The United States Constitution has been under more strain in the last few months than it has in its two centuries of life. With a psychologically unstable Trump, there’s one part of the Constitution in particular we should all be a little concerned about, the de facto military coup.
Republican Senator Bob Corker recently joined the growing list of those speaking out about Trump’s unstable mental health. He also drew our attention to the fact that James Mattis and John Kelly, both retired military Generals, are the only ones currently protecting us from a nuclear war.
Then this week writer for Vanity Fair, Gabriel Sherman, appeared on MSNBC and shared his concern about the possibility that Mattis and Kelly may have to physically tackle Trump to prevent this very thing. Clearly, we would all be ok with that, but there’s a problem with that.
Bill Palmer points out:
General Mattis is the Secretary of Defense, but has no legal or Constitutional authority whatsoever when it comes to interfering with the actions of the U.S. President. General Kelly is merely the White House Chief of Staff, and has no authority of any kind. Even if these two men were still active Generals, they’d still have no authority to override the President. If Trump were attempting to launch a nuclear missile, and they physically tried to stop him from doing so, they’d be engaging in a coup.
In such a scenario, the Secret Service would be legally required to arrest Mattis and Kelly on the spot – but would they do it? If Trump was a few seconds away from sealing all our deaths with the press of a button, with whom would the Secret Service ultimately side? With whom would the military itself side? Much as we’d all like Trump ousted, military coups have a fairly bad historical record of getting democracies back on track when they’ve gone awry. If two legally powerless retired Generals are the only reason we’re all still alive, that alone means Donald Trump must be impeached by Congress and removed immediately.
The reality is if Mattis and Kelly are the only people preventing us from engaging in an unnecessary nuclear war, Congress needs to begin impeachment hearings, like yesterday.