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Chaos theory [considering terrorist attack on presidential candidates]
Boston Globe ^ | May 9, 2004 | Charlie Savage

Posted on 05/10/2004 10:58:29 AM PDT by LurkedLongEnough

A terrorist attack on presidential candidates could throw the US into unprecedented political turmoil. So why do so few people want to talk about it?

WORST-CASE SCENARIO number one: It's the night before Election Day. Across America, voters turn on their televisions hoping to catch the final hours of the presidential campaign and instead hear the awful news. In coordinated attacks, terrorists have killed their favored candidates for both president and vice president. Now what?

The answer in both cases -- and several equally unpleasant variants: Nobody knows.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: assassination; constitution; doomsdayscenario; election; electionpresident; electoralcollege; jihadinamerica; melcarnahan; novemberattack; paulsimon; paulwellstone; successionact
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Sorry about the forced excerpt. The article is 3 pages long online and gets into quite a bit of detail about how to keep America stable should a tragedy occur around its 2004 election.

In my opinion, the article reeks of Lani Guinier's writings on "rank the candidates" manner of election.

1 posted on 05/10/2004 10:58:31 AM PDT by LurkedLongEnough
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To: LurkedLongEnough
When has being dead held a Democratic candidate back?
2 posted on 05/10/2004 11:00:01 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill
Worst-case scenario number two: It's the day after Election Day and voters have clearly chosen the next president. Across America, local party members are making plans to travel to their state capitals and cast their usually ceremonial Electoral College votes when both members of the winning ticket are assassinated. What happens next?

Oh please... this is easy.

The Constitutional line of succession would then kick in. On inauguration day, 2005, President-Select Dennis Hastert would be sworn in.

3 posted on 05/10/2004 11:05:20 AM PDT by Lunatic Fringe (John F-ing Kerry??? NO... F-ING... WAY!!!)
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To: LurkedLongEnough
have the outgoing president nominate his successor's cabinet as a courtesy before he leaves office.

This is not unreasonable, assuming that the outgoing president has at least an iota of honor; i.e., is a Republican.

4 posted on 05/10/2004 11:05:39 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (The Arab world's only exports are oil and b*llsh*t, and the latter far surpasses the former.)
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To: Billthedrill
Maybe the dems have learned their lesson and won't have a baloon drop and play "Happy Days Are Here Again" at the memorial rally service.
5 posted on 05/10/2004 11:06:33 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Teach a Democrat to fish and he will curse you for not just giving him the fish.)
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To: Billthedrill
In 2002 in Minnesota, when the funeral of the deceased Paul Wellstone was turned into a political rally, which most Minnesotans considered so vulgar that they banished the Farmer Labor party at the ballot box
6 posted on 05/10/2004 11:11:28 AM PDT by dufekin (John F. Kerry. Irrational, improvident, backward, seditious.)
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To: KarlInOhio
First off I would have the Democrat that planted the bomb arrested and Interrogated.

"So Senator Clinton, why did you plant the bomb?"

7 posted on 05/10/2004 11:11:52 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Only difference between the liberals and the Nazis is that the liberals love the Communists.)
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To: Slings and Arrows
What's wrong with Congress pre-confirming the President-elect's Cabinet nominees before his inauguration?
8 posted on 05/10/2004 11:12:41 AM PDT by dufekin (John F. Kerry. Irrational, improvident, backward, seditious.)
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To: LurkedLongEnough
I will read it as soon as I get a chance.

I suppose SOMEONE has to focus on the issue. I believe there are some rules in place. At least I hope so.
9 posted on 05/10/2004 11:16:29 AM PDT by cvq3842
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To: Lunatic Fringe
Scenario #2: That's tragic but easy. If the President-elect is President, then the Vice-President would become President immediately. If the Vice-President were among the deceased, the line of succession would kick. Speaker of the House, Senator Byrd, the Cabinet.

The new President then would select his (or her) Vice-President.

The electors would vote for President on December 18. By that time, the new President would declare whether he or she would be willing to serve permanently, and the campaign would unveil a replacement candidate, possibly at some sort of convention of delegates or electors. But they'd have time to work it out.

