Tyrants are seldom free; the cares and the instruments of their tyranny enslave them. George Santayana
Hard to believe, only week two of the Trump suzerainty; he did what Bernie and Hillary were unable to do, unify the young and the old, the progressives and the liberals, he has created a tsunami of democratic opposition.
Today Sean Spicer, the Press Secretary, met, or shall we say confronted the media. Each day his role is to meet with credentialed press and answer questions in a televised setting. He was curt, on the verge of rude, confrontational. He moved from questioner to questioner lecturing them, answering briefly and moving on. It was disrespectful. In my role as a union leader/representative (Watch press conference here) I faced many hostile audiences. I never argued, I was polite, listened, thanked the questioners,
Of course, Spicer has an extremely difficult job, to defend the indefensible, a president who has serious psychological issues: Is he a sociopath, a psychopath?
An op-ed in the NY Daily News, “President Trump exhibits classic signs of mental illness, including ‘malignant narcissism,” shrinks say,” questions the competency of our chief executive.
The article avers,
“Dr. Julie Futrell, a clinical psychologist said, ‘Narcissism impairs his ability to see reality …. So you can’t use logic to persuade someone like that. Three million women marching? Doesn’t move him. Advisers point out that a policy choice didn’t work? He won’t care. The maintenance of self-identity is the organizing principle of life for those who fall toward the pathological end of the narcissistic spectrum'”.
“A top psychotherapist affiliated with the esteemed Johns Hopkins University Medical School said Trump “is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president.”
“The American Psychiatric Association says that anyone exhibiting five of the following nine egotistical traits has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Count up how many Trump exhibits:”
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
- Believe that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with other special or high-status people.
- Requires excessive admiration.
- Has a sense of entitlement.
- Is interpersonally exploitative.
- Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
If the president is unstable, suffering from a psychological disorder, what can be done? Does the Constitution provide for the removal of the president?
The Constitution does provide for the impeachment of the president, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The actions of our current president do not appear to fall within the definitions contained in the Constitution; or do they?
Almost fifty years ago to the date the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, dealing with succession in case of presidential disability, contains a procedure, albeit, awkward, to replace the president.
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, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he [the President] shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
According to my reading only the Vice President and the cabinet can determine if the President is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of hid office,” and, if the process plays out the Vice President becomes the Acting President.
It appears extremely unlikely that the provisions of the 25th Amendment will result in the removal of President Trump; then again, who in their wildest dreams thought that a TV Reality Show star could end up as the leader of the Western World?
Are the actions of the President “high crimes and misdemeanors”?
Could Vice President Pence, Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan plot to wrest the presidency from President Trump? Seems absurd, we live in absurd times.