Why the First 100-Days are Important
Why the First 100-Days are Important
©JB Williams | www.JB-Williams.com
For years now, the political focus on the first 100-days of any new administration has become a common bellwether indication of how an administration is likely to perform throughout the term. People have no trouble judging their political opposition on this basis, but struggle to apply the same standard to their own political friends. Or, maybe political leftists understand the importance and those on the political right do not…
Regardless, the first 100-day test has proven valuable in the past as a means of projecting the future success of an administration and there are very valid reasons why… You can’t go west by setting your first step down headed east and you can’t get to your destination without momentum.
The First 3 Months in Power
At a time in history when the next election cycle begins as fast as the current cycle ends, leaving a four-year major election cycle heading into a mid-term election cycle, before heading into another major election cycle soon after, time flies by as the nation remains in perpetual election mode. Policy is usually driven by constant electioneering, not stated agendas or what’s best for America.
That, combined with congressional recesses each year, leaves very little productive time for a new administration to advance their agenda on items that require congressional involvement. Add to this, competing agendas in congress and the courts and you have a recipe for very little progress of any kind by a President with limited constitutional authority of his (or her) own.
As a result, the first 100-days of any new administration is the time frame in which that administration must set the agenda, tone and pace of progress before congressional Spring, Summer and Fall recesses begin, followed by the mid-term elections wherein members of congress will be paralyzed by their focus on re-election alone.
Beyond the First 100
Any wheels not yet in positive motion within the first 100-days are likely to remain motionless throughout the term. The talk will continue, but the action part loses momentum very quickly. Thus, the focus upon the first 100-days is a glimpse into how much headwind the new administration will face throughout.
Those first 100-days are indeed critical to any new administration and although people are quick to judge the opposition by this standard, they tend to downplay the importance of this time frame when judging their own administrations, looking to buy more time that in reality, just doesn’t exist. Beyond that which a President can do all alone by Executive Order, a President’s agenda is held hostage by the schedule, competing agendas and timelines of the President’s opposition, in congress, the media and the courts.
In my previous column, I posed the question, “Has Trump been Trumped?” Many who supported Trump in the 2016 election did not appreciate that question being posed. They hope that Trump is and will be successful, as do I. Like Trump, they downplay the importance of the first 100-days because the things we had all hoped would be accomplished or at least in motion within the first 100-days, have not yet been put in viable motion.
Despite that reality, Trump supporters remain optimistic about the future of the Trump administration. They cling to hope and pray that the first 100-days are not as critical to the balance of Trump’s first term, as political pundits might suggest.
I recently took a poll of conservative Facebook groups, asking – “Based upon his primary campaign promises, how do you rate President Trumps first 100-days in terms of advancing those promises?”
A – 45%
B – 32%
C – 15%
D – 6%
F – 2%
Only 8% of respondents gave Trump a failing grade among the pro-Trump Facebook groups polled. The other 92% remain positive and hopeful that Trump is on course to accomplish his campaign promises, despite fighting “the swamp” every step of the way.
The most common sentiment among poll respondents was “give Trump more time.”
Of course, he is early in his four-year term and more time seems quite reasonable. Acknowledging that the first 100-days have not been as productive as we had all hoped, many assume that more time will deliver better results. Maybe they are right…
Who is controlling the Timeline?
Beginning on November 8, 2016 when Hillary Clinton lost the Presidential election, a “purple revolution” to destroy Trump and block his entire agenda was launched by the D.C. establishment, backed by billions from the globalist left. I lay this out in three critical pieces released since the election.
These are the folks who control the timeline and how much Trump can or cannot accomplish. This is “the swamp” that Trump promised to drain. As we have witnessed during the first 100-days, “the swamp” is a formidable foe. They work every day, all day, on every front, to destroy Trump and his administration and block any forward motion on the Trump agenda. McCain thinks he’s running the show and he just might be.
What we have here is a classic chicken-egg scenario… which comes first?
Does Trump need to move his agenda forward in order to “drain the swamp?” – or, does he have to “drain the swamp” in order to advance anything in his agenda?
Opposition to Trump’s agenda is massive, well-manned, extremely well-funded and totally committed to their goals. They have no rules of engagement beyond win at any cost. They are not waiting to see what happens… They are on the move 24-7 on every front, using the media, congress and the courts to block everything Trump promised to do.
On our side of the battle for America, the majority of Trump supporters are in wait and see mode. They want to extend the clock, buy more time for Trump to be successful. But his opposition is unlikely to afford Trump or his supporters any such extension.
April 29th will mark Trump’s 100th day in office.
On or before Friday April 28, 2017… Trump will have to decide to either sign the Omnibus bill that funds Obama’s prior agenda and defunds Trump’s agenda – or refuse to sign it, causing a government shutdown. All eyes will be on this critical decision and it is congressional Republicans who have placed Trump in this corner.
Bottom line – the swamp has blocked Trump’s travel ban (illegally) – they have defunded building the wall in their Omnibus bill – they are fighting to protect sanctuary cities where any Mayor or Governor refusing to uphold existing immigration laws should face criminal charges – they failed to produce a bill to repeal ObamaCare – they have pushed back any tax reforms – they have Trump using military force in foreign sovereign nations, which Trump opposed during his bid for the White House and now they have him cornered on signing the Omnibus bill or shutting down the government at the end of this week.
Trump’s big victory thus far is his use of the nuclear option to seat Neil Gorsuch on the U.S. Supreme Court. But is Gorsuch really another Scalia?
Beyond things Trump can do alone via Executive Order, the Trump agenda is at present, dead in the water as we reach his 100th day in power.
The House will be in session as follows;
May – 12 days
June – 18 days
July – 13 days
August – 0 days (after which the mid-term campaigns begin for 2018)
September – 12 days
October – 13 days
November – 14 days
December – 9 days
Over the next eight months, congress will be in full session for a total of 91 days. As of the end of this week, congress will have been in session for 54 days, more than have of the days remaining for the year, with nothing positive accomplished in those 54 days.
After this week, Congress only has 43 days in session to accomplish anything before August recess, after which their entire focus will be on their own re-election and nothing else.
Meanwhile, they have Trump cornered on the Omnibus bill as his agenda sits dead in the water.
This is why the first 100-days matter… It is the most active time for progress in D.C. as a new administration works to get their feet on the ground, set the agenda and build the momentum necessary to carry that agenda forward.
As we near the 100-day mark, the swamp has all the momentum on their side.
Do I support Trump and his stated agenda? Yes indeed… But the window of opportunity for him to get that agenda moving is rapidly closing and unless he starts draining the swamp fast, they will continue to carry the momentum and timeline they have set for their agenda into the balance of 2017. 2018 will be a mid-term election year where any and all Trump failures will be used in multiple campaigns on both sides of the political aisle.
I doubt that Trump is unaware… But are his supporters aware? Will they help push Trump forward against all odds and opposition?