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Trump Has an Alternate Path Back to Power

August 28th, 2022 by dk

In 35 words, what are the things that Donald Trump loves most? If you answered “Donald Trump,” it was a trick question. You still have 33 words left to complete your answer.

Donald Trump loves the limelight most of all. He loves commanding control with no related responsibilities. He really loves breaking rules that nobody ever knew existed. And he loves emasculating Kevin McCarthy, for some reason.

He can have all those things, without bothering to campaign in 2024. He could endorse only candidates who agree that he, Donald Trump, should be chosen as the Speaker of the House in 2025.

But only elected members of the House of Representatives have ever served as Speaker of the House! Yes, exactly. That’s because decorum and common sense have required it. But there’s no rule! Trump could be Speaker of the House, if he wanted it and a majority of House members agreed.

(It’s enough to make our own retiring Congressperson, Peter DeFazio, wish he were dead, only so he could turn over in his grave.)

Why would a former president want to become the appointed Speaker of the House? First, because it’s a hocus-pocus trick that nobody has ever pulled off before. That counts for something. And then there’s sawing Kevin McCarthy in half, which always seems fun.

Don’t laugh. A talk show host pitched this very idea to Trump last summer. His response to Wayne Allyn Root: “You know, it’s very interesting. That’s so interesting.” Root wanted Trump first to run for a House seat from Mar-a-Lago, but Trump only likes steps he can skip. He’s no John Quincy Adams! We can all agree about that.

The House of Representatives is known as “the People’s House.” Trump has fashioned himself as a populist, saying out loud what many Americans feel, except without any attendant shame. He says what they feel, without feeling what they feel. It’s his unique gift for the age we are living in.

Trump will command the spotlight as much as he wants as Speaker of the House. It comes with an annual salary of about $225,000, plus a bevy of Capitol offices and conference rooms to be redecorated to his liking.

In Trump’s hands, the House of Representatives would begin to resemble Britain’s parliament, which has always been more entertaining than whatever the Prime Minister does. Prime Ministers can’t do very much in Britain without the tacit consent of their party leaders. Trump knows which end of the leash he prefers.

Any Republican in the Oval Office would quickly discern that Trump is calling the shots. Remember when Putin temporarily resigned Russia’s presidency to meet so-called constitutional requirements? He inserted Dmitry Medvedev as his stooge for four years. Trump admires such creative thinking.

If our President didn’t follow orders to the letter, Trump could whip the House into a frenzy by holding impeachment hearings. Those always get good ratings! And if both the President and Vice President were impeached and convicted, the Speaker of the House becomes President.

It gets even better for Speaker Trump. We all know how much he loves to speak! The only thing he likes more is to spend. All spending bills must originate in the House. The Speaker controls which spending bills are debated and approved. It’s almost like having a five trillion-dollar expense account!

But here’s what’s most delicious, from Trump’s point of view. As the unelected Speaker, he wouldn’t have a vote on any measures he brought to a floor vote. He’d have all the power and none of the responsibility. What could be better than that? I mean, besides sawing Kevin McCarthy in half?


Don Kahle ( writes a column each Wednesday and Sunday for The Register-Guard and archives past columns at

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