When Donald Trump held an odd press conference at the White House yesterday, photographers were able to get a few shots of the president’s handwritten notes. Among the talking points the Republican was eager to emphasize: “Dems have no achomlishments.”
It is, to be sure, curious than a 72-year-old president with an Ivy League education – a man who spends an inordinate amount of time talking about how impressed he is with his intellect – isn’t sure how to spell “accomplishments.”
Trump’s idiosyncratic use of the language notwithstanding, the underlying point is clearly important to the president, as evidenced by his latest tweets on the subject, including this one …
“Zero is getting done with the Democrats in charge of the House.”
… and this one.
“Democrats don’t want to fix the loopholes at the Border. They don’t want to do anything.”
Broadly speaking, there are three main problems with this. The first is that it’s demonstrably false.
Since the start of the year, the new House Democratic majority has wasted little time tackling its legislative priorities and passing a series of notable bills. The list includes approval of a disaster relief bill, the Equality Act, a bill to lower prescription drug costs, a couple of other health care bills, a landmark elections-reform package, and an expansion of the Violence Against Women Act.
In the process, Dems have discredited the idea that lawmakers can’t investigate and legislate at the same time.
Republicans will be quick to argue that none of these measure has cleared Congress and been signed into law. That’s true, but it also leads us to the second problem: when Trump whines that “zero is getting done” on Capitol Hill, he’s inadvertently condemning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
It is, after all, the Republican leader in the upper chamber who’s effectively given up on legislating and who’s refused to take up the high-profile bills passed by the Democratic-led House.
Finally, Trump is in a poor position to complain about inactivity, not only because of his own lack of accomplishments, but also because he just announced that he’ll no longer work with Congress.
“Zero is getting done”? Perhaps not, but it appears the only people focusing on governing are the same people the president is whining about.