Improbable Scenarios

Matt Yglesias wants to amend the Constitution. Why? Well

[W]e really ought to amend the constitution to provide a mechanism for repopulating the House of Representatives in the event of a mass-casualty terrorist attack. As things stand, the country would be governed by a “rump” House composed of a possibly tiny number of surviving members until special elections were held. This rump House would likely be wildly unrepresentative of the country and might seriously lack legitimacy. Worse, an attack that incapacitated without killing a large enough number of members would render it impossible to assemble a quorum, in which case it would be legally impossible to appropriate funds or authorize a response to the attacks, which would lead, presumably, to some kind of suspension of constitutional government.

I think we should amend the constitution to make sure that, if a potion emerges that turns the incumbent president into a poodle, the vice president takes office. Seriously, Matt’s a smart guy, but neither of these things is going to happen, ever. Destroying a substantial amount of Congress requires bombing and/or crashing into the Capitol building when Congress is in session. Judging as a Cessna in D.C. made officials consider shooting it down, I don’t think a plane attack is possible, and considering the amount of security at the Capitol building, a bombing is even less plausible. This strikes me as a doomsday scenario that doesn’t warrant any action, let alone a constitutional amendment.

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