Opinion: No perfume can disguise the stink of failure

As of Monday, the Republican-run Senate lacks the 50 Republican votes needed to even hold a vote on repealing and replacing Obamacare, a task that as a candidate Donald Trump often described as “so easy.”

Also Monday, the Trump administration quietly conceded that Iran was fully abiding by the nuclear arms deal that the president describes as “the worst deal ever,” a deal that he promised that he would tear up immediately upon taking office. He still wants to tear it up — he reportedly agreed to certify Iran’s continued compliance only at the unanimous insistence of his foreign-policy staff — but he has nothing with which to replace it, and no negotiations under way that might create such a replacement.

The giant infrastructure bill … well, there is no giant infrastructure bill. There’s not even a tiny infrastructure bill. We did have “Infrastructure Week,” which was kinda nice I guess, but that came and went more than a month ago. The tax reform bill … well, there is also no tax reform bill, and no sign of one appearing anytime soon.

Last week, a House committee did vote to include $1.6 billion in next year’s budget to tighten border security, a move that the administration hailed as evidence that it would indeed build “The Wall”. (That $1.6 billion would come from U.S. taxpayers, not from Mexico.) And with minimum estimates for such a structure coming in at $25 billion and ranging up to $70 billion and beyond, at this rate it would take roughly a quarter century to fund it. That puts its completion date at roughly the end of President Malia Obama’s first term.

Overseas, the president has become a laughingstock or pariah, depending on the country and the day of the week involved. International trust in the United States as a source of global stability is plummeting, and North Korea doesn’t seem at all intimidated by the president’s aggressive attacks via Twitter, having recently tested — successfully — an intercontinental ballistic missile theoretically capable of reaching parts of the United States. In a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, 63 percent of Americans say they don’t trust their president to handle that situation.

Meanwhile, the president’s son, his son-in-law, his former campaign manager and his former national security adviser face varying levels of legal jeopardy regarding their interactions with the Russian government during the campaign, and the president himself is polling at the lowest numbers ever recorded for someone this early in his term.

The only somewhat bright spot has been the economy, which continues to produce new jobs, although at a rate slightly below that of the Obama administration. The stock market continues to advance, again at roughly the rate during the Obama administration. The latest projection for second-quarter GDP growth from the Atlanta Fed puts it at 2.4 percent, again roughly what it was under Obama.

If there’s a miracle buried in there somewhere, it’s the fact that the very same economic statistics that were cited as evidence of Obama’s ineptitude are now cited as evidence of Trump’s wisdom and leadership, even though the numbers themselves haven’t changed.

On Thursday, July 20, we will be six months into the Trump presidency, one-eighth of the way through his constitutional term. The deal-making prowess that he cited in the campaign is nowhere in evidence.  “The best and most serious people” that he pledged to hire have for the most part been drawn from the ranks of family members, sycophants and fringe groups. And if he’s running the country like a business, that business would be the Trump Taj Mahal, which now sits empty and boarded up.

Reader Comments 0

1976 comments
garyrewing
garyrewing

Great commentary, I agree the stink is getting stronger...

Peachs
Peachs

Trump said he was going to be mad if they didn't put a bill on his desk! Not quite sure they got that message or even cared. There has never been a weaker president than the one we have today!

Peachs
Peachs

Weakest president in the history of this great country!

Jannings
Jannings

Today's Toronto Star picture of the Trump name coming off a tower in Toronto after a long lawsuit shows how great a business partner he is (not), and that other countries have a full understanding of the stink of his failure! Excellent article, Jay Bookman!

rimsky
rimsky

@PaulinNH From the angle I am standing, it looks more like a pole to me.

Peachs
Peachs

With tar and feathers!.

Peachs
Peachs

Wish we had a parliamentary government to call an election right now and get this bum out of there! Hell I wish we had a democratic government he would've never been elected in the first place!

Peachs
Peachs

Trump still has about eight points to go to beat Chris Christie the most unpopular governor in the United States but still is the heavyweight loser of the world when it comes to presidents . No president ever has been as low as this guy even Nixon at the bottom of the Watergate scandal! .

