As President Donald Trump descends further into rage, self-pity and a cesspool of conspiracy theories after having urged on the right-wing mob that invaded and ransacked the U.S. Capitol, there is serious talk about removing him from office by invoking the 25th amendment to the Constitution.
That drastic action would require Vice President Mike Pence and a majority of the members of the cabinet to declare that Trump is unable or unfit to perform the duties of his office. Such a thing would have been unthinkable prior to the insurrection at the Capitol, but there are reports indicating that at least some cabinet members are privately giving the idea serious thought. And Pence is said to be angrier than he has ever been because of the way Trump has scorned him in recent days after the vice president made it clear he would not try to upend the count of electoral votes.
There are plenty of practical reasons not to do this, most particularly because there are less than two weeks left in Trump’s disastrous presidency. Even if Pence and the cabinet invoked the 25th Amendment, Trump could appeal to Congress, and it would take a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate to expel him from office. Given the number of sycophantic weasels in the Republican caucuses, hitting that mark would seem nearly impossible, but Trump would still be sidelined during the process and Pence would temporarily be president.
Nevertheless, it might be worth trying. Trump’s behavior borders on treason. It is not enough to wait out the clock and let him slink out of the White House – especially since he is still capable of all manner of malign actions in the coming few days. A serious move to take away the powers he has so flagrantly abused might at least check his worst impulses and, most important of all, would be a powerful expression of disgust and disapproval that could break his hold on the Republican Party and go a long way toward crushing his dream of running for president again in 2024.
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