Ed.: 101317 – Words: 1386 – Audio: N/A
As the campaign droned on it was fairly easy to witness that candidate Trump’s behavior across the board was pretty much a tell-tale sign of what might be coming should he get elected. Like most of America I was comforted by the thought that his erratic behavior would be so obvious that the only common sense result from average level-headed Americans was that he was an aberration and simply would… could… not win. To the delight of those on the conservative side, be it the far right, near right, alt-right, or disenfranchised former democrats, Trump won. The outcome of his presidency to date has been of little surprise to me overall, although daily I am held in shock & awe of what he does and does not do that’s appalling.
I started this blog as my response to his winning the election and for the most part I tend to not share in the so-called “official” reasons for his winning that some write books about. Party strategy miscalculations, foreign hacking intervention, ill-timed commentary of alleged investigations… all that is basically election woulda-shoulda-coulda. No… I think it was two things…
- The obsolete electoral college system (given Trump lost the popular vote.. but that does not count as it should in this day and age)
- Americans are apathetic toward voting; the worst percentage in the civilized world. It’s true that one can never be sure if even all Americans voted how the results might fall, the trend of the popular vote might have not favored Trump in the electoral college if more Americans voted.
From the get-go my blog has been a statement against Trump being president at all. In the header area of my blog page (where blog readers seldom go when they visit a blog) there is a page section where I explain my reasons, and another section where I discuss the three available options for removing him. In spite of the fact that my objections to him being president was little about partisanship (I wanted to appeal to the basic common sense and level-headedness in all Americans… not align to a political ideology), I wanted nothing to do with engaging in yet another discourse of name-calling tirades on the shortcomings of conservatives and republicans. So I presented the three processes for removing a sitting president allowed by the Constitution…
- The 25th Amendment
- Voting in the next election for someone else.
Well, voting in the next election will mean a wait of 4 more years at least. The man had just been elected so no one at the time was thinking of impeachment much less the drastic and controversial exercising of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment.
As the months passed and Trump demonstrated his incompetence and the outside prosecutor took up his role to investigate anything and everything regarding Russian election intervention and possible collusion by the administration. Suddenly “impeachment” was being whispered in the halls of D.C. Gradually it entered everyday usage and into the lexicon of the public and various members of Congress. Again months passed.
Now.. in the last week or so, that one option, previously only muttered in the private chambers of government… and was the elephant in the room among cable news media pundits… has become common talk-of-the-town… the 25th Amendment; removing the president because he’s “unfit to perform his duties”. The President’s performance, or lack thereof, has reached a point where all Constitutional “removal” options are on the table, and being openly discussed.
In the early days of my blog, when I felt like the soul voice in the “get him outta here” wilderness, I would have eagerly welcomed any one of the three options. But since then I’ve grown to understand his so-called base more. It’s a cross-section of those disenfranchised ex-democrats from those rust belt states, your average republicans (in spite of many feeling a bit ideologically disenfranchised themselves with Trumpian conservatism run-amok), the so-called right wing conservatives, and of course, that group that pays homage to the Tiki light gods, the alt-right folks of all fascist and racist flavors. Hate them or love them or abhor their politics and ideologies.. they are still human beings and they are still Americans… and as long as they are non-violent I support their freedom of speech and right to assemble… peacefully.
Proceed with caution –
In spite of the fact that Trump’s approval ratings in the various polls reflect the worst presidential performance numbers (at this stage of his term) in modern history, his base, who will blindly follow him into the depths of hell, still pulls somewhere in the 35-40% range. My concern is that this is still a fair number of the voting public that can very likely be very reactionary if their leader is removed in any way other than an election. An impeachment might be more tolerable for his base to accept if there’s some illegal activity revealed from Mueller’s investigation. But that investigation could go on for months if not years.
But exercising Section 4 of the 25th Amendment.. well, some call the process a “mutiny”, others call it a “coup”. I prefer calling it a “Constitutional process” because that’s what it is. Although it would be a Constitutional crisis for sure. Nonetheless, this could very easily set off his base which could result in some violence hitting the streets, especially if confronted by elements of the “new” alt-left at the same time. We are a very divisive nation right now and exercising this option has some real political risks to it.
So where does that leave us?
It would seem we might be safer waiting until the next election so that we can exercise our vote to elect someone else. As I mentioned in my last post regarding Trump containment, I find it uncomfortable knowing that some major players in the administration might be “playing” Trump in order to keep him from getting too wacky. No… we, the people elected the president… we did not elect his cabinet members. I would much rather let the bungler keep bungling on his own.
BUT.. what everyone is concerned about is the possibility that he could decide to do a nuke thing somewhere… and so there’s the justification (and comparative relief) that those “containers” watching him are also watching that. Now.. we all know he has that nuclear “football” officer follow him around and if he chooses to launch something, be it bombers or missiles, that football thing does NOT have a button to set launch everything. That’s Hollywood. What the football has is codes which verify, then authorize a nuclear response. That flows down the chain of command.. past generals and admirals, and then passed on to the alert bomber pilots or those two officers that turn keys inside the missile silos. Conceivably if there were any doubt as to the President’s fitness to make that decision there are likely people along the way who could refuse to pass the order, and thus sacrifice their careers in the process even if they do end up saving the world.
Frankly I don’t see Trump even threatening a random act of nuclear button-pushing; using the military domestically perhaps. It’s amazing how similar Trump has acted similar to Nixon. At one point Nixon considered using military units to guard the White House in the event someone wanted ti remove him. In fact, the recent Trump tweet regarding NBC should not be allowed to report just anything because it’s fake news.. Nixon tried to do this using his authority to wire tap reporters he considered his “enemies”; he also saying the press was fake news and always picking on him.
Anyway, if a threat to use nukes occurs that could very likely be the galvanizing force to get all 24 cabinet leaders to send that removal letter to Congress. Otherwise, we likely have to wait until the next election to “get him outta here”. There could be a possibility that if the mid-term election shifts the party majority in both houses of Congress.. maybe someone might move to impeach based on Trump’s violation of the emoluments clause. It’s being reported that Trump has been profiting from the Secret Service paying Mar-a-Lago upwards to $60,000 in using services there when protecting the President on his weekend visits. And there’s always whatever Mueller’s investigation reveals.