US Presidential Election: what is the weirdest scenario you can imagine

I draw the line at smut featuring any of this First Family. Definite libido-killers, there, especially the bestiality. Don’t even think of rang-tangs… :eek:

Try this scenario: Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp and the America’s Cup, billionaire Tramp fund-raiser and all-around [del]jerk[/del] scalawag say ex-staffers, funds development of a COVID “vaccine” that impairs cerebral “judgement” functions of recipients. GOP voters are unaffected because no judgement anyway, but liberals and other thinking people are whacked. Internment of dissidents is no longer needed - just dope-em into confusion.

Or this: All presidential contenders who seemed viable in 2019 croak, discorporate, die. Any who try to step in to replace them also die. US Constitution doesn’t specify that a candidate be human, merely a “natural-born citizen” of a certain age and residency. A rump Congress (the COVID purge’s few survivors) hastily redefine “natural-born” to include cyborgs, androids, AIs, and other quasi-robotic entities. Major parties (Dem, GOP, Lib, Green, Polka) nominate artificial candidates. Ron Headrest throws his virtual hat into the ring. A Disney-sponsored write-in campaign hands an unexpected victory to Minnie Mouse who, at age 92, become the oldest POTUS in history. Seniors rule!

I fuess I should have prefaced it with ‘in our lifetimes’ or ‘in the modern era’.

Seriously, what do you think will happen if turnout is 65% in the midwest states, but only 25% in New York, New Jersey, and Illinois, and Trump wins by 1%? do you think the Democrats will accept that?

Or, what if vote by mail is done, Trump or Biden wins by 1 or 2%, and it turns out that millions of ballots either didn’t make it on time, or were lost, or have sketchy provenances, or whatever?

Under what scenario does the next election go well? All I can think of is one side has to win by a large margin - beyond the margin of error or cheating. I don’t think that’s very likely. Since Reagan, winning by more than two or three percent of the vote is damned near considered a landslide.

That doesn’t make sense, that would mean all atheists would be left behind, I don’t see them voting Trump

and others . . .

I was going to come in and posit that Pratchett’s Nac Mac Feegle and Lessing’s Canopans both show up. The Canopans start trying to, by their standards, straighten us out and the Nac Mac Feegle just wade in shouting. Probably the best hope for the rest of us in this scenario is that the Nac Mac Feegle pull both the Canopans and Trump/Pence out cross-dimensionally and don’t bring them back.

It’s possible I’ve already been outclassed.

It would get weirder than that if there was no election. The terms of all the House members would be up, so there would be no Speaker of the House or any other members. The Senate would consist of 33 Democrats, 30 Republicans, and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats. That would mean that the President pro Tempore of the Senate would be the senior most Democrat. That individual happens to be Patrick Leahy of Vermont. So in the scenario of a postponed election, Patrick Leahy would become the POTUS when Trump’s term is up at noon on 1/20/2021. Whether or not he would be actually able to assume the office is a lot harder to predict, but legally he would be the next POTUS in the event of the election being postponed.

I posted this in another thread but I’ll use it here:

You have to wonder if there are plans forming for a legal coup within the administration.

Pence, McConnell, and a few other other party leaders get together and decide to invoke the 25th Amendment. They announce that Donald Trump, a man who was a great President a year ago, has now tragically had a breakdown due to the awesome burdens of the job he has done. There’s ample evidence they can point to to back up the idea that Trump is mentally incapacitated. Trump gets sent off to some confined hospital to recover (and to be somewhere where people can control his tweeting and other contact with the public).

Pence is now acting President. Most Americans are relieved that a nominally competent person is now in charge. Republicans are happy because they no longer have Trump dragging down the party with him. Pence, as an incumbent, has a much better shot at getting elected in November than Trump has. Pence will reassure evangelicals and business types in a way that Trump can’t. And Pence won’t personally offend people that way Trump does. He’s a much stronger candidate than Trump will be.

