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Today in Terrible Democratic Responses to Trump

[ 98 ] April 18, 2017 |

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Earl Blumeanuer has a very, very bad idea.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) filed the bill during the House’s two-week April recess to empower former presidents and vice presidents of both parties, in coordination with the sitting vice president, to determine if a president is fit for office.

“It is hard to imagine a better group to work with the vice president to examine whether the president is able to discharge the duties of the office. When there are questions about the president’s ability to fulfill his or her constitutional responsibilities, it is in the country’s best interest to have a mechanism in place that works effectively,” Blumenauer said in a statement.

Blumenauer’s proposal stems from concern that the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which was adopted five decades ago, would fall short in cases of emotional or mental incapacity.

The amendment states that the vice president assumes the Oval Office in the event a president is removed from office, dies or resigns.

Alternatively, the vice president and a majority of Cabinet officers can also jointly declare that a president is unfit to serve. The vice president would then take over as president in such a case.

In the event a president refused to step down, two-thirds of both the House and Senate would have to vote to force the resignation.

But Blumenauer posited that the mechanism wouldn’t be effective if a mentally unstable president simply fired all the Cabinet members. He argued it’s also possible that Cabinet members might feel pressured to stand by the president in the polarized political environment despite their own personal misgivings.

“Because the cabinet can be fired by the president, there is a natural bias that would make them reluctant to acknowledge the president’s inability to serve. It’s time to revisit and strengthen the Amendment and make sure there is a reliable mechanism in place if the president becomes unable to discharge the powers and duties of office,” Blumenauer said.

First, this is a horrible bill on the face of it. Yes, I want to see Dick Cheney and Dan Quayle make decisions on who is fit for the Oval Office! What could go wrong? Because this committee would just reflect partisan politics, it would be completely ineffective against someone like Trump. Moreover, the only way it could be effective is if one party had dominated politics for enough time to control the committee and thus serve as a veto to get rid of a president from an opposing party. The consequences of that would be one-party authoritarianism.

Second, this is indicative of a lot of reaction to Trump from Democrats since November 8. The amount of grasping at desperate straws has been disheartening. The idea that an electoral college revolt would reject Trump was the worst moment in this, but relying on the 25th Amendment is almost as bad. This kind of desperation shows how reluctant liberals are to deal with the real problem–the Republican Party. Donald Trump is nothing more than a slightly worse Republican than normal. That’s why the Republican base supports his agenda and why congressional Republicans are unwilling to buck him on most issues–except from the right! Getting rid of Trump solves nothing except some exceptional kleptocracy. But until I see Republicans outraged by Trump’s support of Erdogan, I’m not believing that they care one iota about emerging authoritarianism. It’s what they want if they can be the authorities.

Let’s get serious about fixing this nation and quit pretending like the problem is just in the Oval Office.

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  • Phil Perspective

    But until I see Republicans outraged by Trump’s support of Erdogan, I’m not believing that they care one iota about emerging authoritarianism.

    Support for Erdogan is bipartisan. Why would the GOP turn on Cheeto over that? Just because Cheeto was less circumspect about it?

    • The first clause in Eric’s sentence was originally “When pigs have wings”, but he decided to change it to something less likely.

  • CP

    I really do love this party, but good lord, does it ever have its share of peckerheads.

    • djw

      He’s a good guy, but definitely one of the great on policy but keep him far away from a strategy meeting types. He’s in just about the perfect district for “nerdy liberal wonk” so he doesn’t actually have to be any good at politics.

      • CP

        I don’t recall hearing of him before, so I probably shouldn’t jump on him like I just did. But yeah, let’s just say that idea in particular wasn’t a masterpiece.

        • djw

          That he spent much of 2004 and early 2005 desperately trying to get the rest of congress to pay attention to his “save NOLA from a hurricane induced flooding” bills and warning of doom if they don’t is particularly too his credit. (Not that the timeline of passing his bills would have helped against Katrina, but still.)

      • He’s about as safe as it gets. If he died they’d probably be able to get his mummy another three or four terms with a bit of Weekend At Bernie’s skulduggery.

