What Eddie Gaedel Teaches Us About Impeaching Trump

Not many baseball fans remember the late Eddie Gaedel, pictured above, but his story can teach us something about how to impeach Donald Trump.

You see the late Bill Veeck once owned the pathetic St. Louis Browns (now the Baltimore Orioles). In August 1951 Veeck struck on a plan to boost the forlorn baseball team’s attendance. Veeck decided to “honor” the fifty year history of the American League and as part of the celebration he hired the 3 foot, 7 inch Gaedel to play for the Browns. Veeck not only knew that the height challenged Gaedel would delight fans. He also knew Gaedel would be a sure walk, having a strike zone of only 1.5 inches. And walk he did on August 19, 1951.

Although Browns’ fans were amused by Veeck’s stunt, the president of the American League, Will Harridge, was not. Harridge voided Gaedel’s contract. Harridge’s decision was not based on any explicit baseball rules, because there were none. It was based merely on his contention that Veeck was making a mockery of the game which, of course, he was. Harridge was right.

And so we come to Trump. The Constitution explicitly provides for impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors. Trump may not have committed any of those, but his blatant lying and gross incompetence are making a mockery of the Constitution, the government on which it rests and his fellow countrymen. He is a national embarrassment.

While there is no explicit rule against what Trump is doing, it is implicit in our Constitution and way of life that the president cannot make a mockery of the Presidency. Just like the rules of baseball did not need to explicitly ban folks like Gaedel, our Constitution presumes without explicitly saying so that Trump’s behavior is intolerable.

So the lesson Eddie Gaedel teaches us is this: we don’t need to put up with Trump, anymore than baseball needed to put up with Veeck’s prank. Unlike Veeck’s, this one is not funny. It is time to impeach and remove Trump. Enough already of his mockery!