Could Trump become a dictator and never leave office?

By   /   May 28, 2018  /   10 Comments

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The problem of having power defined by convention is if you get an individual who isn’t prepared to follow that convention.

The problem of having power defined by convention is if you get an individual who isn’t prepared to follow that convention.

Trump’s inane on-again, off-again diplomacy with North Korea is only the latest indicator of a narcissist in the throws of delusion.

For a man who has felt resentment all his life at the lack of respect he has received from his peer group, this level of unchallenged power and dominance must be as close to heaven as he’s going to get.

Would he willingly leave that?

That Trump, despite all the repugnant lunacy, is polling so well is in of itself terrifying.

He is beyond dangerous now and his off the cuff remarks of wanting to be president for life and wanting to extend himself to more than 2 terms at first seem ridiculous, yet you get the awful feeling that he’s narcissistic enough to at least fantasise about it.

In reality there a few actual powers that can stop Trump.

There is impeachment, but this is a process that would take time and is still unlikely to succeed.

Getting impeached, doesn’t actually mean a hell of a lot. It is the second part of the process that actually matters and for that, you need a two thirds majority in the Senate.

After his tax plan, there won’t be enough Republicans in the Senate who are going to turn on Trump, there just isn’t.

If the Republicans are seriously going to allow Roy Moore to be the Alabama Senator to keep power, they’ll sure as hell back Trump in any second impeachment hearing.

The second way of kicking Trump out of Office is the 25th Amendment...

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution was adopted in 1967, following the 1963 assassination of President John Kennedy, to clarify various issues involving presidential and vice presidential succession and incapacity.

Under the amendment’s Section 4, the vice president and a majority of either Cabinet officials or “such other body as Congress may by law provide” may declare in writing that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

If such a declaration is received by the Senate president pro tempore – who presides over the Senate in the absence of the vice president – and the speaker of the House, the vice president takes over as acting president.

The president can resume office after informing the same two congressional leaders “that no inability exists” – unless the vice president and a majority of Cabinet officials or another body established by Congress tell those congressional leaders within four days of the declaration that the chief executive is unable to carry out his or her duties.

Congress then must assemble within 48 hours to decide the issue. If two-thirds of the members of the House and of the Senate vote in their respective chambers that the president is unable to discharge his or her duties, the vice president continues as acting president until the next scheduled presidential election decides the next White House occupant. Otherwise, the president resumes office.

Other sections of the 25th Amendment have come into play, such as Section 3 enabling a president to temporarily hand over power to a vice president while, for example, undergoing a medical procedure. Section 4 has never been invoked.

 …I think it is wishful thinking in the extreme that this Amendment would be agreed to, especially as Mike Pence, the current Vice President is such a fundamentalist Christian with far right radical views he makes Trump look reasonable.
In terms of Trump just refusing to leave office, we’ve always believed that the 22nd Amendment which states…
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice
…would stop any President from staying beyond 2 terms. But you can immediately see a problem in the wording. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.
Elected. What if after a second term, Trump just decided he wasn’t going to leave?
Could he find some way to stay on?
I’m certainly no expert in the machinations of American political law, and while I hand on heart would believe he couldn’t stay on, he seems like the sort of power freak who would at least try and find some loophole to do so.
Executive Order 12919 allows the President to bypass Congress and take over the resources of the country in a time of war, but I wouldn’t think that in of itself allows the President to extend his term in Office.
The Insurrection Act of 1807 allows the President to deploy the Military domestically, but again I can’t see that creating an extension of Office and the Posse Comitatus Act, while a supposed limitation to the President sending in the military for domestic issues does include an exception to do so.
Again, nothing there that allows the President to extend his time in Office.
But when power is convened by convention, a power hungry tyrant tends to ignore that convention. I get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that Trump is the sort of person who would try any sort of trick to hold on to power indefinitely.
His kind always do.

 

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10 Comments

  1. David Stone says:

    Some commentators don’y think he has any power at all Martyn. Your quote ‘ …I think it is wishful thinking in the extreme that this Amendment would be agreed to, especially as Mike Pence, the current Vice President is such a fundamentalist Christian with far right radical views he makes Trump look reasonable.” is to the point. It isn’t just Trump. In fact the worst things he is doing are at 180 degree opposition to what he has said not only during the election campaign but years before running for office was contemplated.
    There might be an irony going on in that to attempt to appease his opposition within he is going overboard in the opposite direction to his own beliefs in order to remain in place, and thus going further than a genuine neocon president would go. Vacillating back and forth on serious issues like this one could be explained by a power struggle going on in his administration. Note the most damaging remarks that led to the cancelation of talks with NK originated with Bolton , not Trump, though he later backed them up. He has been useless at best to be sure, so if he wanted what he said he wanted he has so far spectacularly failed. But it might not mean that removing him would bring about any improvement.
    I can’t see US agreeing to move their nukes out of South Korea, and that would have to be done if the Korean peninsular is to be de-nuked. But the US nukes are in South Korea principally to threaten China and Russia rather than North Korea. I expect the MIComplex will never agree to that happening.
    D J S

  2. Red Buzzard says:

    Mike Pence is far scarier…and the world would have ended by now if we had had Hillary …so thank your lucky stars

    • esoteric pineapples says:

      I like what actor Ron Perlman said in a recent interview when asked if Mike Pence would be worse, that Trump is the ring leader of this circus.

  3. Castro says:

    Answer: No, most unlikely. But that guy Jinping Xi could… oh, wait…

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/28/new-zealands-five-eyes-membership-called-into-question-over-china-links

    Xiriously…

  4. savenz says:

    I doubt Trump will last that long, let alone change the limits, but possibly more relevant to NZ is,

    China to drop presidential term limits, clearing way for Xi Jinping to stay on

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/02/25/asia/china-communist-party-xi-jinping-intl/index.html

  5. mary_a says:

    Unstable Trump, fundamentalist God bothering VP Pence, both bigots, both misogynistic dangerous war mongers in prominent positions, harbouring perspectives of catastrophic proportions!

    How did we get to this?

    My bet would be on Pence, pushing his one eyed fundamentalist Christian views to become the dictator!

  6. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    You overlooked one very important convention, Bombarino.

    Assassination.

    It is as American as mom and apple pie…

  7. Andrea says:

    Just to cheer you up (a little) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlOxHjqRQOo

    And remember – even Robert Mugabe was ousted.

  8. Draco T Bastard says:

    Could Trump become a dictator and never leave office?

    I hope he does.

    It’d be proof that the US doesn’t work the way they like to tell us it does.