October 16, 2017
Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, a former senior aide to President George W. Bush, used his Friday op-ed to warn establishment Republicans that “the time for panic and decision is upon us.”
Gerson urges Republicans to join Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) in publicly raising two questions: “Is Trump psychologically and morally equipped to be president? And could his unfitness cause permanent damage to the country?”
If the reports are true that the majority of Senate Republicans agree with Corker’s comment that Trump could cause “World War III,” then Gerson exhorts them to publicly act on their convictions.
Though Gerson does not explicitly state how he would like them to act, the Washington Post offers a clue.
At the very end of Gerson’s column, the Post has embedded a video made by one of their staffers titled “How does the 25th amendment work?”
The video’s caption reads: “The 25th Amendment sets forth a procedure for removing a president from office. Here’s how it’s enacted.”
As the video explains, “Section IV of the amendment states that the Vice President and at least 13 of 24 cabinet members must agree to transfer power out of the hands of a sitting president. They would notify Congress and the vice president would take office as the acting president.”
From Gerson’s column in the Washington Post:
[T]he real problem has always been Trump’s fundamental unfitness for high office. It is not Trump’s indiscipline and lack of leadership, which make carrying a legislative agenda forward nearly impossible. It is not his vulgarity and smallness, which have been the equivalent of spray-painting graffiti on the Washington Monument. It is not his nearly complete ignorance of policy and history, which condemns him to live in the eternal present of his own immediate desires.
The time for whispered criticisms and quiet snickering is over. The time for panic and decision is upon us. The thin line of sane, responsible advisers at the White House — such as Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — could break at any moment. Already, Trump’s protests of eternal love for Kelly are a bad sign for the general’s future. The American government now has a dangerous fragility at its very center. Its welfare is as thin as an eggshell — perhaps as thin as Donald Trump’s skin.
Any elected Republican who shares Corker’s concerns has a political and moral duty to state them in public. If Corker is correct, many of his colleagues do have such fears. Their silence is deafening and damning.
Read the rest here.