I tried, dear reader. I tried really really hard. For three straight weeks, I did not write a column about the president. I enrolled in TA — Trump Anonymous, an organization dedicated to members of the media to shake their Trump addiction. I poured my heart out at TA meetings where I sat next to Mika Brzezinski (she of a face that doesn’t need lifting). I spoke openly about my own flaws and petty complaints. I watched sports instead of MSNBC and CNN (though I admit that even in my darkest moments of addiction I was never tempted to watch Fox News after Megyn Kelly left).
I confined my reading to the sports pages and pretended to get excited over the Sixers prospects (even though The Process is not expected to reach fruition until my grandchildren are on Social Security — if the Republicans haven’t privatized it. But I broke down during the Fourth of July holiday. I blame the liberal company that I keep. Or is that escaping personal accountability? With apologies to my president (I figure that if I own him, there might be a chance at recovery), here’s the way I see it.
Hope for our country (or our national sanity) rests on three scenarios: Trump is impeached and removed for colluding with the Russians, he gets bored with the job and quits, or he is declared mentally unfit to fulfill his duties as president and is replaced by vice president Mike Pence.
We can eliminate the first scenario. At the slow pace of the current investigations, Baron Trump will be president by the time they conclude. In addition, Fox News (the original fake news network) has already concluded that collusion by a president with an adversarial foreign government is not a crime, unless it was committed by the previous president or Trump’s opponent in the last election.
Is there a chance that the president will get bored by the job and quit? Trump may be a lot of things, but he is not bored. In fact, he is loving it. For Trump the job of president is everything he always dreamed of. How else can a real estate developer draw big adoring crowds and get Putin’s autograph? It’s like being Howard Stern only with bigger ratings and being the winning contestant on “Shark Tank.” Trump will not resign the presidency.
Increasingly the hope of removing Trump from the White House seems to hinge on the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which would allow the vice president, with the consent of the executive cabinet to declare the president unable to perform his duties as president by declaring Trump to be too nutty to continue in office. It would then need the consenting vote of two-thirds of Congress.
Do I think that the president is crazy? Let me put it this way — the president is married to one of the most beautiful women in the world and yet he is busy tweeting about Morning Joe at 3 a.m. Speaking for sexist males everywhere, I consider this fact a prima facie case of some form of incapacity. Not that there aren’t other reasons to doubt President Trump’s mental stability.
For instance, Trump keeps giving his son-in-law Jared Kushner additional duties. Kushner is 36 years old without any previous government experience. He is responsible for brokering a Mideast peace, negotiating with China, improving ties with Mexico, innovating government and criminal justice reform. In short, Kushner is the designated president of the United States. My sources tell me that Kushner also ensures that there are fresh flowers placed on every table at White House dinners. The question arises that if Trump has already handed his presidential duties to Kushner, is there any reason to invoke the 25th amendment?
Be that as it may, is it possible that Pence, if he is so inclined, gathers enough Cabinet members to declare him mentally incompetent? Off the top of my head, as a minimum, I think Pence could count on support from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (who is wondering aloud why he ever left Exxon), Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis (yes, I realize his nickname hurts his credibility), the head of Homeland Security John F. Kelly (the “F” at this point stands for the profanity he must be uttering every time he attends a cabinet meeting), and the head of the CIA Mike Pompeo (he might be dismayed when Trump challenges his intelligence briefings by waving a copy of the National Enquirer at him). The rest of Trump’s Cabinet appears to be solidly behind him either because of their own self-interest or because they are as crazy as President Bat Guano himself (example — the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson once claimed that the Holocaust could have been diminished if the Jews had guns).
As far as getting two-thirds of Congress to declare President Bat Guano crazy, that’s out of the question (even though John McCain might try to vote multiple times and Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan might vote “yes” if they could be granted plausible deniability). It’s impossible to get two-thirds of Congress to agree that Kim Jong-un has a bad haircut.
George W. Bush reportedly remarked to Barack Obama, after hearing Trump’s inauguration speech, “that was some crazy ____.” I never thought of “Dubbya” as particularly insightful. It turns out Bush is freaking Nostradamus.