President John F. Kennedy died within a few minutes of being shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963 but, in the aftermath, some members of Congress decided that a constitutional amendment might be a good idea in case, in some future instance, a president might be disabled but not killed, the vice president could assume the full powers of the office until the president either recovered and resumed office, or died and would be succeeded by the vice president.
It passed Congress in 1965 and was ratified by a the necessary three-fourths of states and took effect as the 25th Amendment in 1967.
Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, tweeted as follows:
“After the disastrous events in Afghanistan, we must confront a serious question: Is Joe Biden capable of discharging the duties of his office or has time come to exercise the provisions of the 25th Amendment?”
I’m prepared to call this juvenile (Scott is 68 years old), pointless (unless Scott is worried about losing his next primary for an even more irresponsible Biden-basher) and despicable (fill in your parenthetical phrase here describing why it might be called despicable).
In case you need a refresher, the 25th Amendment process for removing a president who is disabled is invoked either by the president himself communicating to the U.S. House that he or she is not capable (or temporarily incapable) of discharging the duties of his/her office, or by that determination being reached by a combination of the vice president and the majority of the Cabinet.
I doubt we’ll hear much more about Scott’s proposal. It would be far more likely (but nonetheless fairly unlikely) that Scott will retract the tweet or announce that the Chinese had hacked his account and tweeted in his name. But, if neither of those last two occurs, I’ll put in on the list of events indicating that our political system is in danger of becoming unworkable until the Republican Party returns to its senses.
Perhaps I should mention that those who obsess on such things often include Scott on the list of Republicans who are thinking of launching a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.