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A blog by Leon Oudejans

Will Republicans use the 25th Amendment in 2019? (2)

8 January 2019

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The #1 prediction for 2019 by the European Council on Foreign Relations claims that Donald “Trump takes control of US foreign policy”. Before 2017, such a prediction would have been absurd. In Trump’s case, the word “absurd” often equals the “new normal”. What will it take for conservative Republicans to declare the 45th President “unfit” for his office?

On 16 June 2015, then Presidential candidate Trump promised this: “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” (Washington Times). Often politicians make promises which they do not intend to keep. Trump is not a politician, however.

On 22 December 2018, Trump delivered on his threat to have a partial government shutdown because the Republican controlled US Congress had still failed to deliver on Trump’s wall promises for two full years (2017 and 2018). A government shutdown implies that non-essential government workers will not receive their weekly/monthly salaries.

In Trump’s view, government workers must be voting for Democrats. He assumes that he can force the 2019 House of Representatives, now controlled by Democrats, into a compromise on his wall. Trump’s threat does not seem to work so far. Hence, a new Trump threat: (1) declare a national emergency at the southern border, (ii) bypass US Congress, and (ii) build his wall.

Logic would dictate that Republicans should become fed up with Trump’s continued absurdities and/or controversies. However, this debate is not about logic but about emotions and (losing) power and respect (of Republican voters). US bipartisanship has reached historic highs.

Washington Examiner, 21 December 2018: “Presidents today may now be judged simply by Americans on shared or divergent partisanship rather than on the president’s accomplishments in office or on the state of the nation”, according to a recent Gallup survey.

The Republican party is made up of fiscal and social conservatives (c. 70%) and populists (c. 30%). By appealing to the American populist base, Trump was able to win the presidency for the Republican party, while (i) losing the US popular vote by a historic difference of 2.9 million votes, and while (ii) disregarding the impact of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

The above explains why most Republicans have accepted Trump’s absurdities because:

  • Losing Trump equals losing the populist voter base that voted for Trump; 
  • Losing the populist voter base equals losing Republican power (eg, tax cuts);
  • Losing power may equal losing the Electoral College favouring Republicans (WT);
  • Losing the Electoral College equals losing future presidential elections.

The Republican party seems to beyond the point of no return.

Point of No Return (1985) by Exposé

artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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