Now that President Donald Trump’s 100-day milestone has come and gone, Rachel Maddow’s general assessment seems to be: It could be worse.
During an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers Tuesday night, the MSNBC host said of Trump, “He does not understand the most basic things about what he is trying to pass when it comes to health care. So that’s weird.
“I mean, it’s weird, it’s like the overall question is: Are you comforted by his incompetence?” Maddow asked. “Would you rather have a competent person trying to do bad things or would you rather have an incompetent person trying to do bad things? It’s like being stupid versus being ugly, like one of those can change. You know what I’m saying? Like he could get better at it.”
For point of contrast, Seth Meyers brought up Sen. Ted Cruz, who he said “knows exactly how the Senate works, exactly how Congress works.” If Cruz were president and had the House and Senate on his side, “you would have to assume someone like that would be far more effective than Trump has been.”
“To some degree, his lack of knowledge about how D.C. has worked has been an advantage to people who would not have wanted him to get this position in the first place,” Meyers added.
Maddow said she has seen a few big “surprises” so far in the Trump era. One of them being that even with the White House and both branches of the legislature in his control, “he can pass nothing.”
“In 100 days he passed no major legislation and the only major legislation he is set to pass now that we're past his 100 days is this big spending bill which has nothing in it that he wants, and everything that the Democrats want,” she continued. “Like, how did that happen? So their inability to get stuff done even with unified control of government, that’s weird.”
The other big surprise, Maddow said, has been the resurgence of “civil engagement” from the resistance to Trump. She also expressed some dismay at the fact that Trump has not toned down much of his campaign rhetoric, including the “lock her up” chants about Hillary Clinton.
“We’re not Uzbekistan, you know what I mean? So that stuff not changing since the campaign is I think surprising and worrying,” Maddow said, before concluding, “I am comforted by the fact that he can’t do anything that he wants to do. But I’m worried that he will figure it out.”
As for the Democratic Party in the first 100 days of Trump, Maddow said they need to “discover their inner water skier.” By that, she meant that instead of trying to lead the way they need to let themselves be dragged by the boat that is “the people.”
“Counting on the Democratic Party and its elected officials to sort of lead an election campaign against Trump, or to lead on policy stuff, or to lead people toward making Democratic choices hasn’t been working,” Maddow admitted. “If the Democrat Party’s elected officials sit back and watch that and take their cues” from the activists on the ground, she said, “I think they’ll be unstoppable.”