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Donald Trump’s Constitution (Forbes.com) September 15, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Op/Eds, Politics.
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Happy Birthday to the Constitution, which celebrates the 230th anniversary of its signing on September 17.     From time to time presidents have made a speech on Constitution Day explaining the founding document’s meaning in its contemporary context.

For example, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered an address on the Constitution’s 150th birthday.  With the Supreme Court turning back some of his most important domestic legislation as unconstitutional, Roosevelt spoke about presidential power, referring to the Constitution as a people’s document, not a lawyer’s contract, and arguing that the President had the power to do what “We the people” wanted.  Former President Herbert Hoover delivered an address on Constitution Day two years later, arguing that the Constitution was more of a restraining document, protecting individual liberty from government intrusion, especially in the Bill of Rights.

In 1987, on the Constitution’s 200th birthday, President Ronald Reagan delivered an address celebrating how human freedom had been guaranteed by the Constitution and the system of government it created.  Reagan emphasized that the Constitution did not come because of some golden age, but because free men fought to overcome problems and establish democracy, a battle that continues today.

We do not expect President Donald Trump to deliver an homage to the Constitution in the coming days.  In fact, from what little he has said explicitly about the Constitution, one would surmise that he has a love/hate relationship with it.   When a Muslim father whose American military son died in a battle in Iraq spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, he pulled out a Constitution and expressed doubt that Donald Trump had read it.  Trump later confirmed that he had read it and, like all presidents, he pledged in his oath “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”  But since then, Trump and the Constitution have had a bit of an uneasy relationship.

Trump’s primary problem with the Constitution is not unlike Franklin Roosevelt’s:  It limits presidential power.  He said in an interview with Fox News marking the first 100 days of his presidency that the whole American system of government is “a very rough system, an archaic system,” adding that “it’s a really bad thing for the country.”  The context of Trump’s remarks came when he said, “I get things done, I’ve always been a closer.”  However, on the tough issues—immigration, debt, the tax system—he can’t “close” because he heads only one of the three branches, with both Congress and the courts having their say.  Trump believes that a dangerous and complex world requires that America have a “closer” president but, alas, the Constitution instead built walls.  It is both a restraining and an empowering document.

We all know that when President Trump becomes frustrated, he takes to Twitter to express his anger.  A federal judge who halted his immigration travel ban was referred to as “this so-called judge.”  Moreover, Trump said that a federal court striking down his travel ban “makes us look weak.”  He attacked the filibuster rules in the other branch, Congress, as “archaic.”  So obviously, Trump does not appreciate the value of the checks and balances and the separations of power that the Constitution designed and implemented.

Trump has expressed interest in the First Amendment to the Constitution and its protection of free speech.  Both candidate Trump and his presidential advisers have said that the libel laws under the First Amendment that protect “fake news” and attacks on the president should be reviewed.  Trump has said that the president’s pardoning power is unlimited, although Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution does state certain limitations.  Beyond that, he has said relatively little about the Constitution.

As always, it is tricky to sort out what Donald Trump says and what he does.  His primary action regarding the Constitution was to nominate Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, someone who, Trump said, would “interpret the law as written” and would “insure the rule of law.”  Will Donald Trump light a candle for the birthday of the Constitution or would he really prefer to be free from its restraints?

To view the column at Forbes.com:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddavenport/2017/09/15/donald-trumps-constitution/#4e0e804b7620

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The Unintended Good Consequences of Donald Trump’s Presidency (Forbes.com) August 21, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Op/Eds, Politics.
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With much of the country wringing its hands over Donald Trump, allow me to be the bearer of some good news:  Several good things are happening to the American system of government as a result of his presidency.  Admittedly, I am turning to the somewhat perverse law of unintended consequences to find these, but systems are retooling to protect themselves from President Trump and the result could be very healthy, both now and in the long run.

First, Congress is reawakening to its leadership role in policy-making and legislating.  The founders understood Congress to be the “first” of the three branches, worrying whether there would be sufficient “energy” in the executive, while acknowledging that the judiciary, as Alexander Hamilton put it, would be “the least dangerous branch.”  All of that has been turned on its head, with the modern presidency since Franklin Roosevelt vying with the courts for first place, while Congress keeps giving up its powers and is now a distant third in federal importance.

