Trump Therapy 2.1 -- UnPresidented
It didn't take long for Team Trump's modus operandi to become obvious.
Its all about sneaky, covert actions; all about doing things without any announcement, and imposing their agenda through Executive Orders. It precisely the opposite of what Trump promised in his speech yesterday. Trump isn't “giving power back to the people”, in fact, he is doing everything he can to exclude “the people”.
In fact, Trump's actions yesterday were, if not unprecedented (I've only look back to Reagan), then “unpresidented”. No President from Reagan onward has signed anything of consequence or controversy until at least a week into their term.
Barack Obama signed two Executive Orders on his first full day (nothing on Inauguration day itself). The first made Presidential records more accessible (essentially revoking a Bush EO, that severely restricted access.) The second imposed new lobbying restrictions on White House employees, and imposed a pay freeze on White House staff making more than $100K.
The next day, Obama signed three more – all dealing with Guantanamo. One reaffirmed the prohibition against torture. The other two ordered reviews of detention policy, and of the individuals being held at Guantanamo.
That's it. No sweeping policy changes. In fact, nothing that affected any “average Americans.” And while there were 11 additional “housekeeping” EO from Obama, it wasn't until March 9th that Obama signed anything remotely “controversial” – the revocation of Bush's EO prohibiting stem cell research.
As for GW Bush himself, he didn't sign any EOs until 9 days after his inauguration, and the first possibly “controversial” ones came in mid-Feb. Clinton signed an ethics EO on Jan 20, 1993, and his first marginally controversial EO was in late April (on ozone pollution.) GHW Bush's first was also ethics related (Jan 25, 1998) and nothing controversial was signed until April 26 (aid to Contras). And Reagan didn't issue an EO until Jan 28, 1981, on the decontrol of oil prices.Source
But Trump issued two. One raised the costs--for working class and middle class Americans--of getting an FHA mortgage by an average of $500/yr. The other opens the door to the entire gutting of the ACA. Trump neither repeals nor replaces it -- he just signed a vaguely worded EO that allows for an end to the individual mandate -- and thus the end of affordable insurance for anyone not covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or employer based insurance.
And, Trump initiated a covert assault on civil rights enforcement... not with an Executive Order, but by instructing Justice Dept lawyers to ask for delays on two key civil rights cases "in order to brief the new leadership of the Department". No such delay for a "briefing" seems to be required for the Justice Department to continue to pursue the rest of its agenda.