Is There a Doctor in the House?
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
Too bad there’s not a 25th Amendment-type clause in the Constitution granting to the cabinet the power to remove from office the Speaker of the House. That’s our reaction to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement that she is going to lead tomorrow in the House a discussion in respect of using the 25th Amendment against President Trump. She’s upset that he called off negotiations with her over a Covid relief bill.
It seems the Speaker thinks that might have been a reaction to the steroid the president is taking for his case of the coronavirus. The Daily Mail is reporting that some doctors are concerned that it can cause insomnia, mania, mood swings, and rage. Then again, Congress itself has been known to cause in ordinary taxpayers insomnia, mania, mood swings, and rage. So this could yet turn out to be tomorrow quite a discussion.
Plus, one doesn’t have to be taking a steroid to see the logic of Mr. Trump calling off negotiations with the Speaker and her camarilla. Just read the Wall Street Journal, which issues what is, clinically speaking, the sanest editorial page in the Milky Way. It noted that the talks from which Mr. Trump withdrew were over a “ransom demand” for a $2 trillion “blowout” in new covid relief spending. Mrs. Pelosi would take nothing less.
That’s just crazy. Particularly since in order to get the $2 trillion, the Congress would have to borrow the money from the Chinese communists or other lenders (Congress would be borrowing two trillion dollars whose value has not been set by, in the Congress, the only body empowered to regulate the value of the dollar). Or just have the Federal Reserve create it out of pixels. Put that, as they say, in your 25th Amendment and smoke it.
The 25th Amendment was added to the national parchment in 1967. It is the amendment that establishes the procedure for when there’s a presidential disability. It doesn’t get launched by the House. It has to start with the transmission to the Speaker and the president pro-tempore of the Senate a written declaration by the Vice President and a majority of the cabinet that the president is unable to discharge his duties.
Bear in mind, though, that the President can reclaim his office by sending over to Congress a written note. The solons can block the president from reclaiming his powers, but only by a vote by two-thirds of each house. In other words, the constitutional sages were wary of the 25th. They made it easier to oust the president through the use of the impeachment power, which requires a two-thirds vote in only one chamber.
It’s not our intention to suggest here that the 25th Amendment itself is a joke — or that it can never be invoked. Yet Mrs. Pelosi tried the impeachment route, which found that Mr. Trump just wasn’t guilty. We’re no doctor, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the steroid Mr. Trump is taking makes him irritable. All kinds of people go through that symptom, though, without the House of Representatives invoking the Constitution.
So we hope some of the Republicans take up Mrs. Pelosi’s invitation to participate in whatever discussion — she won’t say — she’s plotting for tomorrow. It may well be that at some point, someone will want to ask what medications Mrs. Pelosi has been taking, like, say, when she tore up the President’s State of the Union speech on live television while Congress was giving him a standing ovation.
From our point of view, the wonder in respect of President Trump is his ability to govern at all in the face of an assault, by the party that lost the election, that is unprecedented in the history of our Republic. The FBI spying, the leaks to the press, the “resistance,” the special prosecutor, the judicial insurrection, and the abandonment of objectivity in a nigh-universally hostile press. It may be that Mr. Trump is the only sane one of the lot.