Sunday, April 30, 2017


By Dominique Paul Noth
The Internet has made a laughingstock
out of how often Trump presents
his executive orders.

Trump’s diehard supporters are right. One hundred days is not enough to judge a president.  Six months would be better -- though, if in that time he provides no greater satisfaction to the base than Neil Gorsuch, their diehardism should  die away. If there is any objectivity left.

For the majority of the nation that didn’t want him, it is maddening for Trump to talk about eight years as inevitable while they are anxious for four years to be over quickly. They want their own satisfaction – booting him out.

Still,  with some 1,360 days left to him by the Constitution he wants to eliminate – he’s mad that Congress and the courts are enshrined as equal powers – it would be wise to curb the detest  though not the protests. It could be time for America to pace itself a bit even as he bangs his new bumper car post to post. 

Truth is, he has outlined his plans for the next nine months. There are few signs  that any of the goals will be achieved, including his constant promise that he will grow the economy by far more than 3%.  Federal economists note that in the first quarter the gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of just 0.7%, down from the 2.1% he inherited from Obama. 

In a remarkably self-serving op-ed in the Washington Post – yes, one of those “fake news” sites he wants people to ignore – Trump slams the old ways of doing things while policy-wise he is getting credit for sticking with the old ways on foreign policy and trade, mainly negotiation, caution and reliance on allies.

Curious how he is getting points for not being as offensive as expected.

He criticized Obama ad nauseum for signing executive orders, but he does mainly that even more, and his orders unlike Obama’s count for little except study and threats. So the nation has not been rocked on its heels as it could be by changes in health care, the environment and taxation.  He has a Congress in the  same party (ostensibly) but has great difficulty in getting either the Senate or the House to buy his exorbitant ideas of a border wall or a one-page tax outline.

No one has quite figured if he is a hawk or a blusterer on Syria and North Korea, but this may be the lone example where uncertainty is helping his image.  As long as we don’t know, Armageddon is not at hand.  Eventually, in those next six months, he has got to determine a direction, but for now he is successfully playing “fast and loose,”  which may work in a pool hall but not long in the White House.
Hasan Minhaj tore into the media even
more than Trump does

Even with vicious verbal attacks on immigrants, his decision to hold a self-congratulatory rally in Pennsylvania April 29 worked out well, giving him a rare optic win. The correspondents’ meal he ignored allowed Comedy Central’s Hasan Minhaj to unload bombloads of comic truths on the media and the president, but Trump still got media coverage and did look like he had the truer Americans to meet with than the tuxedoed dinner crowd packed into a Washington ballroom at a rival hotel.

Until you recall who has used dress-up crowded dinners to his advantage at Mar-a-Lago.  There the great unwashed who flock to his rallies can’t afford the entry fee.

The pressure on his presidency is not about to let up.  Climate change opposition to his semi-denial brought thousands into the street, proclaiming not just the wisdom but the economic strength of science.  His efforts to claw back the environmental protection of Obama using the Antiquities Act appears to be producing new protests in the environmental community, which includes many conservatives. 

There is a suspicion among many Americans that his “good friend,” Chinese president Xi, is a shrewd double dealer, licking his lips as he eats Trump’s lunch.  Including Trump’s sea food lunch since China remains the major cause of global overfishing, which may not yet affect Trump’s lavish lifestyle but is wreaking havoc on the rest of the world.

While Trump scores easy points catering to the NRA convention, states and the courts are taking up the issue anew

So are the artists he dislikes. They are working grassroots in community after community, offering viewpoints that he may find disturbing but are influencing the public mind. 

Immigration has always been a major movie theme, but now has moved onto the global stage. Even law enforcement in sanctuary cities are rushing to enact the stories of dreamers.

And new plays about guns in society are back in force.

What we have is a continuing war against Trump’s approach even as he embraces so much of what past White Houses achieved, without acknowledging the debt. For many observers locally and abroad, the chief problem is Trump’s ignorance, which has him learning on the job but obviously at a loss on the complex issues he has to decide on. More than ever, who is around him has become more important than his self-described “great mind.”

The basis of the American dream is that anyone can become president.

Now that anyone has, America has to reassess what that meant. 

About the author: Noth has been  a professional journalist since the 1960s, first as national, international and local news copy editor at The Milwaukee Journal, then as one of the editors for its original Green Sheet, also  for almost two decades the paper’s film and drama critic. He became the newspaper’s senior feature editor, then was tapped by the publishers of the combining Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for special projects and as first online news producer before voluntarily departing in the mid-1990s to run online news seminars and write on public affairs and consumer news. From 2002 to 2013 he ran the Milwaukee Labor Press as editor. It served as the Midwest’s largest home-delivered labor newspaper, with archives at  In that role he won top awards yearly until the paper stopped publishing in 2013. His investigative pieces and extensive commentaries are now published by several news outlets as well as at his culture and politics outlets known as Dom's Domain.  He also reviews theater for  

No comments:

Post a Comment