Trump defends his beliefs during a press conference at Trump Tower on August 15. (Photo Youtube still)

Countdown on the Trump Presidency?

BY KAREN OCAMB, LOS ANGELES BLADE

Donald Trump has crossed so many lines of impropriety without suffering any consequences, Americans of good conscience are wondering if the latest outrage of having the President of the United States equate white supremacy, neo-Nazis, and the KKK with anti-racism protesters might finally be an outrage too far. Can US citizens proud of a heritage of freedom and equality digest having a white nationalist and Confederate sympathizer stand as America's moral authority in their name?

Apparently the business leaders who Trump so proudly paraded before cameras and put on commissions to advance American business could either not stomach Trump's unhinged news conference in Trump Towers Tuesday or they heard from their stockholders and consumers--but his two top corporate councils disbanded Wednesday in response to Trump's unvarnished racism.

"Intolerance, racism and violence have absolutely no place in this country and are an affront to core American values," said a statement released by the president's Strategic and Policy Forum.

"We believe the debate over forum participation has become a distraction from our well-intentioned and sincere desire to aid vital policy discussions on how to improve the lives of everyday Americans. As such, the president and we are disbanding the forum."

In response, Trump tweeted: "Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!"

Kenneth C. Frazier, the African American chief executive of pharmaceutical Merck, resigned from the manufacturing council on Monday after Trump's tepid reaction to the violent white supremacy-organized demonstrations over the weekend, an outpouring of hate to protest the planned removal of the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. One protester, James Alex Fields, participated in the "Fuck You Faggots" rally before allegedly using a car to mow down counter-protesters, injuring 19 and killing Heather Heyer. Initially, Frazier stood alone but after Trump's news conference, which was supposed to be about infrastructure, veered into a combative, hate-filled exchange with reporters, other corporate leaders left in a hurry, having accomplished nothing.

Trump's news conference was confirmation that he is still the same man who sought and won political attention by exploiting the racist "birther" movement--claiming President Barack Obama was not really born in the US and promising to prove it. Now decent patriotic Americans are trying to figure out how to remove the narcissistic, racist commander-in-chief before he totally cleaves the country in two in a 2017 civil war and gets into a nuclear war with North Korea.

Vice President Mike Pence was summoned to immediately return from a diplomatic mission in South America.

In an unexpected move Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence was recalled back to Washington from his trip to South America. But while still on foreign soil, Pence said: "I stand with the president." Pence's office said he was flying back early for a meeting with Trump and senior officials at Camp David to discuss the situation in North Korea.

But Trump hates Camp David--fueling speculation that the one-time billionaire president might just have had enough and might resign in order to resume his life and businesses.

Or Trump could be removed through the 25thAmendment that outlines how a transfer of power from president to vice president would occur should the president be deemed incapacitated.

But, Business Insider reports: -- "Under the amendment's fourth stipulation, it would only take 14 people to depose the president -- Vice President Mike Pence and 13 of Trump's 24 Cabinet members.

Section IV reads:

"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." --

What is required is a debate about "reliable facts regarding the president's physical or mental faculties," not personal prejudice," says 25thAmendment co-author John D. Feerick, former dean of Fordham Law School. "If you read the [senate] debates, it's also clear that policy and political differences are not included, unpopularity is not included, poor judgment, incompetence, laziness, or impeachable conduct -- none of that, you'll find in the debates in the congressional record, is intended to be covered by Section IV," Feerick said.

"Section IV goes on to say that if two-thirds of both houses of Congress don't vote to uphold the decision and keep the vice president in charge within 21 days, then the powers and duties automatically transfer back to the president. So if the president doesn't want to give up his office, Feerick explained, he doesn't have to if Congress agrees he shouldn't," Business Insider reported.

Perhaps Republican members of Congress should read President Lincoln's Gettysberg Address for inspiration: "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that 'all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National Gay Media Association.
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