At the very beginning of 2017, Al Perrotta, a Christian minister and managing editor of conservative website TheStream.org, wrote a “recap” of the entire year, predicting in advance what the first year of Donald Trump‘s presidency would look like.
As you might expect, Perrotta took a lot of victory laps in his mind, even though, in reality, his horse stumbled out of the gate (and brought everyone else down in the process).
Let’s run through some of those predictions to see how they actually played out. (I’m not going through all of them. Just the ones that stood out as being spectacularly wrong.)
The Inaugural Balls were a sight to see. President Trump had dramatically cut back on the number of official balls. For all the talk of his considerable ego, Donald Trump didn’t feel the need to squander extra millions and run all over town to be repeatedly celebrated.
While Trump only attended three inaugural balls, far fewer than his predecessors, squandering extra millions has been one of the defining traits of this president. His golf trips alone have cost taxpayers more than $42 million. (And the total spent on vacations is far exceeding President Obama.)
As for being repeatedly celebrated, there’s nothing Trump loves more than hearing people praise him. That’s why his own Cabinet has to genuflect in front of the cameras until it’s just embarrassing.
A bipartisan infrastructure effort passed over the objections of fiscal conservatives. Heads exploded across the land at the sight of Trump and Nancy Pelosi hugging on the White House lawn. Fear not. She would call him a “racist” days later when he unveiled the blueprints for his Border Wall. The artistic renderings wisely emphasized the wide and welcoming “Freedom Plazas” as much as the imposing barrier.
There’s no infrastructure bill.
Trump chose to eliminate Obamacare first… and failed. He then chose to raise taxes, over time, on the poor and middle class in order to fund tax cuts for the wealthy, and succeeded only after Republicans rammed the bill through Congress as quickly as possible with no effort at getting bipartisan support. (Not a single Democrat voted for the bill.)
As for the border wall, we still don’t have a blueprint, just prototypes, and there’s literally no funding for the complete construction of it.
In partnership with Sen. Rand Paul and the Government Accountability Office, Donald Trump announced the hiring of 1000 forensic accountants to audit the books of not only the Fed, but of the entire federal government. “I want the GAO to be as frightening to people who abuse tax dollars as the IRS is to Americans who pay those tax dollars.”
Ha! Hahahahahahaha. There’s little government accountability, and it certainly hasn’t improved thanks to the support of the GOP. Trump can’t even hire people to fill necessary roles in his own administration. He won’t hire forensic accountants for the same reason he won’t release his taxes: Why be transparent when the GOP can enrich itself behind layers of red tape? The tax bill alone will save Trump more than an estimated $11 million a year.
Building on the work already done in inner cities by the likes of NFL legend Jim Brown, Dr. Ben Carson begins operating on America’s urban areas. Speaking endlessly on the importance of personal responsibility and the benefits of working hard, Carson starts convincing those in the inner cities that having a successful life “is not brain surgery.” Carson shrugs off complaints from the Left about stressing the importance of the church’s involvement in the rebirth of our inner city communities.
Dr. Ben Carson has been a disaster as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He doesn’t know how to do his job, and his funding has been cut, making it even more difficult for people in poverty to get a leg up.
Flint, Michigan, gets an extra boost in its revitalization effort after a tweet from Donald Trump to Michael Moore: “Help Us … or Shut the H*** Up! #Flint”. A viral photo of Trump and Moore with arms around each other was named “The Most Scandalous Picture of 2017.”
“Where were you when you heard about The Indictment?” That was the most asked question of 2017, and likely will be asked for years to come. Nobody will even have to say “Which indictment?”
The announcement came suddenly, and like a neutron bomb, out of the New York office of the FBI, on a Friday evening in April. Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin and several Clinton Foundation executives would face hundreds of criminal counts in connection with Hillary’s pay-to-play dealings while Secretary of State and other schemes. Count after count: bribery, kickbacks, lying to the FBI, campaign finance violations, RICO conspiracy charges, misdirecting Haitian relief funds, and on-and-on.
Hillary denied all charges. Bill Clinton blamed vindictive Republicans. Chelsea Clinton remained silent.
Hillary Clinton was booked and released on her own recognizance in September. Her now-immortal mugshot created a cottage industry of related products. But the good-natured ribbing and sense of triumph in some circles over Hillary’s fall was tempered by the very clear evidence that the former Secretary of State was not well. Despite charges her illness is being played up to win sympathy for potential jurors, Americans by over 2-to-1 believe Clinton will never make it to trial.
This may be the most wildly inaccurate prediction of them all.
Hillary Clinton is clean — despite numerous attempts by Republicans to blame her for everything bad that has ever happened ever. Meanwhile, four people have already been indicted in Robert Mueller‘s investigation into whether there was collusion between the Russian government and those working for Trump, possible obstruction of justice, and even financial crimes.
The “most asked question” isn’t about Clinton. It’s how deep into Trump’s inner circle Mueller will be able to get. And how soon it’ll happen.
And finally, Donald Trump did apologize for some of his Presidential tweets. However, at no point, did he apologize for America.
Trump hasn’t apologized for anything, even though his tweets as president have gotten even more awful than many people suspected.
While Trump hasn’t apologized for America, a hell of a lot of Americans will have to apologize for Trump well into the future.
It’s amazing how many major things Perrotta got wrong. Even psychics tend to fare better with their yearly predictions. But it’s not surprising that conservatives wildly overplayed their hand with Trump; Republican bravado finally caught up with them when they were given actual responsibility. Simply put, if Democrats ever did even a fraction of the things the GOP did this year — passing a bill that overhauls the entire economy with no hearings, disregarding the Congressional Budget Office numbers, ignoring the other side of the aisle, refusing to hold town hall meetings, taking no action on the most significant issues affecting our nation, etc. — every single Republican would be complaining about it non-stop.
The GOP’s hypocrisy is in full display for everyone to see.
I looked at TheStream’s website last night to see if Perrotta has ever acknowledged just how wrong he was. Of course he hasn’t. He was still celebrating Trump’s victory a year later. (He also backed Roy Moore before his special election loss, in case you wanted more evidence of his bad judgment.)
This is the real problem with the GOP’s base. It’s bad enough they support a party that pretends to have principles, then abandons them when they obtain power. It’s that so many Republican voters refuse to accept that they’ve been duped. Trump’s policies — the ones he manages to pass, anyway — will ultimately hurt people who don’t have a lot of money, need access to affordable health care, and work in blue-collar jobs. Many of those people voted for Trump because they believed he’d rescue them.
How much evidence will it take for them to accept that the GOP doesn’t give a damn about them?
(Image via Shutterstock)