October 24, 2017

This isn't the first time former Senator Gordon Humphrey has said Trump needs to go. In August, he was making an argument for "sick" Donald Trump to be replaced. But this may be the most pointed argument he's made along these lines.

Appearing on All In With Chris Hayes, Humphrey called upon the Senate to stand up and do their sworn duty.

Referring to Senators Corker and Flake's departures, Humphrey noted, "This is a vivid example of the bad driving out the good."

"And I think it's high time a majority of Republicans join with Bob Corker and Jeff Flake and denounce the president as a man who is reckless, so reckless and careless and cruel in the conduct of his office as to be vile and corrupting of the American system," he continued.

As so many of us have asked, where are the rest of the Republicans? Why are they allowing this when they have the power to stop it?

Senator Humphrey was emphatic: "It's high time that Congress with the encouragement of former members of Congress may i say, and former presidents may i say especially invoke the 25th amendment to remove this man from office because he is simply unfit to discharge the powers and duties of that office.

And for good measure, he reminded viewers that Senators are sworn to uphold the Constitution. "Those are the words of the constitution. The president doesn't have to be stark raving mad. If he is reckless and dangerous, that makes him unfit. And that is the description of Donald Trump.

After some back-and-forth, Chris Hayes tried to come around the 25th amendment to some other solution that might work, but Humphrey was having none of it.

"Look, we need to be rid -- the nation needs to be rid of this vile president whose vileness is so great as to personify evil," he insisted. "We need to be rid of this man and Congress has the power to do it under the Constitution by amendment, which would strip the president of his powers and transfer them to the Vice President."

He added, "There is not a moment to lose, members of Congress need to stand up and show some courage and some principle and put the country and its future and our hopes ahead of their selfish personal political ambitions."

This was good. It's the right message. Not that Mike Pence would be much of an improvement, but at least maybe he wouldn't be Steve Bannon's enabler and wouldn't start World War III or get the world nuked.

It's nice that Senators Flake and Corker are now freed up to speak out. But it feels too easy, like they ran for the exit while everyone else in the room is consumed by the fire coming toward them.

Charlie Pierce nails this down:

Again, I find it hard to reconcile this existential threat to the country’s politics with Flake’s decision to leave office instead of fighting it. He recognizes the problem and has decided, with quite a bit of thought, that he doesn’t have the belly to fight it. Fair enough, but please, spare us the anguished cri de poulet.

Yes, indeed. We have two kinds of Republicans right now. There are the followers, for whom their political careers are defined by getting those damned tax cuts done, and those running for the exits. Both are defined by cowardice, not courage.

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