However, that seems to be changing.  Congress is actually debating and making policy now, since President Trump does not seem interested in that.  In health care, for example, Trump has made it clear that he cares less which version of health care replacement we get than getting one, notching a win on his presidential belt.  So Congress has actively debated, now even in bipartisan discussions, key issues such as preexisting conditions, individual mandates, the extent of coverage, and the like.  The president has left a sufficient policy vacuum that Congress has had to step up.

War powers are also bestirring our Congress.  Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) has long been a lone voice questioning the extensive war powers delegated to the president following 9/11.  Now, perhaps more nervous with President Trump as commander in chief, the House Appropriations Committee surprisingly put forward a defense spending bill that removed the extensive war powers.  Then House Speaker Paul Ryan had a surprise of his own, deleting the war powers limitation, but acknowledging that there was some way to have this debate.  In addition, another amendment was added requiring that the president provide a report to Congress on his strategy vis-à-vis ISIS.  So at least Congress is moving, again in a bipartisan fashion, to restore its constitutional power over war.

A second bright spot is a resurgence of federalism, a rebirth of action and authority at the state and local level.   California is leading the way, opposing Trump policies on immigration and the environment with its own aggressive plans.  Attorneys general in several states have joined to challenge Trump’s executive orders on immigration.  Governors have risen up to point out to Congress how repeal of the Affordable Care Act could affect Medicaid and the opioid problem in their states.  With government power traveling a one-way street to Washington, DC for decades, this reawakening of state power swings the pendulum back in a constitutional manner.

We could also say that the Trump presidency has changed the debate about checks and balances and separations of power in our constitutional republic.  For years now, progressives have argued that these mechanisms built into the Constitution by the founders are archaic and prevent progress, stopping the implementation of the democratic voice of the people.  Now people are friendlier toward these power-balancing mechanisms.  Donald Trump has expressed frustration with the Constitution, calling it “a relic” and “very bad for America” because it encumbers action.  Now many who were critical of checks and balances only months ago find them a comfort.

History swings like a pendulum, going too far in one direction but then shifting back toward an equilibrium.  Several forces—Congress, state and local governments—are gathering energy to push back against the president.  These welcome forces would not only counteract this president but also, in the larger picture, rebalance a federal government and presidency that have grown too powerful over the last century.

To view the column at Forbes.com:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddavenport/2017/08/21/the-unintended-good-consequences-of-donald-trumps-presidency/#4ae2d87f63a4

One Small Step for a Man, One Giant Leap for the Senate: McCain The Statesman Over Trump The Closer (Forbes.com) August 1, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Op/Eds, Politics.
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The drama was palpable.  Senator John McCain, long known as a maverick, was flying to Washington, D.C. with his recently diagnosed cancer to cast what could be the deciding vote in the Republicans’ effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, this time with a scaled-down “skinny repeal.”  The vote would be close and it was 1:30 AM when it finally played out, when McCain surprised most with his visible thumb down.  As shock waves rolled across the Senate floor to the White House, McCain said simply, “I thought it was the right thing to do.”

Of great interest was the statement McCain’s office released shortly afterward, saying it was time to “return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of the aisle, heed the recommendations of the nation’s governors and produce a bill that finally delivers health care for the American people.”  What?  You mean he did this to stand up for democratic deliberation, for bipartisanship, for proper processes?  Yes, he did, which is what statesmen occasionally must do.

In the Senate, we haven’t seen much of that lately.  Instead we see major legislation prepared in secret, sprung on colleagues at the last minute, and passed on narrow party-line votes in order to win.  Winning, taking action, satisfying our political base–this is what the U.S. Congress is about now.  Not deliberation, bipartisanship, finding the right policies for the country.  McCain took one small step for a man, but we hope one giant leap for the Senate.

Actually, this whole business of action over deliberation started with President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s.  In Roosevelt’s 1933 inaugural address, he famously declared that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  But the phrase in that speech that most accurately pointed the way he would take as president was:  “This nation asks for action and action now.”  A key member of Roosevelt’s brain trust, Columbia University professor Rexford Tugwell said:  “He did not very much care what kind of farm relief, or how the principle of cheap and universally available power was arrived at.  Banking regulations might be of any practicable sort…but he was committed to some action in all these matters.”

