On Monday March 13th 2017 the 45th President’s first administration ran out of gas. Only 50 days into his first 100 days it has become clear that the idea of a businessman with corporate experience would be a great commander in chief is (at least in this case) failing spectacularly.
The issue is that the administration since day one has taken an active role in picking fights when it does not need to take them. Things that would have taken up hours of airtime during the campaign and would have been good for the then-candidate are now consuming hours of airtime when there is governing that needs to be done. One of the most essential tools in a president’s tool kit, the authority and trust in what the president says, has been grinded down with constant non-issues that the administration brings up.
This has caused a lot of clean up duty on behalf of others in the administration like Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who in the past month have been going to long time allies promising nothing is going to change in their relationship. But the old status quo is no longer the new status quo. Stability and consistency, a hallmark of American stability, is now being replaced with silence and uncertainty.
Yesterday we had Press Secretary Sean Spicer make two statements that kicked the can of responsibility down the road when the president speaks. He said that the president should be taken seriously in what he says when he isn’t joking in response to a question of whether we can take his word seriously. On top of that, he said that one of the tweets accusing Obama wiretapped Trump Tower Spicer said that since wiretap was in quotations he meant surveillance more generally.
Spicer was echoing Kellyanne Conway’s deflection when asked a similar question about the wiretapping in which she referenced the mass capabilities of surveillance where even your toaster can spy on you (it can’t)! She was also deflecting the question of whether Trump has proof of the wiretap (he doesn’t). But this is major, even the most protective and prominent members of Trump’s cabinet who have agreed with nearly everything have stopped here in something people want proof for and nobody can provide.
Just a reminder there was a deadline yesterday for the Justice Department to release evidence to Congress for proof of the Obama wiretapping claim, they asked for another week.
Even though Trump has mostly stopped tweeting shocking statements and allegations, for the past week anyways, it shows that Trump’s administration has not been able to get out of his own way. In a political climate ripe for Republican policies to produce fruitful legislation with both chambers of Congress, the Executive, the Supreme Court, and a majority of state governments it is clear that the administration has run out of gas. Prepare for months of failed discussion on important issues like the ACA repeal or reform, the debt ceiling, and infrastructure and more issues arising with Russian investigations and Twitter tirades.