All the irresponsible chatter of late about moves to impeach President Donald Trump is just that – meaningless horse hockey designed to distract U.S. voters from the national issues that matter.
On Friday, we learned of a modified tactic to unseat Trump, a Republican. Yahoo News reported that 25 U.S. House Democrats are now pushing an equally radical alternative: They are backing a bill to create a congressional “oversight” commission that could declare the president incapacitated, leading to his removal from office under the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment.
The bill is being championed by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat who reportedly is a former constitutional law professor. Raskin points to some obscure language in Section 4 of the 25th Amendment that permits “such other body as Congress may by law provide” — along with the vice president — the means to reach the same conclusion. It’s impeachment by a lesser name.
Specifically, Raskin’s measure calls for creating a nonpartisan “Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity” appointed by congressional leaders. (Yeah, good luck with that.) The commission would be composed of four physicians, four psychiatrists and three others — such as former presidents, vice presidents or other one-time senior federal officials. The commission could be empowered to conduct an examination of the nation’s chief executive “to determine whether the president is incapacitated, either mentally or physically.”
Heck, Congress these days can’t even fashion a consensus on the big issues, let alone on some contrarian’s move to bring down a president who, at most, is guilty of name-calling and verbal mud-wrestling.
How threatening is this attempt to effect an oversight commission? Not very. Keep in mind that the U.S. House seats 435 elected representatives. Now do the math: 25 of them comprise a super-minority of one-half of 1 percent. So, where are we going with this “initiative”? Hopefully, nowhere but the trash can.
As to the prospect of impeachment, a successful move to do so in the U.S. House would require at least 218 “yes” votes – a simple majority. Then the decision would go to the U.S. Senate, where a two-thirds majority is required. That’s 67 of 100 senators voting yes to impeach. It’s just not going to happen.
Is President Trump guilty of criminal wrongdoing. Nope.
Has he “committed treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” as spelled out in the 25th Amendment? Again, nope.
Has he tweeted and uttered some obtuse and insulting barbs against other public figures? Yup, but those are not impeachable offenses any more than a lack of decorum is grounds for a good ol’ hanging.
So, let’s applaud our Washington representatives who’ve kept their eyes on the road ahead and their hands on the wheel. More importantly, let’s push, pull and prod the killjoy representatives to stop all the senseless frivolity and get on with what we elected them to do.
And that is, to pass legislation that improves our collective standing, to restore the nation’s exceptionalism that is running a couple of quarts low, and – by all that is legally salubrious and fortuitous — to reinstate the faith we once had in ourselves.