Jewish historian Robert Dallek for Newsweek– ‘Donald Trump should be removed and replaced with Mike Pence’


Rawstory.com

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution may define the conditions for suspending a president’s authority, but it does not constrain the reasoning behind it.

As written, the amendment states that if a president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office,” the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can suspend him. Historically, such an inability was attributable to illness or medical problems, but, in light of President Donald Trump, I offer we expand our interpretation: Medicine aside, it is clear Trump is unfit to serve, and lawmakers must invoke the 25th Amendment against him.

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Fears of physical disability were certainly foremost in bringing about the amendment. Going back to at least the 1890s, when President Grover Cleveland had surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his jaw, the country had been in jeopardy of being governed by a chief executive who had lost his physical capacity to lead the nation. In 1919-1920, when a stroke immobilized Woodrow Wilson, and his wife largely ran the executive branch, Americans worried about finding a way to overcome temporary or permanent presidential incapacity.

Franklin Roosevelt’s tenure in the White House added to the sense of urgency about replacing a disabled president. By 1944, it was clear to people around Roosevelt that his health was in decline and that he might not live out a fourth term, which proved to be the case.

Ten years later, in the midst of the Cold War, when Dwight Eisenhower served in the Oval Office and suffered a heart attack that temporarily sidelined him, the need to do something about presidential health became more compelling, or so it seemed to the country’s governing authorities. With Lyndon Johnson in the White House, and questions swirling about his rationality in response to the stalemated war in Vietnam, political leaders from both parties saw the wisdom of passing the 25th Amendment.

Years later, in 1981, after Ronald Reagan had been shot and temporarily incapacitated, and then in 1998, when I revealed John F. Kennedy’s hidden medical problems that surely would have barred him from the presidency in 1961, people were all the more convinced that we could no longer turn a blind eye to a presidential candidate’s or a sitting president’s ability to conduct the affairs of state.

In all this, however, nothing was explicitly said about questions of personal temperament to acquit one’s presidential duties. There were glimmerings of this concern not only with LBJ but even more so with Richard Nixon during the Watergate crisis in 1973-74. Rumors about Nixon’s excessive drinking, as the crisis engulfed him, raised fears that the country was in jeopardy of dangerous presidential actions. The country had to wait until Nixon’s taped conversations reached the public 30 years later before it understood the extent to which Nixon’s irrationality had put the nation in peril. In a drunken stupor, he had slept through an unauthorized decision by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and White House chief of staff Al Haig to raise the country’s defense condition (or DEFCON) in response to a Soviet threat to interfere in the Yom Kippur War between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

The rise of Trump to the presidency now brings the question of presidential competence back into focus. Trump’s stumbling performance in his first 11 months represents a new low in the history of the modern presidency. It cannot be chalked up to medical disability, at least not at this juncture, but Trump is vulnerable under the amendment anyway.

First, Trump is untrustworthy. He makes promises he cannot keep, such as building a “beautiful” wall on the southern border. Second, he lies repeatedly—about the size of his inaugural crowds, the 3 to 5 million illegal voters in the 2016 election, Barack Obama’s birthplace and his voice on the Hollywood Access tape. Most recently, he has denied ever meeting the women who came forward Monday to accuse him of sexual harassment, and said they were lying. This brings me to my third point: Trump’s accusers are credible. In the #MeToo era, sexual misconduct should certainly be among the clearest evidence of presidential incompetence.

These shortcomings have made Trump the most unpopular first-year president in history: He has never won 50 percent support, either in the 2016 election or in opinion polls since taking office.

It is difficult to explain Trump’s poor record of leadership, though it might be the result of inexperience and unwise policies that command the support of only 35 to 40 percent of the country’s voters. But more compelling is the likelihood that we are dealing with someone who is indifferent to how almost all presidents have behaved in the recent past.

Trump is unable to discharge the powers of the presidency, as we understand the presidency. In other words, the presidency is part and parcel of a functioning democratic government, and Trump is unable to act in the interest of that democracy. His untrustworthiness, lying and appalling behavior demonstrate time and again his contempt for the duties of the office and the rule of law.

The 25th Amendment offers to the vice president and Cabinet the possibility of suspending Trump’s presidential authority. They could justify it as a guard against imperiling the country’s stability and national security that preserve our democratic system. (Of course, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and the apparent cooperation of Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, may bring a halt to Trump’s presidency by a different route.)

We cannot know what people will say in the future about Trump and his presidency. But I suspect many historians like myself will see him as the least-qualified man to hold the office since Harding in 1921-1923, despite Trump’s insistence to the contrary.

