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  #31  
Old 06-18-2012, 07:21 PM
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It’s also possible that a third party has been hiding Munson. It’s hard to see that either Milgov or Civgov would allow themselves to be subjected to the authority of Munson if he were to resurface in 2001. In all likelihood, they would deny his mental competence and drive on. Still, if Munson somehow were to find himself in the hands of a strong cantonment, a third claimant to executive authority of the US could emerge. This seems unlikely, but it would be good storytelling.
Here's an amusing/disturbing idea - Munson started voicing beliefs aligned with those of New America (maybe even started quoting lines from Hughes' political manifesto) and was relieved on the grounds of psychological impairment.
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  #32  
Old 06-18-2012, 07:49 PM
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Here's an amusing/disturbing idea - Munson started voicing beliefs aligned with those of New America (maybe even started quoting lines from Hughes' political manifesto) and was relieved on the grounds of psychological impairment.
A disturbing idea that could make for some good storytelling. What if new America really did have Munson stashed someplace? Wouldn't that provide the United States with an interesting dilemma? Goodness, what a problem that would be!
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  #33  
Old 06-18-2012, 08:37 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Web: how's this for the Mexicans reinforcing Texas: those units were already north of the rail junctions as a theater reserve, and were thus not affected by the nuclear strikes on the supply lines? And the Mexican Army commander in the region wants to hold onto as much of Texas as he can, so that when the time comes to cut a deal, he's got some chips he can bargain with...
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  #34  
Old 06-18-2012, 08:53 PM
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Still, there’s an outside chance that the Joint Chiefs are holding Munson in case he does recover sufficiently to lead. This idea begs more interesting questions. What criteria must be met for the Joint Chiefs to bring Munson out from under wraps, knowing that if they do so he will assume the presidency? This is asking a lot of the loyalty of the Joint Chiefs to the pre-war chain of command, but this level of loyalty isn’t entirely outside the realm of possibility. A good novel might be written showing the thought processes of the Joint Chiefs as Munson increasingly shows that he might resume the presidency.
Section 4 of the Ammendment XXV specifies that a President may declare himself incompetent or be declared incompetent by his Vice President and a majority of his cabinent, or other body as Congress may by law provide. In both cases official letters to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to take effect.

In either case the incapatitated President can return to acting President by sending letters to stating that no inability exists to the leaders of the Senate and House. Such a declaration of ability may be contested by the Vice (and Acting) President (or presumably another acting President by the Succession Act of 1947) and a majority his Cabinent, in which case the descision is referred to Congress.

As per the Presidential Succession Act, in order for the chairman of the JCS to assume the powers of Acting President, the entire cabinent would have to be incapable of acting as President.

Basically as long as there exists a Senate and a House President Munson can claim his office by informing them of his ability to do so. What's interesting is that the Acting President of both CIVGOV and MILGOV might have problems with this, and might both concievably protest. Except in MILGOV's case, this would require recognizing the disputed body that lead to their split in the first place.
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  #35  
Old 06-18-2012, 09:43 PM
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Section 4 of the Ammendment XXV specifies that a President may declare himself incompetent or be declared incompetent by his Vice President and a majority of his cabinent, or other body as Congress may by law provide. In both cases official letters to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to take effect.

In either case the incapatitated President can return to acting President by sending letters to stating that no inability exists to the leaders of the Senate and House. Such a declaration of ability may be contested by the Vice (and Acting) President (or presumably another acting President by the Succession Act of 1947) and a majority his Cabinent, in which case the descision is referred to Congress.

As per the Presidential Succession Act, in order for the chairman of the JCS to assume the powers of Acting President, the entire cabinent would have to be incapable of acting as President.

Basically as long as there exists a Senate and a House President Munson can claim his office by informing them of his ability to do so. What's interesting is that the Acting President of both CIVGOV and MILGOV might have problems with this, and might both concievably protest. Except in MILGOV's case, this would require recognizing the disputed body that lead to their split in the first place.
This is an excellent resource, Doc. Thanks for posting this.

