Nine months into his first year as president, Donald Trump still doesn't have any meaningful accomplishments, but don't worry, he's certain he's "ahead of schedule." This was the point Trump seemed eager to emphasize in his speech to the Values Voter Summit's audience on Friday.
"I'm here to thank you for your support and to share with you how we are delivering on that promise, defending our shared values, and in so doing, how we are renewing the America we love."In the last 10 months, we have followed through on one promise after another. I didn't have a schedule, but if I did have a schedule, I would say we are substantially ahead of schedule."
This is an underappreciated staple of the president's rhetorical repertoire. As regular readers may recall, Trump has said, for example, that construction of a border wall is "way ahead of schedule." He's said his plans to overhaul veterans' care are "ahead of schedule." He's insisted that his proposed far-right changes to Americans education are "ahead of schedule."
And in late May, Trump boasted that his tax-cut plan is "actually ahead of schedule."
The trouble, of course, is that none of these claims are true. In fact, when it comes to passing massive tax breaks, the Trump administration expected the entire endeavor to be done by August -- suggesting Team Trump is pretty far behind schedule.
As for his presidency overall, Trump said Friday he doesn't have a schedule, but that's not quite right. Before the election, the Republican sketched out a plan for what he'd accomplish in his first 100 days, and now, months later, Trump still hasn't had any meaningful successes in any of those areas.
That's effectively left the president with a binary set of options: Trump can either craft some excuses for his lack of accomplishments or he can pretend everything is right on track. Evidently, facts be damned, he's sticking with the latter.