    • Lot_49

      I think Blumenauer (who wears bow ties and rides his bike around DC) is like my old congresscritter Pat Shroeder used to be: the lucky rep who’s stuck in a totally blue district (Portland, mostly) to get the Dem voters out of the red ones. That gives him latitude to advance wacky if well-intentioned ideas.

      • Nah. All of the CDs in western Oregon have Democratic representatives, and the last two redistrictings were by Democratic legislatures. Our one Republican, Greg Walden (who was actually heavily involved with the AHCA, ha ha) doesn’t need any help in his big swath of empty Idahoregon.

        If anything, the districts are laid out so as to slice off enough of the Portland metro area to make it possible for a Democrat (Kurt Schrader, right now) to win CD-5. That’s the only district in Oregon I expect to ever be lost by an incumbent. (DeFazio’s district might flip whenever he retires.)

  • I’m wondering how long it will be before “authoritarianism” becomes a synonym for “law and order” and even “following rules,” to the point of actually replacing it in non-dogwhistle writing and speech.

    • kvs

      I think you’ve got the direction wrong. Authoritarianism itself has the pejorative connotation that the euphemisms cover. They’d just be reclaiming the word.

  • Lit3Bolt

    The sooner you accept old brainwashed pampered whites as your deity, Erik, the easier your tenure will go.

    BTW, I didn’t know you got your Master’s at UT! Go Vol(e)s!

    (Obligatory Simpsons reference)

    Bart: Ok, we can either go to Disneyworld, or Knoxville.

    All: KNOXVILLE, KNOXVILLE, KNOXVILLE!

    Come and visit, if only to carry out the verbal assassination of Glenn Reynolds. I can provide the safe houses.

    • D.N. Nation

      Heh indoodily.

  • cleek

    The amount of grasping at desperate straws has been disheartening.

    hear hear.

    • Lit3Bolt

      Then again, “angry white boomers must be placated at every turn” is not heartening, as well.

    • AlanInSF

      Speaking of, from NBC News today:

      Leader of ‘Cal-Exit’ Drops Bid for California to Secede, Instead Moves to Russia

      • NonyNony

        JFC. Really?

        • humanoid.panda

          That guy was living in Russia all along.

          The funniest thing is that in his “good bye cruel world” letter he describes how he became locked in a “war with American government” because his Russian wife couldn’t get a green card. But now, that her green card was received, his struggle is over, and he will go live in Russia in peace.

          In other words, the ignorant jackass just ensured that his wife will lose her green card in 24 months..

  • D.N. Nation

    I think we need to have an “Is This A Good Idea?” test for Democrats and various Resistance thinkers. Pretty simple, really:

    If this were a dramatic movie, would your idea cause everyone in the room to start slow-clapping in a grand emotional moment?

    Then no, it’s not a good idea.

    • witlesschum

      Actually, I can totally see this starting a slow clap in an Aaron Sorkin joint that accidentally (I think?) ends up empowering fascism by making opposition to it look lame/stupid/played by Tom Cruise.

    • I disagree. Democrats need to have ideas that are good. Not all good ideas are exciting or fun. This is a bad idea but not because it’s not exciting or fun, but because it’s just a bad idea that wouldn’t work well. We need Democratic legislators, especially backbenchers, to be working on boring but important policy proposals so there’s actually something constructive to do after the ‘resistance’ is successful. The Democrats were able to pass the ACA because it was built on a framework that had been discussed in Democratic policy circles for years.

      • humanoid.panda

        True, but let’s be serious: any kind of policy work done now will only become public in the run-up to the presidential elections. Can’t expect back-benchers avoid publicity between now and then.

      • D.N. Nation

        Read my post again. My point was that this idea seems exciting and good, like from a movie! Or an Aaron Sorkin joint!

        • Sorry, you’re totally right. In my defense, I had just woken up and hadn’t had coffee yet.

        • Buckeye623

          Other problem is this would be used against a Democrat president who [just like FDR] fights tooth-and-nail against establishment forces to re-regulate industries.

          The entire reason for FDR’s fireside chats was to get support from the people to pressure their representatives to support his policies.. even though the reps wouldn’t.

          Under this proposal, that “fictional re-regulating” president would probably get ejected..