If they weren't able to decide on a replacement candidate, or if the elected candidates were deceased, the House would select the President, with each state delegation casting one vote. Perhaps there might be a vacancy in the Oval Office for a time, but Congress would work it out.

This is really the only time that Congress's existence might be critical. I'm sure that in the event of an extreme tragedy, we might be in trouble.
10 posted on 05/10/2004 11:24:07 AM PDT by dufekin (John F. Kerry. Irrational, improvident, backward, seditious.)
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To: dufekin
Interesting theory.

Let's say Kerry wins and then he dies.

The constitution says that the House votes on the President if no one receives a majority of electoral votes. But if the person who receives the majority of electoral votes is dead, then that person cannot receive those votes, correct?

Then the 12th amendment kicks in and the House selects a President from the top 3 vote getters. If Kerry wins, but he dies before being sworn in, then the House could then select Bush since he would obviously be in the top 3. The 12th amendment also states that the House has until March 4th to select a new President... otherwise it then goes to the Senate, which requires a 2/3 quorum to select a President.

Lots of interesting scenarios can play out there. but honestly, in a time like this I expect that even liberal Democrats would come together and select a replacement, even if it is George W. Bush.
11 posted on 05/10/2004 11:34:26 AM PDT by Lunatic Fringe (John F-ing Kerry??? NO... F-ING... WAY!!!)
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To: cvq3842
I figured it out. If the entire Presidential line of succession were dead, the House would convene, and by majority vote, elect new Speaker (the old one must be dead), who would become president immediately. They then would elect a third Speaker. If the House could not or did not convene, perhaps because no quorum could be achieved on account of the deaths, the Senate would convene.

If there were no quorum in the Senate on account of the tragic massacre, the Governors so empowered would appoint new Senators from the affected States without delay, and this new Senate would convene. In default of the House, the Senate would debate at length as they always do, call cloture, and select a President Pro Tempore, who, if there still were no President, would immediately become President. The Senate then would need to process the new Presidential appointees.
12 posted on 05/10/2004 11:36:57 AM PDT by dufekin (John F. Kerry. Irrational, improvident, backward, seditious.)
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To: Lunatic Fringe
Oh please... this [succession via Speaker of the House]is easy.

Sorry, but while I will give you 'logical', that doesn't make it easy. Nor, for that matter, does it make it 'just.' The 'logical but not easy' comes from the Electoral College. Who do they vote for? Suppose there has been a change in the majority party. Do they vote for the outgoing Speaker since Electoral College votes are cast after the election and presumed assassination but before the new Congress takes office? (How about when Tom Foley was Speaker, and didn't even win re-election?) Or do they vote for a generic 'Speaker of the House', leaving the decision to Congress for whomever was Speaker on inauguration day? And who would the new majority of Congresscritters vote for as Speaker when they knew they were really voting for President? Or does the Electoral College assume they know who will be Speaker on inauguration day, and therefore cast their ballots for someone who doesn't actually turn out to be the Speaker of the House?

And the 'logical but not just' answer comes from considering Tom Foley replacing Reagan, or Newt Gingrich replacing Clinton. (Okay, so the second would have been just - it still wouldn't have been a valid reflection of the candidate who got the most votes.)

There are good answers. They're just not established in law at this point. My own suggestion would be something like: Vice-President-elect, Congresscritter who would be Speaker if the President's party won a majority of the House, Senator who would be President Pro Tem if the President's party won a majority of the Senate, Line of Cabinent Succession, and so on, all identified by election day so that people know who the successors would be. That would require that the parties identify who would take office as Speaker and President Pro Tem if their party wins a majority, and for the Presidential candidates to identify their Cabinent members by election day - which are good things, as far as I'm concerned.

But that's not settled in law.
13 posted on 05/10/2004 11:38:25 AM PDT by Gorjus
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To: Lunatic Fringe
If Kerry wins, then dies:

(1) His vice-president-elect becomes president-elect; upon inauguration, he becomes president, then selects a vice-president, confirmed by the Senate.

(2) If there is a vacancy in both the Presidency and the Vice-Presidency, after they are approved in the Congress, the line of succession kicks in, and the Speaker of the House, if still alive, becomes President.

