Donald Trump Is Too Dumb to Implement His Own Policies

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Donald Trump seems to believe that presidents are allowed to change policies with the stroke of a pen. They aren’t. Longstanding law requires that changes can’t be arbitrary or capricious, which means the executive branch has to explain why they’re changing things. As the Washington Post documents today, Trump still hasn’t gotten the message:

Federal judges have ruled against the Trump administration at least 63 times over the past two years, an extraordinary record of legal defeat that has stymied large parts of the president’s agenda on the environment, immigration and other matters.

….The normal “win rate” for the government in such cases is about 70 percent, according to analysts and studies. But as of mid-January, a database maintained by the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law shows Trump’s win rate at about 6 percent.

Seth Jaffe, a Boston-based environmental lawyer who represents corporations and had been looking forward to deregulation, said the administration has failed to deliver….Some errors are so basic that Jaffe said he has to wonder whether agency officials are more interested in announcing policy shifts than in actually implementing them. “It’s not just that they’re losing. But they’re being so nuts about it,” he said, adding that the losses in court have “set regulatory reform back for a period of time.”

If I had a choice, I’d still choose a normal Republican like Mike Pence or Ted Cruz over Donald Trump. However, a normal Republican would also have hired normal aides who understood the legal rules governing deregulation and would have been far more successful at pressing his agenda. Trump is so incompetent he can’t get anything done. If there’s a silver lining to his presidency, that’s it.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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