          • humanoid.panda

            1. FDR worked with plenty of establishments : the Dixiecrats in Congress, the corporations he allowed to set national policy in the NRA, the donors that helped find democratic campaigns.
            2. FDR pushed much of his program during he hallowed 100 days, before his fireside chats became a thing. He didn’t push much through Congress after 1937 despite his fireside chats.

            Why can’t your collective of historically ignorant trolls pitch in and purchase a copy of Ira KatZnelson’s Fear Itself ?

  • Aardvark Cheeselog

    Is this a proposed Amendment? Because if not, I don’t understand how he thinks this could be legitimate. Quite aside from the shittiness of the idea.

    • kvs

      If it’s a regular bill, guess who’d get to veto it.

    • Manny Kant

      The 25th Amendment, Section 4:

      Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide

      so replacing the cabinet departments with a committee of ex-presidents and ex-VPs.

      That would currently be:

      Dems:
      1) Carter
      2) Mondale
      3) Clinton
      4) Gore
      5) Obama
      6) Biden

      GOP:
      1) GHW Bush
      2) Quayle
      3) GW Bush
      4) Cheney

      That seems better for us than what it would be replacing:

      GOP:
      1) Tillerson
      2) Mnuchin
      3) Sessions
      4) Zinke
      5) Perdue
      6) Ross
      7) Acosta
      8) Price
      9) Carson
      10) Chao
      11) Perry
      12) DeVos

      Ind.
      1) Mattis
      2) Shulkin
      3) Kelly

      It doesn’t really matter because Pence has to approve either way, but it certainly seems like a mild improvement (and Blumenauer is right that “ability of president to fire the cabinet” is an important source of potential dysfunction of the current system. I doubt it actually matters, but don’t see a reason to rail against it.

      • Bootsie

        so replacing the cabinet departments with a committee of ex-presidents and ex-VPs.

        That would currently be:

        Dems:
        1) Carter
        2) Mondale
        3) Clinton
        4) Gore
        5) Obama
        6) Biden

        GOP:
        1) GHW Bush
        2) Quayle
        3) GW Bush
        4) Cheney

        The idea of Trump being forced to consult with Bill and Obama sounds hilarious and I back it 100%.

      • EvanHarper

        This.

        I agree that the bill is kind of a waste of time, and may reflect some level of escapist magical thinking a la the electoral college revolt Erik mocks. But it’s a slight, demonstrable improvement on the system we have now.

        The Chapo Left has been having a field day with this on Twitter, claiming it would mean ex-President Donald Trump will get to veto the next president, etc. I don’t see any justification at all for this and it’s odd to see Erik pitching in with the same critique.

  • sk7326

    The only thing I’ll offer in his defense is that poking holes at his legitimacy via any means has been effective. This does not substitute for the stuff Erik mentions.

    That said, the idea is awful.

    • JohnT

      Poking holes is one defense. Secondly, it really it does seem to be a great time (what with Trump discovering the joys of bellicosity + missiles) to discuss seriously what to do if he goes completely nuts. I mean, the Congresssman’s answer is dumb, but his question is pertinent.

      • Manny Kant

        Blumenauer’s answer is an improvement on the current status quo.

        • Gregor Sansa

          Exactly. It’s like replacing plurality voting: you can design a really bad system and still have it be an improvement.

          If I were doing this, I’d use a citizen jury. In other words: have it be a 3/5 majority of a committee made up of one randomly-chosen registered voter from each CD. Any 2/5 of Senators could convene the committee; they’d get transportation and lodging for themselves and dependents, and a per diem, for a period of 7-28 days to meet and review the evidence, then they’d vote. People who were chosen but unable to serve could name a replacement they knew personally.

    • kvs

      I don’t think poking holes in his legitimacy has been all that effective. What’s stymied him are a combination of incompetence, being tremendously unpopular, and pursuing tremendously unpopular policies. The most unpopular.

      Those all combined to create a feedback loop of his failed administration’s failure to deliver on campaign promises. Sad!

      • humanoid.panda

        True, but the turmoil caused by the Russian investigation helped.

  • nocomment

    Jeebus, these people.

