Sigh. So there’s this thing hanging out there that I haven’t talked about in a while.
A subject that has left me, the woman who occasionally forgets to take a breath when I’m speaking and have a point to make, speechless. I was wrong about something, and I need to admit it: Donald Trump‘s potential effectiveness as President of the United States.
Like many people, I didn’t take Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency seriously. I had misgivings about what would happen were he to win the White House. I wasn’t alone in my position; many others shared my skepticism. It was a strategic error of monumental proportions for several of his primary opponents and hopefully a career ender for the Clinton machine.
Here we are, though almost six months into his presidency, and he’s given his conservative doubters, including me, a reason to enjoy the crow we’re eating.
Good policy doesn’t necessarily make for good headlines. It’s often overlooked. But in politics, what makes headlines is rarely the whole picture (or even the most important thing happening that day).
That’s certainly the case for much of Trumps presidency. While the media has focused on unsourced drama and misleading ethical stories, Trump and his team have been working. He’s shown that, despite his inexperience holding office, business sense he constantly touted throughout his campaign, knowing how to put the right people in the right places. And it has mostly worked.
I’m not saying he’s had a perfect start, but there have been substantive accomplishments that were underreported or vilified. Congress certainly hasn’t been doing him any favors with its inability to get its act together.
It’s as if they didn’t have eight years to sit around and plan and plot for winning back the White House and what they’d accomplish once Obama was gone.
By far the most impressive action of the Trump administration has been his appointments. Now I’m going to out myself for the policy nerd I am with this list, but my favorites are: Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, Ryan Zinke at Interior, Mick Mulvaney at OMB, and last but not least Alabama’s own Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.
These were bold picks with policy leaders who have already started shaking things up. Obama spent years using every regulatory opportunity to push an agenda that ultimately led to killing jobs, costing taxpayers more money and growing government. The leaders Trump picked are already righting these wrongs, and though you won’t see that on the 6 p.m. news, it’s going to make all the difference in the world.
While I’m not a fan of a lot of executive orders, Trump has had some notable ones:
- Protecting election integrity through a commission to study voter fraud May 11, 2017
- Looking for ways to reduce the regulatory tax burden on Americans April 21, 2017
- Creating commission to address opioid addictions March 29, 2017
- Promoting energy independence March 28, 2017
- Reducing regulations January 30, 2017
I feel like the spirit of his executive orders frequently cross party lines to help American businesses and families across the board.
Finally, I’ve got to say yesterday was another good day for news coming out of the White House. It was also another Trump promise kept that leaves me hopeful for the policy direction and agenda this administration.
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, what the president did was pull the U.S. out of the Paris
treaty accord that we were never really a part. No really. We weren’t. Not constitutionally, anyway. Two-thirds of the U.S. Senate would need to vote for us to join such a substantial agreement, a treaty as it really was, and it was never brought before the Senate.
Other countries leaders took the agreement to their respective governments to be ratified, as with a treaty, but not President Obama. Knowing he couldn’t get it past the U.S. Senate, he didn’t even try.
As explained in an op-ed by Northwestern University School of Law professor Eugene Kontorovich for The Washington Post: “The universal interpretation of the agreement as a treaty cuts against Obama’s insistence that it is not one. (It is also noteworthy that SOEs for multilateral agreements are themselves almost unheard of, and certainly not for global ones.) A treaty is an international agreement, and in a multilateral treaty, the views of other signatories are at least probative of the question of whether it creates binding obligations upon ratification.”
This action, which ultimately showcased a thoughtful approach to governing in which our president put Americans first, signals that more good things are to come.
Again, the real work for Congress to take up and pass are issues of substance to send to the White House. In the meantime, watching regulatory reform set in by way of just ending the regulatory attacks from the Obama administration are a great start.
So, here’s to pleasant surprises; may Trump and his team keep the policy wins coming.
While no, I didn’t take on the work in progress that is the internal conflicts and questions coming out of the Trump administration. That’s a different opinion piece for a different day. Today, I just want to say, my president, our president, is off to a much better start than expected by many — and most certainly a much better start than mainstream media is letting on.