Yesterday, we learned that Iran shot down an unmanned United States drone. Last night, the President called off a retaliatory strike on Iran. My question here is unrelated to the wisdom of that decision. I’m separately asking is it time to exercise the 25th Amendment?
President Trump defended his rationale behind calling off the strikes in the tweets below.
Trump Be Tweetin’
There is so much wrong with this situation it’s hard to decide where to start. First, I would have to believe that the military leadership planned a strike without giving the President an assessment of targets, risks, and potential impacts. I don’t.
Secondly, assuming I do believe that, then I have to believe that the President is largely ignored by his military leadership. It’s almost like “thank God I caught them before they ruined everything”. And those are the best case scenarios for the President.
The more likely option is that the President got cold feet. His advisers were pressuring him into doing something he felt was wrong. Therefore at the last minute, he stopped it. His decision may have been right or wrong. That’s a matter of opinion. Moreover, we are all entitled to our own. His decision, however, is the only one that matters.
What is the 25th Amendment?
The Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days 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.
Basically, the 25th Amendment allows the Administration to step in and stop a President who is incapable of performing his duties. You know… in case he’s lost control of the military. Or perhaps he’s threatening our security by ordering strikes on a whim and pulling back at the last minute. Whatever the case may be.
The President’s decision not to strike may have been the right one. However, planning an attack and stopping it 10 minutes before the bombs drop isn’t strategy. It is lunacy.
Is it time to exercise the 25th Amendment?
Reasonable people can disagree on the appropriate course of action. However, reasonable people must be concerned by the way this played out.
Those who support a military strike should be concerned with the President losing his nerve at the last minute. Moreover, those who disagree with a military strike must question how it progressed to the point that it did. If it was without his approval, he has lost control. However, if it happened with his approval then how stable is the guy?
This is the very thing folks like myself worried about with President Trump. Typically, the unstable leader is on the other side. America is usually the steady hand. I think it’s time that the adults in the White House ask themselves a serious question. Is it time to exercise the 25th Amendment? I’m not in the room so I can’t answer that, but things certainly don’t look good.