Roosevelt’s “action and action now” paradigm might have made more sense in the wake of the Great Depression, but it has never gone away.  Since then presidents have declared “wars” on poverty, crime, drugs and all manner of domestic policy problems.  Presidents have demanded “action and action now.”  If the Senate ever was the greatest deliberative body in the world, as some have claimed, it isn’t anymore.  It hardly deliberates at all.  Bills come to the floor from secret chambers, time for debate is limited, amendments are not allowed, and party-line up and down votes are taken.

Unfortunately Donald Trump has very much followed Roosevelt’s lead.  He obviously does not care which version of health care we end up with, he simply wants some kind of repeal and replacement so he can put a notch on his presidential legacy belt and tell his constituents he did it.  Trump says that the Constitution is a “relic” and “very bad for America?”  Why?  Because he says he’s “a closer,” obviously not a deliberator, and the American people want action, not talk.

So, finally a statesman stood up to that and said no.  In the past, an occasional “gang” of senators might do that:  a bipartisan gang of six on health care in 2009, another gang of six on the national debt in 2011, a gang of eight on immigration in 2013.  But this time there was no gang, there was just the maverick, the statesman, John McCain.  But it was enough.

The political system does not so much need a lot of fancy reforms—dealing with the filibuster or the nuclear option or whatever—it needs a few wise and courageous leaders to stand up and do the right thing.  And, at least in this round, The Statesman stood up to The Closer and America won.

 

To view the column at Forbes.com:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddavenport/2017/08/01/one-small-step-for-a-man-one-giant-leap-for-the-senate-mccain-the-statesman-over-trump-the-closer/#224896a03f4c

New Legislative Virus Spreads: Hide The Bill, Don’t Read It, Fill In The Blanks Later (Forbes.com) June 20, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Op/Eds, Politics.
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A dangerous legislative virus is spreading from one health care bill to the next.  Call it “hide the ball” or “spare us the details.”  A legislative contagion by any other name would smell as foul.

The disease was first detected when former Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi famously said of the 2000+ page Obamacare bill:  “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”  Of course few members of Congress bothered to read it, and President Obama signed it two weeks later.  By now Obamacare also includes some 10,000-20,000 pages of rules and regulations, depending on who’s counting, that no one in Congress, perhaps no one anywhere, has bothered to read either.

Next the virus popped up across the country in Sacramento when the California Senate recently passed a single-payer health care bill with very few details and absolutely no funding plan.  Call it Medicare for everyone but paid for by no one.  Most estimates suggest a cost of some $400 billion, roughly twice the size of the state’s annual budget.  Even some senators felt a little badly about this neglect of legislative duty.  “Rather than rushing to pass it before it’s complete, we should keep it here and finish the work,” said Senator Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa).  “This is the Senate kicking the can down the road to the Assembly and asking the Assembly to fill in all the blanks,” added Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego).

Finally, the disease has come full circle back to Washington, this time infecting Senate Republicans who are crafting their own repeal and replace health care bill.  For some reason, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to craft this legislation in secret—no one has even seen it, except a dozen or so Republicans, even though it is expected to be voted on in the next couple of weeks.  And when it does come out from under lock and key into the light of the Senate, McConnell has planned only 10 hours to debate and amend one of the most important bills of its time.  Ironically Nancy Pelosi, who supported speed and obfuscation last time, now says, “The American people and Members have a right to know the full impact of this legislation before any vote…”

So why all the secrecy?  I suppose it’s easier to craft and pass a bill if your opponents don’t have much time to study and attack it.  But that assumes that the point is to pass important legislation on narrow party-line votes.  Isn’t the point of a deliberative body like the U.S. Senate to deliberate?  Aren’t we looking to both sides to study and debate major policy proposals and reach some kind of agreement?  Otherwise, we have unsustainable policies, with the Democrats passing their version of health care on a party-line vote, only to have Republicans repeal and replace it on their party-line vote a few years later.  This is no way to legislate.

And what about not reading and understanding the details of a bill or, worse in the case of California, passing bills that don’t even include the details?  What that essentially says is that legislatures are now making conceptual statements in their bills, leaving the details to be filled in later, either by another legislative chamber or, worse, by administrative agencies.  It’s more like making speeches than crafting legislation.  Frankly it’s a kind of legislative laziness that we the people should not stand for.

