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Handicapping Trump

Handicapping Trump

Legal research will begin in Congress into possible implementation of the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the conditions by which the President can be removed from office

Conflicts of interest could trigger a constitutional crisis

Intemperate President could unite divided Congress



old fashioned typewriter keysThe American people finally got the government they deserve. Here’s what could happen after Donald Trump takes the oath of office on Jan. 20:

Russia’s Vladimir Putin will make aggressive moves against Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Publicly reaffirming his belief that NATO is an anachronism, Donald Trump will abandon the Baltic states, forcing them to make accommodation with Moscow and fall back into Russia’s orbit.

China, which just launched its first aircraft carrier for sea trials, will make further territorial claims among the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. In the face of China’s growing naval presence, Trump’s military advisors – fearful of their commander-in-chief’s unreliable temperament in a high-stakes military showdown with a nuclear power – will recommend caution and, by default, cede to China control of the waters between China and New Zealand.

Related: Robert Reich on Trump’s ‘Big Lies’ Strategy

Closed-door discussions will begin among the U.S. military about the limits of their obligation to follow the orders of an unstable civilian leader. Scenarios will be run to assess at what point U.S. military commanders might legally disobey a direct order from the President.

If not already underway , legal research will begin in Congress into possible implementation of the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the conditions by which the President can be removed from office in the event of mental or physical incapacity.

Trump will cancel the nuclear arms deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the U.S., China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, plus the European Union and Germany. Without willingness by the U.S. to enforce the sanctions at the heart of the deal, Iran will resume its work toward getting the bomb, most likely aided by technology bought from Russia.

The attorney general of the State of New York will file charges against the Trump Foundation alleging that he operated an illegal, unregistered charity. Undeterred, Trump will claim immunity and use his children as fronts for soliciting money for Ivanka’s, Donald Trump Jr.’s, and Eric’s charitable causes.

Trump will refuse to distance himself from the Trump Organization, which will be run by Ivanka, his closest advisor. Foreign governments eager to ingratiate themselves with the U.S. President, will lavish favorable real estate deals on his children. Donald Trump will ignore the news media’s criticisms of his conflicts of interest and speak directly to the American people through Twitter.

Trump’s pro-life Supreme Court picks will be confirmed by Congress. Dismantlement of individual civil rights and the strengthening of corporate rights will commence.

Trump’s cabinet will begin the arduous job of dismantling the agencies they head. Environmental protections, banking regulation, consumer protection and fair labor standards will become things of the past. Civil service protections notwithstanding, a purge of the U.S. Department of Energy will oust or demote anyone documented to have pursued a pro-climate change agenda during the Obama administration.

Emboldened by the overt racism shown by their President during the 2016 campaign, American neo-Nazis will ditch their “seig heil” salutes, rebrand themselves as “Americans First,” and begin a systematic oppression of minorities, including Blacks, Hispanic Americans and Muslim Americans. The U.S. Department of Justice will take minimal steps to quell the violence.

Alarmed by the intemperate leadership shown by Trump, Republicans in Congress will make common cause with Democrats on some issues – preserving Medicare and Social Security among them – for fear that a disastrous one-term Trump presidency will take them down to defeat in 2018 and 2020. Trump’s infrastructure agenda will be approved but many of his more radical efforts to gut the federal government will fail.

Behind the scenes, a bipartisan congressional group will begin to lay the groundwork for possible impeachment of the 45th President for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” as defined by Section 4 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution.

Dan Vukelich is editor of ABQ Free Press Weekly. Reach him at editor@freeabq.com

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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