Perhaps you have heard the coastal elites make the argument that the vice president and the Cabinet should use the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump as president.
Has this irresponsible chatter been confined to the fever swamps of the far left? No — it has been openly discussed on CNN and MSNBC and in the pages of The Washington Post and Time magazine, to name just a few mainstream media outlets.
A Google search of “Trump” and the “25th Amendment” quickly pulls up more than 54,000 results.
For the uninitiated — specifically those who have not watched “24,” “The West Wing” or “House of Cards” — the 25th Amendment specifies the way that a president can be removed from office if he or she is incapacitated.
Let’s stipulate this inconvenient fact: President Trump is not incapacitated. He is not “mentally unfit” to be president.
He ended all doubt in recent days when he orchestrated an hour-long legislative negotiation on immigration open to the press and demonstrated command of the policy issue, engagement, negotiating skills and overall mental acuity. It was unlike anything “West Wing” watchers had ever witnessed.
That was followed up by the hour-long medical briefing Tuesday given by Dr. Ronny Jackson, the U.S. Navy rear admiral who is the president’s personal physician. No, President Trump did not appoint him. President Obama appointed the doctor on July 25, 2013, and Obama aides raved about his care and professionalism at the time.
You don’t remember this because the White House press corps did not care about Mr. Obama’s health. No one attempted to use the 25th Amendment against him.
The media’s interest in President Trump’s health extended to whether Dr. Jackson advised the president not to eat more than one scoop of ice cream (yes, that was an actual question). The press briefing followed a rigorous medical examination that was performed Friday.
To end all of this ridiculous chatter about his mental state, the president himself requested a cognitive test be conducted, and Dr. Jackson performed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), a test which NBC News described a “rapid screening tool for mild cognitive dysfunction — a loss of memory and clear thinking that sometimes precedes dementia.”
Dr. Jackson did not suggest the test be performed, feeling it was unnecessary.
“I didn’t feel it was clinically indicated. It has been my experience that the president is very sharp and he’s very articulate when he speaks to me,” he told reporters.
Mr. Trump is the first sitting president to complete the MoCA, and Dr. Jackson reported that he passed with a perfect score.
Sadly, that won’t stop the partisan-inspired questions fanned by the release of Michael Wolff’s fictional best-seller “Fire and Fury.” Media speculation reached new lows in the past two weeks.
A dozen Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate received an unusual briefing from Yale psychiatrist Dr. Bandy X. Lee examining Mr. Trump’s “fitness to be president.” This long-distance diagnosis is something the American Psychiatry Association has specifically denounced as unprofessional and unreliable.
It is absolutely the case that opponents of Mr. Trump have been actively working to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election.
These efforts are proceeding on parallel tracks, through relentless personal criticism, leaks about the special counsel inquiry on Russian interference, and incessant questioning of the president’s cognitive ability.
We are in uncharted territory. The left may fervently disagree with the policies that the Trump administration is pursuing. There is nothing wrong with that in a democracy, but let’s dispense with this fanciful and offensive chatter about the 25th Amendment.
It is a proven and historical fact that the left works to discredit national Republican figures by labeling them stupid, evil, racist or crazy.
In this case, they are attempting to throw all of that at Donald Trump simultaneously.
Matt Mackowiak is the president of Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C.-based Potomac Strategy Group, a Republican consultant, a Bush administration and Bush-Cheney re-election campaign veteran and former press secretary to two U.S. senators. His national politics podcast, “Mack on Politics,” may be found on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and at MackOnPolitics.com.