The death of JFK, the resignation of Richard Nixon and the 9/11 attacks were challenging events on a par with the medical, socioeconomic and political drama playing out today. But with a growing electoral confrontation, a contentious SCOTUS confirmation and a stubborn pandemic, 2020 events may soon pass the other dark moments in America.
The announcement that the president and the First Lady tested positive for COVID-19 was a fitting end to recent craziness in Washington. Besides fretting about bogus election ballots and more corona virus cases (and deaths), we must now consider what will happen if the president dies or is too sick to govern. The complexity is disconcerting because there are so many different things that may take place if these contingencies occur before (and after) the election.
The New York Times outlined the possibilities and brought up a unique concern. Granted, it is highly unlikely, but if Trump and Pence die or are incapacitated (they could both afflicted with serious Covid sickness), would the reins of government pass to the Speaker of the House? That is the procedure that most average Americans believe is true (president, vice president, speaker then president of the Senate). Some constitutionalists are suggesting that an official from the executive branch should supersede the two leaders of Congress, like a cabinet member (the first would likely be the Secretary of State).
Given that Trump is a male, over 70 and overweight, he is in the vulnerable group relating to the pandemic. However, the odds are higher than 90% that he will recover, in great part because of the extraordinary medical care he is receiving.
Another brewing item is whether the Senate Republicans have enough votes to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett, since Senators Lee and Tillis have contracted the virus. Both are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In response to this, Republicans suggested that senators should be protected and proceedings be done virtually. Guess what? Democrats objected to this proposed change in voting. Nobody is cooperating with anybody. The rule is senators must appear in person to vote on any issue.
Neither politicians nor average Americans are amenable to negotiation and are acting in the most uncooperative manner. Disease, a presidential illness and an election are not enough to bring the political pit bulls together. Everybody has been asked to pray for the president and his wife, but what are they praying for? I’ll allow you consider this question.
In the meantime, our president is hold up at Walter Reed Hospital fighting the virus. Let’s all hope the situation does not become even worse giving opportunists more avenues to create political chaos.