It's still over a week before Donald Trump's inauguration, but Richard Cohen at the Washington Post already has a plan to get rid of him.
The Post writer clearly believes that Trump — right now — fits the definition found in the 25th Amendment of the Constitution of someone who is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office," and could therefore be summarily removed without the effort involved in impeaching and convicting him.
This "unfitness" argument is tough to handle on several levels, even in the absence of a comparison of the President-Elect to the White House's current occupant.
Regardless of what one thinks of him personally, The Donald ran a generally strong campaign. He made critical mid-course personnel moves when needed. He hired a team which used a groundbreaking turnout operation to focus his campaign's resources (half of what Hillary Clinton had) on winning an Electoral College majority. Additionally, regardless of what one thinks of how he did it, he successfully outsmarted and outfought the unprecedentedly hostile establishment press at every turn.
Given what Cohen wrote on Monday, these things must be re-recognized, because despite all of them, the left, even the so-called mainstream left, appears to be staking its future entirely on Donald Trump's alleged "unfitness" to be President. It's an admission that they currently have no other valid arguments, and that if the Trump presidency is successful (obviously by no means certain), their policy-based argument reservoir could end up being absolutely bone-dry.
Here are several paragraphs from Cohen's calamity (bolds are mine):
How to remove Trump from office
Donald Trump is a one-man basket of deplorables. He is a braggart and a liar. He is a bully and a demagogue. He is an ignoramus and a deadbeat, a chiseler and either a sincere racist or an insincere one, and his love for himself is matched only by my loathing of him. He is about to be president of the United States. A constitutional coup may be in the offing.
... It is folly to think that (Trump's) aides ... are going to be able to moderate Trump. They are enablers, emptying their consciences and stuffing their egos, and it is even sillier to think that Trump himself will change. He is 70, into the years of ossification, and his political triumph has only convinced him of his inerrant correctness. He thinks he is infallible, a kind of secular pope. Things will go from bad to worse.
... Under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, the vice president, together with a “majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide” can remove the president for being “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
... But it is plain that the 25th Amendment does give a role to Cabinet members that is not generally considered when they are up for confirmation. This time, however, they should all be asked whether they are aware of the 25th Amendment and, if need be, whether they would be willing to implement it. Some would say that they do not respond to hypotheticals, but a willingness to abide by the Constitution is not a hypothetical. It is, instead, a grave duty.
Richard, if you really want to go there, I have to ask you how you could have failed to apply your 25th Amendment test to these ideas held by our current President (and, sadly, many judges in our twisted judicial system) during the past eight years:
- That the Syrian civil war was partially due to "climate change" and not feckless foreign policy.
- That voter-ID laws somehow discriminate against minorities. The evidence says otherwise. (Such laws do discriminate against people who are in this country illegally and shouldn't vote, which is supposed to be a good thing. Right, Richard? ... Richard?)
- That one of the U.S. military's most important enemies is "climate change," and that commanders must "prioritize climate change in all military actions."
- That a massacre at a U.S. Army base by a dedicated jihadist in contact with jihadist leaders was for six years designated as an example of "workplace violence."
- That, as the American people were told by him dozens of times over a period of nearly two years, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan (and doctor, and other medical provider, and prescription drugs)." This lie, known to be a lie when it was employed, was used to fraudulently push legislation which terminated millions of plans once the Affordable Care Act went live.
This is just a small sample from what could be a much larger list if one had the time to go through all of the "1,342 well sourced examples of Obama’s lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, hypocrisy, waste, etc." to identify additional delusions.
Cohen then accused Trump of having "shown little regard for the Constitution." Where were you Richard, when Mr. "Pen and Phone" Obama was issuing illegal executive orders relating to immigration, offshore drilling, and other matters?
Cohen's final paragraph:
Since his election, Trump has done nothing to allay the concern that he is unfit for the presidency. In about a week, he’ll assume the presidency with all its awesome power. Maybe the only thing that will constrain him is his own Cabinet. Trump goofed. There are some good people in that room.
It's the Washington Post which has goofed by sacrificing what little remains of its credibility by continuing to employ Richard Cohen and his delusional, fever-swamp "thinking."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.