I give President Obama a lot of credit for coming up with something courteous and diplomatic to say; I don't know what I would have said in that situation, but I suspect it would have just been a string of obscenities. Nevertheless, I'm not convinced that President Obama's statement was either rhetorically or logically sound, and the more I think about it, the more I realize three fundamental truths at the exact same time:
1. I want our country to succeed by playing according to the rules that we have set for ourselves in our Constitution, up to and including the provisions set down in the Constitution for amending the Constitution itself.[*](i.e. GET RID OF THE FUCKING ELECTORAL COLLEGE ALREADY!! It is racist, it is sexist, and it is WOEFULLY OUTDATED! Are we going to have to elect a literal barnyard animal before we realize that this particular provision by the Founders is no longer relevant to the time and the world in which we live NOW?!?) Anything else is cheating. Do you know what happens when you win by cheating? Eventually--inevitably--the truth comes out, you are stripped of your title(s), and your name is replaced in the records with an asterisk. Which, for Donald Trump, would probably be a fate worse than death.
2. I don't want Donald Trump to succeed as president if his success undermines the Constitution. On that day, when President Obama must have been tired and emotionally drained, and was probably mentally repeating to himself "don't shout out obscenities...don't shout out obscenities...when they go low, you go high..." etc., I suspect that he may not have taken into consideration that his definition of the word "succeed" might not be the same as Donald Trump's definition of "succeed." It has been increasingly evident, over the intervening weeks and months, that Donald Trump's definition of "success" is different from that of the Framers of the Constitution; what Trump calls "success", the Framers called "corruption" and "treason" and "grounds for impeachment."
3. If/when Trump goes down, we need to take Mike Pence down with him.
The only thing that scares me more than the idea of a Trump presidency is the idea of a Pence presidency.
Now, one might point out that Mike Pence seems a lot more stable and rational than Trump, that he has more government experience than Trump, that--unlike Trump--he seems to have a reasonable understanding of the Constitution, and therefore, is more qualified for the presidency than Trump.
I concede every point; I agree wholeheartedly. That's exactly what makes Mike Pence so dangerous.
Listen: Donald Trump is manifestly unqualified for the presidency; a five-year-old could figure that out--and has. But he does have one good quality that Mike Pence does not have: for Donald Trump, persecuting gay people is a relatively low priority. Whereas for Mike Pence, it's priority #1.[*](At the very least, it is definitely in the top five) But because he seems--and, more than likely, probably is--more sane than Trump, people might be so relieved to see him assume the presidency that they might be willing to look the other way as Pence enacts measures that would infringe upon the human rights and civil liberties of the GLBT community.
It's been suggested that the Twenty-Fifth Amendment could be put into play as a quick-and-easy way to remove Trump from office before he ever really has a chance to assume it, that Mike Pence and Paul Ryan could team up behind Trump's back--completely legally, mind you--to have him removed from office as soon as the day after Inauguration Day.[*](I'm forced to wonder if they haven't already been plotting this. It would certainly explain Paul Ryan's complete about-face in regard to criticizing Trump. Perhaps behind that corn-fed face and those gentian blue eyes, Paul Ryan has just been repeating to himself, "Bide your time...bide your time...keep up the front, and this can all be over on January 21st." And even though I'm not in favor of this particular solution, I have to admit that it's amusing to imagine the two of them staging an intervention-like meeting with Trump and informing him, "I'm sorry Donald, but we're having you removed from office due to incompetence." In my fevered dream-version, this meeting takes place during or immediately after the Inaugural Ball, and they taunt him by singing, "Well you're never gonna be president now...that's one less thing to worry about!" with Mike Pence singing lead and Paul Ryan on back-up. And then, just to twist the knife, Mike Pence says, "Oh, and you're wrong about Hamilton, by the way; it isn't overrated.") No fuss, no muss! Just like that, our long national bout of Delirium J. Tremens is over!
But wait--don't celebrate yet! Remember that that leaves us with Mike Pence as president, who will not only push forward with repealing Obamacare, but his replacement (Pencecare) will almost certainly have a rider that makes gay conversion therapy compulsory and gender reassignment surgery illegal.
Think about that.
No, friends; the Twenty-Fifth Amendment solution seems too good to be true because it is. We can't afford a quick fix; we have to stay the course and wait until we have grounds to impeach both Trump and Pence at the same time. We can do that under the Impeachment Clause, which states that the president, the vice president, and "all civil officers" can be impeached and--if convicted--removed from office.
As any oncologist will tell you, once the cancer has metastasized, removing only the original malignant neoplasm will not effect a cure. We need to remove and eradicate ALL the tumors. That will take time, and it will be a painful, debilitating process, but it will give us the best prognosis for survival in the long run.