TWO events over the past few days provide a perfect snapshot of one year into Donald Trump’s dysfunctional presidency.

Yesterday, just around the time that Trump was opening a celebration dinner at the “winter White House” at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the real seat of government in Washington began a federal shutdown after Congress failed to overcome a bitter standoff over spending and immigration.

Seemingly oblivious to the political crisis in the capital though, the spending of those attending the lavish dinner was far from being a problem.

Their $100,000-per-couple tickets bought a photo-op and a meal, while $250,000 bought access to a round table chat with the night’s honoree.

The partying had started as early as Thursday with Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro, opening her keynote speech, with the immortal words, “Welcome to Mar-a-Lago, a magnificent place. It sure ain’t no shithole.”

That evening, and last night when Trump himself finally made time to be among his true constituency of wealthy supporters, all the governmental chaos 1,000 miles away in Washington was casually cast aside.

There is nothing new in this of course, given that this was the twelfth time in the last year Trump has been at Mar-a-Lago, irrespective of what political crisis home or away America might be facing.

In a breathless account of Thursday’s celebrations, the appropriately named Buzzfeed News reporter Tarini Parti, herself a guest, told of how, for those in attendance, Trump is not just a “very stable genius” – he’s a “damn genius”. He’s a “messiah” and “saviour,” and the least-racist person any of these socialites know.

One year on from his inauguration as the 45th President of the United States, not everyone concurs with the well-heeled socialites inhabiting Mar-a-Lago these past few days.

Other less sycophantic Americans point to the fact that nearly a year after Trump’s inauguration the committee that raised a record $106.7 million for the event has not disclosed how much surplus money it still has or provided a final accounting of its finances.

“We must declaim to comment at this time,” was all Kristin Celauro, spokeswoman for the inaugural committee’s chairman Thomas Barrack, would say last week in response to an inquiry by USA Today newspaper about the committee’s finances.

Barrack, a California investment manager and long-time Trump friend, has said consistently that remaining funds would go to charity and that the committee had planned more contributions “that serve America’s agenda.”

Serving America’s agenda and making it “great again” have of course been Trump’s campaigning slogans ever since that damp Washington day twelve months ago when he swore his oath of allegiance.

His inaugural address depicted a dystopian country. “American carnage” was the phrase he used to describe a vision of decaying factories, inner-city poverty, and a population terrorised by drugs, gangs and violent crime.

“We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon,” Trump said. The irony was not lost on many Americans then or now. “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first,” Trump went on to repeat ad-nauseam. Since then it’s mainly been Trump first and foremost.

According to Eliot A Cohen, a Professor of Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins University and former Republican foreign policy official, Trump’s inaugural address only confirmed the fears of many that he viewed the world in darkly narrow, zero-sum terms.

On becoming president, says Cohen, many people wondered just how abnormal his administration, and particularly his foreign policy, would be.

Since then most have been trying to digest or come to terms with the shocks and upheavals created by Trump’s response to challenges home and away.

“Being in office has done little to moderate Trump’s belligerent rhetoric, improve his commitment to facts, or alter his views on trade and international agreements,” insists Cohen.

One year on Trump’s presidential report card, at best, makes for discomfiting reading and at worst is a true horror story dominated by disruption, provocative tweets, derisive language and epic feuds.

At home any assessment has to start with the economy, given how much store Trump set by it in both his election campaign and inaugural address.

To hear him tell it, America’s strong economy is the happy result of his policies. “American business is hot again!” Trump tweeted last weekend.

What most analysts flag up, however, is that Trump inherited an economy that was on a good trajectory with solid job growth and low unemployment. His predecessor, President Obama, was the one who implemented the right policies to get the American economy on track and growing again after the Great Recession.

Two simple facts need to be borne in mind here. The first is that when Obama left office he had presided over the biggest run of private-sector job creation in history. The second is that more jobs were created in Obama’s last year than were created in Trump’s first year in office.

“Trump is a very loud rooster taking credit for the dawn,” says David Axelrod, a former Obama adviser and now director of the University of Chicago's Institute on Politics.

Where economists agree that Trump’s own policies have had a positive effect is that his massive corporate tax cuts appear to be a factor in boosting confidence, particularly among US businesses.

As Maria Cardona writing in the political online magazine, The Hill, recently pointed out, the question remains, will middle-class and working-class voters see their incomes rise in the long-term?

“Given that only 26 per cent approved of the corporate tax cuts that passed late last year, they are not feeling economically secure yet. So as we grade on the economy, Obama gets an 'A,' Trump gets an 'Incomplete,' Cardona concluded.

