SYNDICATED COLUMN: Trump is Crazy. Invoke the 25th.

Image result for crazy trump           Never mind the policies. For the purpose of this discussion—a discussion our country desperately needs to have—politics are an annoying, distracting rabbit hole.

Donald Trump should be removed from office under the 25th Amendment.

The reason Trump should be de-presidented has nothing to do with his legislative actions or foreign policy initiatives. Unlike George W. Bush in 2000 (and arguably in 2004), Trump won fairly. Unlike Barack Obama, he has kept his promises. His presidency is legitimate.

It has nothing to with his alleged ethical and legal breaches. Impeachment is the proper instrument for charging and possibly removing a sitting president.

The 25th Amendment was ratified in 1965 following the Kennedy assassination. It provides a mechanism for replacing a president who has become incapacitated physically—or, as seems to be the case for Trump, mentally.

“Section 4 stipulates that when the vice president and a majority of a body of Congress declare in writing to the president pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House that the president is unable to perform the duties of the office, the vice president immediately becomes acting president,” according to the History channel. Currently then, Mike Pence and a majority (currently Republican) either of the House or the Senate would write to Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Nancy Pelosi of California will probably replace Ryan after the new Congress is sworn in January.

The VP and a majority of Trump’s 24 cabinet members could begin the process instead of Congress. “It would only take 14 people to depose the president” in that scenario, according to Business Insider.

Trump could appeal. “The president can then submit a written declaration to the contrary and resume presidential powers and duties—unless the vice president and a majority body of Congress [i.e. both houses] declare in writing within four days that the president cannot perform his duties, in which case Congress will vote on the issue.”

High-ranking officials inside the Trump Administration have been so concerned about the president’s fitness to serve that they thought about invoking the 25th Amendment just two weeks after Trump’s inauguration. After the president fired FBI director James Comey, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein went to Comey’s then-acting replacement Andy McCabe, whom he told he thought “that he might be able to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security and now the White House chief of staff, to mount an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment,” according to The New York Times.” Rosenstein floated the idea of wearing a wire to catch audio of Trump talking crazy.

An anonymous Times op-ed by a Trump official claimed that several cabinet members had considered invoking the 25th Amendment.

Trump has called himself “a very stable genius.” Genius? This is a native-born American who attended college, who said his mom “gestated” her Thanksgiving turkey. But stable?

Trump’s manic blizzard of strangeness on Thanksgiving 2018 made the case for the 25th Amendment better than anything I’ve read in an inside-Trump tell-all book.

Asked what he was most thankful for, he said himself: “I made a tremendous difference in our country.”

Trump’s CIA had just issued a report concluding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. “I hate the crime, I hate the coverup,” Trump told reporters. “I will tell you this: The crown prince hates it more than I do, and they have vehemently denied it.” Why would the prince hate his own crime?

Bizarrely, Trump blamed “the world” for the killing. “Maybe the world should be held accountable because the world is a very, very vicious place,” Trump said insanely. For the record, “the world” did not kill Khashoggi. Bin Salman did.

Later he discussed one of his favorite topics, The Wall with Mexico.

“We took an old, broken wall and we wrapped it with barb wire plus,” Trump said. “I guess you could really call it barb wire plus. This is the ultimate. And nobody’s getting through these walls. And we’re going to make sure they’re the right people because that’s what you and your family want and all of your families. That’s what they want. And that’s why we’re all fighting. You know, we’re fighting for borders. We’re fighting for our country. If we don’t have borders, we don’t have a country. So we’re doing very well on the southern border. We’re very tough. We get a lot of bad court decisions from the Ninth Circuit, which has become a big thorn in our side. We always lose, and then you lose again and again, and then you hopefully win at the Supreme Court, which we’ve done. But it’s a terrible thing when judges take over your protective services, when they tell you how to protect your border. It’s a disgrace. So we’re winning. And you’re winning. And I appreciate very much.”

Oh. My.

God.

Psychiatrists have openly speculated that Trump is mentally ill or suffers from at least one serious personality disorder, typically severe narcissism. One even calls him a sadist, “the essence of evil.”

