Ref, We Want to Substitute for the Position of President of the United States

In many sports coaches have the opportunity to substitute and insert players who specialize in playing in certain situations.  Probably the best example is in football where when a team moves from playing offense to playing defense or visa versa, eleven players trot onto the field and another set of eleven trot off.  Rare is the player who plays on both sides of the ball.  But that example doesn’t end there. On third down and long the offensive team may insert a running back that is good at catching passes into the game and the defense may insert a player who specializes in rushing the quarterback and/or  they may play with five defensive backs instead of four.  Running backs are sometimes substituted for quarterbacks in short yardages situations. There are other opportunities for playing time by specialized players like kickers and punters and those who only play on special teams.

In other sports there are also players who are substituted into a game only in certain situations, so I’ve been thinking; wouldn’t it be nice if we to be able to substitute for the President of the United States in certain situations. Now I know that the possibility of being able to do that sort of thing is so improbable that it should more properly be labeled as impossible.  It would take a constitutional amendment which has zero chance of even being considered, much less be adopted, but I can dream can’t I?

Based on his performance thus far, I am not too concerned about Donald Trump in most situations.  Sure, like every other sane person in the country I am sick to death of his moronic tweets, his need to satisfy his narcissistic appetites at all costs, and his bullying of anyone who he sees as not doing his bidding. However, I take comfort in the knowledge that within his personality are the seeds of his own destruction.  In addition, the checks and balances built into our system of government are tailor made to keep his kind from trying to make himself a dictator. Frankly I rather enjoy his thinly disguised frustration and I wake up every morning anxious to learn how he has made a fool of himself yet again.  (Yea, I know; I guess I am just not a nice person.)

One reason I am not too worried about him in most situations is that he has proved to be totally incompetent in pushing forth his policies which I believe will have a negative effect on country and most of its people.  On the domestic front he appears to be unable and/or unwilling to concentrate long enough on the details of legislative initiatives to gain the knowledge necessary to effectively champion them.  The President can’t bring  wayward Senators or Representatives over to his way of thinking if they know far more about the subject than he does.  Trump’s habit of picking public fights with key members of his own party is totally counterproductive and his submarining job approval numbers make him less effective every day.  Just about any Republican in the White House, including Pence, would be far more effective in pushing his legislative agenda than Trump can ever be.

In many situations on the international front Trump is simply embarrassing.  His public bromance with Vladimir Putin and all things Russian is down right strange and very suspect.  His propensity to alienate our closest allies is troubling.  Pulling this country out of the Paris Climate Accords and trade partnerships reduces our power and influence in the world and deteriorates the world order of relative peace based on American leadership which Presidents of both parties have worked hard over 70 years to build.  However, assuming we elect a traditional candidate in our next presidential election, internationally the ill effects of Trump’s tenure in the Oval Office will probably prove to be temporary.  The rest of the world will know we have learned from or mistakes. Imagine how grateful our allies around the world will be if we elect someone with a personality similar to Barack Obama.

However, there is one aspect of international relations where Trump scares the hell out of me – crisis management. If you have been keeping up with the news of Trump’s mano y mano confrontation Kim Jong-un of North Korea, you already understand why I am disturbed and troubled.  North Korean leaders have been issuing outlandish treats against the United States and South Korea since the days of his father and grandfather, Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung.  Those treats have always been dismissed without comment by the leaders of both countries as the empty bluster, which they were.  Yet with off the cuff remarks, Trump has managed to escalate the tension between the US and North Korea into a major crisis.  Now Trump is talking about possible military intervention in Venezuela. Say what?!?!

This is where the coach (the American people) needs to be able to make a substitution for the position of POTUS.  For dealing with situations where military action is a possibility, Trump should be removed from his position temporarily and replaced by a leader with calm and deliberate disposition who would deal with the situation rationally. When the President of the United States has personality disorders which causes him to engage in treats which could lead to the deaths of millions of innocent people, we need be able to replace him temporarily until the danger has subsided. Since such a solution is impossible, it is time to seriously consider using the measures made available by the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution to remove this unstable person from office.

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment states:

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 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.

Cajun    8/11/2017

One thought on “Ref, We Want to Substitute for the Position of President of the United States”

  1. I appreciate that your comment is a bit tongue in cheek.

    I do see a very real, unprecedented really, possibility that our military will refuse to obey any order from this ,also unprecedented, grossly incompetent leader.

    I know how unrealistic that sounds, almost as unrealistic as having a president this thoroughly unfit to hold the office. But consider that our intelligence services are withholding information to him already, based upon his inability to shut up, and his past blunder exposing an intel source overseas.

    One can only hope..

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