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February 21, 2017


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I'm not sure I see this. According to the text of the 25th amendment wouldn't the vice president and the theoretical oligarchic grand council need to move together to remove the president? But this would require the vice president of the incumbent administration to move against his president and campaign running mate and in favour of the previous administration that got Congress to appoint the oligarchic grand council no?

Perhaps I'm misreading this.

I said that about the Veep! So nothing to worry about.

Most of the people speculating about using the 25th to remove Trump don't seem to have read the text of it.

Some of the speculators have been quite open that Mike Pence is quite possibly the most dangerous man in America, as far as the President is concerned. That would be consistent with the text of the 25th!

One is reminded of Charles II of England, when his brother James came to him with word of an assassination plot: "Jamie, Jamie, there is no man in England who would kill me to make you king."

Another scenario is a sudden nuclear attack on Washington that wipes out the entire presidential line of succession. Military commanders in the field would have the ability to launch a nuclear counterattack but would not have any civil authority. My guess is that a more or less ad hoc council of state governors would take over interim control of the government (or whatever remained of it), possibly including any members of Congress that had happened to have been outside Washington.

Ah! Finally a discussion on what happens if the presidential line of succession is entirely wiped out.

Now in actuality I don't think that even if everyone in the listed line of succession is wiped out that there would be an ad hoc council of governors or something running the show. Why?

Well, even if the entire presidential line of succession AND the US House and Senate were wiped out, then 45 of the 50 states permit their governors to appoint temporary Senators until an election can be held to fill the Senate seat.

Thus, in the event that the entire Presidential line was wiped out plus the Congress, the 45 governors so permitted could appoint 90 Senators which is more than enough for a quorum to conduct business. From there the new Senators would elect from among themselves a new President pro tempore of the Senate who would then immediately become Acting President and can fill out Cabinet positions and make a new Presidential line of succession.

In this way, the only way to truly destroy civil authority in the US would be to destroy the presidential line of succession, the Supreme Court, Congress AND 45 of the governors and most likely the State governor's line of succession and legislatures. I think even in a nuclear strike it would be unlikely for that to happen unless the strike were sudden and overwhelming (at which point a lack of civil authority is only one of many pressing problems).

Even in the rebellious-Congress scenario you've outlined, the worst we'd have is something similar to a parliamentary government, which many countries we call democratic seem to get along with just fine. Of course, there are gross inequities in the way Congress is elected, but that's a problem even with the government we have today.

John Barnes wrote a trilogy about this; the government split into two factions, one headed by the Secretary of Peace (most junior cabinet secretary left), and one headed by the homeland-security bureaucracy if I recall correctly. There were also aliens involved.

I read that trilogy, JKR! It was great, up until the last volume. Although that volume was fun as a sort of legal science fiction: how could the United States constitutionally abolish itself? But the actual cause of that abolition was eye-rollingly silly.

That said, I think this thread deserves more debate! What happened to all the usual suspects? Radio silence since Election Day.

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