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On Inauguration Day in 1977 the country woke up to find the 82nd Airborne stationed on the perimeter of the grounds of the White House as one of the more likely scenarios mentioned by Mike and Jill played out. President Gerald Ford canceled the presidential inauguration (set to occur at noon on January 20) and in so doing abrogated the 20th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Instead, at noon, the President met with the top congressional leadership in the Oval Office to explain his reasons for ignoring the highest law of the land.

For the Democrats, Senator Robert Byrd and Representative Jim Wright were present. They knew the President well when he represented Michigan in the House and throughout the meeting would call him “Jerry”. The Republicans attending the meeting were Senator Howard Baker and Representative John Rhodes and they preferred to call him “Mr. President.”

Sen. Robert Byrd: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions Jerry, and I’d like to start with the biggest and most obvious one. It is now just short of one o’clock PM on January 20, in a year following a presidential election year. Since 1937 that has always meant we would see either the incoming President-elect sworn into office or a sitting President sworn to a second term, we would see hear the inaugural address, and the President would then proceed from the steps of the Capitol building to the White House. But this year, instead, we see the sitting President, who was the former Vice-President of the previous Administration, remaining inside the White House guarded by elements of the US Army. Many on the Hill and elsewhere are saying we are witnessing the first coup in US history. Mr. President, what do you say in response?

President Ford: First of all, Bob, I’d like to make it absolutely clear that the inauguration has not been canceled as some are saying, merely restored to the date of March 4, which was the statutory turnover date prior to the enactment of the 20th Amendment. This was done on a one-time basis due to an enormous number of extraordinary events piling up in a short span of time which in my view could compromise the presidential transfer of power in our republic if we do not, in effect, call a time out.

Rep. John Rhodes: Could you comment on some of these events, Mr. President?

Ford: Well, the first one, obviously, is the assassination of the Vice-President in a federal detention facility in Nebraska that was being toured by the Vice-President and President-elect Henry Jackson as part of the transition process. We have obtained video-tape of the actual murder, and it is clear that the President-elect, if not directly responsible, is at least a material witness, and a witness that has gone missing for some reason. Bear in mind that the death of Vice-President Roland was an incredibly grisly thing and will be difficult to watch.

The door to Hunky’s cell opened and Roland walked halfway, stopped and stood there for a moment before his legs buckled. Roland jerked and bounced down on Hunky’s deadly web of Polywire, letting gravity finish the job. Guards tried to cut the web down but only succeeded in slicing their own knives into little razor blades. Hunky began to laugh. Finally they used their hand guns to blow chunks out of the door frame where the wire was slung. The web drifted down to the floor and the guards stepped through aiming their weapons directly at Hunky. The Secret Service agents guarding President-elect Jackson followed, and when they motioned it was clear the actual President-elect stepped through into the cell after them.

Ford: Note that the prisoner in the cell who laughed when the Vice-President died, a woman who calls herself Hunky, as well as the Secret Service agents shown in the video entering the cell before the President-elect, and the President-elect himself have all gone missing. Obviously what we have here is some kind of conspiracy, not unlike when President Lincoln was killed.

Sen. Howard Baker: Mr. President, do you have any theory why the President-elect would want the President to be killed when it was only two days before the hand-off of power anyway?

Ford: I have another video, Howard, one which was in the possession of the Vice-President before the assassination. In some ways this one is even more unbearable to watch, but it might go a long way toward explaining why Scoop Jackson would be mixed up in this. The first time I saw this video, I was reminded of the old joke that the one sure way to end a political career was to be caught in bed with a dead woman, or a live boy.

In the hotel room all of the male escort’s clothing were shed in a flash, and it was abundantly clear that this was not the wife of Henry Jackson. The unexpected suddenness of this strip act caused Henry to shudder in a frisson of delight and they both crawled on top of the hotel bed, not bothering to turn off the room lights. As the President-elect caressed every square inch of the escort’s naked skin with a desperate physical hunger, the escort slid Jackson’s pants off his hips to mid-thigh, an action made deliciously messy with the upended half of the contents of a bottle of clear lube. Jackson massaged the shiny overflow on the escort’s hips as they both writhed in bed, rubbing directly against each other. After a few minutes Jackson’s back suddenly arched, both of his legs stiffened, his eyes crossed and his mouth fell wide open. Jackson grunted and moaned with a physical release far more satisfying than anything that love with his wife had ever done.

Rep. Jim Wright: Jesus Christ, Jerry, that was the most disgusting thing I ever saw.

Ford: Unless I’m tragically mistaken, fellas, I don’t think even the Democratic Party is willing to tell the American people they just elected their first faggot as President.

Robert Byrd just shook his head, conceding the point.

