Despite all the noise generated by White House tweets, dramatic protests and high-level posturing, the nation goes on much as it did before the current administration.
This becomes clear in a sweeping glance at the landscape.
A promised trillion-dollar infrastructure plan has yet to materialize. President Donald Trump now calls public-private partnerships — which he earlier touted as a solution — “more trouble than they’re worth.”
Calls to cut taxes continue, but the plan is only a sketchy work in progress on Capitol Hill. Trump’s call to do away with state and local tax deductions on federal forms has met serious resistance in the Senate and House.
For the time being, Obamacare and Dodd-Frank remain on the books.
The North American Free Trade Agreement has yet to be abrogated. Trade with China remains significant.
Transgender soldiers have yet to be ejected and banned from the U.S. military.
It is tough to tease out the impact of that one-off American missile strike in Syria.
The Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran is still in effect.
North Korea continues to be a nuke-wielding menace. Relations with Russia remain strained. Qatar is locked in a cold war with Saudi Arabia, with the United States having issued conflicting positions.
NATO is intact despite last year’s campaign buzz. Turkey, as before, wants a dissident cleric returned from Pennsylvania. The environmental and economic impacts of U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accords, if any, remain to be seen.
Measuring the impact of the administration’s removal of hundreds of federal agency regulations will prove complicated and varied.
The National Football League plays on following the president’s agitation over symbolic kneeling during the national anthem. The NFL, an old target of Trump’s, shrugged off as expected the president’s advice to fire those who demonstrate.
Debate over Confederate statues goes on.
Illegal border traffic is reported down from 2016. So are deportations, including those of criminals, despite increased ICE arrests. Would-be visitors from a number of mostly Muslim nations are inconvenienced and deterred, but vetting has yet to become “extreme.”
The last regime’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has been ordered to be canceled, yet the president made clear he wants Congress to carry out the basic goal of DACA. Whether lawmakers will do so remains uncertain.
The border wall with Mexico still awaits a commitment of full funding as federal contractors offer designs. And with lobbyists still doing brisk business, evidence is awaited as to how the Washington “swamp” is being “drained.”
The question is what if anything comes to full fruition as the first year of the Trump term wanes.