The Democrats’ approval ratings are plummeting faster than Will Smith’s movie career. In light of the looming electoral crisis in November, a midnight gathering of the Democratic family has the potential to make the tired old donkey scamper like a colt.
Imagine the scene unfolding . . .
12:00 a.m. The chamber has a celebratory vibe as Speaker Nancy Pelosi gavels the House of Representatives to order. In attendance is every Democrat member and their rainbow of guests, plus Liz Cheney. Apparently, no other Republican member checks email after 11 p.m.
12:01 a.m. Pelosi announces her resignation, effective immediately. “I need more time with my melting portfolio,” she says.
12:02 a.m. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson administers Barack Obama’s oath as speaker of the House. He makes history as the first former president to serve as speaker—and, by virtue of his race and his real estate holdings in Martha’s Vineyard, Hawaii, and D.C., he was clearly the correct diversity choice to succeed the pale Catholic birthing person who resigned a minute earlier.
12:03 a.m. Kamala Harris resigns. “I need more time at the border,” she says. She thanks Speaker Obama, Joe Biden, “and many others, you know who you are,” for positioning her to become the first XX-chromosomed Jamaican-Indian American to live in Nelson Rockefeller’s old house. “I really love that house,” she sighs.
12:04 a.m. Joe Biden resigns. “I need more time with my neurologist,” he says from the Potemkin Oval Office via Zoom. He thanks Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, and 81 million mostly peaceful, mostly living, mostly American voters for letting him fly on Marine One and tell old 18-wheeler stories.
12:05 a.m. In accordance with the 25th Amendment’s line of succession, Justice Jackson administers Obama’s third presidential oath of office. He says his ascent is earthly work, constitutionally mandated, and shouldn’t be confused with the Resurrection. The assembly cheers, when someone catcalls, “At least you won’t have to speak through an earpiece all day.”
12:06 a.m. Nancy Pelosi is reelected speaker. “I need more time perfecting democracy,” she says. “It was my ice cream melting, not my stocks! But both will be solid under the newest New Deal that our once-and-future president began during the five minutes I was away.”
12:07 a.m. Obama promises to complete his long-stated mission of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Speaking to the half-filled chamber, he says: “I will bring America together again.” Then he dons a blue baseball cap embroidered with the slogan in white letters: “BATA: Bring America Together Again.” The House rocks.
12:08 a.m. Obama meets his wife Michelle’s steady gaze, saying, “I don’t have permission to name her publicly yet, but expect the next vice president—subject to the approval of a majority of both the House and the Senate, of course—to be a spirited double-X African American icon who can be my intimate understudy and succeed me without missing a BATA beat.”
He adds, “And Kamala could be great running the U.N. in New York, where Nelson Rockefeller had a bunch of old houses.”
12:10 a.m. Michelle Obama fist-pumps her heart and says she has never been prouder of her country. “The first job of BATA is restoring civility and inclusivity,” she announces. The chamber rocks some more as the Obamas depart for BATA rallies in Texas and Florida.
Obama leaves on the speaker’s podium a list of talking points titled, “BATA BOOM.” Here they are:
- Everyone please apologize to everyone else for insensitive word choices that inadvertently hurt feelings during and since the 2016 election.
- Everyone please express regret for acts of censorship or personal cancellation you inadvertently extorted, demanded, or applauded since 2020. Stop doing these things immediately or as soon as reasonably possible.
- President Obama will pardon almost everyone for almost everything, except spreading misinformation on subjects that John Brennan may identify from time to time. Pardons will include relatives of former presidents who left private email servers, diaries and/or laptops lying around for Russians to fabricate.
- President Obama will reach far across the aisle to do the people’s business with humility and mutual respect. Today, for example, Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney are flying to Houston with the president and first lady to explore what some Republican senator might need to confirm the next vice president.
- No, we’re not joking! Honest!
A whole ’nother donkey could be just minutes away. The mechanics would be as cringeworthy as a Putin-Medvedev round-robin, but it would be a slam dunk legally. Remember, the Constitution only limits a president’s eligibility for election. The 25th Amendment names the speaker of the House as successor to a vacant presidency when no vice president is in line. And, as others have pointed out before, neither the Constitution nor any House rule requires the speaker to be an elected member. The Supreme Court would approve as the donkeys bray, the elephants charge . . . and the ghosts of the founders weep.