Most of the people in the administration will see which way the wind is blowing and will quickly transfer whatever loyalty they had for Trump over to Pence. If they had any principles they wouldn’t be part of this administration. And anyone who balks, like Trump’s family members, will be reminded that with Trump out of power, Pence now controls who gets pardoned before January.

Trump’s voter base might be pissed off but the Republicans can afford to dismiss them. They’re not going to turn around and vote for Joe Biden so they don’t matter in the election. Trump supporters are only needed to get somebody like Trump elected; Pence can get re-elected with the regular Republican base. A large part of the Democratic platform in this election has been “Anybody but Trump” and Pence can say “I’m not Trump.”

Although we’ve been touting this “Someone will invoke the 25th” for three years and it’s never happened, this would be a boon to Republicans in three ways:

  1. Trump is so bad, he makes Pence look much greater than Pence ever could have on his own. All about contrast.
  2. Biden suffers from low enthusiasm among the D’s, and it’s easier for moderates/disgruntled Bernie Bros to go over to Pence than to Trump.
  3. Pence is “only” 60 years old. Compared to the septuagenarian Trump and Biden, he is downright youthful in comparison. He’d be able to exploit the “Biden is too old” narrative better than Trump could.

Not a single one of them has the balls to do it.

All these lifelong politicians are totally cowed into submission by Trump because he has a more choleric personality than theirs. Nobody is going to step up. It’s not going to happen.

Trump’s terrible handling of the Covid19 crisis has significantly reduced his chances of getting re-elected.

I disagree. I feel that people like Pence and McConnell and dozens of other Republicans would not hesitate a second in throwing Trump to the wolves if they felt it would preserve their own careers. And any one of them is far more experienced in political infighting than Trump is.

The Electoral College goes rogue and gives the presidency to Vermin Supreme.

If they felt it would preserve their own careers.

But they know it would NOT preserve their careers. That’s what I mean when I say they don’t have the balls to stand up to him. None of the Republicans do. And none of the Democrats really do either, to be honest.

When someone comes along in life who takes whatever he wants, the world is his oyster. Everyone either kisses his ass, or stews in impotent rage. The predator will be rewarded with all of the pleasure and power that he desires.

Maybe once upon a time when the political power structure was still packed with guys who had spent their youths dodging flak in B-17s or watching their friends freeze to death, someone like Trump would have gotten his teeth knocked down his throat a long time ago for presuming that he could set foot into the political arena being the kind of man that he is. But those days are over. The Don Draper, God & Country, flag-saluting America, parochial as it may have been, was a bulwark against guys like Trump. Now the door is wide open for guys with the Trump mentality to buffalo all the pathetic simpering Pences and McConnells into line.

There’s some truth to this, I’m afraid.

I think it’s also testament to the fact that a majority of people are too cynical to believe we can reliably elect “leaders” anymore. We don’t look to government for leadership of any kind. We assume that they are all, as you put it, ‘predators.’ I presume that some feel self-satisfied and justified in their cynicism, but the truth is, a democracy needs people to believe in their own ability to make their vote have a meaningful outcome. Increasingly, voting is just a vote of confidence or no confidence, and politics has to go a bit beyond that in order to function.

In some ways, I’m horrified that things have functioned as well as they have in spite of Trump’s incompetence. The institutions that have been built up over the better part of a century - and in some cases longer than that - have withstood the repeated attacks against them. For many, it can reaffirm the notion that their cynicism is well-founded, and that we don’t really need to care too much about hiring smart, capable people. Sure, those of us who care enough to read the NY Times or ProPublica or CS Monitor can see that the exodus of experts in the federal bureaucracy is having real-world consequences, but for many, the crisis is still invisible.

I don’t see this. Much as Trump likes to imagine himself as an all-powerful dictator, he lacks the capability. He’s not Joseph Stalin; he’s Mikhail Kalinin. Other Republicans find him to be a useful figurehead but he doesn’t hold the real power in the party.

