“Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.”
So says the anonymous writer of the op-ed in the New York Times, explaining why they are “part of the resistance inside the Trump administration.”
People within the cabinet thought about using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump but didn’t, because it could precipitate a constitutional crisis. That makes as much sense as not wearing clothes because it might necessitate a trip to the laundry. Or saying, “I’m thirsty, but if I drink anything I’ll just have to go to the bathroom later, and walking always makes me so parched. I’ll just sit here and try to work up some spit.”
Mmm, yes, good, thirst-quenching spit. Better than kombucha.
Say I have been impaled by a curtain rod — don’t ask me how. I’m not going to go to the ER because hospitals make me so uncomfortable. Besides, I’d probably have to sign papers and stuff.
What if the overhead light in the living room went out? We have replacement bulbs and a ladder, but that might precipitate a “ladder crisis,” so instead, we’ll get by lighting kitchen matches repeatedly until the bulb magically changes itself.
That reminds me of a joke.
Question: How many cabinet officials does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: That’s a trick question. Cabinet officials would never change a light bulb, because it could precipitate a light-bulb-changing crisis.
Until it’s over “one way or another?” Good grief. There is only one way that it’s over if they won’t act, which is to stick it out until Jan. 20, 2021. Another? Using the 25th Amendment. It wouldn’t break the Constitution to use it!
The whole idea of the 25th Amendment was precisely to avoid this turn of events. We’re not supposed to have to have “senior administration officials” running around the White House behind Trump, putting out all the small fires the toddler-president sets with matches that simply should have been taken away from him. By the Constitution.
People think of me as a crazy, scatterbrained, ex-math professor, socialist, 95 percent introvert, cat-loving, Hawaiian-shirt-wearing-in-Seattle-at-all-times-of-the-year, overly-talkative liberal. And they’re right, of course. But I also have a strong conservative vein and in this instance right here we are striking ore.
There’s nothing at all conservative about what the anonymous op-ed writer is talking about doing. Another quote from further up the piece demonstrates it:
“The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.”
The author is pointing to Trump’s lack of principles to justify their own unprincipled form of resistance. Instead of invoking the law to protect the country from the danger, they have decided to keep him in place and work around him, in violation of laws and principles, creating even more danger.
“... the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.”
They left out one other ideal that used to be espoused by conservatives all the time: Respect for the rule of law. That’s very telling.
That’s how we got into this situation. We are in this mess because Republicans have abandoned their traditional espousal of the rule of law to the point that they would rather have a dictator than a president, so long as he’s a dictator in their pocket.
“As long as he lowers our taxes,” they say.
“As long as he appoints judges we favor,” they say.
“We won’t remove him from office, even though we know he’s incompetent and a threat to national security and the world, because he’s still useful to us,” they mean, but never say.
Not following the law and not dealing with the man using the means provided by the law takes us to a precipice where the solution could end up being Shakespearean.
I’m not going to name the relevant play. I’ll just leave it at “Yon so-and-so has a lean and hungry look. Keep him away from the Oval Office, OK? Thanks. You’re a good man and I know I can trust you, Brutus.”
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd.
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