Now we know why the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed operations on May 21. It wasn't because Americans no longer loved a circus. It's because they could no longer compete. The "greatest show on earth" had now relocated to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Don't believe it? Just ask the ringmaster. In every way, the Trump administration is the "greatest ever." When he announced for president, Donald Trump said he would be "the greatest jobs president God ever created." As president-elect, introducing his Cabinet, he asserted that "we have by far the highest IQ of any Cabinet ever."
And since moving into the White House, things just keep getting greater and greater, at least in his own mind. Trump told the Wall Street Journal: "I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them." The Boy Scouts deny that such a call was made. And after swearing in his new chief of staff, Trump predicted that John Kelly would go down as "one of the greatest ever" chiefs of staff.
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Of course, Trump is most effusive when it comes to self-praise. On July 6, in Poland, he gave "the greatest speech ever made on foreign soil by a president." Just ask him. To be fair, he doesn't claim to be the greatest president ever, but only the second greatest: "With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that's ever held this office."
And, wouldn't you know, with the exception of FDR, Trump claims nobody has accomplished more in six months: "Never has there been a president, with few exceptions – FDR, he had a major depression to handle – who has passed more legislation and who has done more things than what we've done."
Sounds good, but it's simply not the case. The truth is, so far Donald Trump has a dismal record, compared to his predecessors. Within two months, Bill Clinton had signed the Family and Medical Leave Act, George W. Bush had pushed through massive tax cuts, and Barack Obama had delivered a $787 billion stimulus. In his first six months, Donald Trump accomplished absolutely nothing.
The first milestone was Trump's 100-day mark. Leading up to it, he crowed: "No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days." Not true, according to the numbers alone. In their first 100 days, FDR signed 76 bills and Harry Truman signed 55. Donald Trump signed 28 bills.
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Trump's boast is not true according to substance, either. Of 76 bills signed by FDR, presidential historians count 15 as "major pieces of legislation," including creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. How many of Trump's 28 bills were rated "major"? Zero.
As of Aug. 3, Donald Trump had signed into law 42 bills, only one of which is considered "major" legislation. Under provisions of the Congressional Review Act, 15 of them merely roll back regulations adopted by the Obama administration. The rest are essentially housekeeping measures, like naming a new federal building in Nashville for Fred Thompson, a former senator from Tennessee. In fact, according to the Washington Post, 60 percent of the bills signed by Trump are only one-page long, which, more than anything else, speaks to their lack of complexity or impact. It doesn't take a lot of ink to name a new veterans health-care clinic in Pago Pago.
Notably absent until Aug. 2 was any bill to reflect the power Republicans possess in controlling the House, Senate and White House. Ironically, that bill increases sanctions on Russia: a bill Trump opposed. He signed it only because it was veto-proof – having passed the House 419-3 and the Senate 98-2 – and only after condemning it as "unconstitutional." And he signed his first major piece of legislation in private, with no signing ceremony.
Meanwhile, the man who calls himself the greatest president ever has failed to chalk up one major legislative accomplishment. He moves into the eighth month of his presidency with nothing to show on infrastructure, tax reform, or the border wall – and with repeal of Obamacare, his No. 1 legislative goal, having gone down in flames.
With all of his bragging about everything else being the biggest and greatest, I don't even want to know what Donald Trump says about a certain part of his anatomy. But he's probably lying about that, too.