Already so much has been said about today's bombshell op-ed in the New York Times. (Conveniently distracting for the moment from the coverage of Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings). It is entirely possible that this is op-ed comes from an earnest place, ringing the alarm bell for the country while sincerly believing he or she needs to stay in the job to prevent the worst harms from happening.
And yet, as so often seems to be the case with our current (and former) White House occupants, each move is calculated with spin, misdirection and distractions to achieve some other objective. And as such I'm having a lot of difficulty placing altruism as the motive for this piece. To be sure, I certainly believe much of what is actually written in the piece is likely accurate. Additionally there's a big part of me that's relieved at some level that someone in the asylum is admitting that in fact the place needs about 12 inches of latex foam padding on each wall. Maybe the author believes Trump is going down and wants to preserve some shred of integrity when it all falls apart saying "see, I tried to stop it". Hell, as Rachel Maddow said, maybe Trump authorized the op-ed himself to create a crisis as an excuse to consolidate power even further (she said not likely).
And yet. If we take the memo at face value, we now apparently have unelected officials making significant policy decisions based on their assessment the President is unfit for office. What does this potentially say about the civilian control of the military at this very moment? And by releasing this op-ed in the manner it was, which appears to be designed to inflict maximum psychological damage to the President, has the author put the nation in even more danger given the Trump's current autocratic and impulsive tendencies? All of this is puts us into really really scary territory.
In the end, the author may have felt no other choice but to act as he or she did as there are likely not the votes with the Vice President and the cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment. Heck maybe the entire cabinet thinks Trump is mad but Pence won't sign on, or nobody thinks he will (you need the VP as part of invoking the 25th). What really chaps me is that this person waited to write until after both the tax cuts were enacted, and after the Kavanaugh nomination in all likelihood won't be derailed.
In any event, this isn't the end of it, and we as a people need to demand of our representatives in Congress an accounting of the fitness of the President to continue to serve. The Constitution provides a remedy, it's time to start looking at it.