‘Will we survive 1,361 more days?’: Our panel’s verdict on Trump’s first 100 days

Four Guardian columnists and writers on Donald Trumps first 100 days in office

Jill Abramson: Hes only getting started


The commentary about Donald Trumps first 100 days in office has focused on what hes failed to do: repeal Obamacare, pass tax reform, build the wall, get his immigration ban blessed by the courts. Its much fairer and simpler to judge him on the terrible things he actually has done.

He has assembled the worst Cabinet in history, composed of neophyte billionaires who oppose the mission of the agencies they head. It is the least diverse Cabinet of rich white men since Reagan (the four women included hold lower status jobs than in other recent Cabinets). On Trumps orders, theyve launched harmful regulatory rollback of everything from environmental protections (think coal) to food labeling.

Then, he submitted a budget that tramples the poor, including the rural white voters who elected him. With $6bn in devastating cuts, the Trump budget axe falls on funding for the 1974 Community Block Grant Program that gives cities money for affordable housing and to renovate neighborhood blighted by foreclosure.

Legal services for the poor are gone. Community health programs are demolished. One of the few areas of Trump largess the $1.4bn increase for Betsy DeVos school choice – disadvantages rural students who are lucky if they have one nearby, already starved public school.

Then, he escalated the Republicans war on women. Just four days after his inauguration, Trump reinstated the Global Gag Rule that denies US federal funds for international abortion counseling. Another executive order allows states to cut off funds for Planned Parenthood and other agencies that provide abortions. He lifted the ban on compulsory arbitration in sex harassment and discrimination cases.

And hes only gotten started.

Steven W Thrasher: Beware of resistance fatigue


Trumps first 100 days have pleasantly surprised me in showing that our nation has various centers of power, and that these centers have diffused, if not negated, 45s attempt at full-on authoritarianism.

Its been heartening to witness the judicial branch slowing down Trumps immigration ban attempts and attempt to punish sanctuary cities, even more so considering these legal decisions were made in the context of vocal, well-organized and enormous protests by an inspiringly activist citizenry. And Trumps failure to even pass substantial legislation on healthcare or a border wall would be hilariously funny if they stakes werent so deadly.

But sadly, I have not been surprised at all at what Trumps still horrific first 100 days have revealed about white people, Republicans and the Democratic Party. Absurdly, a majority of white people have actually thought President Trump has been doing a bang up job. So have most Republicans, who have successfully gotten 45 to install a judge some conservatives hope will be pro-life to the Supreme Court (and whose first vote was to kill a black man). Indeed, Trumps prediction that he could shoot someone and his supporters would stand by him is probably true.

Meanwhile, the Democrats whose leaders have mostly been hiding in the woods or earning $400,000 an hour for talks to Wall Street still havent learned the lesson that Republicans will never vote for them and Wall Street economics are not embraced by the people whose votes they need to be winning.

Trumps resistance should feel proud of how its been able to fight. But it should also be worried about activism fatigue (and a piss-poor opposition party) as 45 continues his war against medical, economic, environmental and social justice for the nations most vulnerable.

Moustafa Bayoumi: If this doesnt kill us, itll make us stronger

Believe it or not, its been a productive 100 days. Most observers will tell you that since assuming office Donald Trump has accomplished nothing significant except for Neil Gorsuchs Supreme Court appointment. But theyre wrong. Through his competence-challenged presidency, Trump has achieved a great deal: he has allowed us to rediscover the joys of taking to the streets for a better future.

He has compelled us to educate ourselves about previously arcane topics like the emoluments clause. Hes made us commit to the importance of sanctuary cities. And he has shaken the press out of a damaging stupor that often saw access to the powerful as more important than checking the powerful.

I mean, even the scientists are marching in the streets now.

But its not all bread and roses, neither of which may survive under Trumps environmental policy. Besides his near complete reliance on unworkable executive orders to govern, and his astonishingly immature tendency to take credit for things he clearly hasnt done, Trump has also shown that he is an easily distracted man who levies threats and wages war to divert attention.

His administration threatens Muslims and Dreamers, Mexicans and Canadians, artists and Meals on Wheels recipients. And in his first 100 days, the US has dropped more bombs and expanded the wars in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, while releasing the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat in Afghanistan. Now they are rattling sabers at North Korea.

Will we survive 1,361 more days of this? Who knows, but if we do, maybe well even become a more caring society because of it. Were already learning the importance of uniting in our opposition to Trump. That which doesnt kill us, could one day make us stronger. And if it does, Trump will want to take credit for that.

Kate Aronoff: Popular pressure beat back sadistic proposals


Trumps first 100 days have put two things on display: a regime eager to slide the country into autocracy, and the people rising up to stop it.

Take Day 1, when protesters swarmed the checkpoints leading to the inauguration stage not that big crowds turned out for his christening spectacle anyway. Or Day 2, when 4.5 million people flooded into the streets for the Womens March, which many have called the largest-ever day of protest in American history.

Well outside of Washington, Republican and Democratic lawmakers are facing an up-swelling of discontent from their constituents, furious at their kowtowing to Trumps agenda. Indivisible one of the groups leading the in-district resistance now claims an average of 13 chapters in every congressional district.

From the Muslim ban to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the Trumpian Republican partys most sadistic proposals have been beaten back by popular pressure that extends well beyond usual activist networks.

Over the next 100 days and the next 100 after that and beyond, the challenge will be keeping up the momentum that has stymied Trumps plans so far. Communities and the most basic protections our country provides to the people living in it, the land they walk and the air they breathe are coming under swift attack.

In increasing dangerous conditions, the fights will grow even more defensive. The resistance that bold mantle now being embraced by a wide range of anti-Trump forces shouldnt settle for playing defense, though. As the old football mantra goes, the best defense is a good offense. And as the petered-out protests of the Bush years taught us, simply reacting to each of the Republican partys horrifying assaults wont be enough to stop them.

What the outrage over Trumps reign has meant is that neither he nor his counsel of family members, Goldman Sachs executives and conspiracy theorists have gotten the chance to settle in. Lets make sure they never do, and start mapping out the world we want to come next.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/29/will-survive-1361-days-panel-verdict-trumps-100-days

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