In terms of health care Cardona, like other White House observers, says that Trump gets a “whopping failing grade”.

His and the GOP’s obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act led to their embarrassing defeat last year on the floor of the Senate.

“Turns out when you try to take away health care from tens of millions of Americans and replace it with a plan that no one likes, you lose,” was how Cardona summed up Trump’s damaging decision.

Trump’s staunchest critics simply point to the fact that in the short span of one year he has also fanned the flames of white supremacy at home, grossly offended women and readily shown authoritarian tendencies.

For many Americans the very word ‘Trump’ has now entered their lexicon as a slur. Apparently, the word is even used as a racist taunt at high school basketball games. The presidential historian Jon Meacham says this is without precedent: “virgin territory”, he told the New York Times.

One recent poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal show a substantial shift in attitude among many Americans toward the Trump presidency.

“At the time of his inauguration, ‘hopeful’ was the word most used word about the 2016 results,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. “But at the end of his first year, ‘disgust’ was the word most cited about him.”

When asked which one or two accomplishments made them feel the most positive about Trump, 20 per cent of Americans cited a strong economy and low unemployment; 13 per cent said “putting America first”; 10 per cent said the tax legislation that Trump signed into law late last year; and another 10 per cent said the military successes against the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria.

This last perceived foreign policy success is not unlike that ‘success’ in improving in the US economy. In other words, it was something already in train before Trump took office.

Certainly his administration did increase resources and lifted restrictions on US military commanders, but at most his administration expanded and accelerated an effort launched by the Obama administration.

On the wider foreign policy front many Washington officials are simply glad that the world did not blow up or World War III broke out during the course of the last year.

This reassuringly non-apocalyptic foreign policy says Eliot A Cohen, Professor of Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins University was more a product of good fortune than restraint, and of the resistance of subordinates rather than Trump’s growth. Nonetheless is has not stopped Trump making many seriously bad decisions on the global stage.

“Trump had evinced a partiality for foreign strongmen, derided US allies as a gang of freeloaders, proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States, sneered at Mexicans, and denounced free-trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the nascent Trans-Pacific Partnership, while demonstrating little understanding of most other dimensions of international politics,” points out Cohen.

Perhaps, above all else, it’s the popular perception of Trump as an incompetent, dysfunctional, uncaring, lose cannon of a man that has resonated most profoundly amongst many ordinary people worldwide and been the most damaging aspect to his presidency. Here after all is a politician who has drastically changed how the president interacts with everyone from world leaders to the press, particularly in terms of his communication with the masses via Twitter.

In this social media age with its snap shots or gobbets of data it’s not surprising that some have tallied his first year in the White House simply in short sharp numbers, and how telling it is too.

In his first 12 months Trump has tweeted over 2500 times, including 174 mentions of “fake news”. Only twice has he posted directly from the official @POTUS account, rather than his personal @realDonaldTrump account.

Other numbers speak volumes of his ‘style’ of presidency. While Obama signed 41 executive orders during his first year Trump has signed 5,8 the highest total for any single presidential year (from January 20 to January 19) so far this century.

Let’s not forget, too, that according to the US General Services Administration, the Trump family has spent some $1.75 million on White House furniture, rugs, wallpaper and other furnishings as they renovated the 55,000 sq-ft mansion and surrounding buildings.

Then of course there are the president’s golfing habits with Trump visiting a golf course every four days on average during his first year.

Which brings us back to the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where much of that golf has been played and where this weekend with this wealthy supporters he celebrates his first year in office.

In a mass email a few days ago Trump offered supporters the chance to “win dinner with President Trump at the best spot in Florida, on the ANNIVERSARY of the people’s inauguration”.

In typical provocative Trump fashion it also went on to say that, “While liberals will be taking to the streets outraged over the success of President Trump’s policies, you could be spending the anniversary of such a landmark moment in American history with the president himself”.

The liberals Trump is having a dig at are those tens of thousands of people people who have registered on social media to join events in cities across the US, UK and the world.

The protests come one year on from the global Women’s March that saw millions take to the streets at what they saw as Trump’s misogyny and objectification of women.

These protests along with the US government shutdown after the Senate failed to agree on a new budget seem like a fitting and telling act to the drama of Donald Trump’s first year as US president.

From the “American carnage” of his inaugural address to “alternative facts,” the Comey firing, Mueller probe, Charlottesville and “shithole”, very few US presidents have had a worse first year. Few believe that things are likely to get any better.