Presidential Succession Law Of 1886-1947 Needs To Be Renewed!

In 1947, the Republican controlled 80th Congress, in a fit of partisanship and anti FDR sentiment, changed the Presidential Succession Law of 1886, enacted during the first term of President Grover Cleveland.

That law made the succession for the Presidency beyond the Vice President to be as follows: Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of War, Attorney General, and then other cabinet agencies, including Interior and Agriculture.

That law made sense, as it meant that in case of tragedy hitting the President and Vice President, that members of  that President’s cabinet, people loyal to him, knowledgeable in  foreign and defense policies, and domestic policies, would be next in  line, in case of an emergency.

But the Republicans after World War II were furious that Franklin D. Roosevelt had been elected four times, so not only added the 22nd Amendment, limiting any future President to two elected term, or a maximum of ten years if he succeeded during a term, but also decided to make the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate second and third in line behind the Vice President.  That, of course, meant, that if anything had happened to President Harry Truman, and with no Vice President for the remainder of that term of office, that Speaker Joseph Martin, a Republican, would have succeeded him.

The idea of having the opposition party gain the Presidency during a term due to a tragedy was not based on what was good for the nation, but pure partisanship by the GOP.

But now, the extremism in the GOP, including the Tea Party Movement right wing whackos, makes the idea of John Boehner, or some other Republican gaining power of the executive branch under a Democratic administration totally reprehensible, as that would mean a dramatic turn to the far Right, although the people voted in a Democratic administration.  Also, the President pro tempore of the Senate, a position which is honorary based on seniority in the majority party in the Senate, brings the danger, not only of partisanship, but also the reality of a very old Senator, unfit to serve, being third in line for the Presidency, and at the time of Truman, second in line to be President!

That is why there is a need to repeal the 1947 law and return to the 1886 law, which makes the most sense, as the Speaker of the House, while elected, is only chosen by one Congressional district out of 435, and is therefore NOT representative of the nation, as much as a cabinet member, selected by the President but subject to Senate confirmation, is representative of the policies and ideals of the elected President!

The likelihood of this happening short term is near zero, but it is worthy of consideration for the near future!

Federal Government Needs To Administer All Federal Elections, Including Registration And Mechanics Of Enforcement

The election debacle this year, including attempts to deny registration and voting itself, by partisan Secretaries of State in many states, mostly Republican governed, requires at major reform, taking partisanship out of the election process.

Congress has the authority to do this in the Constitution, and therefore, could federalize all elections for Congress and the Presidency, including national registration and the mechanics of operating the election process, so as to make it fair, and also to insure no discrimination or politics in the voting process.

Of course, states rights advocates will fight against this, because they wish to continue their abuse of power, and deny people the basic right to vote.

But the world watches, and is shocked at how Neanderthalish is our whole process of electing Congress and Presidents, so it is time for reform!

Crisis Leadership: FEMA, Mitt Romney, And Partisanship Displayed

This disastrous Hurricane Sandy has demonstrated already the difference in leadership of President Barack Obama and his Republican Presidential opponent, Mitt Romney.

Obama has conducted himself fabulously, and has been praised by Republican Governor Chris Christie for his leadership in the crisis. He has demonstrated a steady, calm, cool hand, as he always has in every tough moment of his Presidency, including the operation to eliminate Osama Bin Laden.

Meanwhile, we are reminded that Mitt Romney has advocated getting rid of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and farming its operations back to the state and local governments, and even promoting privatizing its activities. He constantly said this during the Republican primary campaign, as he rushed to please the far right wing of his Republican Party.

Now he is caught in a bind, and has avoided direct comment about the situation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

But he has also, this quickly, shown partisanship, instead of bipartisanship, by calling and consulting with Republican Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Bob Mc’Donnell of Virginia, but NOT calling and consulting with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and Delaware Governor Jack Markell, all Democrats.

This is evidence, and not good, that shows that Mitt Romney would NOT be a good crisis President, and would play political games, similar to what George W. Bush did with Hurricane Katrina, and the Democratic Mayor and Democratic Governor of Louisiana, and thus giving a bad image to FEMA, which had been effective before Bush, and is again under Obama!

FEMA can be effective IF we have the right crisis President, and the proper people put into the agency to operate it efficiently. And if there is a need to fund more money for FEMA, by raising taxes, so be it, as we cannot afford to leave the management of a natural or man made disaster to 50 state governors alone, and certainly NOT to private companies, whose only purpose is to maximize profits at the expense of their employees and the general public!