Trump Era: 100 Days of Turns, TV & Twitter!
By Arun Kumar | IANS
Donald Trump has been awfully busy since he did the impossible and became the President of the United States a hundred days ago.
He was supposed to be the most powerful person on the planet, yet some “unelected” judges twice blocked his travel ban from six terror-prone Muslim majority countries.
Then another judge halted his fiat to deny federal funds to “sanctuary cities” that harbour illegal immigrants.
The POTUS was also rebuffed twice on his plans to repeal and replace the “disastrous Obamacare,” his predecessor Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
And now his own Republican controlled Congress wouldn’t pay to build that “big beautiful wall” on the border with Mexico to keep the “bad hombres” out.
No wonder the Manhattan mogul is wistful, “I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” Trump told Reuters chafed at being forced to live in a Secret Service “bubble.”
“This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier,” said the author of “The Art of the Deal” for whom nothing is non-negotiable.
Trump has had to make other twists and turns too. He failed to tear up the Iran nuclear deal on day one as he had vowed on the campaign trail.
Nor would he now label China a “currency manipulator” after cosying up to the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
He “was all set to terminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement, the “single worst trade deal” before he changed his mind after talking to the leaders of Canada and Mexico.
But Trump managed to avoid an embarrassing government shutdown on Day 100 of his presidency with the Congress approving a one-week, stopgap spending bill at the eleventh hour.
Denied a major legislative victory and stymied by a “liberal” judiciary, he has sought to stack up accomplishments “during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days,” by using his executive pen with gusto.
By day 99, he had signed 29 executive orders, more than any President in the last 72 years, except President Harry Truman who signed 57 orders in his first 100 days.
With the stroke of his pen, he has undone many of Obama’s doings by rolling back dozens of financial regulations and environmental rules. Trump also moved quickly to approve two controversial oil pipelines and unveiled a proposal to make “the biggest tax cut” in US history.
In the midst of all the twists and turns, however, one thing has remained constant: the former reality TV star’s obsession with the tube and twitter.
Reports have it, that with First Lady Melania staying five days a week in New York, the home-alone President subsists on a constant diet of Diet Coke and TV.
Critics suggest that TV often shapes his worldview and he would not even fire his Press Secretary Sean Spicer after some foot in mouth episodes because “that guy gets great ratings.”
And starting with his first tweet about “transferring power from Washington, D.C.” to “the American People” just 51 minutes after his January 20 inauguration at noon, Trump’s twitching thumbs have posted a record 485 tweets.
He may have the lowest approval rating of a President at 100-day mark, but he knows how to dominate the conversation with his twitter tirade against his favourite targets: “the failing New York Times” and the “fake media.”
Another constant has been a stream of anti-Trump protests starting with the women’s march a day after his inauguration to one for climate on Day 100.
Some have trolled his administration’s call to report crimes committed by “criminal aliens” or illegal immigrants by choking the hotline with “reports” of activity by “illegal Martians” and other outer space aliens.
Comedians too are having field nights making fun of Trump and his orange hair, but it’s him, the master manipulator of the media, who is having the last laugh.
For the first time in 36 years, the President will stay away from the annual White House Correspondents’ dinner where the media and commander-in chief playfully roast each other.
With glitz and glamour gone, only the staid C-Span would gamely broadcast the event live. Others are hoping that the sulking chief would return next year to make the dinner and their ratings great again!
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)