Opinion: If The White House Is ‘Crazytown,’ it’s Time for The 25th Amendment

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Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, MI, in December 2015. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

By Colleen O'Connor

Forget the hullabaloo about impeachment. It takes too long.

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Forget the current Mueller investigations, over 50 federal cases, and lawsuits in 17 different states against the President. They cost too much.

And forget the wishful thinking of those who “know him best”—that Trump will resign—when faced with “reality.” It won’t happen.

This is a President with less than a fleeting acquaintance of truth or facts–preferring a “reality distortion field”—comprehended by fewer and fewer Americans each day.

In fact, the latest poll, shows a whopping 60 percent voter disapproval rating of the President’s job. The 36 percent who do approve is the lowest polling number for a President approaching his first midterms since 1954.

Trump’s broad unpopularity has given rise to a 14 percent Democratic advantage over the generic Republicans for the fall.

The biggest reason given for all this is to provide a “check on Trump.”

The last time the Democrats held pre-election leads this high, they gained 31 seats. They only need 23 seats to provide that check.

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But, Trump won’t leave. He blames everyone and everything, except himself, for the poor poll numbers. He even blames Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions for Rep. Duncan Hunter’s recent indictment.

Predictably, Trump prefers to call names and dismiss the news, thus changing the narrative, the threat, and that moment’s reality. It’s magical thinking to some, but lies to others.

Trump’s list of lies has increased to an average of eight a day for a recent cumulative total of 4,713.

When the Washington Post first started this count “for the president’s first 100 days, he averaged 4.9 claims a day. But the average number of claims per day keeps climbing.”

Some see the uptick in early morning tweet storms and insults as a sign Trump is “unraveling.” The shadow of Richard Nixon’s Watergate presidency has begun to envelope the White House — the eerie one where Nixon began roaming the halls, talking to the paintings on the wall.

Ironically, the pre-publication roll-out of Watergate journalist Bob Woodward’s new book—“Fear”—provides scenes of another “nervous breakdown of the White House.”

As former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus described the corrosive atmosphere: “When you put a snake and a rat and a falcon and a rabbit and a shark and a seal in a zoo without walls, things start getting nasty and bloody.”

How to spare the country a Trumpian redux of Nixon in the halls or a zoo without walls? Or, a “Crazytown,” as current Chief of Staff John Kelly describes it?

Consider trying the 25th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, an amendment designed for just such a calamity.  It’s cheaper, faster and more decisive than the alternatives.

Section 4 of the amendment reads, in part:

“Whenever…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.”

That evidence that Trump is unfit is in plain sight:

  • Watch the Putin-Trump press conference in Moscow
  • Look at the non-results from the summit in North Korea
  • See the withering of our allies’ faith as Trump attacks NATO
  • Read the intelligence agencies’ findings on the Russian meddling in the U.S. 2016 elections
  • Listen to the former military, intelligence and congressional chiefs who have spoken out about the lack of knowledge, curiosity, interest or capacity to comprehend the responsibilities and powers of commander-in-chief
  • Some label Trump an “idiot”
  • Others say he functions at a “fifth- or sixth-grade level

The President now realizes his greatest fear might be coming into focus.

The fear is that he is an illegitimate occupant of the Oval Office. A pretender to the throne who has known all along that he lost the popular vote by over 3 million. That the elections in the three states that awarded him the Electoral College are suspect. That he is a reality TV President not just unfit for the office, but unable to discharge the powers and duties of that office.

And his greatest fear must be that those “natural predators”— the Vice-President and the Cabinet—have the power to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare “the President isunable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

Colleen O’Connor is a native San Diegan and a retired college professor.

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