Posted 5/11/17

Beyond the crudeness and insensitivity of Donald Trump, I believe that my long-lasting memory of the 2016 presidential campaign will be the GOP’s all-out, unending attack on the character and …

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Beyond the crudeness and insensitivity of Donald Trump, I believe that my long-lasting memory of the 2016 presidential campaign will be the GOP’s all-out, unending attack on the character and reputation of Hillary Clinton. The idiocy of that assault was epitomized in my mind by the charge that she was connected to a pedophile ring operating out of the basement of a pizza parlor.

Misogyny raged openly among the mindless, empowered by genital-grabbing Donald—and that was only a prelude to the general insanity that now is engulfing us.

Despite Hillary's victory by 2,900,000 in the popular vote, enough intellectually challenged, bamboozled and just plain inattentive voters gave Trump his electoral-college victory. Relatively few of those same voters who were led down the garden path by Donald and his gang likely will be reading the 12-page article in the last issue of New Yorker magazine (May 9). It requires a reasonable attention span, belief in reality and respect for the opinions of experts in such things as mental health, law, history, etc.

The country’s now awash in the high tide of Trump’s vanity/ego, vindictiveness, underlying racism and second-rate mind.  Lies , random platitudes and high-sounding slogans intertwined against a back-drop of the American flag are the order of the day.                     

I found it startlingly informative and read every word of the New Yorker article, which dealt with the mental state of Donald Trump and constitutional provisions for removal of a president. I can’t begin to cover it all like author Evan Osnos in my few condensed observations here. Impeachment can be quite an involved process. See for starters.

Then there is the 25th amendment to the Constitution. Section 4 for example, 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.”

In that regard, reflecting on events some weeks ago, New York Times’ columnist David Brooks wrote “I still have trouble seeing how the Trump administration survives a full term. Judging by his Thursday press conference, President Trump’s mental state is like a train that long ago left freewheeling and iconoclastic, has raced through indulgent, chaotic and unnerving, and is now careening past unhinged, unmoored and unglued.”

A paragraph in the current New Yorker article reported: “More than fifty thousand health professionals have signed a petition stating that Trump is ‘too seriously mentally ill to perform the duties of president and should be removed’ under the 25th Amendment.”

In response to various evaluations of Trump’s mental condition, James Gilligan, professor psychiatry at New York University, told a Yale Medical School audience: “This issue is not whether Donald Trump is mentally ill but whether he’s dangerous . . . He publicly boasts of violence and has threatened violence. He has urged followers to beat up protestors. He approves of torture. He has boasted of his ability to commit and get away with sexual assault.”

Lance Dodes, a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry  at Harvard Medical School, speculates that Trump fits the description of someone with malignant narcissism, which is characterized by grandiosity, a need or admiration, sadism, and a tendency toward unrealistic fantasies  He and 34 colleagues  sent a letter to that effect to the New York Times.

Many among learned experts feel that the most likely basis for a Trump impeachment  would be corruption and abuse of power, uses of public office for private gain. Others point to his trespassing beyond constitutional boundaries.

I understand that somewhere along the line in the impeachment process a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress is required. And that would highlight the importance of the mid-term elections of 2018. Helpful in that regard is the fact that Trump’s approval rating recently fell to a low of 36%. According to Gallup Poll, whenever a president’s approval rating is below 50% there is a loss of 36 seats in the House of Representatives. Republicans now hold the house by 23 seats. If Democrats retake the House, the judiciary committee  could establish a subcommittee to investigate potential abuses and identify specific grounds for impeachment.

As for the Senate, to where things eventually would proceed, it’s not as encouraging to those who would seek impeachment. While the GOP holds only a thin majority there, the greater number of seats up for election in 2018 are Democratic ones.

Meanwhile, with Republicans/conservatives controlling all three branches of government, Trump continues to skate freely, no matter how thin the ice. 

BREAKING NEWS as I write this is Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. And even there his arrogance and paranoia show through. In his brief, one-page letter firing the man, he included the incongruous comment, “I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.” That’s a WTF moment if I ever saw one. I can safely bet the farm that that’s an outright lie, Trump just taking advantage of a billboard opportunity to try convincing the public that the firing had nothing to do with investigation of his administration’s possible collusion with Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. It had everything to do with it.

(Incidentally, I believe that “I greatly appreciate YOUR showing me . . .” would have been correct English.)

AS MY OWN MIND was stepping out of all this current turmoil in search of a beer, it turned to Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock (1869-1944), who wrote of a Lord Ronald, who “flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.”



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