To date, Trump has nothing to celebrate as a notable achievement. The best that can be said for Trump is that he’s extremely ineffective at governing. At worst, though, he lacks the temperament to lead a great nation. He can and should be replaced by his vice president. In short, Trump lacks the wherewithal “to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

  1. #1 by John Wedow on 12/17/2017 - 9:34

    Oh yes quit Robert then weave a hidden new like Kerry was . The family name on their immigration papers are spelled the Hebrew way Pentz . Also the you tube video of hugging his Orthodox jew 1st cousins . By way of deception .

  2. #2 by william Crain on 12/17/2017 - 9:34

    Nothing could be worse than this PoS even the Frump HRC is preferable
    Thanks John for the insight on this fn’g Jooo ~ i didn’t know. His evangelical cover is fading.

  3. #3 by James Benn on 12/17/2017 - 9:34

    Robert Dallek? Hmmm … Strange name. Strange guy.

    Thanks for the history lesson, Prof. But apart from the outline of presidents who have become incapacitated in office, what do we got except a litany of unsubstantiated assertions. To wit…

    “The best that can be said for Trump is that he’s extremely ineffective at governing. At worst, though, he lacks the temperament to lead a great nation. He can and should be replaced by his vice president. In short, Trump lacks the wherewithal “to discharge the powers and duties of his office.””

    Is that the best ya got? Ineffective at governing? Lacks temperament? Lacks wherewithal? Where’s yer evidence, Prof?

    If you are to believe him, the Prof is unhappy that Trump “makes promises he cannot keep, such as building a “beautiful” wall on the southern border”. Ya unhappy about the broken promise, Prof? Or the unbuilt wall? Or both? Are yus in favor of the Israeli West Bank wall? Is that wall beautiful enough for ya?

    “…the presidency is part and parcel of a functioning democratic government, and Trump is unable to act in the interest of that democracy.”

    Methinks the lady doth protest too much. Unable (or unwilling) to act in the interest of Judea Inc, more like.

    “To date, Trump has nothing to celebrate as a notable achievement.”

    You mean like another luvverly little war in the Middle East? Iran, perhaps?

    But I do admit, nothing can change until Trump or some successor federalizes ‘The Fed’ and puts money creation back in the hands of responsible government.

    If it’s too big to fail … it’s too big for private hands!

    He’s got the whole world in his hands
    He’s got the whole wide world in his hands
    He’s got the whole world in his hands
    He’s got the whole world in his hands…

  4. #4 by Elizabeth Di Francesca Wallace on 12/17/2017 - 9:34

    Pence of course would be the next in line by law, but he is also a seasoned Zionist and would do as much or more damage then Trump, he would have war immediately and this country would see all of our young people mandated enlistments.

  5. #5 by Joe on 12/17/2017 - 9:34

    “in 1998, when I revealed John F. Kennedy’s hidden medical problems that surely would have barred him from the presidency….”

    Surely less serious than a MOSSAD bullet to the head.

  6. #6 by PJ London on 12/17/2017 - 9:34

    ‘it is clear Trump is unfit to serve, ‘
    The attacks will not stop.
    This person’s opinion, couched as fact, is paraded in a [once] famous periodical and you can be sure will be repeated as gospel again and again as evidence.
    They have tried to have him indicted for crimes and his hands are lily white., however in their zeal they have uncovered far worse crimes amongst their own.
    They tried to have him convicted of ‘Russian collusion’, uncovering [by way of a Dossier] a collusion and conspiracy to deceive and mislead the people beyond anything previously attempted.
    They tried to have him convicted of perverting the course of justice, finding him ‘Lily white’ and oops, the whole of DoJ and half the FBI are now facing indictment.
    They have tried to have him convicted in the court of public opinion for ‘sex’ crimes and not only has this failed but spectacularly backfired. The crowd that accused him have been exposed, whilst looking for sex crimes, we uncovered that in fact dozens [hundreds] of politicians are guilty and have evidence of their crimes. That dozens [hundreds] of the ‘A’ hollywood celebrities who accused and hated him are [Gasp] sexual predators and perverts.
    They tried to have him convicted of ‘Tax Evasion’ guess what, it turns out that he is innocent, but whilst we are on the subject, we also had a look at the Clintons, and the Dem’s leaders new fortunes. Oh happy days!
    Now the latest, thanks to D*head and Newsweek, is going to be “HE LIES”.
    My question is, ‘in light of your performance so far and the results of accusations against Trump as demonstrated above, do you really want to go there?’

  7. #7 by TruthOutJournal on 12/18/2017 - 9:34

    A “jewish historian” hahahahaha – LMFAO!!!! – Now there’s a source for truth folks. ha ha HA! Ask the lying spineless thing about the hollow-hoax or jfk, the liberty, or 911. Then you’ll see little satan’s truth badge shine for sure.

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