In The Bullpen

Last week’s news was dominated by the firing of FBI Director James Comey and its repercussions. It looks like the demise of the Trump presidency was further accelerated. I’m not willing to bet on how it will happen (even though I have a favorite theory) but I feel the chances of Trump serving his full term are less than 50-50 at this point. Trump’s impeachment (and that is not my favorite theory) seems to be almost every liberal’s dream. Be careful what you wish for. Let’s explore.

It’s baseball season so I wanted to use a baseball metaphor; let’s look at who is warming up in the bullpen. The bullpen is where relief pitchers warmup before entering the game in substitution for the pitcher on the mound. One of the two prevent legends about how the bullpen got its name is that its denizens spent most of their time telling tall tales. You may know that practice by another name that starts with bull. Considering who is warming up to replace Trump that is very appropriate!

The most likely replacements are Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. In the event that Trump was to leave office with Pence still in the Vice Presidency the Constitution stipulates that Pence becomes President. As Russiagate continues to unfold Pence appears to be more and more involved in the cover up; possibly to the point of criminal activity and/or impeachable dereliction of duty. Circumstances were different, but remember that Spiro Agnew left office before Richard Nixon.

In the unlikely, (but not beyond imagination), event that Trump and Pence simultaneously left office Ryan is the next in line. Also, if Pence were to attain the presidency I assume the Republicans would elevate Ryan to the vice presidency. Ryan ran for the office in 2008 and would be a fool not to take the slot especially since the House Republican caucus is so unruly. Right now being the Republican Vice President is a much better gig than being the Republican Speaker of the House. I’m not ready to sign on to the theory just yet but many feel the Republicans will lose their House majority in 2018 which would mean Ryan would have to fight to retain his leadership position which would become House Minority Leader. Now the Veep spot looks really good.

Both Pence and Ryan are long on bull and short on good policies. While Trump is bad and for America’s good needs to exit the Oval Office; neither Pence nor Ryan is anything resembling a dream!

Sometimes we forget that this is not some game of fantasy baseball; it is the real thing and involves the lives of real people. One way or another Trump will someday leave the White House. He has attained such high rank that no matter the circumstances I feel he’ll do OK. (Nixon resigned in shame, got pardoned and basically lived happily ever after.) What about those whose lives have been irreparably harmed? There are those like Mike Flynn, who were dirty and chose the bad boss. I don’t feel sorry for them. What about people like Merrick Garland, Sally Yates and Preet Bharara? In a somewhat different light, what about James Comey? While I feel Comey used terrible judgment in the course of his duties anyone who believes that was the reason he was fired is a fool.

I truly feel Trump has to go for the good of the country and the world. That being said I’m not looking forward to what is coming out of the bullpen! Emphasis on the first syllable!

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