Social media are chattering and clattering like a newspaper newsroom full of typewriters on deadline. Those of you who are old enough to remember actual typewriters will understand the analogy.
But the social media are abuzz with viral statements, requests and demands that Donald John Trump Sr. gets impeached.
Let’s hold that thought. At least for a while, OK?
The president of the United States is demonstrating plenty of disturbing behavior. He holds those rallies in which he ad-libs his way into nonsensical rants. Then he reads reasonably crafted speeches, looking for all the world as if he’s been asked to eat every bite of the squishy spinach on his plate. The next day he tears into the media, members of Congress and virtually every political foe who’s lined up against him.
Serious-minded folks like former head spook James Clapper say they doubt Trump’s “fitness” for his job. He’s acting like a maniac. Sounding like a blithering, blathering fruitcake.
Does any of this behavior rise to the level of an impeachable offense? No. Not as I understand what’s written into the U.S. Constitution.
Article II, Section 4 spells out the specifics of a presidential impeachment. It calls for such an action in the event of “Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The House of Representatives must bring formal charges against the president. Then the Senate conducts a trial; to convict a president and toss him out of office requires a two-thirds vote by senators.
Has the 45th president committed any sort of “high crime and misdemeanor”? No. Indeed, there is an open debate on just when we’ll know of any potential charges being brought. Many of us have our opinion on whether there should be charges brought. To date, we have none. We don’t even have any compelling evidence to suggest that there will be charges brought.
What about the president’s behavior? My reading of the Constitution suggests that loopy conduct does not, by itself, constitute an impeachable offense. But let’s not kid ourselves here. Donald Trump’s behavior on speech podiums is weird in the extreme.
I’ve never heard a more inarticulate president than the one we’ve got now. Never have I seen someone trash tradition in the manner that he does. Given an opportunity to heal a nation divided by myriad issues of many stripes, Donald Trump does precisely the opposite. He lashes out. He hurls insults at his foes. He cannot even bring himself to offer a word of good wishes to one of his critics — Sen. John McCain — who is in the midst of a life-and-death struggle against cancer.
Trump disgraces his office almost daily. I’d say he disgraces himself, but he seems to lack the capacity to look inward.
Is any of this impeachable? No.
None of it will stop the social media chatter. I just think it’s important to put some of this hysteria into some perspective.
Meantime, let’s wait for the special counsel looking at “The Russia Thing” to do his job.
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