Rebuffing the 100 days assessment of his Presidency, United States President Donald Trump in an early morning tweet said, "No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!" This shows his complete disregard for the expert advice on his Presidency, thus far.
But why is Trump so ruffled with the thought of assessment? Is there something to worry? Does Trump fear an anti-Trump sentiment gathering up in the streets of Washington? Trump had sworn in office on January 20, 2017, and since his swearing-in, the President has taken some extreme measure both at home and in foreign affairs.
Let's take a look at how far have those measures been assessed as successful?
Since the beginning of this term on January 20 this year, Trump has been on a roller coaster ride, introducing and passing orders that have been categorised as "most controversial." A deeper look into the White House working shows that both he and the party that he represents, the Republicans, are sailing in troubled waters. But let us first understand the concept of "100 days". When and how did it first emerge? For this, we need to do a historical background check
The idea of judging a US President in the first 100 days of their achievements started with Franklin D Roosevelt, who was the 32nd President of US from 1933 until his death in 1945. On July 24, 1933, President Roosevelt, about four months after his inauguration, delivered his third radio address to the people with his speech lying in front of him on the table in the White House. In his speech, Roosevelt made an appeal to raise the minimum wage and also intimated to the Americans his plan on salvaging the country from the "Great Depression."
While delivering his speech, Roosevelt talked about the achievements of his young Presidency – that was termed as the first 100 days. Since then, the idea of the "first 100 days" has been adrift in American politics and media. This can be understood as a measure to gauge the success or failure of the administration by the actions conducted in the first few months, or may be viewed as a point from where the leaders could set the rhythm of their Presidency.
In continuation of the tradition of the "100 days", Donald Trump's Administration, too, has to undergo this assessment. In retrospect we see, while his domestic policies were a blowback, coming full circle, Trump's international engagements were also nothing less than political faux pas. No wonder, the President is all paranoid and agitated over the idea of "100 days."
Not to forget, a few days before the elections, Trump had released his extremely ambitious plan for the first 100 days. In a fit of election excitement, Trump promised to reverse every executive order passed by his predecessor Obama and promised to issue as many of his own as possible on the very first day.
Let's take a brisk walk around the 100 days memory lane of Trump Administration.
In another irrational move, Trump pledged to "propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress." But thankfully, that has been quietly shelved. According to the details of the Amendment, "The proposal would limit senators to two terms (12 years total) and representatives to three terms (six years total)." Trump had campaigned on reining in Congress by implementing term limits, but to no success, thus far.
In an attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, Trump moved a bill through Congress, which collapsed, interestingly because of opposition from his own party men. The conservative opposition stood in the face of this move, weakening any chances of reviving the Bill to repeal Obamacare.
The flip flops were also seen in his foreign policy initiatives. In a liberalised world order, Trump's ill-conceived travel ban is the most controversial and indicates his parochial outlook towards integration. He introduced Executive Orders calling for a travel ban for six Muslim countries to the United States. This too was stalled twice in the courts. As the 100 days assessment is doing rounds in the media, the controversy surrounding Russian collusion for his electoral victory is also gaining strength.
Donald Trump since his victory has been pushing for the Great Mexican Wall, which he says he expects "Mexico to pay." On his Twitter handle, Trump on April 23 said, "Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall." However, a spokesman for the Mexican President's office said that President Enrique Pena Nieto has repeatedly said that "Mexico will not pay for the wall."
On the pretext of punishing Syrian President over his use of chemical weapons on Syrians living in Idlib Province, Donald Trump on April 7, 2017, militarily entered the 6-year old war by launching dozens of cruise missiles targeting the Government-held air base. This was the first military involvement in Syria. Addressing his nation, Trump said, "Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched...It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons..."
In another foreign military intervention, Donald Trump on April 13, 2017, dropped the biggest non-nuclear device, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, popularly known as the Mother of All Bombs, ever used in combat on Islamic State (IS) stronghold in Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province, which killed more than 90 militants, apart from causing damage to civilian property.
This was major election promise U-turn when Trump had promised to end military interventions around the world. However, he hailed the MOAB strike on ISIS a "very successful mission."
The worst among all is yet to come with regular war threats emerging from both nuclear armed countries. Tensions between the two countries have been rising amidst the news about North Korea's sixth nuclear test and arrival of US strike group. According to the latest report in Al Jazeera, dated April 23, 2017, "North Korea has once again threatened to launch "full-out war" with nuclear weapons, amid reports of the imminent arrival of an American naval strike group off the Korean Peninsula."
Trump's 100-day 'achievements' have either been non-constructive political rhetoric or proposing legislations that have not transpired into law. This failure to get even one major piece of legislation passed into law signals problems for the Presidency as a whole. Given his party's congressional majorities, the hurdles indicate a rift within the Republicans on controversial and unwelcoming orders proposed by President Trump.
Before calling the 100 days achievement of the Trump administration a complete failure, let us take a look at the latest Gallup poll, according to which, Trump has the worst average approval rating (41 percent) during this period of any President in that survey's history and by a margin of 14 points.
Nevertheless, Trump ignores any such assessment and has gone on record telling Fox Business News that the first 100 days of his Presidency were "the most successful in history",
"We freed up so much and we're getting great, great credit for it. We have done so much for so many people. I don't think that there is a presidential period of time in the first 100 days where anyone has done nearly what we've been able to do."