    “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.”
    Lilly Tomlin

  • Cheerfull

    Going to town halls, coordinating phone calls and letters to pressure vulnerable Republicans, maintaining a united block in Congress, campaigning effectively in special elections and next year is hard.

    Planting magic beans is easy.

    It’s predictable what most humans will do given the choice between the two.

    So I commend Erik for pointing and laughing.

    • Boots Day

      This proposal reminds me of the Tax March that happened over the weekend. I hate to tell people that they shouldn’t get out there and show their passion, but the likelihood of that demonstration getting Trump to release his tax returns is roughly the same as the Padres’ chances of winning the World Series this year.

      There is only one thing that Republican lawmakers will respond to, and that’s the threat of losing their seats. That’s the real impact of today’s Georgia election – if the GOP realizes what a millstone Trump is, maybe they’ll stop turning a blind eye to all the horrible, corrupt things he does. But winning elections is the only lever we have.

      • D.N. Nation

        Get people to come to your march. Get them energized. Keep them energized. It doesn’t matter how goofy or Quixotic the march may seem. I’ll never talk shit on an actual organized march that gets people involved with politics.

        The Statler/Waldorf routine from certain NYC boroughs at other people’s work? That I will talk shit on.

        • randy khan

          I completely agree with you. Activism begets activism and engagement. Getting people energized is the first step to everything else.

          • Boots Day

            That’s very true. But there’s also a danger in getting people to fight for something that is never, ever going to happen.

            • randy khan

              I’m not particularly worried about that in this case because Trump not doing something that he obviously should do will keep people angry. In some other cases, it might discourage people, but here I think it just adds to the list of grievances.

        • SatanicPanic

          This. Jesus, everyone pooping on marchs please shut up already.

      • witlesschum

        This difference is that the Tax March continues to make Trump look bad and keeps the idea that he’s obviously a crook with lots to hide in front of people. Whether he ever releases his returns or not is immaterial, it’s to continue scoring political points.

        Whether it effectively does that, it at least is better than this, which just makes the guy offering it look bad.

        • EvanHarper

          Yeah absolutely. Saying it’s pointless to demonstrate demanding Trump release his tax returns, because Trump isn’t going to do that, is like saying it’s pointless to display effigies of Hillary Clinton in a prison jumpsuit and chant LOCK HER UP, because she’s not actually going to jail for trivial and/or imaginary offenses.

          It has the added bonus of being an actually legitimate demand, too, instead of a crazy witchhunt.

      • Cheerfull

        I disagree, like some above. If we weren’t past the five minute mark I’d edit my post. Marching is a good way of 1) showing Democrats in office that we care which has the effect of making them more likely to hang together. I have seen references to Dems saying there will be no deal on taxes until T reveals his, which strikes me as a lovely rhetorical gesture and 2) it tends to worry R’s (perhaps only a little) and distract and enrage T, which are also good ideas.

        Marching instead of the other stuff isn’t such a good idea, but I am always up for a good, nonviolent, march.

        • Aaron Morrow

          showing Democrats in office that we care

          Yes.

          Like Cheerfull says, don’t just march, but people can (and should) do more than one thing.

        • SatanicPanic

          I wish people could wrap their minds around the idea that the marches aren’t just directed the Republicans.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            there is just a lot of failure of imagination these days

      • Manny Kant

        Point wasn’t actually t get Trump to release his tax returns.

  • Buckeye623

    It’s a token show of “resistance” — because he doesn’t want to actually promote the grassroots policies [things that would benefit people who don’t make 100k+] which would generate an overwhelming win for the party and the country. Does he personally not want to? Or have the donors told him not to? Because I evaluate him based only on his actions, the limit is the same.

    Because anything, even if stupid, is better than a truly progressive policy.. this kind of nonsense is done because it’s “something.”

    You know, such as “electing” Perez as DNC chair over Ellison. How’s that going, anyway?

    • D.N. Nation

      I will now show my grassroots progressive bonafides with a sweet Daily Caller link

      • Buckeye623

        If you’d bothered to click on it, you’d see that the point of the link was the video.

        Or do you think all video that doesn’t support Hillary must be doctored?

        • D.N. Nation

          I voted for Bernie.

