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With every dreadful day that passes, I get closer and closer to actually believing Donald Trump won’t make it four years in office. I don’t have much faith in him being impeached, rather, my money is on him dropping dead from the stress of faking his own death.

The pipe dream of all Democrats and rational human beings is somehow legally removing Trump from office. For this to work, you’d also have to somehow get rid of Pence and end up with a situation like this:

Of course, that sounds nice and all but is about as likely as Melania Trump scaling back on her Botox.


Still, I’ve been enjoying the mental exercise of imagining a Designated Survivor-type accident. On the NBC show, Kiefer Sutherland plays the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the only cabinet member who survives an attack during the State of the Union and therefore becomes the president.

So how would that work out for us? Obviously the first in line is Mike Pence, who is as if the crazy religious zealot from Contact got old.

Screenshot via Warner Brothers; Image via Getty.

Obviously, that’s a hard no.

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Next up we have Paul Ryan—a weasel-faced serpent who makes Judas Iscariot look noble. No thanks! In the event a group of his newly uninsured constituents go all John Q on Paul Ryan’s ass and kidnap him for his organs, we move on to the President pro tempore of the United States Senate, Orrin Hatch.

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President pro tempore is basically the vice president of the Senate, usually the most senior senator of the majority party. Hatch is a senator from Utah who I don’t trust by his name alone. Still, Hatch definitely seems not great, but less of a diabolical coward than your average Republican senator.


In 1977, he compared gay people to Nazis but eventually came around—sort of. He opposes same-sex marriage but approves of same-sex unions and voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It’s a terrible record but isn’t as bad as it could be in the Trump administration.

Hatch also helped give us Ruth Bader Ginsburg—recommending her appointment to President Bill Clinton. He defended the building of a mosque in lower Manhattan in 2010 and supports stem cell research. Of course, he also wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and has tried to roll back the Fair Housing Act. Still, ol’ Orrin surprised me in that he doesn’t necessarily seem like an actual demon.

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If anything happened to Orrin, we move on to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who would almost certainly sell us to Russia.

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After Vladimir Putin poisons Tillerson, then we’re stuck with Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, former hedge fund manager and Goldman Sachs executive. He wants to cut corporate taxes and strip back the Dodd-Frank act so banks can have an even easier time screwing over the American people again.

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Assuming Mnuchin succumbs to fatal douchebaggery, we have Secretary of Defense James Mattis. He was an Obama appointee and isn’t too down with Russia so it seems like he has the potential to be a non-disaster!

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Mnuchin would be followed by Jeff Sessions and I literally cannot even pretend to imagine that Klan-approved Keebler Elf could, circumstances allowing, one day become the president.

Now, here’s where things start to get a bit tricky. As I understand it, technically the next in line is the Secretary of the Interior but the person currently in that position, Kevin Haugrud, is only the acting secretary. This matters because the assumption is that the line of succession only includes those who have been approved by the Senate, and Haugrud never was. Let’s just assume whatever disaster strikes moves quickly so there’s no time to confirm Trump’s nominee, Ryan Zinke.

Image via Wikipedia Commons.

Then we arrive at the Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse which would give us a Democrat as president. If the Senate somehow moves quickly, we’d instead be stuck with Trump’s nominee—former governor of Georgia Sonny Perdue.

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Let’s just say this: he wants to run the Department of Agriculture. In 2006, $140 million worth of crops went unharvested after Perdue signed a law cracking down on undocumented immigrants, who then fled the state.

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We then jump to Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, who thinks woman should be able to afford their own birth control without the Affordable Care Act, and that increased gun control somehow does not help the health of humans.


Ben Carson has yet to be officially confirmed as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development so we dodge that bullet for now. Also ineligible is Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Chao was born in Taiwan and thus robs us of any opportunity to have Mitch McConnell as the First Gentleman—a role you know he would despise.

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Rick Perry hasn’t yet been confirmed as the Secretary of Energy so we’d end up with fucking Betsy DeVos as president, who is, amazingly, a worse option than Perry.

Image via Getty. R: David Shulkin; L: John F. Kelly

Next up would be David Shulkin, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs even though he’s not an actual veteran, and Homeland Security Director John F. Kelly—neither of whom seem like monsters but certainly can’t be too good considering Trump and co. approved.

After that I assume democracy just ceases to exist.

So these are our options. Personally, I think I could live with this Orrin Hatch character, which just goes to show how quickly all our standards have been lowered. Ideally, we’d knock out the first five or seven and up with either President James Mattis or President Michael Scuse—two people Obama chose. Then, honestly, who cares?

We’re probably all dead anyway by this point.