Wolff on Mental Fitness

The most interesting revelations from Michael Wolf’s book (Fire and Fury) about Trump are about his mental fitness.

Besides the constant (and well-deserved) speculation and pushes for impeachment ever since the inauguration, there is another path to remove Trump from power. The idea that a president is not mentally competent to do the job has been around for a while (the latter years of the Wilson administration were run by surrogates after a stroke), and passed into constitutional law as the 25th Amendment after the Kennedy assassination.

Section 4
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Everyone can see that Trump is mentally unfit. Everyone has known this for a long time. And that is just the problem. Over 60,000,000 people voted for him with full knowledge of who he was. How can you remove the President for being unfit when the majority of the country saw the same thing and decided he was fit enough? It’s not enough. What you need is something that shows that (a) the problem has gotten worse, or (b) the problem is so bad that the will of the country needs to be set aside. Option (b) is the most thought about, unlikely as it is that the cabinet and Pence would turn against Trump.

Wolff’s revelations put option A back on the table.

Everybody was painfully aware of the increasing pace of his repetitions. It used to be inside of 30 minutes he’d repeat, word-for-word and expression-for-expression, the same three stories — now it was within 10 minutes. Indeed, many of his tweets were the product of his repetitions — he just couldn’t stop saying something.

Hoping for the best, with their personal futures as well as the country’s future depending on it, my indelible impression of talking to them and observing them through much of the first year of his presidency, is that they all — 100 percent — came to believe [my emphasis] he was incapable of functioning in his job.

At Mar-a-Lago, just before the new year, a heavily made-up Trump failed to recognize a succession of old friends.

Is it true? We don’t know. But if so, it clearly shows Trumps mental state degrading further since he came into office. To whatever degree this book serves at evidence, it further demonstrates Trump is “manifestly unfit”.

Update: A very balanced editorial in the New York Times today, which references this interview with one of the original authors of this amendment. A good case for why I am completlely wrong!

Update: Fun with copy and paste, this has been slightly updated and given a new headline.

2 thoughts on “Wolff on Mental Fitness”

  1. The story repetition thing might explain the Stephen Miller/Jake Tapper interview, where Miller doubled back to a word-for-word repeat of an earlier story. Is he just used to hearing repetition, or is that the only way to get a story into Trump’s head?

  2. Remember Robot Rubio during the primary debates? Sadly, it is a feature of modern political life that candidates and their staff are trained to stick to a couple basic talking points no matter what.

    I seem to remember that some organization was going to run ads on Fox & Friends to explicitly talk to Trump. Why pay for expensive lobbyists to get access when you know he’s going to be watching? If no one has done it, someone should. How weird would that be — a bidding war between all these lobbyists and causes to get 30 seconds of Trumps attention. Fox & Friends would have higher ad rates than The Super Bowl.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *