Please don’t miss today’s earlier posts on race & policing, the risks of leaving Trump in office, and some Q&A about the 25th Amendment, including whether the votes of “acting” Cabinet secretaries count.
On to the NEW THOUGHTS!
Thought 1: (12:40 PST, 1/7/2021)
The House Sergeant at Arms Paul D. Irving has been fire-quitted. (The opposite of quit-fired: they were told to resign or they would be fired. Irving chose to quit.)
Everyone seems to be asking this, so let’s just tee it up, okay? Then I don’t have to answer it in the comments of a million different threads on a million different posts on a thousand different blogs.
The 25th amendment doesn’t mention Cabinet Secretaries. It mentions “principal officers”. These are people who report directly to the President and also do not report directly to anyone else. Let’s look at some examples:
First, let’s get this out of the way: I don’t want you to miss this post I just put up a few minutes ago, but the separate topic of this post is also something that needs to be addressed now, not later,. I can’t have both posts top my stories for the day, but I can at least berate both my readers into making sure they read both posts. So go read that other thing, okay? Okay. On to this post.
As you know, I’m US-law curious, with a side of comparative constitutional law & constitutional construction, but I’m not a US lawyer & didn’t go to a US law school. That puts me firmly in the position described by the aphorism
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
That said, I am terrified that Trump is going to do further damage to the US government. Some people have been saying, and I’m sure that many have been thinking, that removing Trump when he only has 13 days left in his term of office is more dangerous than leaving him in as a lame duck.
Personally? I think he’s too dangerous to be left in office for 13 minutes. When I went to bed last night, it was my hope that by the time I woke up, Trump would have been 25th and Biden would be the 47th president two weeks from now instead of the 46th. Make no mistake, I’m not happy about a Pence presidency, even one as short as this would be, but the combination of Trump’s dangerous instability with the circumstances of yesterday’s assault on the Capitol Building creates some unique dangers.
I and others have mentioned, of course, the vastly different treatment given to BLM protesters when it was thought they might inflict property damage and yesterday’s insurrectionists. There are numerous reports, including from Newsweek, about how law enforcement had plenty of information leading them to predict that the publicly-planned January 6th event would become violent. They even had good reason to fear there would be violence against people, not just property. For a variety of reasons, they did not take seriously the need for event security or even security on Capitol Hill. One reason is particularly interesting: they feared it would be even worse if they acted to prepare defenses against violence. Why? Here’s Newsweek’s take: