Over the last week and a half, it has become apparent that Donald Trump and his top aides have no idea how to run the federal government, or even to manage what should have been an easy news cycle.
Most new presidents come into the White House with a honeymoon period of general goodwill, as the country puts the hard feelings of the campaign season behind it. However, Donald Trump only gained a thin victory, losing the popular vote by millions of ballots, by crudely insulting his opponents, including those in his own political party, demonizing half of the population, and alienating those people who might have been his most useful collaborators. Instead of working to unite the country during his transition, Trump seemed addicted to the thrill of offending people, leading many of his supporters to regret their choice.
During the first week, instead of acknowledging the divide he has created in the country, and seeking to heal it, Trump has continued to lead with his most extreme, least respected ideas. What’s more, it’s become clear that Trump still doesn’t have many concrete plans about how to implement those ideas.
Last weekend, Trump destroyed any shred of a possibility for positive coverage of his agenda by respected reporters, after he sent out Sean Spicer to deliver blatant lies to those journalists closest to the White House. This weekend, Trump has followed up that disaster with another, in the form of his ban on travel that targets Muslims. Throughout the weekend, growing protests against the anti-Muslim travel ban have gathered at airports, outside the White House and Congress, and on city streets across the country.
Republican members of Congress have been flooded with messages of protest, and now, they are starting to buckle. Those Republicans who joined with Donald Trump when it looked as if Trump was strong are now turning on him. Republicans in Congress are beginning to publicly criticize the President of their own party, after just one week in power.
“We all share a desire to protect the American people, but this executive order has been poorly implemented, especially with respect to green card holders,” says Republican Senator from Tennessee Bob Corker.
Mike McCaul, a Republican Congressman from Texas, described the Trump Administration as dominated by “confusion and uncertainty,” and advised, “it is clear adjustments are needed”.
Senator Cory Gardner, a Republican Senator from Colorado, called Trump’s policies “overly broad”, and pledged to “fix” Trump’s mistakes.
Lamar Alexander, Republican Senator from Tennessee, called Donald Trump’s policies “inconsistent with our American character.”
Will Hurd, a Republican Congressman from Texas, accused Donald Trump of giving terrorists “another tool to gain sympathy and recruit new fighters,” warning that Trump’s policies “erode our allies’ willingness to fight with us”.
Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham issued a joint statement criticizing Donald Trump’s executive order to create a travel ban targeting Muslims, saying, “We fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound”.
Ohio Republican Congressman Rob Portman described the travel ban as a grave mistake, saying, “You have an extreme vetting proposal that did not get the vetting it should have had. And as a result in the implementation, we’ve seen some problems.”
Virginia Republican Barbara Comstock warned that Donald Trump’s blunders need to be “corrected expeditiously”.