Author Topic: Vice President and VP Candidates  (Read 114 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Vice President and VP Candidates
« on: February 12, 2024, 05:59:35 AM »
I remain sympathetic to the rigged claims for the 2020 election and angry about the absence of Chain of Custody making it impossible to challenge let alone prove skullduggery in timely fashion.  That said, this piece   raises a penetrating question.   What if Trump wins and VP Harris asserts the powers that Trump would have had Pence exercise?

Such questions lurk beneath the surface in the VP nomination and the election.

 
The auditions to be Donald Trump’s running mate have begun, and aspirants are practicing and delivering their lines. On Thursday Rep. Elise Stefanik said that if she had been vice president on Jan. 6, 2021, “I would not have done what Mike Pence did.” She wouldn’t have opened the certificates and counted the electoral votes as the Constitution expressly requires.

Ms. Stefanik worked for me in 2006-07 as executive assistant for the Domestic Policy Council in George W. Bush’s White House. When she first ran for Congress, in 2014, she was a thoughtful, principled conservative determined to champion the interests of her left-behind upstate New York district. I enthusiastically contributed to her campaign.

But now she says she would have done something no vice president has ever done or claimed the authority to do. She would have attempted to exercise a power the Constitution doesn’t grant to swing a presidential election to her preferred candidate. No one who espouses such lawless views should hold a position of authority.

Ms. Stefanik evidently has concluded it is in her interest to say what Mr. Trump wants to hear. My fellow Republicans should recognize it is neither consistent with our character nor in our interest to embrace this view. It amounts to a suicide pact.

Ms. Stefanik’s position would empower Vice President Kamala Harris on Jan. 6, 2025, to throw out votes cast for a victorious Mr. Trump. It isn’t far-fetched to believe Ms. Harris and Democrats in Congress might attempt to do so. Reps. Bennie Thompson and Jamie Raskin of the Select Committee on January 6 both engaged in efforts to throw out Republican electoral votes. Particularly if Ms. Stefanik is on the ticket, these Democrats would be delighted to throw her words back in her face as they exercise their raw political will—cloaked in the rhetoric of defending the Constitution from an “insurrectionist”—to invalidate Trump electors.

It is no answer to say that Ms. Stefanik’s comments are merely retrospective because Congress amended the Electoral Count Act (ECA) in 2022 to disallow such behavior explicitly. Trump lawyer John Eastman admitted in 2020 that the ECA prohibited his proposed schemes but claimed the 1887 statute was unconstitutional. If that argument were true, it wouldn’t be vitiated by the 2022 amendment.

Republicans have long prided themselves on being the party of principle, dedicated to faithfully applying the law and the Constitution. Anyone can be tempted to abuse power to achieve the ends one desires and considers to be good. We have watched Democratic presidents unconstitutionally change the composition of the National Labor Relations Board (a scheme the Supreme Court shot down 9-0), grant amnesty to illegal aliens with the stroke of a pen, and wipe out hundreds of billions of dollars of student-loan debt owed to the taxpayers in an effort to buy votes. Why shouldn’t we twist the law to get what we want too?

Because the Constitution’s checks and constraints on government power are crucial to protecting individual liberty. If Republicans ignore those limits in pursuing our political ends, citizens will rightly conclude there is no difference between the two parties. If we yield to the temptation of unconstrained power, Republicans will lose ourselves—and Americans will be at risk of losing our republic.

Mr. Jacob served as counsel to the vice president, 2020-21.

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ:
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2024, 07:46:48 AM »
In the days since Joe Biden’s angry press conference confirmed all the special counsel’s observations about the president’s diminished mental facilities, Democrats have been blasting Robert Hur for mentioning Mr. Biden’s frailty in his report. In private, though, many are freaking out about what happens in November if Mr. Biden stays atop the ticket. Having Kamala Harris as Mr. Biden’s running mate now looks like a serious Democratic liability, given polls showing the vice president is more unpopular than he is.

In reality the selection of Ms. Harris is turning out to be the best thing Mr. Biden has ever done—for himself, if not for the Democratic Party. So long as she’s in the West Wing, he isn’t going anywhere. All that talk about invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to remove him from office is fantasy.

Democrats who want to replace Mr. Biden fear that if he is on the ticket they’ll lose to Donald Trump. But they further calculate that for all the president’s problems, Ms. Harris would be easier for Mr. Trump to defeat.

Not to mention two other big impediments to removal. First, invoking Section 4 has never been done before. Second, it is only a temporary measure and doesn’t authorize the president’s removal from office. It provides that the vice president and a majority of the cabinet may declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” whereupon the vice president would “assume” those powers and duties. If Mr. Biden declares that he is able to perform his duties, he resumes them after 21 days unless two-thirds of both houses of Congress back the declaration of disability. Even in that event, he can declare himself able again, and keep going through the cycle until he gains the support of the vice president, a cabinet majority, or one-third of either congressional chamber, whereupon he would resume his duties.

The other option is less contentious. Mr. Biden could do what Lyndon B. Johnson did in 1968 after nearly losing the New Hampshire primary: gracefully bow out. By leaving it up to an open convention to choose the Democratic presidential nominee (it’s too late for the primaries), Mr. Biden would allow delegates to choose a candidate not now running, such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom or Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The sticking point is that it would depend on Mr. Biden’s accepting that he’s not mentally fit enough to serve. Did anyone who watched the rant that was Thursday night’s press conference come away with the idea that Mr. Biden is open to this idea?

It doesn’t help that those likeliest to call on Mr. Biden to withdraw are from the Obama camp. In his memoir “Promise Me, Dad,” Mr. Biden relayed how Barack Obama backed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nominee over his loyal vice president. The unspoken truth was worse: The Obama White House often treated Mr. Biden as the doddering uncle who always blurts out something offensive at Thanksgiving.

Remember the Politico report on Mr. Obama’s assessment on the eve of Mr. Biden’s 2020 nomination? “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f— things up.” You can bet Joe hasn’t forgotten.

Nor does he see his record the way others do. This is a man who thought calling his economic program Bidenomics was a selling point, that the withdrawal from Afghanistan was a success, and that the failures at the border are because of Mr. Trump, not his own policies. Meanwhile an ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday reports that 86% of Americans believe the 81-year-old president is too old to serve a second term.

So how did the president describe himself at the press conference? “I’m the most qualified person in this country to be president of the United States,” “I know what the hell I’m doing,” and “I put this country back on its feet.” These aren’t the words of a man open to hearing that he should step aside for the good of his party and his country.

When Mr. Biden announced Ms. Harris as his running mate in 2020, it was a logical choice. She checked the right diversity boxes and represented a large state. The only knock against her was from the first debate of the Democratic primaries, when she put Mr. Biden on the defensive by bringing up his opposition to busing and his fond memories of working with segregationists. But that was quickly forgotten in the larger cause of defeating Mr. Trump.

Now it’s different. If Mr. Biden were to drop out and free his delegates to choose someone other than Ms. Harris, would black Democrats stand for it? In Saturday’s New York Times, Ross Douthat put it this way: “If he drops out and doesn’t endorse his own number two, he’d be opening himself to a narrative of identitarian betrayal—aging white president knifes first woman-of-color veep—and setting his party up for months of bloodletting and betrayal, a constant churn of personal and ideological drama.”

However inadvertent it may have been, Joe Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris was the most brilliant strategic move of his long political life. Because the Democratic fear of a Kamala-for-president disaster in November means that no one will force Mr. Biden to step down if he doesn’t want to. Maybe the Obama people were too quick to dismiss old Joe’s smarts.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2024, 05:57:46 PM by Crafty_Dog »