That the Democratic primary would be cancelled. I think Foxnews reported this.

Which Dem primary? A few have already occurred; I voted in one. Maybe you mean “convention”. Consider if Dems hold an online virtual confab while GOPs gather en masse for handshaking, shoulder grabbing, ear-whispering, and other contagion-spreading activities. Then delegates return home to press-the-flesh with constituents. Watch the COVID caseload and death toll spike. Tramp’s secret plan (coordinated with the Clintons) to destroy the GOP will succeed!

The weirdest election scenario: Biden wins convincingly and Tramp leaves quietly. An unlikely fantasy, I know, but it could happen, right?

If the Republican “establishment” was truly in charge, Rex Tillerson would still be Secretary of State; James Mattis would still be Secretary of Defense; John Kelly would still be Chief of Staff; there’s no way in hell that those guys would have been out the door if Trump didn’t hold the “real power in the party.”

I know people like to convince themselves that Trump is indeed just a puppet, because it’s much more reassuring to think that competent people are holding the government together, even if they’re arch-conservative ideologues.

They’re not.

Tillerson, Mattis, and Kelly weren’t the Republican Party; they were Trump’s cabinet. Yes, Trump can fire his own staff. He can pick what he has for breakfast too. That doesn’t mean he has any real power that goes beyond the White House.

Up until two months ago, Trump’s inability to lead in a crisis was mostly theoretical. The signs were there but you could ignore them if you wanted to not see them. Now there on the news every night; we’re seeing a President melt down.

This is the equivalent of what Carter went through with the Iran hostage crisis and Johnson went through with the Vietnam war and the anti-war protests. It’s a drawn-out ongoing crisis and we get to see, day after day after day, that the President doesn’t have any answers.

It’s not really true though that we’re seeing him melt down. Yes, we have press conferences every day, and at those press conferences, Trump manages to stick to a narrative that is frankly going to make sense to a great number of people: that he’s doing everything that can be done, that we’re continuing to improve testing capabilities, that we’re bringing the numbers down, that things are ultimately improving.

He’s still the same Trump he’s always been, yes - he’s constantly saying that such and such is “like we’ve never seen before” and the same handful of superlatives he uses to describe everything; and he still engages in very petty feuding with the press.

However, he is not melting down, and he does have answers (in the sense that he says things and people believe them.) And honestly, the media (which includes social media) is at this point outright feeding into his narrative of “fake news” by implying that Trump gave people direct instructions to consume poisonous products.

All of this is to say, a hell of a lot of people seem to be prematurely writing off his re-election based on the response to the pandemic.

Some wild scenarios are proposed. I think the reality may be even wilder than some of the predictions.

If the entire election is cancelled and White House and House of Reps become empty, a runt Senate (just the Class 1 and Class 3 incumbents) will be what’s left. The Ds have the majority there: 37 to 28, or so. BUT Governors will exert their right to appoint replacements for the Class 2 Senators, making the Senate 50-50 or thereabouts.

OTOH, despite that the national election is cancelled, states can continue to run state elections, so expect much controversy. Not only will there be a runt electoral college, there will be different versions of that college depending on which elections are recognized by whom.

Circles of chaos and chaos. Perhaps two different Presidents will be inaugurated with military force involved to determine which occupies the House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The only certainty is that SCOTUS will be called upon to try and settle things. It will probably act 5-to-4 in an obvious partisan vote.

Trump is already denying funding and needed medical equipment to New York. Maybe those predicting secessions or civil war are right after all.

FWIW here are recent Betfair odds for the six (allegedly) likeliest winners of the Presidential election. Betfair punters don’t seem to care about the Lysol-injection sarcastic prank:
47.8% Trump
42.2% Biden
2.1% Cuomo
1.4% Clinton
1.1% Pence
1.0% Sanders
(Betfair reserves the right to declare the event void and return the wagered money.)