Over the weekend, President Trump posted a video to his twitter account of himself at a Wrestlemania event grappling and punching a man whose head had been replaced by the CNN logo. Trump hashtagged the tweet "FraudnewsCNN" and "FNN" (Fraud News Network):
Remember, this is the President of the United States we are talking about here. Not a 15 year old boy trying to impress his friends on social media. While Trump's administration and the GOP establishment have again failed to do anything to reign in his completely insane behavior, the calls to bring in responsible adults to step in to stop what is quite clearly an unwell man from destroying the country he is supposed to be running are growing louder by the day.
Although a long shot, Democrats are now seeking to activate an independent investigation into Trump to ascertain whether has been too far “incapacitated” to continue his role as President. Led by Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the investigation would make use of parts of the 25th Amendment that deal with the temporary transfer of power when a president is unable to fulfill his duties (due to issues like illness, death or in this case, mental incompetence). Raskin told reporters that his legislation would focus on Section 4 of the amendment, that states:
Whenever the vice president and a majority of ... bod[ies] such as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the president pro-tempore of the Senate and 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.
The chance of this actually happening is small, but the #25thAmendmentNow is trending all over the news today, largely in response to Trump's tweet about CNN. And rightly so.
What exactly does Donald Trump have to now do to prove he is manifestly unfit to serve as president of the United States? This type of behavior would not be tolerated anywhere else in American society, yet the leader of the country appears to think it fine to condone violence towards journalists, insult women for their appearance and "bleeding", lie on a daily basis, and run his administration like a deranged gang boss. This is not normal, and the longer it goes on, the more corrosive it becomes.
The knock on effects of Trump's behavior are immense, and won't necessarily be felt all at once. Trump is destroying America's image around the world in such stunning fashion that it won't recover for decades. He has alienated close allies, insulted fellow NATO members, and pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord. He is also embarking on a maniacal mission to disintegrate the federal government, destroy environmental legislation and gut welfare, making George W. Bush's ransacking of government look like a socialist expansion. The worst thing about it however, is that Trump genuinely doesn't understand what he is doing. He honestly seems to believe that cutting taxes and destroying Obamacare is going to help the poor, and doesn't understand why people call him a liar when he spouts provably false information. Trump also believe he isn't sexist, is incredibly intelligent, and is doing a fantastic job as president. Trump quite literally lives in an alternate universe that no one inhabits other himself. While his administration has to regularly defend his lunacy, the reports of crushingly low morale and complete chaos in the White House points to the people around him also knowing their Dear Leader is dangerously mentally unstable. Everyone knows the Emperor has no clothes, but Trump's instability works to his favor and has created a climate of fear that few on the right are willing to confront.
The truly psychotic CNN tweet was no doubt designed to rally Trump's supporters behind him and feed into the image of him being a no nonsense tough guy. It almost certainly did that, but it proved yet again to all self aware, decent people that this man is not of sound mind and should be removed from office as soon as humanly possible. Triggering the 25th Amendment might be a long shot, but even the slimmest chance of it working is now clearly worth the risk.