Trump’s first week in office was more eventful than any other in recent memory. The new president barged into office with his hair on fire and pens blazing, ready to sign just about anything placed in front of him. Since it’s entirely possible that every week in Trump’s presidency will be similarly eventful, we thought it would be helpful to summarize and categorize these happenings for you, our readers, in a recurring column which will lay out The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly as it pertains to our 45th president.
- Trump seems like he is prepared to make good on some of his campaign promises. That’s great for his supporters, who cited follow-through as one of the reasons they elected him. We critics questioned how well he would hold up his multitude of promises. That still remains to be seen, but I’ll give him a cookie for his effort this week.
- Many conservatives are cautiously optimistic about Trump’s plans for job creation and his approval of the Keystone Pipeline helped foster some of that optimism. The Dakota Pipeline is quite a bit more controversial, so its sign-off could fall into any one of our 3 categories depending on who’s reading.
- The Dow reached 20,000 this week on Trump’s talk of lowering regulations. Whether it was already on its way there regardless of Trump is a question, but either way, it’s good optics for the president.
- Although the federal job shutdown seemed harsh, it turns out this is a “political football” thrown back and forth whenever the office switches parties. If anything, it at least demonstrated that Trump can think like the Reagans and Bushes of the world… even if only once.
- Trump posted his only presidential tweet of all time this week when someone hijacked his Twitter account and made him sound like he’s a proponent of the First Amendment. Even though we know his brain did not think those thoughts, it’s encouraging that someone on his team did and that he didn’t delete the post.
- All of Trump’s cabinet picks so far have been approved by Congress. Some were close calls, but luckily for Trump, our politicians are mostly worried about their careers so possibly even Kim Jong Un would’ve made it just fine as Energy Secretary in 2017. I guess we should thank the president for sticking to only minimally sinister folks, like friends of Russia.
- Trump seems like he is prepared to make good on some of his campaign promises. For those of us who hated his campaign promises, it feels a little bit like the last scene in Thelma and Louise. We’ll throw The Wall, TPP, and The Muslim Ban onto that bullet point.
- The Women’s March outshined Trump’s actual inauguration, particularly on crowd size. This might not have been such a big deal if Trump himself hadn’t made such a big deal about crowd size in the first place.
- Trump’s supporters discovered this week that they were supposed to take Trump literally AND seriously on his promise to repeal Obamacare. This did not make some of them happy, and they could be seen all over Twitter and Facebook sharing their terror at losing their insurance. Oops.
- POTUS has decided Climate Change isn’t a thing and has erased any mention of it from federal existence. Regardless of where you fall on this issue, as with all things scientific, a theory should not be taken off the table until it is has been adequately disproved. Since a full 64% of Americans are concerned about Climate Change, the better path would be for the president to devote resources to genuinely studying the issue on his behalf. He is president of all the people, after all, not just the 20% of Americans who elected him.
- Mexico’s president gives Trump the proverbial finger after the latter tries to verbally strong-arm the former in front of the entire world. Trump has managed to antagonize both Mexico and China in the very first week. If we keep going at a 2 per week ratio, we’ll have the entire world mad at us by 2019. Yay!
- Tillerson, on his first day, fires 4 long-serving top officials at the State Department – folks who served under both Republican and Democrat administrations. Regardless of whether this turns out to be the right move or not, it’s not good optics. Most of the top dogs in Trump’s administration don’t even know where the coffee machine is, let alone how to run an entire federal agency without experienced guidance. Time will tell with this move.
- The president used his very first press conference to send Sean Spicer on a diatribe directed at the press about inauguration crowd size. A few points on this: a) Trump’s crowd size is not an issue that is on the list of important ones for approximately 100% of Americans, b) Spicer’s crowd size facts were, in fact, anti-facts. In other words, he lied. He later sheepishly walked back his “facts” by saying he would never intentionally lie. [insert eye roll emoji here] c) Some people have the commanding presence and respect to be able to get away with lambasting other people. Spicer is not one of these people. It was like watching a mouse yell at a cat.
- Trump banned the EPA from tweeting, easily canceling out the “good” bullet point about the First Amendment tweet. If anyone should be banned from tweeting, it’s you-know-who.
- Trump used his opportunity to smooth things over with the CIA to instead pat himself on the back in front of the memorial of their dead, while his entourage of minions applauded and giggled. Enough said.
- Kellyanne Conway lied and deflected her way through an interview. That’s nothing new. However, this time she came up with the clever phrase “alternative facts” to describe the random, unsubstantiated “facts” propagated by this administration. Americans didn’t buy the wordplay. In fact, they pulled it off the shelf and left it on the floor to die in a pile of memes.
- A lawsuit was brought by a bi-partisan coalition of ethics lawyers citing breach of the Emoluments Clause based on Trump’s failure to divest himself from his businesses. This is Constitution-breaching, impeachment-type stuff here, folks. Trump’s refusal to comply tells you all you need to know about his regard for our nation’s founding documents.
- After a beautiful inauguration ceremony that glistened with the kind of Americana magic that could inspire something presidential in almost anyone, Trump rained on the parade with his ineloquent, rude, and depressing speeches at both the ceremony and the evening ball, reminding us that no amount of magic can make him presidential.
- Alex Jones, the round and red-faced, ranting, raving, conspiracy theory-laden, alt-right lunatic and founder of InfoWars (a FAKE NEWS site) is granted White House press credentials. Propaganda is the winner with this ugly move. The loser? Freedom and democracy.
- Bannon crawls out of his cave to tell the media to “keep its mouth shut” with a media-is-the-enemy message. This goes to show the alt-right is alive and well in The White House and Bannon’s scorched earth campaign is off and running with blessings from POTUS.
This week was really infinite as far as news goes. Let’s all hope for a shorter column next week.