When I was a kid, my Dad turned me onto a writer named Fletcher Knebel. Mr. Knebel wrote political thrillers and was the co-author of the classic Seven Days in May.
I was probably too young to read and fully grasp the nuances of Knebel’s books (I was around 11 or 12), but I loved them.
My favorite Knebel book was called Night of Camp David. This was about the “junior Senator from Virginia” James MacVeigh (I remember puzzling over the term “junior Senator”, thinking that it meant he was too young to really be a Senator).
Anyway, the plot of the book is this: Jim MacVeigh is a member of the same political party as the current President, who is in his first term. The President approaches MacVeigh, tells him he’s going to dump the current Vice President for his second term, and asks MacVeigh to be his running mate. McVeigh accepts, but must keep it confidential because the Vice President doesn’t know he’s being dumped.
Over the course of a short time period, though, MacVeigh comes to realize that the President is not mentally well. The President confides his second term plans to MacVeigh, and they are …. fantastical and unwise. Since I read it some 45 years ago, I don’t remember the details except there was something like the President planned to form an alliance with the Soviet Union (remember, this timeframe was in the middle of the Cold War) and invade Mexico – again, or something.
I have to get my hands on a copy of this book and re-read it!
So MacVeigh finds himself in the position of triggering a constitution crisis – no one knows he’s been tapped to be the President’s running mate, he’s the junior Senator from Virginia, AND he’s having an extramarital affair.
Who does he tell? What does he do?
There is increasing evidence that the current President of the United States is unbalanced and a danger to the country. Of course, maybe he’s not of sound mind and simply the world’s worst manipulator. I’m not a mental health professional by any means. But I have eyes, ears and a functioning brain.
I think Donald Trump is a master manipulator. I also think he’s got more than a few mental defects. He’s widely acknowledged – by people who ARE mental health professionals – to be a raging narcissist of the highest caliber.
He also lashes out unreasonably when he believes he is being cornered.
Both are horrific combinations. Over the course of my career, I can’t imagine working with such a colleague. I can’t imagine sustaining a longtime friendship with anyone who had those qualities.
The reason I’m writing about Night of Camp David is that President Crazy Ass Donald Trump tweeted this morning – four times! – claiming that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the election campaign of 2016. Donald Trump lived in Trump Tower and his campaign was headquartered there.
These tweets were without foundation or offer of evidence, and a spokesman for Barack Obama issued a statement making it clear that the Obama administration did not order such wiretaps.
The tweets DID successfully divert the media’s attention from the unfolding scandal of Trump’s advisors and Cabinet members communicating on an uncomfortably regular basis with members of the Russian government during the Presidential election campaign and while Trump was President-Elect. In fact, I just listened to Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) on CNN describe how the alleged wiretapping would need to be investigated. Yeah, he’s highly ethical and not nuts. [note to self: REALLY need to find some snarky music to embed]
So that was accomplished, at least for the short term.
But how long are we expected to suffer these episodes caused by Donald Trump’s mental instability?
This country is becoming an international joke. This is a man who regularly attacks the free press with such vitriol that he has called them the enemy of the American people, who accuses them of peddling “fake news” and lies. Yet he has continually, for many years, insisted on publicly slandering many, many people and continually invents and spreads lies, rumors and innuendo. Publicly, while the world watches.
It’s time to consider calling time of death on the Trump administration. It’s a mess, and he can only do further harm to the institution and our country itself. There is no longer any upside to muddling through the next three years, ten months and two weeks (Jesus, it’s only been six weeks!).
And while he could certainly be impeached and tried for “high crimes and misdemeanors”, maybe the kindest thing to do would be to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office since he is unable to discharge the duties of the office by recognizing him for what he is: Too unbalanced to lead this country without being a clear and present danger to it.