Somewhere, some place in this country, people — Democrats, Republicans, agnostics and iconoclasts and regular folks alike — are breathing a sigh of relief.
We got through the first 100 days of the Donald Trump presidency and the nation’s infrastructure still stands, more or less. The government is open.
We have been warlike, but avoided war. We made big proposals, but passed no big bills. We had some disagreements with old friends, but made new friends over chocolate at Mar-a-Lago and a few phone calls here and there, to Turkey and the Philippines.
There is as yet no wall on the border. There is as yet nothing that can call itself Trumpcare — and Obamacare, on the ropes like a preexisting condition, still lives. There is a new and conservative member of the Supreme Court. The Environmental Protection Agency appears well on its way to becoming a shadow of its former self. The Trump base remains solid.
The government will merrily roll along at least until September (a breathing spell that is but the blink of an eye and the length of time it takes to send a tweet).
President Trump took credit because that’s what he does. It wasn’t Trump who stopped the shutdown, but it was, in some quarters, the fear of Trump proposals that led to some bipartisan deals.
The president appears to have made a success with a new style of diplomacy: dinner at eight and don’t be late at Mar-a-Lago. It worked with Shinzo Abe and it appears to have worked with Trump’s newfound, non-currency manipulating friend, Xi Jinping. In both instances, military action was on the menu. The president impressed his Chinese friend with a decision to make a U.S. bombing attack in Syria over some really great chocolate cake.
One thing that has become apparent is that the president does not yet quite have the hang of dealmaking in the House of Representative, or other obvious aspects of the legislative process. He has made an impact with numerous executive orders, but failed to close the deal on repeal and replacement of Obamacare, to his chagrin, and the bill appears moribund still. He delivered a one-page (one-page!) tax reform proposal that has no details to work with.
In the end, to celebrate the 100 days, the president went to where he is loved. While the Washington media were celebrating themselves with a meh, scaled-down version of the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, Trump went to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for a rally with the faithful — trashing the media, praising himself, soaking up the atmosphere of unconditional love. The rallies have always sustained him; it’s 2016 all over again.
In the end, the facts are these: we are still one nation, not so indivisible, under President Trump.