          And as I realize that admitting this usually causes your type to hit the ABORT ARGUMENT! ABORT ARGUMENT! button as fast as humanly possible, it’s been nice talking to you.

          • Buckeye623

            Keep inventing those strawmen – they’re the only person your type can “win” an argument against!

            If you think Perez is actually progressive.. good luck.

            • humanoid.panda

              *Putting on Roman toga*

              Ban the troll before he becomes a one person infestation.

              *Removing Roman toga*

              • Buckeye623

                Not a troll – but your responses to me are much more troll-like than any of my posts.

                But hey, epistemic closure away!

                When you can’t convince with logic, insult and mock – because that’s clearly all you personally can do.

                • humanoid.panda

                  Poor, rational you, an intellectual giant trapped in a world of neoliberal shills who won’t even try reading the Daily Caller to escape their liberal bubble. Probably latter drinkers and arugula munchers.

                • Buckeye623

                  Even though he spent the afternoon trying desperately to personally insult the new poster, humanoid.panda just couldn’t find a way to get him to react.

                  The new poster just wouldn’t take his oh-so-clever trollbait! Or so he thought to himself, while eating his cannabis lunch brownies.

                • D.N. Nation

                  Is there any reason why y’all sound the same?

                  – Series of 5-7 flash-frozen talking points, to be thrown out regardless of the responses you’re getting
                  – Assumption that everyone here voted for Clinton
                  – Overabundance of exclamation points
                  – The whole “but hey, keep losing, dumb lib!” thing

                  I’ll give it credit, NoMoreFartCenter at least gets uniquely huffy whenever you mock certain people in the Jacobinosphere; at that point the troll passes the Turing Test and becomes something, erm, “greater.” But this? We’ve seen this before. Pass.

                • Buckeye623

                  Because even when my posts both aren’t a talking point and conflict with your flash-frozen responses, it’s me that’s the troll.

                  Because of your erroneous assumption of who I voted for, it’s me that’s the troll.

                  Because of your overabundant use of both sexual innuendo and exclamation points [Count ’em..], it’s me that’s the troll. You used 4 in total – and I used 3. Do you math, bro?

                  What’s wrong – can’t accept that someone who’s not a troll or “sent” from some sort of trollbotmindhive would dare disagree with your precious ideas?

            • D.N. Nation

              Mm, like I said, been nice.

    • randy khan

      Be careful not to use up your ration of quotation marks.

      The distance between the agendas proposed by Perez and Ellison for the DNC was pretty narrow – both of them wanted more grassroots involvement (hence the just-started tour around the country) and a greater commitment to contesting elections everywhere. And, of course, the DNC doesn’t actually set policy positions at all.

      • Buckeye623

        Ellison is not anything resembling a magical progressive – he’s establishment. But Obama simply couldn’t have a progressive follow him. Perez wasn’t a candidate until it became clear Ellison was going to win easily.

        DNC doesn’t have a commitment to do anything national – if they did, they would have put money into the Kansas election but they didn’t.

        • humanoid.panda

          DNC doesn’t have a commitment to do anything national – if they did, they would have put money into the Kansas election but they didn’t.

          I will now proceed to shove my penis into the chicken. Behold me, neoliberal shills, and despair.

          • Buckeye623

            Even under howard dean the DNC didn’t fund state organizations to any relevant amount.. it was all national. Obama pulled funding back even more from those same state groups. What makes you think “This Time” will be any different? I don’t believe words just because they’re asserted — it needs to show up with actions on the ground.

            There’s plenty of other 2017 elections that have been supported only by local groups and individual contributions — again, there’s zero action to support the premise that DNC is doing anything different other than the marketing. And that will have ZERO effect on the outcome.

            But hey, keep replying with sexual references. Relevant!

            • Aaron Morrow

              And that will have ZERO effect on the outcome.

              Explain how running for office does not involve introducing yourself to the public. Bonus points if you don’t support abandoning democracy like others who troll this site.

        • randy khan

          Three points on Kansas, which I think would be obvious to anyone who’s actually following events, but perhaps not:

          1. The Dems in Kansas had a candidate, in fact probably before Perez was elected, so there was no need for DNC recruiting.

