Alternatively, this is embarrassing. Please stop.
A House Democrat is calling for Congress to review the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, suggesting President Donald Trump is mentally “unstable.”
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who has represented a Portland district for 20 years, wrote in an op-ed that the 50-year-old amendment contains a “fatal flaw” that must be addressed.
No, just stop.
“Trump still has significant political support, so the obstacles are gargantuan. But the cleanest and quickest way to remove a president involves Section 4 of the 25th Amendment and has never been attempted. It provides that the cabinet can, by a simple majority vote, strip the president of his powers and immediately hand power to the vice president. The catch is that the ousted president can object, and in that case Congress must approve the ouster by a two-thirds vote in each chamber, or the president regains office.”
That’s Nicholas Kristof at the New York Times.
The source of this stupidity, like so much garbage in the liberalsphere, appears to be a Vox explainer. The only thing Vox explainers actually do is make progressives even dumber than they already are.
The answer lies in Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.
The amendment states that if, for whatever reason, the vice president and a majority of sitting Cabinet secretaries decide that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” they can simply put that down in writing and send it to two people — the speaker of the House and the Senate’s president pro tem.
Then the vice president would immediately become “Acting President,” and take over all the president’s powers.
Let that sink in — one vice president and any eight Cabinet officers can, theoretically, decide to knock the president out of power at any time.
The 25th Amendment was adopted after the JFK assassination to allow for an orderly transfer of power. It is not an impeachment shortcut. It addresses disability. It’s not meant as a mechanism for a coup.
The context for presidential disability, whether it was Eisenhower’s heart attack or Reagan’s shooting, was medical. That is not to say that the 25th Amendment isn’t deeply flawed. Anything with Bayh-Celler origins is. And Section Four is open to abuse. Which is why it’s been summoned up. And it was understood at the time that it was open to abuse. But it also clearly refers to medical disability, not dislike of a president.
Democrats need to let go of a twisted fantasy of removing President Trump from office. Especially since this fantasy depends on Republicans doing so.