How do we grade the first 100 days? It isn’t an easy question. But I spent the better part of my life receiving grades for one thing or another, so I consider myself somewhat of an expert on them.
Think about your entire academic career. Grade school all the way up to college, maybe even post-graduate studies. Particularly in primary school, grades were pretty arbitrary. How does a gym teacher decide who gets an A and who gets a B? By effort and whether or not they like the kid. So if we’re grading by effort, Trump gets an A. He’s tried to do an awful lot of things. His success rate hasn’t been great, but an A for effort.
Later schooling requires more documentation. A teacher can’t just give an A to a preferred student. There are tests and papers which will be documented. Even if you fudge the numbers, parents will not let you get away with giving low grades if test scores demand higher grades. So if we’re grading by results, Trump doesn’t have a lot of victories to point to.
By Trump’s own pre-election standards, he’s failing. He hasn’t repealed Obamacare, or labelled China a currency manipulator, or cut taxes, or much of anything, really. I don’t consider his executive orders victories, because they can be rescinded by any other president, or even an act of Congress. By the standards of other presidencies, he’s failing too. He hasn’t even filled the hundreds of critical roles that the federal government demands. Even pointing to the supreme court justice’s seat, that’s hardly a major victory. He had chosen his pick months ago. And the Senate did the hard work in ending the filibuster, which is what had to happen. What about his base’s standards? How do they feel about him? Well, they wanted him to stay out of foreign entanglements. Hitting Syria with missiles and “sending” an armada to North Korea mean he’s missing that mark, too.
So we’re left with a guy who gets top marks for trying, but by any other standard is doing dismally. Lots of people think he can turn this around and actually get some of his agenda passed. If all it takes is effort, then they may be right. Otherwise, it isn’t looking good for him.