Otto van Bismarck warned that “laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.”  By now you have to wonder if that’s disrespectful to sausages.  Now we are not allowed to see the laws being made and, in many cases, neither are the legislatures that are making them.  It’s a long way back, but legislators need to find their way back to deliberation, leaving obfuscation and party-line roller coaster votes behind.

 

To view the column at Forbes.com:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddavenport/2017/06/20/new-legislative-virus-spreads-hide-the-bill-dont-read-it-fill-in-the-blanks-later/#2f6268e257f3

Climate Change Reversal Reminds Us: We Live In A Roller Coaster Executive Order World (Forbes.com) June 2, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Op/Eds, Politics.
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One reason the Trump era seems a bit disorienting is that Washington, DC has become a roller coaster executive order world.  With Congress unable to accomplish much of anything, presidents simply forge ahead on their own.  A frustrated President Barack Obama, who could not get the legislation he wanted through Congress, set the tone for this when he said, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone, and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward…”  Well good for you Mr. President—but the problem is that the next president also has a pen and can move the ball in a different direction overnight, as President Donald Trump has been doing.

The latest example of this is President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.  For starters, we need to understand that the United States never officially joined the Paris Agreement.  In order to join a treaty, Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution requires that two-thirds of the Senate approve and that never happened in the case of the Paris Agreement.  Instead, President Obama decided to “adopt” it by means of an executive order, which only had the effect of saying the president likes the goals and will work toward them, but there was no legal U.S. commitment to the treaty.  Some proponents argue that the Paris Agreement is not technically a treaty, allowing a president to sign it without approval by the Senate.  But if that flimsy argument turns out to be true, it would simply mean the next president could undo it with his own executive order.

Either way the point is the same:  when presidents choose to act unilaterally, without Congress, their actions are very weak and subject to being undone by the next president’s own executive order.  The roller coaster of policy changes in these opening months of the Trump administration were really all set in motion by Obama’s failure to involve Congress in most of his key actions.  Obama’s executive orders on environmental regulations, climate change, immigration—which were themselves stretches of a president’s constitutional powers—were all left vulnerable to Trump’s policy reversals.

A president’s action with regard to international treaties is doubly weak because of the nature of international law itself.  Even a treaty such as the Paris Agreement on climate change is better understood as a set of international norms or goals to which the signatories aspire rather than a matter of firm law.  Laws have enforcement and penalties, consequences for people or nations that violate them.  None of this is present in the Paris Agreement—if a nation does not meet its goals on emissions, there is simply a report, nothing more.

In a sense, the drama of Trump’s policy reversals is the second act of a two-act play.  Act one was President Obama’s series of executive orders setting new policy in a variety of fields:  gun control, immigration, the environment.  Act two is primarily defensive on Trump’s part, undoing this set of Obama policies.

What this means, then, is that we have a systemic problem, not just a political one.  We have presidents acting unilaterally, with Congress watching from the sidelines.  We spend too little time on the front end building any kind of policy consensus and, therefore, we end up with a dizzying ride of ups and downs as different presidents simply sign bold but weak executive orders implementing their ideas.

Even Franklin Roosevelt, who built the modern and powerful presidency, realized his need to work through the Congress.  Other presidents who built lasting legacies—Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society or Ronald Reagan’s revolution—did the hard work of persuading and compromising with Congress.  Now the flimsy Obama record is reversed the same way it was enacted, by executive order of the president.  No wonder we’re disoriented and dissatisfied with Washington.

To view the column at Forbes.com:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddavenport/2017/06/02/climate-change-reversal-reminds-us-we-live-in-a-roller-coaster-executive-order-world/#22b9169c5bf2

Trump Is Captaining A Federal Ghost Ship–But Is That Good News Or Bad News? (Forbes.com) May 26, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Op/Eds, Politics.
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Four months into the new Trump administration, I decided to pick one department I know reasonably well and see what kind of people are being appointed to senior staff positions at the US Department of Education:  deputy secretary, undersecretary and assistant secretaries.  We know that Secretary Betsy DeVos stands for charter schools and choice, but sometimes it’s useful to look a level deeper and see what kind of leaders will be overseeing policy and implementation closer to the trenches.

