm Room: I am chronically happy. My sole hope was that Trump simply wouldn’t be Hillary, who was lined up to be the “Second coming of Barack Obama” and the final nail in a constitutional America’s coffin. I truly had no idea he’d be so spectacularly Donald — hard-working, keeping his promises, re-shaping America’s disastrous Middle East policies (including signaling an alliance with Israel in a way no president, including even Reagan, has ever done), Gorsuch-nominating, media-fighting, restoring integrity to the American border . . . It’s all too marvelous, too marvelous for words.
My only fear at this point is the too-the-death battle brewing between Donald, on the one-hand, and a hard-Left, rat-like fighting-to-the-death administrative state and judiciary, on the other hand. While Donald might have theoretical authority under the Constitution, I fear that these monstrous entities may have grown so strong that he might lack the actual executive authority to change the dynamic and return those out-of-control excrescences to their proper constitutional proportions.
As for the street protests, I’m loving them. It’s a gift to see Leftists go all out to prove how they are simultaneously stupid, I’ll-informed, mean-spirited, and tyrannical. With their obscene costumes and club-wielding sidekicks, they are the gift that keeps on giving.
Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: President Trump hit the ground running for sure. He is addressing the issues as he promised his supporters he would. The left continues to moan and wail but to no avail. He IS OUR president and it’s time to suck it up and get on with the business of governing. Trump’s cabinet appointments should get confirmed without any more delay. The media says he is playing to his base, which of course he is by doing what he said he would do if he became president. Imagine that, a president not just making promises but keeping them.
The big challenge now is to expand his base of supporters. With a clear message he could convince many of these mindless protestors of the real danger coming from the left as we see them fomenting violence and anarchy in the streets and on our college campuses. They are the ones who threaten our freedoms and need to be held accountable for their criminal behavior. It’s time the rule of law was restored to America. We are going to need President Trump to unite Americans. President Obama lit the fuse and left a very dangerous world for President Trump. I pray he will be guided to make the correct decisions for our future security and prosperity.
Well, there it is!
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