I don’t know why this keeps bubbling up in my head—wish fulfillment, perhaps. But whatever the authors of the 25th Amendment thought they were doing, they weren’t solving our problem.
To be honest, there is no way they could have anticipated this problem: an unstable, childish, corrupt, vindictive know-nothing in the White House. They wrote the Amendment in case the President had a stroke (Wilson) or was shot (Reagan) or was otherwise incapacitated. They assumed the President to be an honorable man who, after a period of recuperation, would be welcomed back to his office by a sympathetic nation.
Instead, we have a reality TV star, and the 25th Amendment gives us no guidance on What Happens Next. I mean, think about it: Pence and the Cabinet write their letter to both houses of Congress and Pence assumes the title of Acting President. But do we really think the current embarrassment is going to vacate the White House? We do not.
Again, the authors of the 25th weren’t thinking about actually removing the President. We have the impeachment process for that. They were just codifying what everyone assumed to be an orderly transition of power in case of incapacitation. So if we go the 25th route, we can expect to be treated—if that’s the word I’m looking for—to another three years of reality TV. Do we perp march the embarrassment out of the Oval Office? Do we pay to set up a parallel White House (and no, not at a Trump hotel)? We’ll have competing press conferences. Torrents of tweets. Republican congresscritters would never come out of the elevators.
And what, oh what will Fox News do?
All in all, a complete circus.
And yet we’ll be rid of him.