Back in 2005, Geena Davis starred as the President of the United States in Commander in Chief, safely qualifying her as America’s first PILF.
Sorry, I’ve been sitting on that joke since at least 2013.
The real hook of the series was the fact that it portrayed a female POTUS, which at the time was still considered the fantastic stuff of legends, and not something that’ll happen in a little over a week’s time if the entire United States doesn’t have a lobotomy and think electing a racist orange would be a good idea.
Anyway yes, female President. But the odd thing about that show was how she came to power. No, she wasn’t elected by the people of America. She’s Vice President when the President dies, and inherits the position. Because obviously the American people would never elect a woman, that’d just be ridiculous! They’d be too concerned with her menstrual cycle…
That was sarcasm by the way.
But before her predecessor kicks the bucket, as he’s lying on his deathbed, he asks her to resign because he does not want her to become President.
Now, you’re thinking this is probably legit, because he’s the President, and it’s his wish, and he should be allowed to choose his successor, etc., etc.. However, if she does step down, the Speaker of the House would become President, played by Donald Sutherland, and he’s a sexist dickhead. So she refused.
Halfway through the series, this information comes out, and the public starts calling for her resignation. How dare she remain President when the last President didn’t want her. But then she comes out with what I believe is technically termed a ‘mic drop’: Constitutionally, the President had no right to ask her to resign, and if she did step down it would’ve been a betrayal to the American people who elected her as their Vice President.
And that’s the interesting thing about government operations. For the most part you can’t just fire someone, unless they’re a lower-level civil servant or something. Even the President of the United States can’t do it. The only thing they can do is ask the person to resign, with the key word being ‘ask’. They can’t be forced to resign unless blackmail gets involved. I might be oversimplifying here by the way. But the point is, the President of the United States can’t fire the Vice President or any member of the Cabinet. They just don’t have that right, especially once the person is elected by the public or confirmed by the legislature. Though if they do try to fire the person, it would be quite odd to then appoint the person as designated survivor, don’t you agree?