Two Presidents

This article is reprinted from my post at

The reader can take comfort from the fact that I am usually wrong predicting Donald Trump.

Let’s start with an iconic photo of Lyndon Johnson taking the oath of office as president upon the death of John F. Kennedy.

Lyndon Johnson takes the oath of office

The woman administering the oath of office was federal district judge Sarah Hughes. There’s nothing in U. S. law requiring the president’s oath of office be administered by the chief justice of the Supreme Court or even a federal judge; it can be administered by anyone who is authorized under law to accept an oath.

History is not my strong suit, but I recall that in the 14th century, the Roman Catholic Church had two popes. (There was a plague too.) There were two claimants to the throne of St. Peter, and for political reasons some supported one, and some supported the other.

Could not Donald Trump, again, declare that he won the election, and find some justice of the peace to swear him in? Could some red state legislature then vote, saying that Pope Donald was the real president, and swear allegiance to him? Could Trump surround himself with supporters, and he appoint them to “cabinet positions,” and start calling world leaders declaring Biden not the real president? Would we have “divided government” to a degree not seen since the Civil War?

Trump doing that seems insane, but so does what Donald Trump is doing now with his election conspiracy theories.

Whether Trump will try to get himself sworn in president in January is unknown, but be prepared for 4 years of “Biden is not really president” on the Internet, as we had 8 years of “Obama is not really president” from the same crowd.