Reflections on recent events, plus the occasional fact
free rant unfiltered by rational argument.
Donald Trump will hit his 100th day in office on 29th April 2017. This is significant because he promised to achieve so much in the first 100 days. And yet, some 63 days in his achievements are looking thin. About as thin as his comb-over.
He rushed his trademark ‘Executive Order 13769’. This aimed to tighten border controls. Then withdraw in haste because the courts rejected it. Shambolic coordination with government agencies led to chaos at airports. Striking images and stories shaped perceptions of an administration in crisis. The redraft, ‘Executive Order 13780’ is now in dispute with legal challenges pending. A whiff of incompetence is in the air.
Throughout the election campaign, he trumpeted the promise he’d take down Obamacare. The Republicans wanted to demolish Obamacare, making this a cornerstone of their agenda. That initiative collapsed today in a swirl of recriminations. Trump with his usual evasive ways sought to blame the Democrats. The reality is his own party failed to muster the vote despite a majority. Replacing Obamacare should have been a home-run. This is a stunning defeat that makes the whiff of incompetence a full stench.
An analysis of the situation must recognise that Trump has no experience of governing. This alone should not bar him from being effective with a good team supporting him. Unfortunately, he has a habit of appointing the wrong people. People unsuited to their assigned role or with a history that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. His cabinet is described as the ‘the worst in history’. It lacks expertise, intellectual clout and the skills to steer a political process. In short, Trump is fielding a second-rate team. All his bluster and boasting can’t hide the truth. That stench is now overpowering.
Trump’s self-proclaimed deal-making genius appears to have eluded him as President. Because brash, self-absorbed posturing has collided with the realities of governing. In a world of check and balances, bravado is mute. His swaggering ways won’t prevail as executive orders come under scrutiny.
The Democrats are feeling positive. They assess that Trump’s ineptitude means he’s unlikely to achieve his full agenda. Such sentiments need tempering. The unprecedented damage Trump is doing to the 'body politic' could resonate for decades. Politicians are not trusted at the best times. Trump rode that mistrust to position himself as the anti-politician. The man who would make a difference. The irony won’t be lost if he fails. Meanwhile, he's alienated America's southern neighbour. Then insulted America’s allies with falsehoods. To top it off, he's engaging in open warfare with his own intelligence services.
The stench of the rot is spreading. Trump needs to either pivot or get some competent people on his team before his presidency lapses into inert ineptitude. The stench of the rot will soon hit the noses of the US electorate.
Walter De Havilland is one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Hong Kong Police.