          2. Nobody thought the seat was in play at all until about a week out.

          3. In Kansas, there’s a pretty good argument that the sweet DNC money would have done more harm than good.

          On your other point, I’m having a hard time thinking of someone more progressive than Ellison who had a sufficient profile to get elected as chair of the DNC. (You might argue that’s a flaw in the structure of the Democratic Party, but Ellison actually is pretty progressive.)

          But in any event, saying that Perez is not a progressive smacks to me of a no true Scotsman argument. He was a pretty darned progressive head of the Civil Rights Division and Department of Labor, lest we forget things like the fiduciary rule, voting rights, and the overtime pay rule. It’s true that Obama preferred him, but that’s not an indictment.

          • EvanHarper

            I don’t buy the argument that DNCC money would have called attention to Thompson’s status as a Democrat in a way that exceeded the value of the actual money. That seems like an attempt to rationalize a genuine mistake.

            But yeah, the sniping and insane, worthless conspiracy theories about KS-04 are infuriating.

    • True progressives Tom Perez and Keith Ellison are doing a great job so far despite the whining of the fake progressive posers.

    • Or have the donors told him not to?

      LOL, Blumenauer is in a D+24 district and has never received less than 67% of the vote in over two decades in Congress. Some years there isn’t even a Republican running against him. What leverage do you think donors have over him?

      Hop back into your Daily Caller link and take your low-rent conspiracy nonsense with you.

      • humanoid.panda

        I do have to say that the idea that evil corporate donors are pining for a Sorkinesque goo-goo idea that doesn’t have a snow ball’s in hell chance of becoming law is kinda endearing. If this is what donors want in exchange of money that can be put to good use, more selling out, please!

      • Buckeye623

        Good thing you didn’t watch the video at the link and observe the reaction to Perez.

        Because God forbid you actually do anything the majority of a population would support!

        But hey, video is indeed a low-rent conspiracy theory. Got it. Life is so hard when people just won’t accept what their betters tell them to believe.

        • I did watch the video. I learned that among attendees at an event in Portland, Maine, Bernie Sanders is more popular than Tom Perez.

          As we all know, as Portland, Maine goes, so goes the nation.

        • Aaron Morrow

          Conservatives edit video. Just ask Shirley Sherrod.

    • SatanicPanic

      Some progressives are stupid, news at eleven

    • efgoldman

      It’s a token show of “resistance” — because he doesn’t want to actually promote the grassroots policies

      Which “he”? The Alleged President? The earnest but mindless Oregon rep?
      What, exactly, is the chance of any truly progressive policy getting even a hearing, let alone a floor vote, prior to January 2019 in either house? About as much as this silly idea. Also about as much as you making sense.

      • Buckeye623

        You might want to check the voting on the 2017 importation of prescription drugs bill.

        13 republicans supported it because it’s a good idea, but the corporate democrats voted it down.

        It already happened, and it will happen again.

  • randy khan

    I thought of the Electoral College thing as just part of the bargaining stage of Kubler-Ross. (Also, a little bit of pointing out that so many Republicans had said Trump was utterly unacceptable, although of course there was no chance there would be enough unfaithful electors to make any difference.)

    This, on the other hand, is a waste of time. It’s not like it’s a leadership initiative, though.

    • humanoid.panda

      I thought of the Electoral College thing as just part of the bargaining stage of Kubler-Ross. (

      Yeah. to expect people to take what happened in November with a stoic rationality is a bit too much..

  • kvs

    That’s a silly fantasy to engage in, combining the worst parts of impeachment fever dreams with requiring actual political capital that doesn’t exist in order to pass. And as a publicity stunt, it’s a juvenile red meat appeal without legs.

  • rea

    Two Bushes, Carter, Quayle and Cheney would have been a great panel to judge Obama's fitness to hold the presidency.

    • Hogan

      Clinton and Gore, also too.

      Since Bush 41 was both a vice president and a president, does he get two votes?

      • wjts

        Don’t forget Mondale.

        • Hogan

          I wouldn’t say I “forgot” Mondale so much as “thought he was dead.” I’m happy to be wrong about that.

