Saturday, April 8, 2017

Why Keith Olbermann is thinking about a ‘President Betsy DeVos’ - MarketWatch

Why Keith Olbermann is thinking about a ‘President Betsy DeVos’ - MarketWatch:

Why Keith Olbermann is thinking about a ‘President Betsy DeVos’

Keith Olbermann, in a video segment for GQ that was as much a spoken-word performance (built around varied intonations of the interrogative phrase “new election”) as a political commentary before it veered into constitutional-law-lecturer territory, made sport of the fact that the presidential line of succession would, after the resignation or removal of just 14 government officials, make a commander-in-chief of a cabinet member whose confirmation hearing was at times indistinguishable from its “Saturday Night Live” parody:
‘President Betsy DeVos, who’s 15th [in the line of presidential succession] — President Betsy DeVos.’
Keith Olbermann
Olbermann, who makes no bones of his partisanship in general nor his antipathy for President Trump in particular (his GQ commentary series is called “The Resistance”), repeatedly makes the point that calling a snap election, as familiar as the practice might be for observers of parliamentary democracies, is a a beyond-heavy lift under the U.S. political system.
Giving imagination rein, though, the former ESPN and MSNBC presenter argues that if worse came to worst in the ongoing investigations into the interference of Russian state actors in November’s presidential election, and collusion knowingly existed between the Russians and the Trump team, all Republicans would be complicit. Their collective offense, in Olbermann’s stated view: Having failed to derail the Trump insurgency, they accommodated themselves to it and even benefited from it.
Lamenting how the Constitution itself is vague on the untimely demise of a presidency (behind much of the presumed practice following a president’s death, incapacitation or removal by other means is “just the custom,” according to Olbermann, including the “Tyler precedent,” under which a vice president, as necessary, becomes not just a caretaker president but a fully fledged one, and serves out the elected president’s term), Olbermann allows that the 25th Amendment sought to codify the procedure. It set in stone, for one thing, how the vice presidency is filled, should a sitting vice president ascend to the presidency. The line of succession, after the vice president, was left to Congress to determine, resulting in a situation wherein, as Olbermann all but shouts in his “Resistance” video, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos stands, after the vice president, 15th in line.
Cabinet secretaries are ordered in a first-in-first-out manner such that the heads of the most recently added departments are at the rear of the line of succession. Following Vice President Mike Pence in order of succession to the presidency, according to USConstitution.net, then, are Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan; the president pro tempore of the Senate, Orrin Hatch; and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — after whom the following are next in line:
• Secretary of the Treasury: Steven Mnuchin
• Secretary of defense: James Mattis
• Attorney general: Jeff Sessions
• Secretary of the interior: Ryan Zinke
• Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Purdue
• Secretary of commerce: Wilbur Ross
• Secretary of labor: Unconfirmed (Alexander Acosta nominated after Andrew Puzder’s nomination was withdrawn)
• Secretary of Health and Human Services: Tom Price
• Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson
• Secretary of transportation: Elaine Chao
• Secretary of energy: Rick Perry
• Secretary of education: Betsy DeVos
• Secretary of Veterans Affairs: David Shulkin
• Secretary of Homeland Security: John Kelly
Why Keith Olbermann is thinking about a ‘President Betsy DeVos’ - MarketWatch:

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