The 25th Amendment. Honestly, how many of us even knew what it was, twelve months ago? One person who didn’t is writing this article. But since then, a lot of things have changed.
What it is, is a type of political ripcord regarding the position of chief executive. A ripcord is what you pull to release a parachute, your last hope to not die if you’re in a plane that’s going to crash. Hopefully by now this metaphor requires no explanation. At any rate, the amendment allows for the removal of a President in the case of his being unfit to serve, for any reason.
Its purpose is to provide a failsafe, a legal mechanism outlining a process for the chief executive to be legally stripped of power and removed from office. This would require a vote by 13 Cabinet members and the Vice-President. Basically, it means there is hope beyond Russiagate, for getting out of all of this alive and before 2020.
People have been talking about this for a while now, but lately it’s been catching a lot of attention. Bob Corker, Tennessee’s junior senator, recently said in a New York Times interview that the White House is like an adult daycare center and that Trump could lead the country into World War III.
That statement resonated in hearts worldwide. Bipartisan support has exploded for Corker, who joins a growing number of Congressional Republicans in deciding not to seek reelection. Since announcing his retirement, Corker has spoken his mind thoroughly about the large orange infant stinking up the White House. It’s too bad more of the Republicans won’t join him. Long-time columnist Frank Rich recently referred to it as “the disgrace of Republican silence“. Well said.
On Monday, CNN host Michael Smerconish said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is “planting seeds” to call into question President Trump’s fitness for office.
“I’m thinking of the 25th Amendment, Section Four, which speaks to a president who’s unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” Smerconish said on CNN.
Several White House officials on Wednesday denied an NBC News report, that Trump said we needed 10 times the nuclear weapons we currently possess. This increase in the nuclear arsenal was proposed during the heated meeting that ultimately led to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referring to the President as a “moron.”
Of course they denied it. What else are they going to do? Just come stark, and flat out say it’s true? Yes, the Secretary of State has indeed told the truth, and called our President the moron a moron?
Speaking in the Oval Office on Wednesday, Trump called the nuclear moron report “fake news.”
“I never discussed it,” Trump said ahead of talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Right now we have so many nuclear weapons. I want them in perfect condition, perfect shape.”
“When they said I want 10 times what we have right now, it’s totally unnecessary, believe me,” Trump continued. “It’s got to be in tip-top shape.”
Trump denied a rift has developed between himself and Tillerson.
“We actually have a very good relationship,” he said, going on to concede that his views on North Korea do differ from those of his top diplomat.
“I think I have a little bit different attitude on North Korea than other people might have. And I listen to everybody,” he said. “But ultimately my attitude is the one that matters, isn’t it? That’s the way it works.”
Well, maybe not.
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been telling people he thinks Trump has about a 30% chance of completing his four-year term.
Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” host Joe Scarborough urged Republican senators need to “take immediate action” to limit President Donald Trump’s “ability to launch nuclear weapons. Criticism of Trump from Morning Joe is far from unexpected, of course. What was unexpected, is that the article was done by Breitbart News.
The situation at the White House has only gotten worse since Bannon crunched his number. Trump’s moods have grown even darker. There is verification that the President wanted to up the US nuclear arsenal tenfold. It was this suggestion that prompted Tillerson to call the President a moron.
Earlier this month Trump publicly said Tillerson was wasting his time, trying to open talks with North Korea. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that no other sane option exists. Any military solution would cause the death of millions and involve nuclear weapons for a certainty. This is a no-brainer.
A sane and competent president would ask his secretary of state to try and start some talks with Kim. Nixon was not a big fan of North Vietnam; he dropped more bombs on it in his first week of reelection than all the bombs in World War Two combined. But he still sent Henry Kissinger to bargain with Le Duc Tho, Hanoi’s equivalent.
There is also the Iran issue. Trump is on the verge of scrapping the nuclear agreement we have with them, for reasons that remain unclear. Acting on such a concept would be inane beyond verbal description.
The downside would be that if we did back out of the deal, Iran would not give us our money back, and would start back up with their nuclear weapons program. The upside, at least in the mind of Trump, is that it would help him negate the legacy of Barack Obama. Robert Reich said in a letter to Rex Tillerson that Trump’s narcissism is endangering the world.
The last hope of the Republicans for getting something done with Donald Trump’s presidency is John Kelly, the retired Marine general serving as Trump’s second chief of staff. Kelly has managed to tighten up the flow of information and visitors to the president, bringing order to an unruly White House.
On days that Trump feels like taking orders from his betters, It all works like something resembling a viable White House. Increasingly often, however, he does not. Reports of screaming matches between the two have become increasingly common.
We’ve been here before, plenty of times. Trump melts down, others put him back together, and the lurching golem that is this abortive presidency slouches on for a few more miles. But we’re reaching the point of getting low on people to attend the repairs.
Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi were having good luck for a while, talking sense into him on the DACA deal, but Sean Hannity overruled them. Hannity pointed out that Trump’s base wants him tough on immigration. Trump went with Hannity.
So, on Sunday, Trump presented the Democrats with a list of demands that effectively scuttled the new bargain. It would have assured our Dreamers a path to legal citizenship, but that was not as important as appeasing his alt-right base. So here we are again. Mired in the mud and spinning our wheels.
The 45th president of America’s foolishness and incompetence will be legend throughout all of time. It will almost certainly lead to a career-ending blunder even if Robert Mueller does not have enough to bring charges.
If the Fates should prove cruel, and deny us justice with regard to an impeachment,we do have the 25th Amendment as a last hope to fall back on. If such a vote among the Cabinet ever does come to pass, Rex Tillerson, for one, has got to be inclined to cast his vote in the direction that gets rid of Trump. It’s the only rational choice.