A Final Fantasy?

2016-22-10-21-17-58By QMC, USN (Ret)

Here come the dancers one by one,
Your mamas calling but you’re having fun 

Bad Company

Over the course of the last year, I have written a few posts speculating about the way the 2016 presidential election would turn out. Yes, my predictions were, to say the least, somewhat out there, and, to nobody’s surprise (certainly not mine), 100% wrong at every turn. But it was, for me at least, a fun thought exercise. My apologies to anyone who might have taken me too seriously.

And now, with only a few days left until the election, I find that I have one last opportunity to prove to you exactly how stark-raving mad I am, and have a bit of fun in the process, before turning my madness to other matters. Of course this time (sarcasm alert) I have it all figured out, and am sure of just how it will all go down. Trust me! And remember:

Simple Fact of Life: No matter how improbable something seems, stranger things have happened.

You do still have your tinfoil hat, right?

Late night, November 8th:

The votes (most of them legitimate) have been tallied, and history has been made. America has elected its first woman president, Hillary Clinton. The election wasn’t particularly close, although Donald Trump did manage to win most of the reliably red states. When it was all added up, the electoral votes were Clinton 372; Trump 166. Champagne corks are popping in newsrooms across the nation, as journalists? celebrate their well-deserved victory, dampened only by the sad fact that in the down-ballot races there was no significant change in the makeup of Congress. Oh well, Hillary would ride roughshod over the Republicrats the same way that Obama did. And most importantly, to liberals at least, the female president box had been checked off. More history can be made, and more quotas filled, next time.

Early afternoon, November 9th:

At the Justice Department, a routine press briefing is held, sparsely attended by a few hung-over reporters. After several minutes of inconsequential blather, it is casually announced that as a result of  her mishandling of classified information, Hillary Clinton’s security clearance has been administratively revoked by the FBI. She has been given a letter informing her of this action.

The reporters wake up.

“Did the timing of this have anything to do with the election?”

“No, it happened as soon as the process was completed. It would have happened even if she had lost the election. The timing was purely coincidental.”

“Will she still be able to serve as president?”

“I don’t know. That’s not my department. I’m only telling you what’s happened.”

“With no security clearance, how could she deal with an international crisis?”

“Again, not my department. Maybe some arrangements could be made. I suppose that the intelligence people could brief the Vice President and the appropriate cabinet secretaries, and recommend a course of action. But they would not legally be authorized to share the information on which that recommendation was based.”

Late morning, November 11:

Hillary Clinton arrives at the White House, having been summoned to the Oval Office. There she meets with President Obama. The Vice President, the Speaker of the House, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General are also present. The President tells her that in light of recent developments, she would be unable to effectively execute the office of the president. The Attorney General informs her that the FBI is about to complete their investigation of irregularities in the Clinton Foundation, and that an indictment is imminent. The President suggests that she withdraw her name from consideration to be the next president. The Speaker tells her that if she does not withdraw, he will have no choice but to bring articles of impeachment to disqualify her from holding office. The Vice President assures her that at least 2/3 of the Senate will vote to disqualify her. The President says that if she withdraws, he will quietly issue her a full pardon, and nobody ever needs to hear about the impending indictment. He suggests that maybe, besides the security concerns, which could probably could have been resolved, she cite health reasons, which would allow her to save face. The Secretary of State hands her a prepared letter, in which she withdraws from consideration, and releases all electors from their pledges to vote for her. This, being one of Hillary’s “bad days,” she, dazed and confused, signs the letter.

Mid morning, November 21st:

The FBI issues a press release stating that the security concerns with Hillary Clinton have been resolved. No elaboration. The journalists? don’t ask for any.

Noonish, November 24th:

A slightly disheveled looking Hillary Clinton appears before the press and announces that she has received some upsetting news about her health. She will not be able to assume the presidency, and releases the electors from any pledges to vote for her. No elaboration, and she leaves without taking any questions.

Afternoon, November 24th:

Barack Obama and Joe Biden appear in the White House press room. The President announces that he has been informed of Clinton’s decision. Vice President Biden has agreed to take her place, and Obama asks that all electors that were pledged to Hillary instead cast their votes for Joe. Biden says that he may or may not serve the entire four years, but there will be a smooth transition, and the government will continue to function normally.

December 19th:

The electors meet in their respective states.

While we often hear about electoral votes, and how many each state has, there is something that is not often mentioned. The electors are not just numbers, they are actual living, breathing human beings. Usually state-level party hacks. They have thoughts, they have emotions. While November’s meeting in the Oval Office was never made public, and never reported on the nightly news, rumors were flying all over social media. The fix was in. It was all planned from the start. The whole election was a sham. Many, probably most, of the electors came to believe that there just might be some truth to those rumors. But, having been duly chosen, they fulfilled their solemn constitutional duty. They cast their votes, and sent them to their respective governors to be forwarded to Washington.

January 6th:

Congress meets in a joint session in the House Chamber, presided over by a smiling Joe Biden, joined by a sour-faced Paul Ryan, to count the electoral votes and declare the president-elect. As the votes are counted, the expressions on the faces of Joe and Paul start to change. Remember, 166 electors were pledged to Trump, and the other 372 were pledged to nobody, but asked to vote for Biden. And a lot of those 372 were really pissed off. When the counting was done, the final tally was Joseph Biden 234, Donald Trump 188, Bernard Sanders 66, Gary Johnson 26, Hillary Clinton 22, and Jill Stein 2. Nobody has received a majority of the votes. Almost lost amidst all this hubbub was the count for vice president. Kaine 372, Pence 166. Kaine had never released his electors, and they all honored their pledge.

So Tim Kaine was declared to be the vice president-elect, and the senators were dismissed. It was now up to the House of Representatives to select the next president. According to the Constitution, they were to choose among the top three candidates, with each state having one vote. The Republicans hold a majority of state delegations, and Wyoming’s one representative has the same vote as California’s several dozen. Much discussion among the split delegations, but they have to do something, and do it right now. Each state names a spokesperson, and the roll is called. Final score: Trump 27, Biden 23. Donald Trump is declared to be the president-elect.

Mr. Trump, who two months ago had moved on to other endeavors, is informed of the results, and told that he has two weeks to put together an administration. He, of course, immediately says that he’s going to fire the vice president-elect. And, of course, he is immediately told that he can’t do that, since the vice president is elected separately, and technically doesn’t even work for the president. He could ask him to resign, but he can’t force him to. He could ask the House to impeach him, but, since there was no evidence of any treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, they would have no reason to do so. And even if they came up with some pretense, there was no chance that 2/3 of the Senate would vote to remove him.

Noon, January 20th:

The new President and Vice President are sworn in. For the first time since the administration of John Adams, we have a president and vice president from opposing parties. Let the fun start.

And that’s what’s going to happen. Remember, you read it here first.