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Absolutely no question that I favor Trump leaving office (and my reasons are well-documented on my blog.. it’s about the man himself (and less about policy).. but I also stipulate more than once on my blog that this should be done according to the guidelines set forth in the Constitution; either by impeachment, or the President is unable to perform his duties, or thwarting his re-election possibilities later. The Founding Fathers set everything in place inside this document to do just those things.
Political commentator, David Frum, wrote yesterday in The Atlantic “The Problem With ‘Containing’ Donald Trump”…
…regarding a very disconcerting Constitutional crisis possibility evolving in the administration. To be sure, Trump himself on a daily basis seems to bring that out some crisis… but that’s what we see and hear. Frum suggests that there’s some evidence of an “invisible” crisis brewing.. and this is what worries me far more than living with this nutty administration for a full term. Let’s make a few points mentioned in Frum’s article…
- The former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci commented on CNN this last July, “There are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save America from this president,”
- In April, an unnamed senior administration official praised the work of Rex Tillerson, Jim Mattis, and John Kelly, then still secretary of homeland security: “They realize this is a tumultuous White House, and they are serving as a leveling influence over fractious personalities … responsibly protecting the country from enemies both foreign and domestic.” (my underline for emphasis)
- Remember Trump’s transgender Tweet “order” stipulating no trans people will be allowed to serve in the military? Apparently the formal executive order indicates this is prohibition will be under the discretion of the Secretary of Defense to make am judgment on operational readiness; a greatly watered down version of his tweet.
- Now we have the Trump-Corker dispute.. and Corker himself said… “ Trump poses such an acute risk,” the senator said, “that a coterie of senior administration officials must protect him from his own instincts. I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him,”
- Frum suggests that all those bombastic Trump tweet-threats of military action are followed up to the public with far more restrained responses from certain administration members and the military.
The point to all this… are the intelligence agencies and maybe the military(?) learning how to get around the President? It’s one thing to advise the president.. but is there even the slightest chance that information being provided to him to make decisions is somehow being “massaged” to contain any of Trump’s wild-assed responses? Is the staff, and I use that term broadly to include the most important cabinet members, compensating for Trump’s irrepressible behavior and demeanor by “adjusting” context as a way of “walking-on-eggshells” with the man?
Going even further… in such an environment as that, would it be too much of a stretch to imagine the military “dragging its feet” on certain orders from the President? Here’s a greater speculation… if Trump gives the order to attack North Korea… even if in some very limited way, like some commando/Seal Team thing… do you think that some cooler minds in the Pentagon might tend to drag their ass or outright disobey a presidential order? In other words… it’s not difficult to imagine a Cabinet member or a couple generals in the chain resigning under protest in transmitting that order through the ranks. Quite honestly, the public would believe the resigning military more than the President because he’s a proven liar and has no credibility. Talk about a Constitutional crisis.
But let’s imagine a continuing scenario. The intel agencies and/or the military have gotten so adept in “handling” Trump.. that the next president that gets elected that does not fit their decision-making criteria they continue the practice.
He’s Ignorant –
Are there people in the immediate administration and the various defense agencies and the military who are playing on Trump’s ignorance of politics, the intrigue, and flat out not knowing how government works? Very true Trump has managed to fill some important administration positions with equally politically naïve players… which can make this whole speculation even that much more profound. That in itself might suggest Congress and the military aren’t taking the White House seriously on any level. But in spite of Trump’s “swamp draining” of political talent there are still seasoned military in place.. as well as seasoned intel people… and a few in hidden levels of the administration who can actually relate to Congress politically. Oh.. did I just mention Congress? They are in such a turmoil in their respective parties they have little idea what’s going on in the White House. Most certainly the intel agencies and the military have no issue keeping Congress an arm’s distance anyway.
So, Who Are Trump’s Real Friends?
I dunno.. but he’s managed to alienate almost everyone. You tell me. I’m not talking about his “friends” in front of the camera either. This man Trump has a rapidly diminishing list of allies in government.
