From the moment President Trump took office, the country has been subjected to cries for his removal. The alluded to procedures have included impeachment and the 25th Amendment. In fact, both have been tossed around interchangeably – as if the Presidency could be filled post-election by the will and whim of those whose candidate failed at the ballot box.
Neither of the two procedures was established as a means of forcing a President out of office because of political disagreement.
The 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967, has a very particular history.
President Dwight Eisenhower suffered a massive heart attack in September 1955. He remained ill for several weeks, during which time he was incapable of any work.
Vice President Nixon assumed the responsibilities of the Presidency, and was allowed to take center stage in the Cabinet and in National Security Council meetings, which demonstrated that the U.S. Government was still operating as it should, with no loss of continuity.
Until the President returned on November 11, the role of the President was for all intents and purposes executed by Vice President Nixon.
The government ran smoothly in the President's absence, and the transition back to Eisenhower was also smooth.
As a result of the President's incapacitation, there was lingering concern regarding the transition; because, even though the original Constitution (Article-2Section-1 Clause-6) discusses both permanent and temporary disabilities, it doesn't spell out exactly how the transition of power to and from the Vice President should transpire – and more importantly who was to make the decision that a transition needed to be made, and how it would be decided when the transitional period might end.
This lack of specificity led the Eisenhower Administration to discuss the matter of an orderly and well defined transition in a situation of temporary or permanent disability of the President. Their ideas were transmitted in a bill on Presidential Disability to the House Judiciary subcommittee.
During the Presidential News Conference on April 3, 1957, a reporter noted that in the House Committee:
"Members expressed objection to having the Cabinet, with the Vice President, make the decision.
Some said that the Cabinet would be so loyal to the President they would never certify he was disabled. [Others said] that the Cabinet might gang up with the Vice President to oust the President. Would you tell us why you chose the Cabinet as the organ to do it?"
Eisenhower clarified why they decided as they did as to who should make the call on the Vice President assuming the Presidency.
He pointed out that only the President and Vice President were elected by all of the people of the United States; and he felt that it should therefore be the President's cabinet, whose members were a reflection of his views and worked closely with the President, that should decide that the President was incapacitated.
"And we ran into the feeling that the people of the United States would resent very bitterly any effort or any opportunity for anyone antagonistic to the President just to give him the old heave-ho on a political basis and get rid of him."
When pressed on why his administration was taking it upon themselves to create legislation, he responded that they were submitting a proposed Constitutional Amendment, and the fact is that he had no power to amend the Constitution; but since there were studies going on in Congress and the decision involved the Presidency, he felt that there should be Presidential input into the decision, and he transmitted the ideas that he and his Cabinet had discussed to the Congress.
Ike reminded the reporters that this was not a substitute for the impeachment procedure (Article-1 Section-2 Clause-5/ Article-1 Section-3 Clauses- 6,7 / Article-2 Section-4) and it should not be considered in such light.
"Now, we must remember that behind this whole thing is the ability and the power in the Congress to impeach a President. ... That is the final protection of the people against a President who is absolutely unable to discharge the functions of his office but doesn't know it. "
While Eisenhower had never before served in elected office, as Supreme Allied Commander dealing with the highest ranking most egotistical generals of several nations, he well understood political intrigue. It was his ability to manage the different personalities and military doctrines, even among his own military services, that ultimately made him the great leader he was.
Ike made it clear that there was great distinction made between illness, complete incompetence and political thuggery as reasons to remove a President.
His observation on the purpose and the viability of his proposed amendment and upon the assumption it rested is most pertinent to today's nasty political environment.
“In other words, we assume we are dealing with honest people; we are not dealing with people who are jockeying against each other to seize power. We are dealing with honest people, and that is what this amendment does.”
Today, there is a continual din of calls for the utilization of the 25th Amendment as a means for removing a sitting President, who has shown no signs of a disabling physical or psychological condition other than a penchant for annoying those who hate him with constant Tweets and verbal barbs ; and with few in his own Party rallying to his defence, the shrill cries for removal from office for political disapproval are difficult to silence.
These days having your own opinion and calling out lies is enough to get you branded crazy.
It appears that both the disingenuous self-serving Republican Congressional Leadership and the radical Leftist Democrat Congressional Leadership lack an imbued self respect that would require them to serve honestly.