After what must seem like a lifetime to President trump regarding this last week, the reports coming out of the elite media establishment of ‘disturbing revelations’ about President Trump’s accused conduct in office, and as one would expect, now here come the calls for his removal—not from progressives (those have already come, early and often), but from conservatives, and moderates as well.
Ross Douthat of the New York Times writes in his Wednesday column that Trump should be removed from office, not impeached, using the mechanisms provided by the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.
This Cold War-era amendment allows the removal of the president if a majority of the cabinet affirms that he is unable to discharge the duties of his office. If the president resists, a two-thirds vote from Congress will confirm the cabinet’s judgement. It was designed to clarify who has the constitutional authority to declare a president incapacitated, a necessity that became apparent following the assassination of President Kennedy.
The 25th Amendment is not, however, a way for elites to get rid of a president they despise without having to persuade the millions of people who voted for him that he is indeed unfit for office. Douthat is indulging a dangerous fantasy here. It might feel good to write a column calling for the president’s removal. It might give pundits a rush of blood to the head. But this is not a parlor game. One should not simple throw around the word ‘impeach’ because they do not like, or agree with the president, and this is dangerous territory.
The country is deeply divided, and it is understandable for people to not like the man. People have taken to attacking each other in the streets, smashing and burning buildings, and protests everywhere, and threatening congressmen when they venture outside Washington. We’re still recovering from a presidential election that actually ended marriages and tore families apart.
Trump’s election was, more than anything else, a giant middle finger to the political establishment, which has lost the confidence of the American people. The Democrats thought they were untouchable, and could lock-down the three branches of government for good. Quite obviously….they were wrong.
If now seems like the right time for that establishment, which appears to be filled with deep-state actors, the liberal media, liberal Hollywood and the list goes on, to launch an unconstitutional coup to remove the president through a specious application of the 25th Amendment, then I respectfully submit that you’re underestimating the precariousness of national life at this moment.
The Elites Do Not Know Best, And Have Agendas, The Media Is The Biggest Threat To Democracy Right Now
None of this is meant to be a defense of President Trump. Perhaps it will turn out that he really is unfit for office, he really did collude with the Russians, and he tried to bully former FBI director Comey into doing what he wanted. He certainly seems to be woefully deficient in the qualities necessary for a successful presidency, like prudence, patience, and a general seriousness and curiosity about the world. Of course, the torrent of news this week should worry every American.
But we should be equally worried about the illegal leaks that have fueled the news this week. Understand what these leaks mean: an unelected fourth branch of the government, the administrative state, is trying desperately to undermine the duly elected leader of the executive branch. The press is on the side of the administrative state, and would like nothing more than to be rid of this troublesome president, whom nobody important voted for anyway.
The argument for removing Trump at this juncture amounts to an elitist desire to nullify the votes of some 63 million Americans.
Some, like Douthat, are no doubt motivated by a paternalistic urge to redirect the misguided frustrations of their benighted countrymen.
Douthat took to Twitter Wednesday morning to bolster his case, saying that removing Trump “harnesses a central use of an elite—their ability to respond swiftly to a situation the public as a whole can’t reckon with.” He seems unaware that the public has already rendered judgement on the elite, and no longer wants their swift response. (Note that this was the exact same justification for the bank bailout, which incensed most Americans.)
Others, like the leaders of the Democratic Party, no doubt believe the people didn’t really elect Trump at all, because of the Russians or some such. Either way, the point is that the people cannot have known what they were doing when they put Trump in office, and now the elites must save us from ourselves.
Douthat justifies his stance on the insistence that Trump is too stupid to knowingly commit the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that would warrant impeachment. Thus it falls to Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell to do the right thing and launch a palace coup.
Indeed, it’s their duty, he says, since “leaving a man this witless and unmastered in an office with these powers and responsibilities is an act of gross negligence, which no objective on the near-term political horizon seems remotely significant enough to justify.” It’s not like Hillary will become president or Gorsuch will be removed from the Supreme Court, so what’s the big deal?
This Is Not A Game, It’s A Dangerous Fantasy That Is Fueling Liberal Propaganda, And They Are Eating It Up
The big deal right now, as Douthat concedes, is that the president’s unfitness for office hinges on whether “several days’ worth of entirely credible leaks and revelations are to be believed.” He apparently believes them all, along with the entire media establishment.
But that’s a wholly insufficient basis on which to call for the president’s removal. It’s reckless to do so—not because there are no questions that need to be answered, but because having a bad president (even a stupid and childish one as the media loves to label President Trump) isn’t reason enough to steal from the American people one of the few means they have left to exercise self-governance.
It should go without saying that we have entered a dangerous and volatile time in our history. What those in positions of influence say and do now might well have grave consequences in the near future. If you believe Trump is dangerous, that is understandable. Many of us believed Obama was dangerous, too.
The country staggers back and forth: the people reject their appointed rulers, civil society rests on a knife’s edge. Removing the president will not save the republic, but making serious arguments for doing so will certainly imperil it.
Whatever your beliefs, its obvious the main stream media establishment has it out for Trump, and some would say are impeding his progress, and not allowing him to properly do his job. Trump is constantly on the defensive, putting out fired created by the media.
Democracy is in a fragile state right now, and there doesn’t appear to be an easy answer, or way out of this one.
Weigh in with comments below, let us know what you think.
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