FiveThirtyEight spells out what the new President and his team HAVE done…
In the whirlwind first weeks of President Trump’s administration, it often seemed as though he was trying to enact his entire agenda within his first 100 days in office. On Day 1, he moved to undo parts of the Affordable Care Act. Within his first week, he instituted a federal hiring freeze; issued orders on abortion, immigration and manufacturing; and took the first steps toward building his signature border wall. And on the one-week anniversary of his swearing in, he issued the first iteration of his ban on travel from certain Muslim-majority countries.
In retrospect, the travel ban looks like the high-water mark for the “shock and awe” phase of Trump’s presidency. The ban, of course, was quickly blocked by the courts, and from there his momentum stalled. In recent weeks, the narrative has reversed to the point that some pundits are suggesting Trump is already a failure — that Trump, as Josh Barro of Business Insider put it this week, is heading for a “do-nothing presidency.”
That may be wishful thinking on the part of Barro and other Trump critics, however. Yes, Trump has encountered a string of setbacks, perhaps most notably the embarrassing defeat of his effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. And yes, many key elements of his agenda — tax reform, infrastructure spending, a rethinking of U.S. trade policy — are still stuck at the starting gate, or in some cases seem to have been abandoned altogether. But Trump has found plenty of other ways to make his influence felt, often by reversing policies put in place by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
The most obvious accomplishment — the one that even Trump’s sharpest critics acknowledge — is the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The vote was a key political win for a president in dire need of one. But its real significance is in the longer term. Gorsuch restored (and perhaps deepened, if he proves to have influence with Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he once clerked) the court’s conservative majority. And at only 49, he could serve for decades. It’s too soon to say what effect the new justice could have on abortion or other contentious issues, but it’s safe to assume that Gorsuch’s confirmation will help ensure that Trump’s impact is felt long after he leaves office.
Outside of Gorsuch, Trump’s influence is subtler, but no less real. Take immigration: Courts may have blocked Trump’s travel ban, but they haven’t intervened to stop him from stepping up immigration enforcement and increasing deportations — including of immigrants who had been granted protected status by the Obama administration…..
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