These prophetic words, written by Irish poet William B. Yeats in his poem “The Second Coming,” have never seemed more appropriate than what we are facing today and for the immediate future. If the “centre” is Donald Trump, then he cannot continue to hold together an increasingly erratic and confused administration.
Many political pundits, mostly from the left, but a few from the right, have predicted that Trump might face impeachment after the 2018 mid-term elections. His conflicts of interest, his blatant nepotism in placing his daughter and son-in-law in positions of power, along with his Cabinet appointments called his judgment into question early on in his administration.
It was clear from the beginning that Trump had neither the interest or the intellect to serve as a functioning POTUS.
Couple that with his obsession over trivialities such as the size of his crowd at his inauguration, his running Twitter war with the media, his absurd claims that the Obama administration “tapped” his campaign, and his unceasing preoccupation with his Electoral College vs. popular vote election and a recipe for disaster was brewing.
But things are beginning to fall apart, and quickly. Perhaps more quickly than many who follow politics could have predicted.
A landslide begins with a few pebbles cascading down a mountainside, picking up larger and larger rocks, until finally moving with an unstoppable momentum.
Trump’s inability to distinguish between the powers given to the three branches of government – “so-called judge”, trying to defund sanctuary cities, and ruling through the same Executive Orders he blasted President Obama for doing, were the first pebbles rolling down the mountain.
He cannot seem to grasp the fact that he was elected president, not crowned king, of the United States. It is one thing to demand loyalty from your employees when you are running a business. But in all levels of government, from the President on down, loyalty is sworn to the Constitution, not to the President.
Trump’s tweets show a man in denial – of the ties between his campaign and Russia, of any story published by the media that is not flattering to him, of the role of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He claims on the one hand that there are no Trump-Russia ties, then admits in a national television interview with Lester Holt that he intended to fire FBI Director Comey BECAUSE he was investigating these ties. This despite the initial narrative put forth by the White House that Comey was fired because of his handling of the Clinton email scandal.
Trump’s firing of Comey is not a pebble, it is a constitutional boulder. Even Richard Nixon was not stupid enough to say he wanted Archibald Cox fired because he was investigating Watergate. Trump’s incoherent and incorrect twitter storm on Friday morning shows a man who is no longer in control.
The country cannot afford to wait for an impeachment. If the rumors are true that sealed indictments have been issued for members of Trump’s administration, there is no way to judge how this will affect a man who has no self-control and no one in his administration with the ability to control him. Even his daughter Ivanka, once thought to be a moderating influence on her father, appears to be ineffective.
It is no longer a matter of months, or possibly even weeks, before action must be taken. The 25th Amendment to the Constitution provides in Article Four that:
“Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers and the of the executive departments or of other such body as Congress may be 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.”
It is extremely unlikely that Trump will allow it to reach this stage. Surely by now Vice President Pence, the Cabinet, and the Congress recognize that this is a situation that is only going to get infinitely worse – not better. It is no longer a question of political loyalty, it has become a matter of saving of the country from a sad, delusional 70-year-old man who has lost touch with reality.
Make no mistake, if given the option of resignation or being declared incompetent to be President, Donald Trump will choose resignation. No doubt he will make the most outrageous excuses for doing so, but at that point no one will care. While many do not relish the idea of a President Pence, it is perhaps the only option left to save our nation.