Saturday, July 16, 2016

The unforgiving minute: Succession dreams, and scarier things

A couple of days ago, in that last dream you sometimes have before the alarm goes off, I dreamed that Trump and Pence got elected. The residue of dismay from that dream was hard to shake off.

Then, this morning, presumably safe in the wakened world and browsing the news, it occurred to me that if those two got elected, and if Trump (now the Cheetos Jesus in Chief) were to leave the Oval Office suddenly vacant mid-term – whether by getting his hair caught up in the compressor fan of an Air Force One jet engine or succumbing to his signature inability to stay focused – it would be Pence who would succeed him as President of the United States. 

Then, as the shakes began to set in, I realized: Pence, perfectly awful as he is (and I chose that phrase with some care), would merely be first in line to replace him. Based on the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, signed into law by Harry Truman (who could not on his worst day have imagined things coming to this), should Pence slip and fall in the shower, he would be succeeded by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. 

Were Ryan to be killed in a freak weight-training accident, the next in line would be President Pro Tempore of the Senate Orrin Hatch.  

Should Hatch inadvertently impale himself on one of his collar stays, the next in line would be . . . whoever Trump had seen fit to select as his Secretary of State.

I came to about four hours later next to a dumpster twenty blocks from here. Two little kids were prodding me nervously with a stick.

Minute's up, thank heavens.

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