Victories

It's important to keep track of our victories, since sometimes they got lost in the shuffle.  This is an incomplete list, made with an eye to avoiding hyperbole or exaggeration.  It is not just embarrassing or bad things that happen to Trump or his administration.  If it gets too lengthy, I'll cull some of more minor items.

APPEARANCES
The way things are portrayed or perceived is important.  Maybe it shouldn't be, but it is.
  • The Women's March on Washington was the biggest protest in American history, it occurred the day after Trump's inauguration, and it dwarfed the inaugural crowd to such an extent that the new president became a figure of scorn by trying to simply lie about it.  It's not a good look when you start out by telling people they should believe you instead of their lying eyes.
  • Trump has begun his administration with the lowest approval ratings of any new president (sensible, considering how he lost the popular vote by three million votes).  Since then, they have continued to decline to historically low levels -- worse than the lowest point of ten of the past twelve presidents.  Most Americans do not like him and do not think he's doing a good job.
  • Special elections around the country have consistently revealed a major Democratic advantage at the polls, which combines with the president's polling average to achieve a number of effects: Republicans become more cautious of presidential initiatives and more willing to criticize him, potential Republican recruits are discouraged from running in 2018, and Democratic donors and candidates are emboldened.

CABINET
The Cabinet and other executive jobs implement the president's will and helps make policy.  Trump's range from good to middling to gob-smackingly terrible.
  • Vincent Viola, nominee as Army Secretary, had to withdraw after coming under fire for ethics problems.  He'd been hoping to get a position handing out federal contracts while getting paid from federal contracts.  That didn't work out.
  • Anthony Scaramucci was supposed to get some sort of job as business liaison.  Not happening.  They were slow getting out of the gate, and Scaramucci's choice of evading ethics concerns -- selling his business to a Chinese firm -- didn't pass muster.
  • Monica Crowley had been picked as senior director of communications for the National Security Council.  But it turns out that Crowley not only plagiarized much of her most recent book, she also plagiarized many of her newspaper columns and even her PhD thesis.  The book was taken out of print and Crowley was taken off the job.
  • Prospective Solicitor-General (the person who argues in front of the Supreme Court) Chuck Cooper withdrew his name from consideration after seeing the opposition levied against Trump's picks.  The talent pool of people willing to work for Trump grows smaller, again.
  • National Security Adviser Mike Flynn was forced to resign in scandal after it was revealed he had lied about discussing sanctions and other matters with the Russian ambassador shortly after the inauguration.  Trump's pick for his replacement, Adm. Robert Harward, declined the job offer.  And when Trump did finally settle on someone willing to take the job, Gen. H.R. McMaster, it was only with the concession that McMaster would get to choose all of his staff (and with the implication that McMaster was essentially un-fireable for the time being).
  • Prospective Labor Secretary Andy Puzder withdrew before his confirmation vote after it became apparent he would be rejected by the Senate.
  • Prospective Navy Secretary Philip Bilden withdrew before his confirmation vote, saying ethics requirements were too challenging.
  • Prospective Deputy Commerce Secretary Todd Ricketts withdrew before his confirmation vote, saying ethics requirements for his finances were too challenging.

CONGRESS
The legislative branch is controlled by Republicans, but we still have a voice if we're smart about it.
  • Congress was going to eliminate its ethics office, but enormous outcry from every corner forced it to reverse that change.
  • Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has often submitted a bill to sell off 3.3 million acres of public land at fire sale rates.  He did it again this year, thinking finally he could get it passed.  Outrage swamped him, and he withdrew it.

HEALTHCARE
The passage of Obamacare ensured that people now consider it the government's job to make sure everyone gets healthcare.
  • Trump issued an executive order requiring that the government debilitate Obamacare as much as possible.  In compliance, HHS stopped advertising the imminent end of the sign-up period (so fewer people would know about the chance to get insurance), even though the ads had already been paid for!  There was such public scorn over the waste and spite that they had to reverse this decision... the ads ran as planned.  12.2 million people enrolled.
  • After seven years of grandstanding, Republicans in Congress attempted to push through an incredibly unpopular law to replace Obamacare, and couldn't even get it past the House.  The AHCA debacle revealed that both Speaker Ryan's reputation as a wonk and President Trump's reputation as a dealmaker are nonsense.  Obamacare remains the law of the land.

FOREIGN POLICY
America is the richest and most powerful country in the world, but it's our ideals that are truly mighty.
  • As the rubber hits the road, Trump has discovered that he's not really a great negotiator.  Public relations is different than diplomacy, it would seem.  He can't get a meeting with Mexico, he won't be permitted to speak in the UK Parliament, he has gradually backed off from a provocative and stupid move of the American embassy in Israel, and he had to buckle on a bit of ignorant bluster to even get on the phone with the China's Xi Jinping.  The collapse of the myth will lead to the exposure of the truth.
  • Trump's Muslim ban (pdf) met immediate opposition.  Within hours, lawsuits were filed to try to help the legal residents, refugees, and visitors who were affected.  By the end of the next day, judges began ruling against its provisions in Virginia, Washington, New York, Massachusetts, and California.  His acting Attorney-General, Sally Yates, refused to enforce it -- and was fired for the cause.  And then the judge in Seattle halted the entire ban, nationwide -- and his decision was upheld on appeal.  So Trump surrendered and rescinded the order, issuing a second Muslim ban... only to see that one blocked, too.  It appears likely to go to the Supreme Court, where its fate is uncertain... but in the meantime, there are refugees we can save.

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