- - Sunday, July 25, 2021

It would be a good thing for the country if the bright minds who found a way to resolve the COVID-19 crisis could now turn their attention to the other sickness that is poisoning the nation’s civic life: Trump Derangement Syndrome.

It’s not exactly clear why but the mere mention of his name throws Democrats into fits of apoplexy. They cease to be rational whenever he is the topic of conversation, twisting themselves bizarrely as they plot and scheme to find ways to keep him from ever again occupying the White House.

The latest example is a bill offered in the U.S. House of Representatives by Pennsylvania Democrat Brendan Boyle to effectively amend the Constitution by requiring the Speaker to henceforth be a member of the body, something not currently required. The legislation is offered, he says, in response to an idea that Trump might be handed the gavel sometime in the future, thus putting him, after the Vice President, second in the line of succession to the presidency.

“That Donald Trump’s name would even be tossed around as a potential speaker in the people’s house should serve as an alarm bell that our current requirements need to be amended in the name of protecting our nation and our democracy,” Boyle said in a statement.

The legal, electoral, and constitutional mechanics involved in making Trump the president in this manner are so time-consuming, laborious, and unlikely that it is hard to take the idea seriously. For it to happen, the Republicans would have to retake control of the House, impeach the president, have the Senate vote on a bipartisan basis to remove the president from office, stop the confirmation of a new vice president in at least one congressional chamber, and, with the vice presidency vacant go through the entire impeachment and removal process once again.

You could do that believably in a novel or a movie; you couldn’t do it in real life. There are too many hurdles to get over – but that’s not the point. The Democrats are starting to look silly and make the nation look preoccupied with a threat that doesn’t exist.

The Democrats impeached Trump twice. The second time, after January 6, it was with the intent that the Senate bar him from seeking the presidency ever again as it removed him from office. Their determination to make this a reality by altering government institutions rather than beating him in 2024 is disgraceful and as bad as just about anything they ever criticized him for doing.

There are important issues Congress must deal with. Helping get the economy back up off its back so it can get back to creating jobs is probably the most important. Finding a way to deal with the debt piled on by the COVID-19 emergency spending is another. Trying to block Trump from regaining the presidency by closing off every possible avenue to 1600 Pennsylvania might be good for fundraising in small dollars from the elderly, living on fixed incomes. 

Still, it should not be a policy priority. It’s a waste of Congress’s time and the people’s.

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