Trump's First 200 Days: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Gorsuch and deregulation efforts are good, but ObamaCare repeal failure and the lack of appointments loom large.

Thomas Gallatin · Aug. 7, 2017

As Donald Trump arrives at his 200th day in office, it provides an opportunity for a brief look at where things stand in DC, the nation and the world — the good, the bad and the ugly. First, the good: Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court was a home run. Senate Republicans’ decision to hold the line on refusing to consider Barack Obama’s nominee proved to be well played — at least for this pick. Also a win for Trump has been his decisive actions on deregulation, and Congress has followed suit, passing several measures pulling back on the regulatory state. Trump has also proven himself surprisingly adept in his foreign trips, in both pressing his America First agenda while reassuring allies of our commitment to stand with them.

Second, the bad. Republican senators’ failure on health care reform leaves ObamaCare hanging as an albatross around Republicans’ necks, weighing down their prospects of actually enacting significant reforms to the tax code. Meanwhile, Trump lags well behind his predecessors in filling executive branch vacancies. Thus far Trump has nominated 279 people, of which only 124 have been confirmed — 78 of whom just last Thursday. While Democrats have been responsible for much of the obstruction, Trump is guilty of being slow in presenting nominees. While part of this may be designed to shrink the size of government via attrition, it has proven mostly to slow his swamp-draining agenda.

Finally, the ugly. The Russia/Trump collusion conspiracy promoted by the Democrats and their cohorts in the mainstream media has proven to be the biggest distraction and most effective cloud over Trump’s presidency thus far. It precipitated Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, followed by the subsequent call for and naming of Robert Mueller as independent counsel to investigate Russian interference.

Perhaps the key lesson here is for Trump and the GOP to focus on what they can control — confirming appointments to get the government running more smoothly. Small successes often lead to greater ones and help ease the toll of petulant distractions.

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