ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 2016
May 7 2016
Two “affluenza” sufferers occupy the world’s attention today. One is Kim Jong-un of North Korea, strutting his bulk before his “adoring masses” to orchestrated applause; the other is Donald J. Trump, basking in his reflection on stadium size video displays, buoyed by “believers” hanging on his every syllable. Neither man has any doubt that he is infallible, omniscient and omnipotent.
Those who can are, in effect, stocking their shelters and burying their gold while the performers play their roles to uncertain outcomes.
With the possibility that Trump may “fire” the Republican Party (or be “fired” by party leadership) and either form a 3rd party ticket or provoke an electoral college deadlock, two little known amendments to the Constitution, the 12th and the 20th come into play.
If both the House (tasked with selecting the President) and the Senate (tasked with selecting the Vice-President), both fail to act before the January 20th Inauguration day, the Speaker of the House becomes the President until the legislative bodies perform their mandated duties.
Since there is no penalty in law for failure of the House and Senate to perform their electoral tasks, in effect, Paul Ryan could be the President for the full 4 year term, assuming that he is re-elected to the House.
Speaker Ryan’s “Vice President”, in the absence of an elected VP, would be the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, presently Orrin Hatch. Succession beyond those two proceeds down the list of Cabinet Members, starting with the Secretary of State.
I suspect that this may be a better option than others for which riot control gear are now being stockpiled, starting with the City of Cleveland tasked with hosting the Republican Convention in a few weeks.