Between poor approval ratings, lawsuits into potential violations of the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause, and a reported obstruction of justice investigation, times are tough for President Donald Trump.
So much so that some Democrats are already talking impeachment. But Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has shared a plan for what to do if the president is ever removed from office.
It’s a plan, in simple terms, to reinstall Trump as president even after impeachment by the House and removal by the Senate. It was posted in the form of a meme on Miller’s Facebook page, and in fairness, it definitely had a tongue-in-cheek edge. But considering just how much MIller def―he was a vocal endorser during the 2016 presidential campaign and headed Trump’s Agricultural Advisory Board―it’s no surprise for him to post the meme.
What Miller describes would be fiercely contested if it were ever even attempted. It’s essentially a ticket-flipping scheme, in which Vice President Mike Pence would clear Trump of legal wrongdoing via his presidential pardon powers immediately after taking office and then select him to be vice president before immediately ceding the top job back to him by resigning.
There are some big problems with Miller’s plan, however, so this meme doesn’t need to be taken seriously as political strategy. When a new vice president is required, the decision isn’t entirely up to the president. Rather, the president picks a nominee, and the nominee then must pass majority votes in both the House and Senate to be confirmed.
As such, for Miller’s plan to work, Trump would have to be impeached by a majority vote in the House and removed from office by a two-thirds vote in the Senate. Then, he’d somehow have to receive majority support in both chambers immediately after to become vice president. Also, it’s entirely unclear what reason Pence would have to hand the most powerful job on Earth back to Trump in this scenario. As a show of personal loyalty, that seems a bit much.
If the details seem shaky, that could be because Miller’s stated reasoning didn’t have anything to do with the political savvy of such a move, so much as to irritate and inflame Democrats and progressives―to, as he wrote, “watch the liberal heads exploding all around us.” And his plan would definitely achieve that, at least for those few seconds before the exploding heads turned to explosive laughter.