Issues & Insights
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The Weakest Presidential Line Of Succession Ever

As Vladimir Putin floats terrifying hints of Russia’s willingness to use nuclear weapons against countries that assist in Ukraine’s defense against Moscow’s brutal invasion, the United States is saddled with a president teetering on the brink of senility, and a woman one heartbeat away from the presidency who is as dependably incompetent as she is undependable in prepping herself on national and international issues.

Polling makes clear that the public is fully aware of, and disconcerted by, the alarming shortcomings of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris alike; but at the same time, there is little if any appreciation of the unprecedented vulnerability to the United States due to those further down in the line of succession. Old age, timidity, and lack of qualification abound among those who might be thrust into the job of most powerful individual on earth, charged with leading the free world.

On Saturday in a speech in Warsaw, Biden called for the end to Putin’s “for life” tenure as Kremlin premier, instantly sending the White House into a DEFCON 1 in crisis communications.

“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” the president exclaimed at the close of his remarks, apparently departing from the prepared text.

What looks weaker on the part of a superpower in the midst of one of the most challenging military crises in decades than to back-peddle a moral pronouncement of illegitimacy against one of its chief adversaries? We are not demanding that Putin go, sundry administration aides assured friend and foe.

That kind of fumble is one of the consequences of electing a commander in chief pushing 80 and conspicuously well along on the road of dementia. House Majority Whip James Clyburn, the South Carolina Democrat, has a great deal for which to answer in handing Biden victory in the Palmetto State’s Democratic primary in 2020, calculating that a feeble old man campaigning out of his basement in Delaware would be perceived as unlikely to pursue a radical left agenda, and thus be more electable in November than his rival Democrats. South Carolina opened the floodgates for Biden to secure the nomination.

Vice President Harris, speaking in Louisiana last week, was semi-coherent as she repeated the phrase “significance of [or “to”] the passage of time” some four times in less than 30 seconds, during a meaningless observation regarding her tour of a library. Her infamous cackle reared its head in reaction to a sensitive question about Ukrainian refugees at a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda during her visit to the country last month, her girlish demeanor inciting condemnation from Ukrainians.

And weeks ago on the Morning Hustle radio show, with its largely black listenership, Harris expounded on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as if she were reading Fun With Dick and Jane to a kindergartener. “Ukraine is a country in Europe,” she said. “It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine.”

Presumably “veepsplain” will now soon be entering the English language, in the aftermath of “gift” becoming a verb and “ask” becoming a noun.

The Knaves Who Would Be President

But what about further down in the line of succession? Should some calamity befall both Harris and Biden on the same day, 82-year-old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would immediately be sworn in as president. During Biden’s State of the Union address to Congress on March 1, Pelosi inexplicably stood up and began rubbing her knuckles together at a point in the speech when Biden spoke of U.S. service personnel’s experiences in Iraq “breathing in toxic smoke from burn pits.” She has mistaken Biden for former President Barack Obama. There are multiple video clips online suggesting Pelosi’s senility, but those who consider attacks on her mental acuity and judgment unfair should assess her bizarre recitation of a poem by U2’s Bono last month on St. Patrick’s Day.

Next in line is the president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, the just-turned-82 Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, longest-serving member of either chamber of Congress. Those watching Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings last week saw for themselves how feeble the gravel-throated Leahy is, and how unfit he is for the presidency, especially at a time of national emergency.

After Leahy, we have Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, or “A. Blinken” as Washington wags have called him. He oozes impotence and vulnerability more than any U.S. foreign policy chief in history, his only rival being Cyrus Vance, who ran the State Department under President Jimmy Carter and resigned over the Desert One fiasco seeking to rescue the 52 American hostages being held in Iran.

Beneath Blinken we find Secretary of the Treasury and former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, notorious for her deceit before congressional committees and the general public alike. Sporting a Yale economics Ph.D, her dissertation supervised by a Nobel laureate, Yellen consciously sold TV viewers snake oil downplaying inflationary expectations last year.

Should a devastating attack on the nation’s capital, God forbid, snuff out all of those first six in the order of succession, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin would take the oath of office. As Obama’s commanding general of U.S. forces in Iraq beginning in 2010, Austin squandered the near-miraculous recovery effected by George W. Bush’s 2007 Iraq surge and presided over the drawdown that preceded Obama’s withdrawal and the subsequent rise of ISIS’ murderous Islamic State. As Pentagon chief, Austin then last year oversaw the disastrous pullout from Afghanistan, in which 11 Marines and two other U.S. service members were killed in a terrorist explosion, a debacle that advertised American weakness to the world and emboldened Putin into making his move against Ukraine this year. Under Austin, the Defense Department’s priorities are wokeness and teaching white privilege over and above training our fighters how to kill.

Next comes Attorney General Merrick Garland, touted as a moderate during Obama’s ill-fated 2016 nomination of Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, and whose Justice Department considers parents who oppose their children being taught smut and transgender activism masquerading as academic learning in public schools to be domestic terrorists deserving the scrutiny of federal law enforcement.

The book of Proverbs tells us, “A wise man is strong … and because war is managed by due ordering there shall be safety where there are many counsels. Wisdom is too high for a fool.” The United States today has never been more vulnerable to a vacuum of leadership and wisdom in the aftermath of an act of war against our homeland.

New York University constitutional scholar Richard Epstein warns, “in the long run a nation that places a succession of fools and knaves in high places will not be able to survive unscathed regardless of its constitutional structure.” Under the Biden administration, that nation, with its presidential succession of fools and dotards, may not survive at all, even in the short run.

— Written by Thomas McArdle

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  • The Big Fella and his designated survivor, Giggling Kamala, have only the CliffsNote version of the briefing books, while next in line, Lady Pelosi, controls the dictatorship of the woke. As Otto von Bismarck said: God has a special providence for fools, drunks, and the United States of America.

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