As of today, Donald Trump has been our President for 68 days. If he makes it through an entire four year term, we’ve got him for 1,393 more days.
How does that make you feel? Does that put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step? Does that give you the feeling that the affairs of State and the World are in wise, dependable, and responsible hands, and that whatever our President says is thoughtful and true?
Are we being led by a man so honorable and deserving of respect that his visage will someday be carved into the hills of South Dakota at Mt. Rushmore, taking his rightful place with Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and T. Roosevelt?
If the contemplation of those questions and the comparison of Trump with some of our best Presidents makes you physically ill or, as they say in the poker world, puts you “on tilt”, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Close to 60% of the country has pretty much had a bellyfull of Mr. Donald J. Trump.
So, what’s the path forward? Do we have to wait until November 2020 for an election, or is impeachment in order?
There are two conditions precedent to successfully impeach a President and remove him from office. First, one must be able to show that the President is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors”. Second, there must be the political will to initiate proceedings in the House of Representatives and Convict and Remove him by trial in the Senate.
The first condition is remarkably easy to satisfy if the political will is there. The last word in the United States is always with the people … when they are sufficiently aroused to express their will. Lincoln said, “Public sentiment is everything. With it anything is possible. Without it nothing can be accomplished.”
Gerald Ford, who became President when Richard Nixon resigned, said, “An impeachable offense is whatever the Congress says it is.” It is not necessary to show that the President has committed a crime punishable by fine or imprisonment for impeachment to be appropriate.
It is sufficient that the President, by his actions or failure to act, has, in the opinion of an overwhelming majority of the people and their Representatives, done serious harm to the United States.
For example, if a President, after being inaugurated, were to decide to go to his quarters at the White House and do absolutely nothing for six months, he would not be committing a crime, but he would be committing an impeachable offense.
In the matter of Mr. Donald J. Trump, if the House of Representatives were to determine that Trump’s constant and continual lying had so destroyed morale in the military, our intelligence agencies, and endangered our relations with other countries that it rose to satisfy the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard and the Senate were to agree by a two-thirds majority, that would be it. Sayonara.
No judicial review. No nothing. Hit the bricks, baby. You’re outta here.
Right now, Trump’s job approval numbers are in the 37-40% range … dismal for a newly-elected President but not low enough for impeachment to be a realistic option.
Trump is a one-trick pony. He lies.
He’ll find his way to a 25% approval rating. Then, it will be time.
I will post again on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 or before if the news flow dictates.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.