This isn’t really what I meant by criteria for having the Joint Chiefs hand the reins back to the President. There’s what’s written in the Constitution, and then there’s what people in power actually do. There is an excellent chance that the Joint Chiefs see politicians as being the [expletive deleted] who got the country into this [expletive deleted] mess in the first place. There’s an excellent chance that they may be reluctant to take Munson’s say-so that he’s ready to resume his position as the chief executive of the nation. The Joint Chiefs might also feel that a guy who cracked up at the beginning of the post-Exchange crisis might not be trustworthy in 2001, regardless of what he says or what his therapist says. Honestly, I think the issue of letter writing, Cabinet approval or disapproval, and Congressional voting comes after the people who are harboring Munson (assuming Milgov or Civgov is) decide they are going to let him see the light of day again. The Joint Chiefs have everything to lose and a questionable amount to gain by trying to re-install Munson as POTUS.

Assuming that the Joint Chiefs are so loyal to the Constitution that they want to have Munson re-instated after satisfying themselves that his previous inability has resolved itself, then they still face the problem of getting approval from the various parties mentioned. Milgov doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the Civgov Congress, President, or Cabinet (the last of which would be appointed by someone elected by a legislature whose legal standing is very much in doubt and which is contested by Milgov in any event). We see no mention of Milgov doing much of anything to restore a Congress or civilian executive. So even if the Joint Chiefs are inclined to hand supreme executive power back to Munson because they are loyal to the Constitution, and even if they somehow become satisfied that his mental condition warrants consideration for re-installment, neither Vice President nor Cabinet nor Congress exist in Milgov to provide a legal basis for Munson’s resumption of his duties as President.

Of course, none of the aforementioned obstacles really matter if the Joint Chiefs are determined to restore Munson to his former position. Some sort of legal nicety can be crafted and left to the law students and historians to debate down the road. If Milgov has been harboring Munson, then the only criterion that matters is whether the Joint Chiefs are willing to hand power back to him.

If Civgov has been harboring Munson, then things can unfold more-or-less as outlined in the Constitution—provided, of course, that whoever has possession of Munson decides to allow him to write the appropriate letters and have them delivered. There’s the question of the legitimacy of Congress in 2001, but that’s another issue. Of course, Broward might simply have Munson killed to prevent his return. I’m sure there are other actions he could take to block Munson from returning—not the least of which would be to point out that Munson broke down under pressure and therefore Congress would be insane to put him back in place. On the other hand, the resumption of power of the last living legitimate POTUS might close the breach between Milgov and Civgov. (Heavy emphasis on MIGHT) Whatever Milgov think of the Civgov Congress, Munson is the real deal. Of course, they’d still want to satisfy themselves that he wouldn’t pooch everything they have done to put the country back together—and this might prove an insurmountable obstacle for a restored Munson Administration. However, the restoration of an unquestionably legitimate POTUS in 2001 would be a real propaganda coup for Civgov, regardless of what the Joint Chiefs choose to do.

If New America has been harboring Munson (not that I think there’s an easy path to explain how such a thing would have happened), then the Constitutional route is out. It doesn’t really matter, though. New America would use him as a figurehead, nothing more.

If some other party was harboring Munson, the outcome of bringing him back into the public eye would depend a great deal on what that group wanted to achieve. A warlord would want legitimacy and keep Munson on a set of strings. If somehow the Shogun in Nevada got hold of Munson, for instance, Munson’s role would be to appoint the Shogun as senior military man with some sort of political power to boot. A military man might behave like a warlord, or he might actually treat the President like the President. General Thomason of Fort Huachuca would treat the President as the President. The CG of Sixth US Army might recognize a Munson Presidency, or the CG might ask Colorado Springs for guidance. Admiral MacDowell of First District might recognize Munson’s authority, or he might have Munson fed to the fish. The possibilities are endless.
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  #36  
Old 06-19-2012, 01:31 AM
James Langham James Langham is offline
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A few random thoughts:

* Munson has sympathy for some of New America's philosophies

* Munson is held by New America

* Munson wanders off and acts as a hermit or similar under a new identity

* There is a double that can pass himself off well enough to convince many people
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  #37  
Old 06-19-2012, 01:53 PM
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The whole thing about the President reminds me a bit of the film "By Dawn's Early Light" where if I recall correctly the President (played by Martin Landau) is missing for a period of time and there is some debate about his bona fides when he is eventually found.

