Ed.: 010918 – Words: 777 – Audio: N/A
We all acknowledge that the four ways to remove a president from office… legally…. Is vote him/her out when the time comes, impeachment, force him politically to resign, and the good old 25th Amendment. Voting out a sitting president, like after a first term, is not a quick remedy, takes time.. and most important, it takes a complete election cycle of campaigning and political posturing. Yet it can work (with the risk that the results could go the other way), the results are decisive, and while everyone will not be happy by the end of the day, we can all honor the system and the Constitution.
This country has experienced impeachment proceedings before with mixed results. More or less it ends up being a unique look into Constitutional process and a good civics lesson. One drawback, as it should be, is that it forces attention away from the necessary work of running the country for both the President and Congress. I would consider this the requisite public investment in the process; government essentially placed on hold for the (apparent) more important issue of dealing with a questionable president. It’s a consuming process for two branches of government and should not be used frivolously. The extraordinary thing with the impeachment process in our land of laws, innocent-until-proven-guilty legal system, is that the process of impeachment is not legal juris prudence but an administrative evaluation of conduct while in office. It always makes me smirk a little when Trump supporters who are trying to deflect impeachment talk, seeming to be citing a need for some “judicial” reason befitting the “high crimes & misdemeanors” clause. Um, no. Congress… the House specifically because that’s where it starts, can pretty much justify what they will as being a high crime & misdemeanor as it relates to the Congressional desire for assigning a reason to impeach. In other words, the rules are, there are no rules. Now, the reality is there is a tendency to apply certain common sense applications to legal precepts and definitions of “impropriety”.. but all that is not required. And forget the Supreme Court… at best they are just casual observers when it’s the Senate’s turn at bat in the process.
Exercising the 25th Amendment… well, as seductive as that avenue of approach might be to travel on, especially these days, it would be a scary route to take for any number of reasons. It’s way more than just getting a bunch of cabinet Secretaries and the VP to sign what amounts to a petition to get the VP active post haste, but there’s the back-and-forth with Congress to make it permanent one way or the other. It would be an almost political apocalyptic nightmare scenario. So given all the 25th caveats… why should we even bother talking about Trump’s mental state? Why do we need to ever care when Tillerson calls Trump a “fucking moron”… or some tell-all book pops out with people in Trump’s inner circle spilling the beans about his erratic behavior… or that Trump himself continues to make himself and the country look like a laughing stock on the world stage with those juvenile Tweets?
Well, here’s a thought. Persistence means something. Here’s the thing… Trump brings all this down on himself. The more he confirms his nut behavior, the more it’s reported, the more people are exposed to it, the less he will be able to do any more damage than he already has. While Trump is generally pretty dense on reading the public’s perception of him, each slam in the news is a language he will have to come to grips with at some point down the line. On the other hand, Trump’s base is reveling at all the chaos of Trumpian behavior.. and then assigning some level of genius to Trump for playing his critics.
It doesn’t matter. With each passing day, with the submission of each ignorant Tweet, Trump pushes his buffoonery and whacked temperament to the limelight. Of course there will be no removal by 25th Amendment. But the more people who bring it up… the more people who question his performance… the more he displays his nonsense Tweets… the more he bullies and lies… well, the more he will hear about it… and you know what? He hates it all. Will he hate it all enough to resign? Nah.. not likely. But like his entire presidency… stay tuned because you never know.