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Paul42 

@FIGMO2 You'd think Team Trump would at least spell the guy's name correctly.

Add Huntsman to the list of adults in the room.  It's a small club, but growing. 

Sweatin' the petty stuff or vice versa, Paul?

Huntsman is the son of a billionaire industrialist whose company, Huntsman International LLC, currently has a handful of businesses in Russia, including plants that make pigments and polyurethanes, the Salt Lake Tribune has reported.

Huntsman Jr. played a role in the family's early business dealings in the country shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, the paper has said.

It's okay if it's Huntsman?


rimsky
rimsky

@FIGMO2 @Paul42 Huntsman supplies one of the raw materials.  They have the best prices and prompt in delivery.

But that does not tell me the character of Jon Huntsman.

honested
honested

@FIGMO2 @Paul42 

Hunstman has demonstrated a clear loyalty to the United States and an ability to negotiate appropriately following the established rules of protocol.

That puts him head and shoulders ABOVE the National Embarrassment.

Up In Cleveland
Up In Cleveland

Mary "So, we just take someone's word? Do we do that to get a drivers license?"


This has nothing to do with the integrity of the vote. The Republicans make their intentions glaringly obvious. Like college ID won't get you in a voting booth but a gun carry permit will. They pick and choose forms of ID that favor their base. They know, as do you that in person voter fraud runs on the high side at about one thousandth of one percent.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Up In Cleveland  Oy vey...the density of our trolls.  Voter ID has nothing to do with verifying the identity of the person voting.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@StraightNoChaser  Because Trump is very concerned about "voter security", that is why the GOP is killing the only federal agency that addresses voter security and of course, Trump has been unbelievably tough on Putin...  not even a "stop it".  

But dang it...let's be sure real citizens are scared to vote.

rimsky
rimsky

@StraightNoChaser First thing first trump.

What you and Putin talked about in the 1st and 2nd meetings.

Next your tax returns.  Okey Dokey.

td1234
td1234

@rimsky All three are none of your business. It is the job of the POTUS to speak to foreign leaders about any subject they wish to speak about without you knowing the details or even about the meeting.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @rimsky What other president has done what Trump just did with Putin?  None  National security is why Trump should not have done what he did if nothing else.  WTF does he have to talk with Putin about that he had to break protocol?  So stop including what the job of POTUS is in your hyperbole.

honested
honested

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser @rimsky 

Is chump fluent in russian?

How many leaders have side meetings where all they can do is grin and nod their heads with no concept of what they are hearing?

td1234
td1234

@Visual_Cortex No they are not really your business. They are your wish and if you think it is a huge issue then do not vote for the person. The majority of people in 30 states did not believe it was an issue. 

honested
honested

@td1234 @rimsky 

The citizens of the United States have full authority to know the potential of criminality among their leadership and any issues pertinent to the governance of our collective union that leadership might enter us into.

Did the election rewire you people's brains?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser @rimsky Did I refer to your flat no a$$ when addressing you?  You disgusting individual.  Can you even have a conversation without melting down to disrespectful words or language?  My question is what did Trump have to talk with Putin about that he had to break protocol?  He had just met for 2 hours with him.  What is the slacker going to do about the tweet that the US received from Russia yesterday since he seems to be so in love with Putin?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@td1234 @Up In Cleveland Not exactly the quote but close. For you that is progress Valedictorian.


Also comparing that to what we are seeing with  Trump  frankly boggles the mind



td1234
td1234

@honested Show me the law or in the Constitution that says you have the right to see any other American's tax return? 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@td1234 @honested He is POTUS


My employee. He works for me.


I have a right to see his tax returns given he could be in bed with foreign countries. 

Up In Cleveland
Up In Cleveland

@td1234 @honested We made the mistake of assuming our presidential candidates would adhere to tradition. There should be a law and the next time the Dems. control Congress there will be one. We WILL see his returns. Wait and see.

honested
honested

@td1234 @honested 

It's right there next to the verbiage about people who are too stupid to know the difference having a right to vote in a Presidential Election.