Replacing Joe, the vegetable

The mental decline of Joe Biden accelerates.  How long can he function as even a puppet president?  The bigger question is, what happens when drugs can no longer keep Joe semi-coherent?

Let's pick a time — say, late November 2021 — and fantasize.

At the end of November, the Democrat high command verges on a nervous breakdown.  The president has not been seen in person or photographed for six weeks.  Rumors abound that he no longer recognizes even his wife and that he wears Depends. 

His wife assures everyone that Joe is okay and merely under the weather.  He will return to duty after taking an extended break during the holiday season.  Jill's hated rival, V.P. Kamala Harris, licks her chops.

The 2021 gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia have already shaken the high command.  In ultra-blue New Jersey, the GOP candidate came within two thousand votes of winning.  In purple-blue Virginia, Terry McAuliffe (D-Clinton) was blown out.  In addition, the GOP captured both houses of the Virginia Legislature.

The Democrats' high command knows that disaster awaits in the 2022 elections.  Inflation, crime, and evictions show no sign of abating, and the economy is beginning to tank.  Add to that the complete absence of presidential leadership, and the party faces a drubbing next November that will extend to the dog-catcher level.

Joe needs to go and fast.  Problem is that Jill has so far rebuffed any such suggestion.  The 25th Amendment provides an alternative way to jettison a president, but this requires a two-thirds majority in both houses to be permanent.  The Republicans would have to buy in.

But the GOP even more than Jill Biden cannot stomach Kamala Harris ascending to the presidency.  

The high command asks the V.P. to step down.  In return, they will guarantee her any Cabinet position or the governorship of California.  Heels up Harris digs in her heels and cackles no in their faces.  (The 25th Amendment does not provide for removing a vice president.)

The high command meets in an emergency session.  After futility debating options, the members see no way out of their dilemma.  Then the Senate majority leader speaks.

Chuck Schumer scored a perfect 1600 on his SATs when the SAT meant something.   He is crafty and ruthless, and a man not taken to flights of fancy.  But now he sends their heads spinning.

He proposes that first they impeach and convict Kamala of...whatever.  Then Jill on behalf of Joe would nominate someone acceptable to both parties to fill the V.P. spot.  Chuck recommends Michael — Michael Pence.

Consternation ensues.  Most everyone declares that the majority leader has lost his druthers.   Only the speaker of the House sits silently.

Despite her increasingly leftist leanings, Nancy Pelosi remains at heart a pragmatist.  She nods approvingly.

Chuck elucidates.  Once Pence is confirmed as V.P., Jill obtains Joe's resignation.  Pence becomes president.  The price to the Republicans, and incentive to Jill, is her becoming vice president.

In the wake of this wheeling and dealing, the Democrats would still control the Senate.  Like Kamala, Jill could break any Senate tie.  Even with Pence as president, the Democrats would get the last say so on who serves in the Cabinet and who enters the federal Judiciary.

Even better, the Republican Party would be thrown into chaos.  The Trumpsters consider Pence a traitor, while the GOP establishment will champion him. 

Such an arrangement would let the Democrats avoid a wipeout in 2022.  All of Joe's problems become Mike's.  Pence also gets blamed for the coming recession, and the Republicans will exhaust themselves in bloody primary battles.

In 2024, the GOP will certainly rip itself apart over a Pence vs. Trump (or DeSantis) battle for the nomination.  In contrast, Jill should be acceptable to both wings of the Democrat party.  In the general election, she would likely cruise to victory over the fatally ruptured GOP.

After sleeping on it, the high command agrees.

In December, the deal is made with the Republicans.  Only a week is needed to remove Kamala and have Joe resign, and Mike and Jill take their oaths of office.

In January 2022, President Pence delivers the State of the Union address.  Behind him sit Nancy and Jill.  Both women smile like Cheshire cats. 

At the Naval Observatory, Joe Biden avidly watches the proceedings on TV.  He tells his nurses how much he enjoys reruns of Matlock.

Caricature by Donkey HoteyCC BY 2.0 license.

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