* Erik’s Editorial: The Guilty Parties Who Put American Democracy At Risk In The Name Of Donald Trump

US White House upside down (public domain).

I do not fault stupid people for making the stupid decision to elect Donald Trump in 2016.

I do fault smart people for making stupid decisions. These include:

1. Senators who voted to acquit Donald Trump in his no-witnesses-allowed impeachment trial, including primarily Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell:

* Impeachment of Donald Trump (2020-02-05)

* Mitch McConnell (2020-02-05)

2. Members of the GOP who voted to disenfranchise voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – before, during, and AFTER the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol – including Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jody Hice (R–GA-10), Mo Brooks (R–AL-05), Scott Perry (R–PA-10), Josh Hawley (R–MO), and Louie Gohmert (R–TX-01).

* 2021 Storming Of The United States Capitol (2021-01-06)

* 2020 United States Presidential Election Electoral College Count (2021-01-06 – 2021-01-07)

3. Donald Trump’s cabinet, who could have invoked the 25th Amendment to remove POTUS at any time:

* Cabinet Of Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

4. Social media, including especially Facebook and Twitter, for allowing their social networks to be used as platforms for hate speech.

* Donald Trump On Social Media (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

5. Mainstream media, including especially CNN (on the left) and Fox News (on the right) for not doing their jobs – asking questions until they get answers – and allowing POTUS to lie unchecked.

* Veracity Of Statements By Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

6. Lawmakers at all levels, for failing to fix bad laws and for failing to enact good laws. Changes that must be made going forward include:

Limiting POTUS power:

  • Executive order power must be limited.
  • All cabinet members (acting/interim/actual) must be confirmed by Senate.
  • Treaties and tariffs must be the role of Congress so that POTUS cannot engage in trade wars.
  • War Powers Act must be updated to limit POTUS power to deploy the military.
  • Special Counsel Act must be updated to make clear that POTUS cannot fire special counsel.

Writing better and new laws:

  • Impeachment Act of 2021, to define how impeachment is conducted, including the requirement to have witnesses.
  • Follow the lead of The Restatements Of The Law project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restatements_of_the_Law) and codify major SCOTUS cases, including especially Roe v. Wade.
  • Fix the Census.
  • Fix immigration.
  • Fix SCOTUS processes, such as limiting appointments to 2 per POTUS with the number of SCOTUS justices fixed at the number of Federal Circuits (currently 13).
  • Election reform, including who is qualified to run for POTUS and that tax forms must be disclosed to do so.

Just to name a few.

Stupid people, bad laws, and lies got us into this mess.

Smart people, good laws, and the truth can get us out of this mess.



Editorial: Trump’s Behavior Prompts Proposal for New Panel under 25th Amendment

Many Americans have questioned Donald Trump’s fitness to serve as President of the United States since before he took office, but even with that aside, his recent hospitalization for COVID-19 (and his subsequent antics) have prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) to draft legislation under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, establishing a commission that would allow Congress to intervene to relieve an unfit president of his or her duties.

Last week, President Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, briefly hospitalized, and given a series of experimental treatments that are understood to be reserved for seriously ill patients. While he was in the hospital, he remained on the job with no provision for Vice President Pence to assume even temporary executive duty. The 25th Amendment lays out the process for a president to voluntarily transfer executive authority to the vice president during times when the president is unable to carry out his or her duties, including during a medical event or procedure.

The aim of the 25th Amendment is to ensure continuity of power, should a president die, become unable to perform his or her duties, or resign. In addition to a president’s voluntary transfer of authority, the 25th Amendment provides that, by joint agreement between the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet, “or of such other body as Congress,” a sitting president could be declared “disabled,” and removed from office involuntarily.

The 25th Amendment limits the power of Congress in such situations, and the legislation put forth by Pelosi and Raskin would create a commission to determine whether Donald Trump is fit to carry out his duties as president, or should be removed from office.

Though they may be difficult to distinguish from Trump’s usual behavior and lack of impulse control, Trump’s recent barrage of angry and unstable-sounding tweets, self-aggrandizing and confusing video messages, and reckless behavior during his illness while still contagious, have concerned even many of his staff members.

Among Trump’s recent erratic video messages was one resembling an infomercial, touting the antibody treatment Regeneron. “We have hundreds of thousands of doses, and they’re just about ready,” Trump said, promising that the treatment would be free to all who need it.

Trump tweeted an abrupt halt to talks underway between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about a coronavirus relief package, then partially reversed the halt. He also announced that he would not be participating in the upcoming debate with Joe Biden after learning that the debate would be held virtually.

The president, scoffing at public health guidelines from his own administration, has returned to the Oval Office, placing the entire White House staff in danger of contracting the potentially deadly virus from their boss. As of Friday morning, at least “34 White House staffers and other contacts” have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Yet Trump refuses to wear a mask, and says he plans to return to the campaign trail as early as this weekend.

Nancy Pelosi has expressed concern that Trump is experiencing a “disassociation from reality.” Others have questioned whether Trump is suffering “roid rage” as a result of his COVID-19 treatments, which includes Dexamethasone, a steroid.

“Trump is, shall we say, in an altered state right now,” said Pelosi. “The disassociation from reality would be funny if it weren’t so deadly.”

The legislation that Pelosi and Raskin are introducing, the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office Act, would “enable Congress to help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership in the highest office in the Executive Branch of government,” according to the office of Pelosi.

The reality, however, is that, though Pelosi and Raskin could create a commission to examine the health of the president, and his fitness for office, the House of Representatives would need the agreement of not only the vice president, but also members of the cabinet. Pelosi knows that this is not likely, at least not before the election.

“I don’t think it would work for this president — this presidency,” said Pelosi.

Still, passage of the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office Act, even if only by the House of Representatives, would be a first step that needs to be taken at this time to protect the office of the presidency. Amid a sea of complicit and enabling GOP lawmakers who will likely continue to disregard the 25th Amendment, even as the president’s instability glares at them, this legislation is a statement that Donald Trump’s actions are placing the U.S. in jeopardy, and we need a plan.

Nancy Pelosi suggests future 25th Amendment discussion on Donald Trump’s fitness for office | Guardian News [2020-10-08]

What The 25th Amendment Says If The President Cannot Serve | NBC News NOW | [2020-10-02]