Moving up the inauguration

MOVING UP THE INAUGURATION…. The New York Times’ Gail Collins has a good idea in her column this morning: maybe Bush could do us a favor and just wrap things up now.

Thanksgiving is next week, and President Bush could make it a really special holiday by resigning.

Seriously. We have an economy that’s crashing and a vacuum at the top. Bush — who is currently on a trip to Peru to meet with Asian leaders who no longer care what he thinks — hasn’t got the clout, or possibly even the energy, to do anything useful. His most recent contribution to resolving the fiscal crisis was lecturing representatives of the world’s most important economies on the glories of free-market capitalism.

Putting Barack Obama in charge immediately isn’t impossible. Dick Cheney, obviously, would have to quit as well as Bush. In fact, just to be on the safe side, the vice president ought to turn in his resignation first. (We’re desperate, but not crazy.) Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would become president until Jan. 20. Obviously, she’d defer to her party’s incoming chief executive, and Barack Obama could begin governing.

As a bonus, the Pelosi presidency would put a woman in the White House this year after all. On the downside, a few right-wing talk-show hosts might succumb to apoplexy. That would, of course, be terrible, but I’m afraid we might have to take the risk in the name of a greater good.

Can I see a show of hands? How many people want George W. out and Barack in?

Works for me. I’m not sure Obama would want this — he’d no doubt like to take the allotted time to complete the transition process — but these are tough times and we all have to make sacrifices.

In this policy climate, a month is a long time. Just hand Obama the keys already.

Update: Brian Beutler seems to approve of the concept, but has a different idea on the mechanism: “How about this sequence of events instead: 1). Condoleezza Rice resigns as Secretary of State. 2). George Bush appoints Barack Obama in her place. 3). George Bush and Dick Cheney resign their positions (or get kicked out by the Congress). 4). Both Nancy Pelosi and Robert Byrd refuse to adhere to the chain of succession. 5). Obama becomes president. It would all take a couple days, and could go down smoothly so long as Obama and his cabinet picks were ready to hit the ground running.”