I am a cartoonist and columnist, not a psychologist. I don’t know what exactly is wrong with Trump. Former presidential aide Omarosa Manigault Newman thinks he is succumbing to dementia; it’s certainly possible. Trump is 72. His father developed Alzheimer’s, which points to an increased chance for the president.

It’s probably several things.

What I know is that Trump is not mentally fit enough to serve as president. I think those closest to him know it too. The vice president, his aides and advisors, his cabinet members, members of Congress—they all know that this behavior does not fall within the normal range for a 72-year-old man and that it puts the nation and the world at risk.

It is grossly irresponsible to allow a crazy person to sit in the Oval Office.

“In a time like this of unusual crisis, one has to count on leaders in the executive branch and Congress to really be patriots, not partisans,” Joel Goldstein, a constitutional expert at St. Louis University, told a symposium where the 25th Amendment was discussed.

Republican leaders should act soon. Trump’s mental deterioration, so evident now, will only become worse by the height of the 2020 reelection campaign. If Trump is removed now, Pence will have more than a year to earn the voters’ trust and make his case for four more years.

(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, is the author of “Francis: The People’s Pope.” You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)

12 thoughts on “SYNDICATED COLUMN: Trump is Crazy. Invoke the 25th.

  1. So what kind of crazy is he? Speaking in my capacity as an internet rando, I diagnose him with Affluenza.

    He never learned that actions have consequences, because there have never been consequences for him. He never learned to tell the truth because everyone around him agreed with anything he said. He is utterly incapable of dealing with the real world because he’s never had to do so before, he’s always been insulated by his wealth.

    But now he can’t run away, he can’t fire people who disagree with him, and not only do his actions have consequences, people actually reveal them to the public! Image what a shock it is for him, imagine all the pain he must be feeling right now. Imagine it then giggle and clap your hands in glee.

    “Because unlike everyone else in your life… I don’t work for you” – Stephen Strange to Tony Stark.

  2. > Trump won fairly

    Only if you consider the electoral college, gerrymandering, and voter suppression “fair”

    Reagan had Alzheimer’s while in office, and all indications are that his coterie tried their best to hide it from the world. (Although the world should have caught on when he couldn’t remember bombing Libya the next morning…) Bush JR’s obsession with Iraq could hardly be called sane. A sane person doesn’t murder millions for … revenge?

    That said – I, personally, believe that anyone who wants the job in the first place must already be batshit crazy.

    • How do you like the way I agree with you?

      Since the Constitution is reputed to be the most perfect document ever written by man, the Electoral College must be fair despite its fairness being beyond the intellectual grasp of mere mortals.

      The Constitution must be believed to be fair as a matter of faith; it works its wonders of fairness in its own miraculous way.

      Just like the Trinity’s three gods in one, the unbelievers must be stoned to death.

      All hail the Holy Trump, sent by the spirit of the sacred document to rule all mankind, for ever and ever!

      • Don’t drink and surf: you might accidentally click on the ‘Post Comment’ button.

        If – when you sober up – you’d like to discuss something I’ve actually said, I’ll be happy to entertain you.

  3. What I know is that Trump is not mentally fit enough to serve as president.

    Ted, you seem here to be claiming that persons with a severe personality disorder are disqualified from serving as US president. I can’t but wonder if you are not setting the bar a tad too high – after all, the president is supposed to reflect the nature of the nation he (or she, in the event dear Ms Clinton finally makes it) serves….

    Henri

    • Anybody who wants to be president is presenting symptoms that should be a disqualification for holding the office.

      We couldn’t do worse with a presidential by lottery instead of the farce we Americans (and the world) are subjected to with a painful and periodical regularity.

      If only Americans understood this (meaning your comment above, Henri) and wanted to change it too.

      But I suppose it’s easier to slip into a full blown fascism or a nuclear war, than to find and extirpate the flaws in the American soul.

      Tardigrade 2020

  4. The following address leads to the US constitution: http://constitutionus.com/
    (There is an internal link to the text of the 25th Amendment.)
    In discussions about the constitution, I’d urge consulting a source such as this,
    instead of the History Channel.

