Monday, May 15, 2017

Ridding Ourselves of a Crazy, Incompetent President

The following was written before we learned today that Trump revealed high intelligence to the Russians, which has the potential to cause the death of many intelligence agents.

How much more can we take before even the greed-and-power-driven obstructionist Republicans realize the uncontrollable crazed Idiot must be removed from office? Will he actually have to take a gun and shoot someone in broad daylight on New York's Fifth Avenue before his Bubble World supporters will finally admit they put a crazy man in the White House????

Ridding ourselves of a crazy, incompetent president

by P.M. Carpenter | May 15, 2017,

 Except for nearly 300 Republicans on Capitol Hill who answer not to their constitutional oath of office but rather to hordes of bubbled barbarians back home, the emerging question in Washington is not whether the inept and mentally unbalanced Donald Trump should be impeached, but rather how.

Notes a Washington Post article: "Across Washington, Trump's allies have been buzzing about the staff's competence as well as the president's state of mind. One GOP figure close to the White House mused privately about whether Trump was 'in the grip of some kind of paranoid delusion.'"

That passage — from White House insiders, no less — suggests a forming consensus on Trump's mental instability, as opposed to his bottomless ineptitude. Another passage suggests the same: "White House aides have felt bewildered and alarmed by how Trump arrives at his decisions — often on impulse and emotion." Or, as the NYT's Frank Bruni puts it this morning: "[Comey's firing] put the lie to the stubborn hope that there's a core of shrewdness beneath his antics and a method to his madness. Mostly, there's a raging, pouting child." And a congenitally diseased one at that.

On the less psychiatric and more practical side, a historian of the White House tells the Post: "The Comey firing is just the most dramatic example of a White House that is completely dysfunctional, the most chaotic in modern history." No explanation is offered as to why "history" is modified by "modern." One can scour the entire past of presidential administrations till the bovines mosey home, and one will not find another so dysfunctional and almost unbelievably chaotic. In Trump we have a president who makes George W. Bush look like a top scholar of industrial management. And we all know what W.'s expertise wrought.

Either way, and from whatever sources, the Post concludes that the "result is a hardening portrait of sheer disarray." And at the highest level of a global superpower, sheer disarray cannot obtain, not for four years. Something has got to give — either Trump goes, or Americans accept that their nation is now nothing more than a first-rate banana republic of incessant turmoil, childlike impulsivity, and limitless corruption; a kind of North Korea with a 70-year-old toddler in charge.

Ross Douthat, in turn, concludes that "liberals need to accept that the strongest case for removing Trump from office is likely to remain a 25th Amendment case"; that is, that the president of the United States is nuts, that he's endowed with a "mental unfitness for the office that manifests itself in made-for-TV crises and self-inflicted wounds." Douthat further concludes, however, that the 25th Amendment route is an unrealistic dream, since those initiating it would mostly be the ones who answer not to their constitutional oath of office but rather to hordes of bubbled barbarians back home.

That leaves us with Trump's outright impeachment and removal from office for high crimes and misdemeanors, which Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe urges. The president's "summary firing" of the FBI director, writes Tribe, "represented an obvious effort to interfere with a probe involving national security matters vastly more serious than the 'third-rate burglary' that Nixon tried to cover up in Watergate. The question of Russian interference in the presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign go to the heart of our system and ability to conduct free and fair elections."

Tribe goes on to ponder the, ahem, political difficulties of his legal advice. For the extraordinarily partisan congressional majority, impeachment and removal "will require serious commitment to constitutional principle, and courageous willingness to put devotion to the national interest above self-interest and party loyalty." Right. Congressional Republicans will simultaneously come to the realization that single-payer is the only way to go.

Still, to his pragmatic credit, rather obvious is that Tribe believes not in the non-existent virtues of a constitution-centered congressional majority. "Whether it is devotion to principle or hunger for political survival that puts the prospect of impeachment and removal on the table," he continues, "the crucial thing is that the prospect now be taken seriously, that the machinery of removal be reactivated, and that the need to use it become the focus of political discourse going into 2018" (my emphasis).

Which is to say, Tribe believes less in the political difficulties surrounding impeachment than he does in its political opportunities. Dismissing Republicans' "devotion to principle," as he should, Tribe correctly envisions their more customary "hunger for political survival." And that hunger must be instilled by Democrats. As Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton's impeachments demonstrated, the "machinery of removal" is a political — and not purely legal — device, whose levers are now controlled by Democrats. It is up to them to make impeachment and eventual removal the focus of 2018's political discourse — and that focus will fly politically.

For as a swelling majority of voters knows, when Donald Trump isn't embarrassing this nation or enriching himself or balling up the potential of sober governance with intoxicated incompetence, he is busy being just plain nuts.