BAD TIMING

The House hinted Thursday afternoon, then leaked Thursday evening, a plan to form a commission as part of the procedures outlined in the 25th Amendment. The stated purpose would be to determine if the President is fit to serve, which we all know he is not (by any number of criteria).

Look. You know me, Mister "Do Something!" But the timing on this is just…it's spectacularly bad.

The election is in three weeks. It really, really looks like Biden is going to win and maybe even win by a substantial amount. He has received a real boost – remember, the main message of his candidacy is "Are you sick of this asshole? I promise I'll be nice and boring and normal!" – from Trump's utterly unhinged and very likely drug-addled behavior of the first week of October.

Like impeachment, the 25th Amendment idea is dead on arrival because it simply isn't going to get the votes in the Senate. I do not understand at all the political value of reintroducing the idea of removing Trump by means other than the election right before the goddamn election. I strongly believe the House mishandled impeachment, approaching it "quick and narrowly" to win GOP votes (LOL) and to avoid letting a protracted House trial … uh I think their logic was it would create a backlash of support for the President. Whatever. They did what they did and it didn't work.

Now, when Trump really does seem to have effectively dug his own grave with his behavior and with his mystifyingly bad campaign (Ads in California! No ads in Iowa! Whatever man!) they're doing something Trump really, honestly could use to build some minor last-minute "Look what they're trying to do to me" sympathy.

Make absolutely no mistake: the country writ large may finally have turned on Donald Trump, but they don't especially like Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi either. Biden has successfully made a "Hey, I'm not so bad compared to that guy!" case, which frankly I wasn't sure he could do. When we are just arriving at the point where it seems highly unlikely that Trump could reverse his current downward trajectory, the Democrats should not even be thinking about doing anything to change the narrative. Focus on voter turnout and Trump should be DOA (the specter of fraud and post-election chicanery is another matter).

Proposing a commission to declare the president insane that will die in the Senate serves absolutely no purpose at this point – certainly none positive, and in the worst case it could serve a negative one. If there was a time for this, it was years ago when it could have mattered, but of course probably wouldn't because of the GOP hold on the Senate and party-wide commitment to ride Trump down to the bottom.

This is just stupid. It is grandstanding, and it's not even good or useful grandstanding. It comes at the moment at which the absolute last thing the Democrats appear to need is grandstanding. Congratulations, you're winning. I think you finally got this guy. Don't start thinking now. Just let him finish himself off without offering the lifeline of potential martyrdom at the hands of people only marginally less hated than himself.

18 thoughts on “BAD TIMING”

  • The period between trump losing the election and the inauguration feels really dangerous with a dejected lame duck saboteur still in control. To me, these feel like preparations for anything that might happen then.

  • Martin Pollard says:

    Sounds like they're ignoring the wisdom of Napoleon Bonaparte: "Never interfere with an enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself."

  • Uh, the entire political class and their superiors pulling the strings are jacked on stimulants. A scurrying rodent pack. White trash on dope. Trump’s a symptom not the disease.
    Smoke and mirrors . . .

  • Might be something useful if "Drumph!" unveils unforeseen levels of unhinged following his (Devoutly hoped for) defeat next month, but it might deprive us of seeing an uninfluenced self-immolation. But whatever happens, it looks like Mike Pence has found someone who likes him for what he is… ;)

  • The country at large *hates* both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. Remember that a "smashing victory" for Biden means all of 25% of the voting public will cast a vote for him. The country likes bubonic plague and ebola more than it likes Democrats or Republicans.

    Agree with Ed that this move somehow manages to be both too strong (sympathy for Trump) and too weak (will achieve absolutely nothing) at the same time. Nobody asked for a performance. Why doesn't Pelosi just write him a calligraphed note saying "I don't like you Mr. President sir!"?

    Disagree that this election is in the bag. Polls don't count voter suppression. All the indications are that *on election night*, Trump will have a commanding lead, and if we stop counting that night – which the Supreme Court is happy to do – well, who cares about the rest of the ballots?

  • @MS

    I'm not trying to defend Biden or Pelosi – I think the Democratic leadership is spectacularly out of touch with their constituents, both present and future. However, I think pointing to voting percentage numbers without context is pretty misleading, because the Republican party has spent a generation trying to make it as difficult as possible to vote, and largely succeeding. It's confusing and difficult to get registered to vote (why a citizen even needs to be specially "registered" is a historical artifact in itself). And even if someone is beyond-a-doubt registered, they'll probably need to either drive a significant distance or wait a significant amount of time, on a workday, to cast their ballot, unless they happen to be "lucky" enough to live next to the city hall in Dumblefuck, Kansas.

    Allow any citizen to automatically vote, and either offer weekend voting at widespread polling locations, or offer universal vote-by-mail, and I'll bet the percentage of the population voting instantly jumps from the current ~55% to something more like 75%.

  • As a by-the-book person myself, I assume that the genesis of this is simply that Trump is being pumped full of recognized mood-altering pharmaceuticals, but Trump being Trump he has refused to hand temporary control over to Pence (like virtually all modern presidents before him have done for medical procedures, iirc). I suspect this is more for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other Insiders, who do not appreciate instability and the lines of succession being mucked about with. I also am inclined to agree that this is gearing up for post-loss crazy Trump.

    To be frank, the local Democratic Party where I am avoids eye contact and changes the subject to fundraising whenever I bring up trying to organize a ride share to get people to the polls, so I am well certain that they are capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • @MS.

    " The country likes bubonic plague and ebola more than it likes Democrats or Republicans."

    Really? I live in New Orleans, in the Lower 9th Ward. We love us some democrats. I think your statement is kind of whites only.

  • My guess is this is more about the lame duck than the election. If Trump loses (and this looms larger every day) he's going to go nuts, fully and completely. At that point somebody has to take the wheel.

  • I think it's fine. Pelosi knows that to needle Trump, and this just makes him go crazier. At worst, you're right Ed, it's just a stunt. Low upside, but no downside.

  • The potential downside for bi-coastal Democrats is with the very same folks who delivered Trump in 2016. People who work for a living in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin want focus, stability, and sensible priorities, not hand-mirror histrionics. They can accept necessary political violence, but it needs to be business, not personal.

  • Don't worry, they'll take long enough to get this passed that it'll be ready for use right when Biden takes office.

  • " People who work for a living in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin want focus, stability, and sensible priorities, not hand-mirror histrionics."

    Unlike, say, you?

    You've been a lyingfuckbag4AynRand since your very first post.

    Scurry back under your rock.

    And while you're there, do at least TRY to find all of that evidence of Ed's cozying up to the folks who flew the planes into the WTC.

    Poseur. Fuck off.

  • Demo—

    Since you’re repeating yourself on Ed and terrorism, again, I’ll refer you—again—and interested others, to the comments under Ed’s May 27, 2020 post, “Standardized”, in the hopeful chance I’m only refreshing a senile memory instead of engaging—for the final time in this particular connection, anyway—a sad, dishonest hack. I refuted your childish smear there, then, and you were tellingly unwilling or unable to reply, there, then. Maybe you just forgot.

  • I was worried about this too, and yet I've hardly even seen it on any news websites. Maybe it's something that's going to blow up into front-page coverage next week?

  • I quite agree. A year ago, sure–but somehow that didn't happen. It might be appropriate sometime in November but, no–not now

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