The idea of the “first 100 days” as a measure of presidential accomplishment emerged during FDR’s first term. Faced with an economy in collapse, soaring unemployment, and institutions failing on all fronts, Roosevelt began his term with incredible vigor. He gathered his cabinet together on the afternoon following the inauguration and began work that day.
In that 100 days that followed, FDR picked up the fallen country, put it on its feet, and aimed it in a new direction. He signed 15 major pieces of legislation. Within a week of the inauguration, the Emergency Banking Act reopened banks. The government then stepped in to help farmers. Then school kids. Then to begin the massive infrastructure projects many of which survive to this day—a last physical legacy of a furious burst of political activity.
The Civilian Conservation Corps was part of that first 100 days—creating 250,000 jobs. The Glass-Stegall Act to restore public confidence in financial institutions was in that first 100 days. The Federal Emergency Relief Act, which was the predecessor of Social Security, was in that 100 days.
The first 100 days became a measure for the effectiveness of presidents not because Roosevelt completed his work by that point, but because it signaled how successful he would be for the rest of his presidency. The next year would bring the first federal minimum wage, the right of federal employees to unionize, the SEC, the Labor Relations Board. It didn’t stop there.
The best thing about 100 days of Trump is … you made it. We made it. America is still here, the world still mostly intact. The erosion of liberty and damage to the environment are there, of course, but it’s taken more time for Republicans to assemble weapons of mass de-suck-tion than anticipated.
But if you want more, just come inside. Here’s your official celebration of 100 days of Trump.
Here are things that Donald Trump did in his first ten days.
- Argued about how many people came to see his inauguration, including launching charges that the media, the Park Service and your lying eyes were out to diminish his glory.
- Reiterated his belief that torture was both effective and necessary.
- Threatened to launch a federal takeover of Chicago.
- Signed the first version of his soon-to-be-blocked Muslim ban.
- Imposed an information blackout on the EPA, National Park Service, USDA, and the Department of Agriculture.
- Rearranged the National Security Council to make room for Steve Bannon while sidelining the top generals.
- Restarted the approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Ordered the Secretary of Defense to look into tactics that violate both US and international law.
- Levied a 20% tariff on Mexico by fiat. Unlevied the tariff on Mexico by fiat.
- Had a nice phone call with Vladimir Putin.
- Went on vacation and played some golf.
By any accounting, that’s a lot for the first ten days. And those days only signaled what was to come. Since then, Trump has ...
- He learned what the START treaty was about and decided he didn’t like it.
- Got upset about Melissa McCarthy’s immitation of Sean Spicer.
- Threatened a federal judge that he would “SEE YOU IN COURT” (yes, in all caps).
- Issued the second version of his soon-to-be-blocked Muslim ban.
- Lifted ban on selling advanced technology to Russian spies (hey, that really happened).
- Called a 13-year-veteran of the federal bench a “so-called judge” for disagreeing with him.
- Insulted and hung up on the prime minister of Australia.
- Used the National Prayer Breakfast to mock Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Launched a military raid over lunch, then didn’t bother to check in on how it worked out.
- Repeatedly took credit for jobs that were announced months or years before the election.
- Claimed that President Obama “wiretapped” his phone (the quote marks are critical).
- Doubled-down on claims that Obama wiretapped his phone.
- Claimed that he never meant wiretapped.
- Claimed that he never meant phone.
- Claimed he was sure Obama had committed some kind of crime that was worse than Watergate.
- Claimed that Obama ordered the CIA, FBI, or … someone to do something to him that wasn’t wiretapping and wasn’t about phones.
- Blamed Susan Rice and said he was sure she had committed some kind of crime.
- Denied knowing that Michael Flynn was a foreign agent.
- Fired Michael Flynn for being a foreign agent.
- Produced a budget that killed Americorps, Food for Education, Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, SeniorCorps, Chemical Safety Board, Delta Doctors, Institute of Peace, Native American Libraries, Disaster Recovery Assistance and Meals on Wheels.
- Worked almost two hours a day for almost two weeks on a health care bill that Republicans had seven years to plan but which nonetheless couldn’t even get passed by other Republicans.
- Gave up on health care bill.
- Decided he hadn’t given up.
- Gave up again.
- Decided he couldn’t decide.
- Made 52 tweets in a single week. Roosevelt never did that.
- Called Chuck Todd “Sleepy Eyes.”
- Passed zero pieces of major legislation. That’s 0. Less than 1.
- Emptied the White House offices on science and technology, because who needs that stuff?
- Announced that the United States wouldn’t go after Assad, which Assad then celebrated by gassing his own people.
- Announced that the United States would go after Assad.
- Told the Russians and Syrians he was going to attack and where he was going to attack … which someone always seemed to think was a bad thing.
- Sent 59 tomahawk missiles screaming into the place he said he was going to attack, changing absolutely nothing about the progress of the war in Syria.
- Dropped the Mother of All Bombs on Afghanistan, possibly setting a record for the amount of energy, and dollars, expended per enemy casualty.
- Warned North Korea that they should look at Syria and Afghanistan to see what could happen to them, causing North Korea to be really glad they had invested in missiles and nuclear weapons.
- Played a lot of golf. I mean, a lot of golf. Like, averaging more than one game of golf a week.
- Openly discussed military operations at Mar-a-lago so that the guests there could both hear the discussion and take pictures.
- Doubled the membership fees at Mar-a-lago.
- Had a beautiful, beautiful piece of chocolate cake.
- Did many, many things that made you forget for a moment that the President of the United States is under investigation for possibly colluding with the Russian government to alter the outcome of a US election.