(3) If the deaths occur before the electors cast their votes, then the electors effectively select the new Presidential candidate, who then goes to the House.

(4) If the House rejects Bush, and he's the only living candidate with any electoral votes, presumably they could invent two valid candidates who each go the next least number of electoral votes (zero) to compete with him.
14 posted on 05/10/2004 11:42:26 AM PDT by dufekin (John F. Kerry. Irrational, improvident, backward, seditious.)
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To: LurkedLongEnough
This is a typical Boston Globe article. It is speculative bullsh*t based on a lack of homework.

I've specialized in election law under the First Amendment for forty years. Here are the two essential stupidities in this article:

First, the article does not mention Senator Thomas Eadleton, who resigned as George McGovern's Veep nominee, and was replaced by R. Sargeant Shriver. The Presidential Electors were re-pledged to the new ticket, and the election went on as before.

Second, the article does not mention Horace Greeley, who died after the election but before the Electoral College was scheduled to meet. His Electors were then freed to vote as they chose, though about one-fourth of them still voted for Greeley. Greeley had already lost the election, so this did not matter. If a candidate WON the election and then was assassinated, as the article posits, the winning Party would select a new ticket, re-pledge the Electors and that ticket would be elected.

I'm not picking on the Globe here. Lame stream media people of all types are generally as dumb as a hoe handle on the history of American elections, and its Constitution. Using that ignorance was a starting point, they regularly pump out twaddle like this.

Consider this writer as a "mini-Rather" and give his work all the respect that it deserves. Which is to say, ignore this drivel.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column, "Congressmen, Humorists, Burglars -- All of Us in the Trade: Why I am Not Running -- in 2004."

15 posted on 05/10/2004 11:56:00 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob ( Visit. Join. Help. Please.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Page 3 of article does mention Greeley:

"Some state laws bind their electors to vote for the popular election winner. But under a precedent from 1872, when losing candidate Horace Greeley died after the election, Congress could decide to throw out these votes for dead men rather than giving the votes to the party's replacement candidates, effectively shutting those states out of the election.
I don't disagree with you about the mainstream media, but it is often one of the only ways most Americans get their knowledge (and that is as scary as Kerry).
16 posted on 05/10/2004 12:03:20 PM PDT by LurkedLongEnough (Bush '04 --- in a F'n landslide.)
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To: Gorjus; Lunatic Fringe; All
Ladies & Gentlemen,

The Presidential Succession Act has NOTHING to do with this scenario, since a sitting President and Vice President are NOT involved. The Speaker of the House has nothing to do with this. If Bush and Cheney were assassinated before the election, Speaker Hastert would become President, but ONLY until the end of Bush's existing term. That's all.

As I said in my first post, the Presidential Electors are the key to resolving this problem, in accord with the Constitution. If the assassinations occurred BEFORE the election, the candidate's party's National Committee WILL choose new candidates, and the existing Electors (who are still very much alive) will be repledged to the new candidates (the Eagleton scenario).

If the assassinations occur after the election, the Committee will choose new nominees, and the existing Electors will be re-pledged to them (the Greeley scenario).

Both situations HAVE occurred before. History, of which the writer is ignorant, provides the answer.

John / Billybob

17 posted on 05/10/2004 12:06:57 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob ( Visit. Join. Help. Please.)
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To: LurkedLongEnough
What if the U.S. president and vice president-elect die before being sworn in?
18 posted on 05/10/2004 12:11:45 PM PDT by steve-b
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To: LurkedLongEnough
If these morons take out our President, there will be a pale horse alright..the rider will be Death..and Hell will follow with him..on every islamonazi in the US, by the citizen patriots still left to do the task.

May G-d protect our President and his family. They are all in our prayers every night.
19 posted on 05/10/2004 12:12:34 PM PDT by Indie (We don't need no steenkin' experts!)
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To: LurkedLongEnough
I wonder if there isn't some implicit wishful thinking at work in this piece. The Dems hate Bush, and many are uninspired by Kerry, so maybe dreams of multiple deaths are drifting into the minds of Democrats.
20 posted on 05/10/2004 12:21:30 PM PDT by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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