Hang on: 100 days of Trump
President Donald Trump will reach his 100th day in office Saturday, April 29. The symbolic 100-day marker is used to assess a new president and what it might indicate for the future. So far, Trump as president has been as uncontrolled and undisciplined as he was a campaigner, but without any of the major legislative accomplishment he had promised. In 100 days, several frightening things have been made clear.
No friend of LGBTs
Trump can hold a rainbow flag all he wants, and Log Cabin Republicans (which did not endorse him) can opine about how great he is to the community, but Trump is not a friend of ours. After appointing mostly anti-LGBT people to Cabinet posts, the administration has rescinded legal protections for trans students and did not reverse a decision to omit questions about LGBT seniors in government surveys. (The Census Bureau will not be asking people to identify as LGBT in the 2020 census, although it's important to note that decision was made many months ago before Trump assumed office, but could have changed it.)
Stacking the court
Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch, an extreme conservative, to the U.S. Supreme Court. While it doesn't change the 5-4 conservative leaning that the court had before the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Gorsuch, 45, will be on the bench for decades. Another death or retirement can dramatically alter the court by allowing the president to tip the balance in favor of a conservative majority for years after he's gone.
Immigrants have been living in fear since Trump took office in January, and no wonder. One of his first acts was the ill-advised – and illegal – executive order that sought to ban people from seven Muslim-majority countries, Syrian refugees, and even people with green cards. A federal judge quickly stopped the order, but not before a chaos-filled weekend erupted at airports across the country and the world. Trump last month signed a second executive order, this time banning immigrants from six mostly Muslim countries. A judge stopped that one, too, because it smacked of religious discrimination.
But deportations are occurring – including people who have built successful lives here – and there are reports that immigrants in southern California and elsewhere are now more reluctant to report crimes that happen to them, out of fear of being deported themselves. That, of course, does nothing to help police fight crime, notably domestic violence, and has a chilling effect on society.
Health care showdown
During the campaign, Trump promised to repeal Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) on Day 1. That didn't happen, and neither did the president's sorry attempt to replace the ACA with a health care policy that served fewer people and offered fewer benefits. Even some conservative Republicans balked, after they heard from angry constituents at town halls that the Republican replacement would cut off their health care. In the end, House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wisconsin) pulled the bill because the votes weren't there, and Trump realized that passing complex legislation that affects millions of Americans wasn't easy. Now, Trump is promoting another health care vote, because the White House feels under pressure to do something for this 100-day milestone. We predict there won't be a vote this week – or next – and that the ACA will continue to be law.
But San Francisco officials are taking no chances. This week gay Supervisor Jeff Sheehy introduced a resolution urging the Department of Public Health's Healthy San Francisco program "to continue offering gender dysphoria benefits and coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and replaced."
Trump looks out for Trump
Trump has only one interest in mind: himself. Whether it be conflicts of interest involving his properties and other business interests, or shoring up his daughter's brand, the president could care less about ethical violations, flip-flopping, or anything that would normally trip up an elected official. Discussing the launch of Tomahawk missiles while eating chocolate cake with China's ruler? Check. Donating his salary to the National Park Service while proposing millions of dollars in cuts to the agency? Check. Withholding his tax returns even as he demands a huge tax cut for the wealthy, likely including himself? Check. Just this week, the State Department promoted Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club on its official website. The ethical violators know no bounds in this administration.
Media outlets have devoted thousands of hours documenting Trump's many lapses, lies, and inconsistencies. But his core supporters are still behind him, bigly, as he would say. We used to think they'd eventually see the emptiness of his proposals, or turn on him when his policies adversely affected them. Now, we're not so sure. Those same Trump voters will probably support him until he's kicked out of office, one way or another. Many of them are aggrieved that Trump's opponents belittle them, and we suppose that empathy is probably more effective.
It's hard to believe that Saturday will be only 100 days when it feels more like 1,000. Well, believe it, because it's only the beginning of the long nightmare we feared if we can't sustain effective and consistent resistance to this president for 1,500 days.