Wednesday, May 11, 2016
John Nance Garner was Vice-President to Franklin Roosevelt from 1933 to 1941. He is usually remembered for a trenchant observation concerning the office he held. He said the vice-presidency was “not worth a bucket of warm spit.”
He actually used more colorful language, but the journalists of that day cleaned it up. I'm sure you can imagine what word he actually used instead of "spit", so no need for me to give it to you. In any case, the idea he espoused was that the office has no real power.
While Garner’s characterization of the office is generally true, there is one undeniable fact concerning the second-in-command. That person is always first in line for succession to the presidency itself. And that makes the choice of Donald Trump’s running mate worth a lot more than a bucket of warm (fill-in-the-blank).
Trump is unlikely to win in November. However, he’ll probably be running against just about the only person he could possibly beat, so if voters somehow find Ronald The Donald preferable to an eminently unlikeable and dishonest Democrat, he could pull off an upset. If so, we need a contingency plan.
I have a way we can take down both Trump and Clinton. Let me explain.
While the choice of a running mate has generally been at the behest of the presidential candidates, there is nothing in the rules of the Republican Party that guarantees such a thing. Rather than rubber-stamping Trump’s choice at the convention in Cleveland, Republicans could decide to choose someone completely different. All it takes is more than one person declaring for that spot on the ticket for it to go to a vote among the delegates. And while delegates may be pledged to Trump, they are not similarly in bondage to his choice of running mate.
The reason this is such an important matter is that Trump has already laid out plans for committing acts, while president, that would undoubtedly end in his being impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted by the Senate, if those bodies have the cojones to do so. Among other things, he has openly called for the commission of war crimes, the gutting of the first amendment, a religious test for entry into the country and the general trashing of due process and equal protection. Trump is odds-on to commit an impeachable offense within days of being sworn in.
When he does, it would be helpful to have a sane vice-president in place. And that brings us back to defeating Clinton. If the Republicans choose a vice-presidential candidate able to string together three sentences without committing foot to mouth, it might sway significant voters away from the carpetbagging Hillary. Then that sane person would be ready to step into the presidency when (not if) Trump is impeached.
There you have it. Two odious birds with one well-aimed stone.
Of course, I have little faith in Republican leadership getting it right in Cleveland. They have yet to show an ability to outsmart this boob, which speaks volumes about them. They’ve been handed numerous golden opportunities to crush this metaphorical cockroach, but have blown it every time. They’ll probably take this final chance and squander it by nominating someone utterly incapable of capturing the swing vote.
A blind squirrel may eventually find a Kasich, however, so here’s hoping.
Soon, with more warm spit.