Thanks for posting that exceprt from HW Webstral. It's been some years since I last saw a copy. Interesting that it suggests (to me at least) that the Alternate National Military Command Centre (and presumably the Joint Chiefs themselves?) was located in Fort Ritchie, Maryland, until well into 1999, which raises the question of how the personnel from Fort Ritchie got to Colorado Springs - by air? Overland convoy?
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  #38  
Old 06-19-2012, 03:36 PM
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Assuming that the Joint Chiefs are so loyal to the Constitution that they want to have Munson re-instated after satisfying themselves that his previous inability has resolved itself, then they still face the problem of getting approval from the various parties mentioned. Milgov doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the Civgov Congress, President, or Cabinet (the last of which would be appointed by someone elected by a legislature whose legal standing is very much in doubt and which is contested by Milgov in any event). We see no mention of Milgov doing much of anything to restore a Congress or civilian executive. So even if the Joint Chiefs are inclined to hand supreme executive power back to Munson because they are loyal to the Constitution, and even if they somehow become satisfied that his mental condition warrants consideration for re-installment, neither Vice President nor Cabinet nor Congress exist in Milgov to provide a legal basis for Munson’s resumption of his duties as President.

Of course, none of the aforementioned obstacles really matter if the Joint Chiefs are determined to restore Munson to his former position. Some sort of legal nicety can be crafted and left to the law students and historians to debate down the road. If Milgov has been harboring Munson, then the only criterion that matters is whether the Joint Chiefs are willing to hand power back to him.
Section 2 of Amendment XXV specifies that the President (and according to the Presidential Succession Act, the Acting President has all the duties and powers of the office) may nominate a successor to the position of Vice President. Normally this nomination is subject to the approval of a majority of both houses of Congress, but MILGOV does not recognize the CIVGOV Congress, and the precedent already exists for recess appointments so that shouldn't stand in the Chairman's way. As for the Cabinet, well isn't the joint staff already filling that function? More recess appointments.

The Vice Chairman makes a handy Vice President, and the council of chiefs a Cabinet. When and if the JCS find it necessary, organizing their own elections for a rival Congress would also be doable. Since MILGOV voters would be proportionally weighted towards active duty and irregular forces in cantonments, you could see a Congress of officers and NCOs.

I guess the question is, how badly do the JCS feel the need for additional legitimacy, and how far/long does the MIL/CIV split (or civil war) go in your game?
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  #39  
Old 06-19-2012, 09:13 PM
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I guess the question is, how badly do the JCS feel the need for additional legitimacy, and how far/long does the MIL/CIV split (or civil war) go in your game?
In my last campaign I had intended to follow the Traveller 2300 timeline, with MilGov and CivGov peacefully reamalgamating with elections recognised by both sides held in 2020 (IIRC).

I think it makes perfect sense for MilGov to continue with their emergency rule and a state of martial law for decades if that is what they deem as necessary for maintaining control of the nation and getting the ball rolling in the recovery effort. It's a more difficult situation for CivGov because much of their legitimacy is tied to the pre-war political and democratic process. I'm sure CivGov's leaders would prefer not to have to go through the bother of a census and elections but that would effectively turn them into another (somewhat less powerful) version of MilGov.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:59 PM
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In my last campaign I had intended to follow the Traveller 2300 timeline, with MilGov and CivGov peacefully reamalgamating with elections recognised by both sides held in 2020 (IIRC).

I think it makes perfect sense for MilGov to continue with their emergency rule and a state of martial law for decades if that is what they deem as necessary for maintaining control of the nation and getting the ball rolling in the recovery effort. It's a more difficult situation for CivGov because much of their legitimacy is tied to the pre-war political and democratic process. I'm sure CivGov's leaders would prefer not to have to go through the bother of a census and elections but that would effectively turn them into another (somewhat less powerful) version of MilGov.
20 years of split rule and cold civil war might have something to do with the, what, third French Empire? I think my game is going feature a hot civil war giving the PCs the opportunity to throw their weight behind either faction, and push it over the top if they play their cards right. 'Course my twilight war starts in 2012 with a couple decades of extra political polarization.
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