What is Nancy Pelosi doing? She has announced that today she will unveil a “commission” on the 25th Amendment, presumably to remove President Donald Trump was in an “altered state,” Pelosi and Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) plan to introduce “Legislation to Establish a Commission on Presidential Capacity,” based on the 25th Amendment.
Pot, meet kettle.
Vice President Mike Pence, fresh off mopping the floor with Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, takes it seriously enough to cancel a campaign trip and remain in Washington.
As with any “Commission,” it can be comprised of anyone the powers that be choose to put on it—historians, psychiatrists, Michael Moore. The 25th Amendment allows for “some other body as Congress may by law provide” can agree on a finding that Trump is loopy. Or something like that. The Amendment holds that “principal officers of the departments in the United States government are needed to go along with the coup.
To say there are a few hurdles is to understate the problem a smidge. First, the senate would have to agree to the legislation (fat chance). Second, President Trump would have to sign it (fatter chance). Third, some of the “principal officers” would have to get on board. These include some of Trump’s strongest cabinet supporters—Betsy DuVos, Ben Carson, Steven Mnunchin (fattest of chances). So likely one goal of the “commission” is to expand the number of people considered eligible to be “officers.” This in itself would almost certainly run into the Supreme Court if it got that far (hello Amy Coney Barrett).
Of course, the crazy talk by the Whackadoodle Left in DC is that Pence is in on the coup and is part of the cabal. I know some in the MAGA movement have been distrustful of Pence for his role in the Flynn debacle. But overall he has been as solid a vice president as was probably the best vice president in history, George H. W. Bush. Yes, you heard that right. If you’ve read my biography of the Gipper, Reagan: The American President, you’d know that the evidence backs that up. No, Mike Pence is a firewall, not a coup member. However, let’s say that Pence is coup-oriented: if Trump got wind of it, he could dismiss Pence before the process got underway, and the office would be vacant. Congress would not approve any of Trump’s replacement picks.
At least three times in the past, presidents (Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter) have considered invoking the 25th Amendment temporarily during surgeries. Both Reagan and Bush did so very briefly while under anesthesia.
So what is Nancy really up to?
There are several possibilities. One is bad news for Republicans. It would be that she thinks not only will Democrats win the presidency under Joe Biden, but will also keep the House and take the Senate. To say this is wildly optimistic is to say that Neil Young is a great guitar player. Yes, Pelosi is crazy and is not far behind Biden on the path to the funny farm. But is she that far gone yet?
In such a scenario, who would really be her target? Probably not Trump. Certainly she knows if she loses any one of the three races—president, senate, house—the “commission” is as useful as a cassette tape. Could it be Biden? Is Pelosi thinking the Republicans keep the Senate, but Biden wins, and she must prepare the way to unload him before he fondles some five-year-old’s hair. This is a possibility, and it is conceivable that both a Biden cabinet (likely picked by others) and the Senate Republicans would go along with his removal. But install Harris as Veep? Doubtful anyone on either side of the aisle wants this. There may be some darker powers who wish for a Harris presidency, but as of this writing they still remain cleverly cloaked.
Is there another alternative? Is it possible that Pelosi is privy to the internal DNC polling that is showing a looming disaster on the horizon—a Trump electoral college and popular vote victory, a Senate hold, and even, possibly, a retaking of the House? Certainly the warning signs are out there for everyone but the pollsters.
The latest information on Michigan early voting, for example, matches that with North Carolina and it’s ugly for Democrats. Three of the bluest counties are lagging well behind their targets. Worse, but as predicted here in July, only 8.9% of the 824,000 vote by mail ballots returned are from 18-34 year olds. Recall that in my July article “Back to School,” I said to expect a college-age shortfall nationally of 30%. Right now, Michigan’s “Yut” shortfall is . . . almost 31.1%. If this is the case, it would reflect nationally a deficit of over 1.5 million voters in that age category—perhaps 1.6 million. Worse, it would more than I thought in July affect House races.
“Yut” non-voting isn’t the only water that appears to be building into a tidal wave here. In North Carolina the percentage of vote by mail as a share of all ballots requested and cast has sharply dropped in both categories. VBM ballots requested by Democrats fell since November 11 from 51.5% to 47.3%, while the percentage of Democrat ballots cast (i.e., returned) fell faster, from 59% to 51.6%. Remember, this was supposed to be the Democrats’ bail-out plan, because they have terrified their voters with the China Virus. Even worse, in North Carolina since September 10, Republicans have continued to slash into the Democrat registration lead by 12,500 more registration.
Poster “byecomey” at www.freerepublic.com has run models of where the Democrats should be based on their registration and finds they are slightly behind, while Republicans are slightly ahead, of where they need to be at this point.
Other indicators are that the polls continue to be wrong. Every once in a while, a poll without Trump’s name on it appears—and supports Trump’s reelection, such as the “better off” poll conducted by Gallup. However, over the weekend I had the opportunity to speak with an infamous “unnamed source” who knows polling intimately. Looking at the raw numbers in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Arizona, this source concluded that really the states aren’t even that close. Maricopa County, the heartbeat of Arizona politics is now, according to this source, “plus four or plus five Republican based on the data). That would translate to an Arizona Trump victory of between 4-6 points, or more than he got in 2016. Florida, with its massive surge in Republican registrations, is now “Trump plus 1.5,” again, an improvement over 2016. And Pennsylvania, my source said, has been the subject of insane polling that has deliberately sampled outside all of the major Trump areas. Right now, Trump is up in Pennsylvania. As for notions that Trump has pulled ad funding from Ohio and Iowa because he’s “losing,” nothing could be further from the truth. These states now are extremely safe for Trump, and he should carry each by more than his 2016 margin.
All of which suggests that there is another motive for Pelosi’s gambit: she is trying to derail the Trump train before it removes her as Speaker.
Larry Schweikart is the co-author with Michael Allen of the New York Times #1 bestseller, A Patriot’s History of the United States, author of Reagan: The American President, and the founder of the Wild World of History curriculum website that features full US and World History curricula for grades 9-12 that includes teachers’ guides, student workbooks, tests/answers, maps/images/graphs, and video lessons for each unit (www.wildworldofhistory.com).