Presidential Line of Succession (USA)

Last Week Tonight’s host, John Oliver, dedicated his most recent show to the scandals and the likelihood of impeachment, i.e. “Stupid Watergate.”  He reminded us all that the following line of succession would apply:

1 Vice President Mike Pence (R)
2 Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R)
3 President pro tempore of the Senate Orrin Hatch (R)
4 Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R)

As he noted though, impeachment is unlikely while the House and Senate retain a Republican majority.  And, even if both Trump and Pence are impeached, do we really want any of the alternatives?  I have to go pretty far down the line of succession before I see anyone tolerable.  At least Trump is predictable in his incompetence and narcissism.  We just need to be careful about allowing real the President Show to distract us from the political maneuvering to destroy the social safety net and overall government functioning.

16 Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin (I)
17 Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly (I)

Having your President be the “Buffoon of the World” and watching other leaders burying their heads in their hands when they hear him speak, is disheartening in the extreme.  Having him treat the problems between Israel and Palestine as if it were simply a real estate deal without any other history or circumstances, is almost worse.  Israel has few problems with the current situation and no reason to change it.  As long as it is not sanctioned for its settlement push or forced to make Palestinians citizens, Israel has no reason to change.  Contrary to Trump’s recent remarks, Israel is part of the Middle East and needs to function as such.  Nothing much is likely to happen as long as Trump continues to believe that just his saying “it is so” actually makes it so.

Perhaps the Nation says it bestWith his young presidency bogged down in a series of mostly self-inflicted crises, the bar for Trump’s whirlwind global tour was set so low that if he gets through it with only a handful of minor international incidents, it’ll be considered a success by many observers.