Many people, the best people, took to the streets at the weekend for a bigly protest against Donald Trump’s visit to Britain, Team GB or the UK, or Englandland or whatever he’s calling us these days.
But you’ll need a lot more than protests to get rid of the obese orange loofah, who’s just announced he will run for a second term. Because his time in office is not as limited as you might think.
The generally-accepted truth is that US presidents can serve only two terms of 4 years each.
But this is not a rule. It’s a convention, underpinned by the 22nd amendment to the US Constitution.
And that amendment actually limits the time in office to a theoretical 10 years, if someone wanted to push it by replacing another president for 2 years less one day.
And while you’re struggling with the idea of a whole decade of Trump, consider this – an amendment can be amended.
Now, it’s a tricky business. And if you’re one of those who hates Trump and pays attention to history, you’ll be about to zip down to the comments and talk about constitutional checks and balances, how it must get through Congress, he can’t even get the wall paid for, Foxy you have taken leave et cetera.
But if there’s one thing the Republican Party has shown so far, it’s that they are prepared to let Trump do almost what he pleases if it keeps them in power. Only a few have resigned on principle, only a few state publicly he’s a fool, and by and large they have flown in his slipstream in return for undoing all those abortion laws, tax regulations and other things they dislike.
The Democrats, meanwhile, are disorganised. There’s no credible leader, no unifying message, no prospective opponent to dismantle Trump’s edifice of bulls***.
Which means he heads into the November mid-terms in first place with every chance of more power in Congress. Every single House of Representatives seat is up for grabs, along with a third of the Senate – most of them Democrats.
Don’t talk to me of your Russia investigation, or your federal and state probes into witness tampering or campaign funding or who did what when.
Not only has Trump managed to devalue them by doing even worse things in public – telling Canada to piss off, stepping on the Queen, trying to destroy NATO – they’ll take years to grind through the US legal system.
Donald Trump lied or misled you at least 5 times in his interview with Piers Morgan
Already this year Trump’s used the power of presidential pardon to free a former Republican aide who obstructed justice. Last year he pardoned a sheriff who rounded up migrants without any reasonable suspicion of a crime, and who had been convicted for contempt of court.
His aides have been discussing in public Trump’s legal power even to pardon himself, and he’s just about to make the Supreme Court an ultra-Conservative arbitrator of his actions. So if Russian collusion, or any other of the numerous crimes his team have been accused of, get as far as the Chief Oompah-Loompah there’s no guarantee that the mud will stick.
US politics has a history of non-adhesive mud.
We’re still looking at an absolute maximum of 10 years, right? Not necessarily.
If he doesn’t amend the amendment, he can find ways around it. There is precedent for the imposition of martial law, suspension of the US constitution and even getting the same result without actually having to do either, by asking Congress to approve it and them being terrified enough to do as requested.
Donald Trump says he intends to run for re-election in 2020 – and doesn’t think ANYONE can beat him
Abraham Lincoln did it in 1861 at the outbreak the American Civil War. Congress approved of all his measures – including giving the military the power of arrest and summary trial – without any official declarations.
Dear old Donald only this week compared himself to Honest Abe, claiming he had better polling than the bearded abolitionist even though there was no such polling in his lifetime.
That’s before we move on to the Founding Fathers, those men who led the War of Independence and framed the constitution so there could be no more tyranny.
They were quite keen on the idea of a president-for-life and didn’t want term limits in the first place.
So now we have a definite 4 years of Trump that looks likely to be 8, with a possible extension until 2026. You have a lack of credible opposition, and criminal investigations that won’t bear fruit for a long time.
On top of that we have an obvious route for a PR campaign invoking the spirit of the Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Abe Lincoln, and a constitution which states in Article 1, section 9: "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."
Now, is there any sort of invasion or rebellion Mr Trump might like to get people worried about?
Mexicans, protesters, Muslims, women, and immigrants of hues other than white all seem to exist in greater numbers, and more volume, than Mr Trump seems to like. You can see him typing the tweet, can’t you?
All we have left to wonder is whether or not this man, who lied about his height in order to pretend he is not morbidly-obese and worries what you think of his tiny hands, is vain enough to WANT to stay in office forever.
Well, in 2016 while running for office he told a rally in Ohio: "I’m just thinking to myself right now: we should just cancel the election and just give it to Trump, right? What are we even having it for?"
And in March, after meeting President Xi Jinping a month after a successful campaign to change the Chinese term-limit laws, Trump announced: "He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day."
He was joking both times, of course. But then he was joking about Barack Obama’s birth certificate, and joking about a wall, and joking about running for president – once.
If you joke about something shocking, actually doing it then seems less bad.
This is all speculation. It’s Silly Season, we’re in a heatwave, perhaps the unwelcome visit and likeness of Theresa May to Neville Chamberlain have all gone to my head. I’m no expert on the US constitution.
But before you dismiss these arguments out of hand, just ask yourself this. Under what circumstances can you imagine this man happily leaving the Oval Office?
Because I can’t see him walking out. I can only see him being dragged out by the ankles, still holding on to the Resolution Desk and the @POTUS Twitter account password.
So I’ll make a prediction, as dangerous as these things can be with someone as unpredictable as a racist toddler: he’ll win a second term, and soon afterwards those things he has joked about will be seriously discussed.
We’re in hard days. We need a strong man. He needs more time. It’s what Abraham Lincoln would do… and here’s our very first President George Washington who, in his farewell address to the nation, criticised the media, called for America to be put first and generally sounded like someone who’d vote for Trump in a heartbeat.
Then it’s time to worry. Americans have never yet questioned their nation’s founding principles, and I fear they’re about to get a lesson in why questioning your leaders is something you shouldn’t delegate to Piers Morgan.
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