Measuring with the Wrong Ruler- Trump’s First Hundred Days
Not that one might ever see this in the mainstream media, but measuring the first hundred days of the Trump administration is essentially measuring with the wrong ruler.
Ever since the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which began on March 4th, 1933, every elected president since has been measured by the same wrong ruler. Roosevelt was elected to his first term on November 8th, 1932 and, as was the case back then, didn’t take office until March 4th, the following year. In essence, President-elect Roosevelt had a full four months to prepare for his presidency so it is no wonder that his “first hundred days” (whose measurement began five days later on March 9th) was marked with a bevy of bills passed by Congress until the measurement period ended on June 16th, 1933.
Compare that to Donald Trump, who was elected on the same day, November 8th, 2016, eighty-four years later. President-elect Trump had less than two and a half months to prepare for his own presidency. To measure him fairly and arithmetically against Roosevelt would equate to his first hundred days ending on May 9th, not April 29th as the media would otherwise have us believe. Needless to say, what the mainstream media is doing is measuring Trump’s first hundred days with a bogus ruler.
When Roosevelt was elected, the number of Cabinet-level appointees requiring advice and consent from the Senate was ten. FDR’s cabinet was approved by the Senate within the first few weeks of his administration. Compare that to Trump who is required to gain such approval on twenty-four cabinet level appointees and, thanks to obstructionist Democrats led by Charles Schumer (D-NY), has still not seen a complete cabinet emplaced a full four months later.
When Roosevelt was elected, Congress didn’t take the vast number of recesses as is the case today, so getting action on legislation was far easier in 1933 than it is in 2017. Roosevelt also had the luxury of having a filibuster-proof Democrat majority in the Senate, and a much larger Democrat majority in the House of Representatives than President Trump enjoys with his Republican caucus. These sheer comparative numbers do not even take into account the stridency and over-the-top partisanship that exists in 2017, as compared to the political discourse that took place in 1933.
Roosevelt enjoyed an even-greater advantage than Donald Trump will ever hope to enjoy- the adoration and support of the mainstream media. No president, with the possible exception of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, has enjoyed as much support and as little scrutiny as did Franklin Roosevelt when his presidency began. Compare that to the hostile and, perhaps, despicable way that Donald Trump and his administration are covered and the comparative difference is as striking as it is blatantly hypocritical.
The mainstream media will drone on and on about what they perceive to be President Trump’s supposed failure in his first hundred days to secure legislative wins in Congress, while minimizing all of the accomplishments of the new president in his executive orders and memoranda, not to mention the successful nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch- a feat no president has ever before accomplished in his first hundred days. The media will also gloss over Trump’s successes on the international front. Not only has Trump accomplished a 180° turn-around from the feckless foreign policy of his immediate predecessor, but has reset the trade policy from that of the last five administrations, combined. While Roosevelt’s international challenges did not begin to surface until his second term, which began in 1937, Trump inherited an absolute mess in the international arena on his first day- one fraught with far more danger than existed back in Roosevelt’s time.
But don’t expect a fair and full accounting of Donald Trump’s first hundred days in office from anyone in the mainstream media because, after all, Trump was the one who denied Hillary Clinton the presidency she so deserved, in the opinion of those who pretend to be objective in their coverage of the White House, and that was something that they will never forgive, for as long as Donald J. Trump is President of the United States.
-Drew Nickell, 27 April 2017
© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.
author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”
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