Due to his recent comments about Morning Joe’s hosts Joe Scarborough and Mike Brzezinski and his tweet of a younger Donald Trump taking down a CNN icon atop the body of a younger WWF president Vince McMahon, many people on the left, in the media, and in congress are calling for President Trump’s removal from office via the 25th Amendment. Well I’m just a small time blogger, but I feel compelled to respond.
Donald Trump was elected through the constitutional process. Despite six months of declarations of collusion with the Russians and Russian interference there has not been a shred of evidence offered that Trump was elected illegally or unconstitutionally. Did the Russians try to influence the outcome? Probably. Have they tried to do so in the past? Almost certainly. Have we tried to influence the elections of other countries in the past? Most definitely.
But the biggest influences on the election were the candidates themselves. Had Hillary Clinton won Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania she would be living in the White House today and nobody would be talking about Russian collusion or the 25th Amendment. Instead we’d probably be talking about Bill Clinton’s latest shenanigans or Hillary’s health.
But Hillary pretty much dismissed the idea of campaigning in the Rust Belt, thinking that it was a lock. She was wrong. Trump ran the table, and Russia had nothing to do with it. Trump campaigned there. He asked for their votes. He expressed concern for their situations. Hillary didn’t. And Trump won.
“Okay”, some are saying, “but Trump is not presidential! He’s not even mentally stable!! We can’t have a guy like that running the country!!!” Listen, Trump is no less stable today than he was ten years ago when he body slammed Vince McMahon at WrestleMania XXIII. He has always been a showman and a scrapper. He has always been bit crude and vulgar. Just ask Rosie O’Donnell.
And yet, the American people said it doesn’t matter. They said we want change. We don’t want more of the same. And so they voted for something different. And Trump won.
People (including yours truly) were convinced that his insults and boorish behavior would ruin him when he ran against more than a dozen Republican candidates. We were wrong. And Trump won.
Then when the Access Hollywood tape was released the media was writing him off again, thinking that nobody could recover from that. They were wrong. And Trump won.
Since he took office he has ranted about the size of the crowd at the inauguration and proven wrong, fired his FBI director during an investigation, authorized a botched raid in Yemen, fired his national security advisor for lying to the VP, and encountered resistance from his own party on the bill to replace Obamacare. Also during that time, he has continued his practice of antagonizing people with his incessant tweeting. Despite all of that, he has managed to retain about a 40% approval rating overall and has kept his base behind him. The economy is growing, illegal immigration is down, and CNN is taking a pounding, and that’s really all the Trump supporters could ask for, assuming he doesn’t abandon his promise to build a wall.
If there is any realistic effort to remove Trump from office without proving that an impeachable offense has been committed it will tear this country apart. Trump is not insane. Eccentric, maybe. Conniving, definitely. But not insane. He’s the same guy he was when he starred in The Apprentice. He’s the same guy who wrote (through a ghostwriter) The Art of the Deal. He’s the same guy I haven’t liked for nearly thirty years and didn’t vote for.
But the country did vote for him. And Trump won.
Now let’s turn our attention to the actual process of the 25th Amendment. I doubt that most of those calling for Trump’s removal have even read it or read about it. Here’s what it says in Section 4 (the part dealing with having the president removed).
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.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days 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. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
You see, you need both the VP and a majority of the president’s cabinet to submit their written declaration that he isn’t able to carry out his duties. These are people that he chose. How likely is it that a majority of them will turn on him without an egregious offense occurring (HINT! Mean tweets don’t qualify) or an obvious physiological/neurological condition developing that would render him incapacitated?
But even if that were to occur, there’s a 2/3 majority approval required for both the house and the senate. Since Republicans control both chambers, that’s even less likely. Absent Trump running around naked screaming about demons biting him I doubt that the 25th Amendment will ever see daylight.