What I learned was truly surprising and I am still not sure what to make of it.  Essentially no one has been appointed to fill any of those positions— deputy secretary, undersecretary, and all 11 assistant secretary jobs have the same listing:  “vacant.”  If the lights are on, nobody is home.  What can I tell about the quality and direction of the senior staff at the Department of Education?  Absolutely nothing.

I thought perhaps this was an aberration.  With Secretary DeVos coming from outside the professional education field, maybe she needs more time than other cabinet secretaries who can hit the ground running.  But then came another surprise:  this same pattern stretches across federal departments.  Four months in, we have a cabinet, but little or no senior staff.    In fact, Trump has not even named a permanent director of the federal Office of Personnel Management to oversee the staffing process.

 The Presidential Transition Tracker (yes, there is such a thing) tells us that of 559 senior leadership positions in the executive branch requiring Senate confirmation, there has been no nominee for 444 of them, or roughly 80%.  And only 36 have been confirmed.  No other president in the last 30 years had fewer than 60 nominations confirmed by this point in his term and the median of those five presidents is 94.  Yes, Senate confirmations are taking somewhat longer, but the real story is the low number of nominations.

 

But the plot thickens as we look for motives and effects.  When I mentioned this to a conservative scholar friend, he responded, “That’s the best thing Trump has done so far,” leaving the federal bureaucracy relatively leaderless.  I suppose this explanation takes a page from Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address when he said, “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”  If we leave the government bereft of staff leadership, it can do less harm, I suppose.  Maybe this is part of draining the swamp.

Trump must recognize, however, that though he has no senior staff, he still has a bureaucracy grinding out regulations and policies without his political leadership in place.  If he wants to leave federal agencies drifting, the problem is that they will continue to drift left.  The tendency of regulators is to regulate and the agencies are full of Obama-era people.  So this strategy of leaving the leadership positions empty is more likely to hurt the Trump agenda than to help.

Trump has said a number of times that the constituency he wants to help as president is the “forgotten men and women.”  Who are those people?  President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to help his “forgotten man,” someone Roosevelt thought needed government protection from the vagaries of free markets and the greed of economic royalists.  Trump’s forgotten men and women are being ignored and harmed by the government itself.  They pay taxes but don’t get what they want:  good schools, communities without violence, roads without potholes.  Veterans aren’t receiving decent medical care.   Unfortunately, none of those things will be fixed without Trump’s own appointees installed in the federal bureaucracy.

Whatever his motive, Trump is making a mistake by not gaining control of the vast federal bureaucracy through the appointment process.  The key to effective leadership is picking good people and supporting them.  That needs to happen in Washington very soon.  Without that, no swamps will be drained and no forgotten men and women will be served.

To view the column at Forbes.com:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddavenport/2017/05/26/trump-is-captaining-a-federal-ghost-ship-but-is-that-good-news-or-bad-news/#2941389df33f

Congress Needs to Step Up Its Game (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) May 23, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Politics, Radio Commentaries.
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While everyone was evaluating Donald Trump at 100 days, we also should have been grading Congress.  With significantly lower approval ratings than the president, Congress has done very little.

With the same political party controlling the White House and Congress, how can that be?  The answer is that Republicans in Congress are no longer following their leaders but instead are beholden to political caucuses.  The moderate Tuesday group and the conservative Freedom Caucus now hold as much power as the Speaker of the House or a committee chair.

Leaders no longer even try to work with members of the other party, instead settling for party-line votes on everything.  Only five times in history has the president’s party avoided losses in mid-term elections, so Republicans now have about a year and a half to get it together.  Otherwise what should have been a period of power and influence will have been wasted.

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“President Trump: A Rugged Individualist?” (Podcast) May 19, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Politics, Radio Interview Podcasts.
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Area 45: President Trump, a “Rugged Individualist”?

via Area 45
Thursday, May 18, 2017

The American dream rests on the notion on “rugged individualism”: freedom, liberty, and equality of opportunity and a tradition of conquering physical, economic, social, and political frontiers. David Davenport, coauthor of Rugged Individualism: Dead or Alive?, looks at President Trump’s political philosophy, his record to date and suggests ways the new administration can restore this flickering American tradition.

