Is Donald Trump a madman like Kim Jong Un, or does he just play one on TV? To put it another way: is the president dumb, insane, or is he trying to throw the game — the game in this case being his presidency —to avoid impeachment or, even worse, jail?
There are rumblings from Republicans and Democrats alike that President Trump has been acting peculiar and unhinged lately, even by his own standards. People are concerned about his rambling and incoherent speeches. Trump just gave a bizarre, awkward interview with CBS, in which he cut things short after the interviewer repeatedly asked him questions about his unfounded wiretapping claims.
The president celebrated his faux victory with the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) — the presumed Obamacare replacement, also known as Trumpcare — in the House. “Coming from a different world and only being a politician for a short period of time, how am I doing?” Trump asked as he stood with the GOP caucus members. “Am I doing OK? I’m president! Hey! I’m president! Can you believe it? Right?”
The legislation is likely D.O.A. in the Senate, and with good reason: Contrary to Trump’s promises that his version of healthcare would be better than Obama’s and would cover more people with lower deductibles and premiums, this monstrosity coming out of the House is a form of genocide and Social Darwinism — a homicidal bill that would strip Medicaid to the bone and could kill millions of people by denying them coverage. Among the new pre-existing conditions in the bill are rape, postpartum depression, having a C-section and surviving domestic violence. This, all for some tax cuts for the super rich. But in the warped mind of Trump, this is a yuuuge victory, and in any case, he probably hasn’t even read the bill.
With each and every passing day, Trump displays his ignorance of world affairs and history. This is race-based mediocrity at its best, or its worst, backed up by the force of the U.S. government, because you know the country would never cut a black president this much slack or allow such incompetence from an African-American administration. This president receives his foreign affairs lessons from the president of China. He wonders why the nation couldn’t have made a deal to stop the Civil War and laments that his hero — slave-owning, genocidal President Andrew Jackson — couldn’t do anything about it.
This most unfortunate occupant of the White House wants war with North Korea but then again thinks its leader is a “smart cookie” and would consider meeting with him. Trump also blames the constitutional checks and balances for his first 100 disastrous days in office and wants to abolish the First Amendment. The Republican president even called for a government shutdown, and he and his party control the executive branch and both houses of Congress, the whole federal government! Mental health professionals and presidential historians are united in their concern over Trump’s mental state and their belief that this man is not right.
We know Trump is ignorant and in over his head with his White House gig, and this latest reality show is not working as planned. Who knew running the nation would be this hard? More importantly, with the Russiagate investigations showing no signs of going away anytime soon, is Trump possibly looking for a way out? Is he trying to throw the game? Is he really mentally unfit for the office, or is he feigning insanity — hoping to use the insanity defense to avoid prison time when the sh*t goes down and the FBI comes for him, his people and his sketchy, shifty-eyed, fake royal family?
There are numerous investigations taking place into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, including in the FBI, the House and the Senate. Even New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is ready to go to battle with Trump over public corruption, illegal business activities and receiving payments from foreign governments, a violation of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. As this mess unfolds and Trump associates find themselves with criminal charges, we should expect more Republicans to distance themselves from their leader, or worse, if they have dirty hands, recuse themselves or resign to spend more time with their family, as Republicans tend to do.
Given all this, maybe Trump is looking for a way out. As Evan Osnos wrote in The New Yorker, the Constitution provides two ways to show Trump the door: impeachment, or the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, which provides for the removal of a president who is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” including a president who is mentally impaired. Either the Vice President and a majority of the cabinet or a body appointed by the Congress can make such an assessment. If the president refuses, then a two-thirds vote in Congress is necessary to remove the president.
One way or another, there are folks out there entertaining the idea of impeaching this most unpopular and corrupt president, locking him up or taking away his money. Knowing Trump, he might want to get ahead of the curve and find an easy way out. Would the insanity defense serve that purpose for him? One way or another, something needs to happen soon, because we’re running out of time, and this man is going to get us all killed.
Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove.