Thursday, January 26, 2017

How to get rid of Trump? Let me count the ways.

Donald Trump is now president. The bipartisan "never Trump" movement has tried over and over to keep him from the presidency without success. But they're not finished. They continue to look for ways to get Mr. Trump out of office. These may even intensify as Donald Trump does what he said he would -- he's building a wall, strengthening enforcement against illegal aliens, and not acquiescing to the Washington establishment. Those arrested for violence near the inauguration are being charged with real crimes (felonies), not a slap on the wrist (though it's not clear if Mr. Trump was directly involved in this case).

So now that Donald Trump is the president, speculation continues on how to get rid of him. Least likely is a return of wishful thinking. After Trump won the nomination there was speculation that he'd step down, having achieved his goal. Today, there is speculation that Mr. Trump will lose interest in the presidency or that he doesn't have the attention span to stick it out for four years. I'd say this comes squarely in the "wish fulfillment" department. Donald Trump's business career has included long term construction projects  and ongoing management. It should be clear he knows what he's getting into and will continue to do the job. I'm also seeing stories based on "anonymous inside sources" which say the White House is full of conflict and dysfunctional. I'm sure there's some conflict, any new administration involves a number of people who've never worked together figuring out how to work together. And this certainly involves battles for power, but that's true of every new administration. So the "Trump will resign" speculations are just that, speculation.

The next method for getting rid of Donald Trump is impeachment. While no resolution has been introduced to my knowledge, there is at least one petition (on and multiple people calling for impeachment, largely by arguing that the existence of Trump businesses violates the law. Some arguments are on an ethics basis, others are based on the Constitution's "emoluments" clause, arguing that any time a foreigner stays in a Trump hotel Mr. Trump violates the Constitution. However, this won't get very far unless Republicans can be convinced to sign on. As long as Donald Trump has reasonably good relations with Congress, impeachment won't go anywhere.

There is a similar move in the courts, with a lawsuit filed against President Trump. This is not likely to go far as the courts will most likely rule those filing the lawsuit lack standing.

Finally, we're seeing a lot about the 25th Amendment. This amendment to the Constitution includes a clause where the president can be declared unfit for office by a couple methods involving Congress, the vice president, and the Cabinet. At this point the argument appears to be that Mr. Trump is insane due to his insistence that there was widespread voter fraud and that it be investigated. Again, this is basically a political case and will not go anyplace as long as President Trump doesn't radically alienate Congress.

For either impeachment or the 25th amendment, we can only hope the radicals don't go too far. Removing a president from office because of unpopular (at least to the establishment) policies sets a horrible precedent and could seriously destabilize the government for a long time to come.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting to see what other creative methods people come up with to de-Trump the White House.

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