 

Why Congress At 100 Days Is Less Popular And Effective Than Trump (Forbes.com) May 10, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Op/Eds, Politics.
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There’s been a lot of talk about President Trump’s low poll ratings (40% in the latest Gallup Poll, 46% in Rasmussen) and his underwhelming performance in the first hundred days.  But few seem to have noticed that the one body even less popular (34% favorable according to the Pew Research Center and only 24% at CNN/ORC) and effective is the United States Congress.  In fact, much of the responsibility for Trump’s underperformance lies in the Congress.  With one political party controlling both houses of Congress and the White House, how can this be?

In most respects, Congress is not your father’s Oldsmobile.  Gone are the days when legislative leaders such as the Speaker of the House or the chairs of important committees control what goes on there.  Instead of following their legislative leaders, Republicans in Congress now listen to narrower, issue-based caucuses and interest groups.  Instead of fearing the power of a majority leader or committee chair to stop their bills, Republican members fear the right-wing caucus that could fund an opposition candidate in their next primary.  And so the Republican Party that seems to have arrived at a sublime moment of power is really more like a motley crew of squabbling factions.  The so-called Tuesday Group of moderate Republicans in Congress or the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus have as much power over legislation as the Speaker or committee chairs.

The other big difference from an earlier day is that congressional leaders no longer even try to win over members of the other party—instead it is all about rallying your base.  And so Obamacare, the largest entitlement program in 50 years, was passed on an entirely party-line vote, with no Republicans voting for it.  Then along came the repeal last week and this time no Democrats voted in favor.  In President Trump’s one important victory in Congress, all Republicans and no Democrats voted to require only a majority to approve Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court (the “nuclear option”), and only three Democrats voted to confirm him.  It is only when Congress’s back is to the wall—the vote to approve a short-term spending plan and keep the government open—that members of both parties come together in a vote.

In fact, when you look at Trump’s ambitious 28-point plan for his first hundred days, a surprising number of executive actions have been undertaken—those that only require a presidential executive order or a decision by a cabinet officer.  But of the ten measures that require action by Congress, only one or two have been completed or even seriously attempted.  Is that Trump’s fault?  Perhaps, but there’s plenty of blame to lay on Congress for failing to take up any serious legislation other than the Affordable Care Act, which turned out to be a tweak more than a repeal and replace.

Politically America, including Congress, is still living under the curse of Karl Rove.  It was Rove, the architect of George W. Bush’s two presidential campaigns, who figured out that rather than running toward the center to capture undecided voters, candidates should instead mobilize and turn out their own bases.  This led first to ugly and divisive campaigns and now to ugly and divisive government.  It has also led to government by executive orders and party-line votes, which in turn can be undone as soon as another president and another party come into office and undo it all with their own executive orders and party-line votes.

It is in Republicans’ self-interest to turn this around and fast.  Only five times in our history has the president’s party avoided losses in mid-term elections, and those nearly all involved national crisis or emergency situations.  So basically, Republicans have now less than two years to learn to work with each other, and in turn to work with the Democrats.  Sometimes, as the saying goes, you have to rise above principle and get some things done.

To read the column at Forbes.com:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddavenport/2017/05/10/why-congress-at-100-days-is-less-popular-and-effective-than-trump/#2a6f26646d57

Trump’s First Hundred Days: Doing What He Promised (National Radio Commentary, Salem/Townhall) April 25, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Politics, Radio Commentaries.
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Since Franklin Roosevelt, presidents have been evaluated at the end of a hundred days.  Donald Trump drafted his own report card in a campaign speech last fall, saying what he would do in his first hundred days.

And here’s the surprising thing:  he’s doing what he said.

•    Appoint judges who would uphold the Constitution.  Neil Gorsuch. Check.
•    Construct a wall and limit illegal immigration.  No wall yet, but plenty of restrictions.
•    Reassess trade agreements—withdrew from the TPP, check.
•    Repeal Obamacare—no check, but working on it.
•    Impose term limits on Congress—no.
•    Remove restrictions on energy—yes.
•    Eliminate gun-free zones—not yet.
•    For every new regulation, eliminate two old ones.  Check, by executive order.
•    Instruct the Joint Chiefs to develop plans to protect America.  Check.
•    Label China a currency manipulator—maybe, but doubtful.

After 100 days, he’s batting .500 or more, which is better than my teams are doing.

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