As the #Russagate investigation labors on, expands and continues to put into question whether the Trump Presidency will actually last a full four years, calls for a “new election” can be seen all over social media. Is that a realistic path? What does the Constitution say about having a “new election?” Are we doomed to an endless line of GOP stand-ins if Trump and others are taken down by the Russian scandal?
Keith Olbermann tackles the issue in a very level headed way. (see video below …)
First, he acknowledges that it is impossible to prove exactly what influence the Russian propaganda, hacking and other “target marketing” techniques had. We cannot examine the brain of every voter and determine exactly how it changed their minds or votes. He does contend, however, that the “mechanics” of how it was pulled off, can be proved. Sometimes, Trump himself makes it easier by unwittingly connecting dots with tweets and statements that some say reveal more about him than anything or anyone else.
To some, allowing a succession of people who stood by or participated in this scam of the American voter is simply unconscionable. So Keith asks, new election?
Olbermann unpacks some of the history behind what can happen if a President is removed along with how the Constitution addresses it.
On the Constitution, the first place to look is Article II, Section 1, Clause 6. It reads:
In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice-President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
Olbermann points out that nowhere does it say we have to wait till the next “four-year cycle” of elections to complete. In fact, it is totally vague as to when a new election would be held. There’s no law saying the person coming in gets to serve until the next regular election. It is simply a custom.
How did it become a custom?
In 1841, William Henry Harrison died 31 days into his term. John Tyler, his Vice-President, was sworn in. Some proposed he be a “caretaker” until a new election could happen and a new President elected. Tyler essentially ignored them with a “what are you going to do about it” attitude. Thus, the “Tyler precedent” was born. No law, just one man’s hubris.
The 25th Amendment to the Constitution provides a nice list of people who would take over should a President, and possibly his underlings are removed. But again, no specific call that we have to wait until the four-year cycle is complete.
So, does that mean we get a new election? Well, not so fast.
Keep in mind, even if Trump, Pence, and others go down in criminal indictments, impeachments or whatever, we still have a GOP controlled House, Senate and probably in the very near future Supreme Court. The odds of them voluntarily going from guaranteed power in invoking the “Tyler precedent” to passing legislation calling for a new election are slim and none — and as they say, slim just left town.
So, is all hope lost? Of course not, says Keith.
There will be a new election this November. There will be another in November of 2018, and again in 2019. Keith suggests that those who want a new election start with that. Whether it be a Governor’s race, a statewide race or the race for dog catcher, Keith wisely points out that there, much change can be made. Progressives have to do one thing — show up and start voting Republicans out. From the bottom to the top.
New election? Yes, they happen every year — get out and vote.
Check out Keith Olbermann’s sage and realistic advice below;
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com