Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of my January 20, 2017 blog post, "On Trump's first day as president, I predict his next four years."
Overall I give myself a C+ grade on the ten predictions, since at this point five seem True, four are equivocal, and one is absolutely False.
Here's what I said Trump would do, along with comments on my soothsaying.
While it certainly feels as if those four years should be up by now, in much the same way that a painful root canal seems to take forever, obviously my first prediction merits an Incomplete:
(1) There's a good chance Trump won't be president for his full term.
This still seems likely to me. Mueller's investigation probably will turn up some incriminating stuff that hasn't been revealed yet. And the chances of Democrats taking back at least the House of Representatives seem increasingly likely, which would bring the possibility of impeachment.
(2) Trump isn't going to accomplish most of what he promised.
I generously gave my second prediction a True. A President's first year in office tends to be a high-water mark, accomplishment-wise. The Gorsuch appointment to the Supreme Court was a win, and the tax bill was a major victory for Trump, but it only passed due to the use of the arcane reconciliation process, and with only Republican votes.
The chart above is the Politifact Trump-O-Meter that tracks his campaign promises. He's not doing very well so far, judging by the smallness of the blue "Promise Kept" slice.
(3) The Affordable Care Act will be altered, yet survive.
I'm giving myself a True, since Trump and his GOP allies only have been able to weaken the Affordable Care Act, not kill it. Optimistically, I continue to think it will survive through Trump's first (and hopefully last) term, if only because doing away with the Affordable Care Act completely would cause so much havoc, pressure for a single payer health care system would rise in response.
(4) So I can see Trumpcare as being closely akin to Obamacare.
This rates an Incomplete, since I really have no idea what Trump wants for an Obamacare replacement. In fact, it's hard to tell what Trump wants in any other policy area either. He's been way less reasonable and presidential than even my low expectations for him a year ago.
(5) Foreign policy will be a disaster.
To my mind this prediction deserves a True. Sure, so far Trump hasn't gotten us into a new war or done anything exceedingly horrendous. But it's hard to see how something really bad isn't going to happen with North Korea, Iran, or some other part of the world given Trump's incapacity for strategic thinking and cooperation with allies.
(6) Scandals will rock the Trump administration.
Bingo! I nailed this prediction! I did so well, I'll quote myself in full:
It's hard to see how this won't happen. Trump himself is a walking Scandal Machine. Many of his top appointees are cocky, rich, and used to doing what they want. If investigative journalists do their job, a big "if," the next four years could make Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton look like presidential scandal amateurs.
(7) Existing trade agreements like NAFTA won't be changed much.
Well, to date this gets a True. I said that Trump will make a few modifications to NAFTA, but won't pull out of the trade agreement. He did pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but that wasn't an existing agreement.
(8) Few undocumented immigrants will be deported.
Half-True, I'd say. PolitiFact reports that overall, deportations are less than in the last two years of the Obama administration, though deportations of people already living in this country are higher. Trump hasn't shown any sign of deporting millions of people, and as I predicted, "He'll build some fencing, but not a wall. And Mexico won't pay for it."
(9) The United States will remain in the Paris climate change agreement.
I blew this prediction. False. Well, perhaps False, since the United States has just given notice of an intent to leave the agreement and can't actually do so until November 4, 2020 -- the day after our next presidential election.
(10) Trump will do a few good things.
I'm giving myself a False on this last prediction, since I can't think of anything that Trump has done that's clearly good from my progressive perspective. He's been much more of a traditional conservative than I thought (and hoped) he would be, given his populist, "drain the swamp" campaign talk.
I predicted such things as "getting pharmaceutical prices down, simplifying the Byzantine tax code, and possibly getting a massive infrastructure spending bill through Congress," none of which has happened.
Trump has been a much worse president than I expected, and my expectations a year ago were damn low.
He's had lots of opportunities to work with Democrats on policies that both R's and D's basically agree on, such as protecting the DACA/Dreamer undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children, which today has led to an apparent federal government shutdown.
The United States will survive Trump, there's little doubt about that. The question is, how much damage will he and his Republican cohorts do to this country before Trump is either forced from office, or fails to be re-elected in 2020?