My Ultimate Concern –
As much as I hate to admit this… but we have to keep straight with the Constitution over our instinctual desire to want Trump removed. The Constitution means more to me than any president, least of all the one we have now. If there are people inside the government and inside the military and intel communities who profess to take it upon themselves to being one of those “cooler minds” in place to contain Trump’s ineptness.. in fact, if anyone currently serving the President is thinking they are there to contain him in some form, be it morally or politically for right or wrong reasons, they should resign now. Thank you for the desire to want to correct a political incorrectness for the good of America… but I relish more the president having loyal followers than saboteurs of the Constitution.
So, What Do We Do??
Sadly, for now we have to rely on that disorganized level of government called Congress, or, one of the following participant requirements as written in the 25th Amendment, Section 4…
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Ok.. some of you might be asking… what makes anyone think that Trump needs this kind of action against him when he likely has some great and grand strategy no one knows about for saving the world from itself? Let’s consider this list…
- If all this is some secret Trumpian grand strategy for promoting his agenda, presenting to the country a ruse in acting like a complete schmuck that is, then that in itself suggests some level of deficiency in being unable to engage the nation or even close staff and presuming only he alone can run the country. That’s not an excuse for just ignoring his zaniness and somehow having “faith” in him. He’s not earned faith from the public from what I can see.
- Members of his administration acknowledge some level of organizational chaos abounds in the White House. Obviously the firings, whacked press conferences, etc. all support something chaotic is going on.
- Members of the administration have suggested some insiders are working to contain the president in order to minimize his spontaneous outbursts and temper.
- Corker, a GOP member of Congress, verifies the “containment” efforts of some administration staff, and he alludes to others in Congress, including the GOP, feeling the same.
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reportedly have forged a “suicide pact” in which all three members of President Trump’s Cabinet would leave if one of them becomes a target of the president. What kind of environment in the White House spawns this kind of thinking among the administration leadership?
This is a sick administration, folks, lead by a president emotionally unable to continue. Someone, somewhere in government needs to get the ball rolling on this. Maybe this is the first time in our nation’s history where we need public demonstrations, not for self-serving “poor me” social recognition, but literally to demonstrate for the removal of the president under the 25th Amendment.
Do I think this process would work? No, I don’t honestly think that would work unless Trump tried to launch a nuke… and even then I am sure his base would praise him for it. No one has the political kahunas. But truly.. this is beyond all partisan and divisive ideology. I would totally LOVE putting Pence in charge… as a place holder until the next election. Trump is hurting this country in ways we are not looking at. We need some “Dump Trump”. Maybe those pro ball players can put their the-police-are-treating-me-unfair-because-I-am-black anthem-kneeling routine on hold enough to focus on the leader of the country needing to be removed.
Here’s some thoughts of what can be done to apply pressure on those that are part of the 25th Amendment process. Remember, this idea of removing a sitting president using other than the impeachment process will be gut-wrenching to the divisive country. That in itself will be a challenge to overcome given so many in Trump’s base will follow him to the depths of hell if necessary. This presidency has broken all norms and this process will certainly do that as well.
- Public demonstrations
- Constant public rebuke from public figures across the spectrum.. politicians, Hollywood, business icons, etc.
- There are five surviving ex-presidents. It’s been a tradition.. not a law… that ex-presidents keep quiet regarding the performance of other active presidents. A kind of professional courtesy. Do we hold to that tradition while the president continues the uncontrollable nose dive with the country with him? We have an active president that has proven extraordinary deficiencies to govern. If one or all of these guys believed that in their hearts then they should speak up. It is quite possible that the public opinions of this group alone could carry public opinion pressure. Just because you are an ex-president doesn’t excuse you from being American.
- If you are a religious person, pray.
(No.. the media should report who and what is being said as a natural process of reporting the news. Commentary is different… and it should be easily separated.)
I’m not afraid of some nuke-in-development missile from a Third World country maybe hitting the U.S. I’m afraid of the Constitution being compromised.
Please Carry On, America