    The part Ted (H/C) left out is: if the President presents a written declaration that he/she is capable to serve, then to ultimately depose him/her against his/her will would require a two-thirds vote of BOTH houses of congress. The post-appeal, simple majority vote described has only temporary effect to reverse the written declaration, since the final part of the the amendment states:

    “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.”

    If the unlikely initial part of the scenario described were to occur, we can be reasonably certain that His Hairness (aka “Trump”) would, declare himself able to serve. There would be NO possible way that two-thirds of both houses would vote to remove His Hairness.

    (May I presume there are “resistance” groups sending emails asking for donations to make this 25th angle happen?)

    I’d suggest the chances are better to stick with Rootin’ Tootin’ Putin Gate.

    Finally, Ted, I beg you not to harm your credibility further by mentioning Omarosa Manigault Newman ever again!!!

  5. Removing a president who is nuts? I’ll leave out Reagan who almost certainly was incapable of presidential duties in his second term (descriptions of Groucho Marx at the end of his life come to mind: people describe a husk of a man pulling himself together for the length of the performance and just collapsing again right after. Reagan had that performer’s training too. Trump will pass — or at least not fail — any test).
    First, narcissistic behavior, like a lot of other disorders doesn’t satisfy “crazy” because narcissism, like sociopathy, is a trait that is selected for in neoliberalism capitalism. Greed is good. Everyone wants to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. And why? Because he made billions putting himself and the bespoke surveillance system called Facebook ahead of morality, decency, civility and privacy. I doubt Zuckerberg thinks any of his fellow homo sapiens are actually real. They’re all props and actors, like NPCs in a video game.
    Second, the democrats would be idiots to try anything now. Picture the second presidential debate in 2020. Sanders argues that healthcare is a right, and that $15 an hour is a bare minimum for salary. And Trump literally, and I do mean literally, comes completely unglued. a total meltdown. Starts screaming about Jewish conspiracies, how Sanders is a time travelling lizard person cyborg, pi is exactly three, and demands his security guards kill all the democrats in Congress.
    That’s what the country needs. Finally, a complete tearing away of all the horseshit. A completely unvarnished moment where we collectively have our waking-up-in-vomit moment and realize it has to stop.

  6. Removing a president who is nuts? I’ll leave out Reagan who almost certainly was incapable of presidential duties in his second term (descriptions of Groucho Marx at the end of his life come to mind: people describe a husk of a man pulling himself together for the length of the performance and just collapsing again right after. Reagan had that performer’s training too. Trump will pass — or at least not fail — any test).
    First, narcissistic behavior, like a lot of other disorders doesn’t satisfy “crazy” because narcissism, like sociopathy, is a trait that is selected for in neoliberalism capitalism. Greed is good. Everyone wants to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. And why? Because he made billions putting himself and the bespoke surveillance system called Facebook ahead of morality, decency, civility and privacy. I doubt Zuckerberg thinks any of his fellow homo sapiens are actually real. They’re all props and actors, like NPCs in a video game.
    Second, the democrats would be idiots to try anything now. Picture the second presidential debate in 2020. Sanders argues that health Care is a right, and that $15 an hour is a bare minimum for salary. And Trump literally, and I do mean literally, comes completely unglued. <a href ="Just a total meltdown. Starts screaming about Jewish conspiracies, how Sanders is a time travelling lizard person cyborg, pi is exactly three, and demands his security guards kill all the democrats in Congress.

      • I promise not to notice your double posts if you promise not to notice mine.

        I think I made the same offer previously with regard to typos.

      • It’s my damned keyboard. If my hands get too close to the trackpad it moves the cursor to the next location that can be tabbed to. Before I know it, boom, I’ve just posted.
        You know who I blame? Everyone. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t my woodenness or unlikeability or insincerity. It wasn’t that I ran a bad campaign. It wasn’t that I’m besties with War Criminal Henry Kissinger. It wasn’t that I reconstituted the Republican Party when it would have otherwise simply guttered away into nothingness. It was everyone else.

        Both of my faces should be on the fiddy-dollar bill!

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