    • NonyNony

      Eh – the idea is ridiculous enough as it is without making it a total strawman. The VP is still in charge of calling the group together in the first place, so it would have to be Biden deciding it was time to invoke the 25th Amendment.

      Honestly this isn’t what the 25th Amendment was for – it’s not supposed to be about backdoor impeaching a President without Congress’s input. It’s supposed to be about providing a legal way to remove a president who is somehow prevented from resigning when he needs to – like if he’s in a coma or being kept alive in a vegetative state.

      • efgoldman

        it’s not supposed to be about backdoor impeaching a President without Congress’s input.

        And in fact, there is no non-political way to remove a live, more-or-less functional president. Both impeachment and the 25th amendment are totally political acts.

        • Lurker

          Yes. The true definition of “high crime and misdemeanor” is “anything the majority if the House and 67 senators are willing to impeach for”. The only reason why Republicans did not impeach Obama was that they did not have 67 Senate votes.

          • efgoldman

            The only reason why Republicans did not impeach Obama was that they did not have 67 Senate votes.

            And maybe a few of them remembered the election after the last time they tried it over a piece of shit nothingburgeer.

  • humanoid.panda

    Second, this is indicative of a lot of reaction to Trump from Democrats since November 8. The amount of grasping at desperate straws has been disheartening. The idea that an electoral college revolt would reject Trump was the worst moment in this, but relying on the 25th Amendment is almost as bad.

    This seems to me like tarring with a very broad brush. The electoral college thing was basically a bunch of people outside politics that latched on to Bernie’s campaign, the 25th amendment is mostly an internet thing, and while this looks like a bad idea, a minority backbencher offering a message bill to raise his profile is nothing new.

    So sure, like every electoral defeat in the digital era, the post-Trump era gave prominence to some less-than-rational voices (Mensch, Kendzior, Garland), but the larger response was totally rational: organizing, protesting, obstructing.

  • ASV

    I would love to see the straws being grasped be legitimately helpful things, given none of these straws are going to happen in the short term anyway: Get rid of Electoral College, institute a Constitutional right to vote, put 18-year limits on Supreme Court tenures, etc. As far as I can tell, Democratic bigwigs aren’t interested in even pretending about these things.

    • efgoldman

      Democratic bigwigs aren’t interested in even pretending about these things.

      I think the actual “bigwigs” – Pelosi, Schumer, their assistants and whips, Obama and maybe the Clintons – are properly more concerned with dealing with the day to day fuckery of the Mango Malignancy maladministration, Yertle McTurtle and Granny Starver – as they should be.

      Even if someone proposed some or all of this, it would get all the salience and traction of the Garland appointment, i.e. none.

  • SNF

    Donald Trump is nothing more than a slightly worse Republican than normal.

    Donald Trump is much more likely to start a nuclear war than a generic Republican president. That’s part of why there’s so much desperation for something to remove him.

    If Trump starts a nuclear war before we can vote him out in 2020, then literally nothing else matters.

  • Alworth

    Look, you have to make up your mind. Should Dems go hammer and tongs after Trump or work with him? Because if you’re not working with him, trolling is the best alternative, and this is clearly nothing to do with policy-making–it’s trolling. He’s proposed a bill to embarrass the President and get people talking about whether a bipartisan group of former presidents consider him unfit for office. There’s no downside unless OTHER Dems walk away in a huff, failing to see the move.

    Full disclosure: Earl’s my Rep, but I’ve never had any interaction with him.

    • Aaron Morrow

      Should Dems go hammer and tongs after Trump or work with him? Because if you’re not working with him, trolling is the best alternative, and this is clearly nothing to do with policy-making

      I disagree that Democrats can’t suggest superior policies without working with Trump, because they have. If Blumenauer can’t recommend things that would actually help the citizens of his district and his country while trolling Trump, then he’s clearly not ready for prime time.

      Shadow governing is awesome.

      • efgoldman

        If Blumenauer can’t recommend things that would actually help the citizens of his district and his country while trolling Trump

        Nothing any Dem puts forward, rational or not, useful or not, practical or not, is going to move forward under the current circumstances. Not one fucking thing.
        So might as well troll, and get under RWNJs – especially Marmalade Moocher’s – skin.