Law prof: There’s still a way Hillary Clinton could become president this year, you know
On the one hand, I want to mock this as preposterous fanfic coughed up by a “Resistance” movement that still hasn’t managed to choke down the fact of Trump’s victory.
On the other hand, everyone’s entitled to their own taste in porn. For some lefties, a constitutional deus ex machina in which the queen is magically restored to her rightful throne is it.
The law prof behind this, Lawrence Lessig, also claimed last December that 20 Republican members of the electoral college were considering voting against Trump. In the end, Trump lost two. Hillary Clinton lost more Democratic electors than that. And now here we are. As summarized by Newsweek:
If number 1: If Trump is definitively found to have colluded directly with Russia, he would be forced to resign or be impeached.
If number 2: If Trump is removed, Vice President Mike Pence would become president.
If number 3: If Pence becomes president, he should resign too, given that he benefited from the same help from Mother Russia.
If number 4: If Pence resigns before appointing a vice president, Ryan would become president.
If number 5: If Ryan becomes president, he should do the right thing and choose Clinton for vice president. Then he should resign.
Actually, there’s a sixth step in Lessig’s piece: In a gesture of goodwill, President Hillary should then appoint Ryan (or some other Republican) as her VP. Imagine the Clinton/Ryan ticket trying to work through disagreements on, say, entitlements and federal spending.
Jay Cost made a good point about this last night. Even if you’ve convinced yourself that there’s a chance in hell of Trump *and* Pence both being removed by the Senate due to collusion with Russia, why would you seize on some convoluted “Ryan names Hillary VP and then resigns” fantasy to get her into the Oval Office? There’s a much more straightforward way:
Step one: Democrats win back the House, which isn’t at all unlikely right now.
Step two: Democrats name Hillary Clinton the new Speaker. Pelosi won’t like that, but whatever. The Speaker doesn’t need to be a member of the House.
Step three: The House impeaches Trump and Pence.
Step four: The Senate removes Trump and Pence, clearing the way for — ta da — Speaker Clinton to become president via established rules of succession.
That fourth step’s a doozy, though, huh? Due to the fact that the most vulnerable senators up for reelection next fall are almost all Democrats, even the most optimistic Dems think the best-case scenario in the midterms is winning a *bare* majority in the Senate. That would require holding all vulnerable Democratic seats, knocking off Dean Heller and Jeff Flake, and then pulling a major red-state upset somewhere. Do all that — an inside straight electorally — and you’ve got 51. In which case Schumer would still need no fewer than 16 Republicans to vote for removing Trump (and Pence). Unless Mueller produces video of Putin handing Trump a fat envelope, he’ll never get it. And even then, half the party would argue that we can’t know exactly what was in the envelope. Maybe it was a Hallmark card offering the United States a reset.
I have no big ending to this post, so in lieu of an exit question, enjoy Rand Paul dumping all over John McCain and Lindsey Graham.