Ford: In terms of electoral college votes, which are what really count, the recent election was the closest since 1876. Just five votes! Yet I don’t think it would have been so close if this video had been released before last November, don’t you think? And disgusting as it is, there are many more like it. This is probably the least objectional one. Jackson probably did the country a favor by going on the run. Think of the damage that could have been done to this country with a President who was operating for at least the next four years under the threat of blackmail.

Byrd: Mr. President what do you say to the Vice-President-elect, who claims that under the 20th Amendment to the Constitution this case should have been treated as though the President-elect had died, and it was she who should have been sworn it at noon today?

Ford: Ah, yes, but the 20th Amendment is quite specific that the President-elect may only be sworn in under the situation where the President-elect has actually died or failed to qualify, not merely become a fugitive. Jackson is not dead, as far as we know, and was fully qualified by the Electoral College, even if such a selection is now in doubt in light of these videos. Section three then goes on to say that Congress may declare who shall act as President, or the manner by which the President shall be selected.

Rhodes: So if I understand what you are saying, Mr. President, if the Congress says that the Vice-President-elect or even the President-elect shall be sworn in as President, you will abide by that decision?

Ford: Absolutely! I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of this great nation and that is exactly what I’m doing. We seemed to have slipped into a kind of loophole that isn’t covered by the 20th Amendment. Moving the date of the inauguration out to the right a bit, to the original date of March 4, will give us the time we need to sort this mess out.

Baker: Do you have a recommendation that we can take back to Congress, Mr. President, as to who they should decide should be the next President, or what manner they should use to select him or her?

Ford: The lower House of Congress stands for election every two years. This is how our founding fathers ensured that Congress remained closer to the will of the electorate. The only recommendation I would make, and I believe it is the simplest way out of this dilemma, is simply to have the House select the new president and the Senate confirm their choice. Since both houses of Congress are in the hands of Democrats this cycle, I presume they will settle on a Democratic Party ticket. They might even choose the same ticket. No one will be able to say I overturned the will of the voters or made a pure party play.

Wright: In that event, Jerry, I’d like to turn to the question of why the 82nd Airborne has been posted on the perimeter of the White House grounds.

Ford: It is purely a precautionary measure, Jim. There are indeed some people who might decide what has happened has been, in fact, a coup. To be honest, I’d much rather deploy the paratroopers to Barbuda right now, but they can serve a greater purpose acting as a deterrent to any self-deluded patriot hotheads.

Baker: Mr. President, you mention Barbuda. There has been very little information released about the ongoing Operation Caribbean Rage. Can you at least tell us how that is going?

Ford: I can say that the Richard M. Nixon battlegroup and their Marine detachment has performed remarkably well under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. In fact, I’ve just ordered the USS Eisenhower and her battlegroup to postpone a scheduled deployment to the Mediterranean and immediately steam south to Barbuda to relieve the Nixon, and I’m moving a carrier from the South Seas to fill in for the Ike in the Med.

Baker: Well, Mr. President, the reason I’ve asked that question is the basic fact that Barbuda is half the size of DC, yet we have all seen images and videos that much of Barbuda has been devastated from the air.

Ford: Howard, have a care what you get from the Swarm. Bear in mind that the Swarm is nothing more than a kind of propaganda outlet run by the Church of End Dome, which in their own words is the sworn enemy of the United States government.

Baker: This was Walter Cronkite at CBS, Mr. President.

Byrd: Jerry when you say they are sworn enemies how do you account for their macro power plants, one in each state, offering clean electric power at only once cent per kilowatt-hour, which is only one-tenth of the historic average cost of electric power nationwide?

Ford: Bob! Do you think money is the only cost?

Byrd: Jerry, cold water seems to be the only requirement, and warm non-radioactive water is the only waste stream. Home power bills rarely top ten dollars a month if the are getting power from their plants, unless there’s a real cold snap. So why are you moving to shut these plants down?

Ford: It’s patently unfair to say we shut the plants down, Bob. We made certain investigations, primarily focused on safety, that the Church of End Dome found unacceptable and they shut down their own plants in an immature little temper tantrum. So far this has happened in four states.

Wright: Does the Administration intend to go forward with this policy until the macro power plants in all fifty states are off-line?

Ford: There’s ancient concept called hydraulic empire, Jim, have you ever heard of it? One might even say it is the default structure of human civilization. A hydraulic empire maintains itself through a monopoly on access to water. I see the same thing happening with Robyn’s power plants and my policy is to prevent her from setting up something like that up where we can’t touch her.

Bryd: Jerry, I’d like to go back to the assassination of Earl Roland. There is not much information out there as to precisely where it happened. You say it was a federal detention center in Nebraska. What and where, exactly, did the Vice-President get killed?

Ford: Proceed to the next question, Bob.

Bryd: Does your secret police have any compromising videos of Jeane Kirkpatrick?

Ford: Not yet we don’t.

Byrd: So you wouldn’t have any problem if the House and Senate moved to swear her in as your replacement by March 4?

Ford: Other than the fact that she’s an AFL-CIO Democrat, no.

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