Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Peabody-Martini, Sep 17, 2018.
I don't know as you'd be able to pry me out of such a museum...
Pry you out? It has quarters for people to live at the museum. You would be able to look things over when the public is not there. Get to play with all the shiny toys so to speak.
Hmmmm, on the one hand the ability to roam such a museum at will and examine the exhibits as closely as you want. On the other hand, dealing with tourists and you probably can't even smack them when they are being obnoxious. Choices, choices...….
Chapter One Thousand Four Hundred Twenty
6th January 1961
Stories tend to grow with retelling, often much to the chagrin of the people who were featured in them. That had happened with the story about Gia, or Gospozha Sasha as she was called in them, banishing the scare cats to Hell. When a representative of the Patriarch of Moscow called and asked about the incident, Gia told him that it was nonsense and that it was pure theater set up by Fyodor when he… She had been cut off right there and told that she shouldn’t tell anyone else that. The Church was in the business of bring hope to dark corners and the tall tale of Gia and the cats was exactly that.
Still, it didn’t sit right with Gia and on Christmas Eve she dragged Fyodor with her to the nearly completed Cathedral that had been constructed over the previous decade. As they stood there waiting for an audience with the elderly Patriarch so that Gia could tell him the truth with Fyodor backing up her version of events. Fyodor though decided that the truth in this case wasn’t in anyone’s interest and the two of them started to bicker as quietly as possible so as to not disrupt the proceedings that were happening.
The same assistant who had represented the Patriarch when he had talked to Gia before came over and told them to knock it off only to get drawn into the argument himself. It had been at that point that Alexi, the Patriarch himself had noticed and far from being upset by the disruption he seemed to be unusually buoyant. Gia didn’t expect much from him, eight-two years old and nearly blind and hard of hearing. The Patriarch generally got through the various rituals as the result of rote memorization. He mumbled something to his assistant that Gia didn’t catch. Only to have the assistant say that Alexi had asked when Gia and Fyodor were planning on getting married. Fyodor, curse him, had found that hilarious while Gia was flabbergasted. Apparently, the two of them had been playing the role of a couple much to the amusement of the Clergy who had been watching them.
“As soon as you are done there, the General wants you to pick up the meal order for this afternoon’s conference” Oberstabsfeldwebel Schultz said, “Or should I say, the General has seen fit to allow you to escape that mess long enough to retrieve his lunch.”
“Yes, Staber Schultz” Ben replied, that being the only thing that was safe to say.
As Schultz left the room with a satisfied smirk on his face, Ben looked back to the stack of papers that he had been making little headway on. They were several of the endless reports that were intended to reach the General’s desk and the General expected them to be put into some sort of sane order before he dealt with them, if he ever did. That much Ben had been expecting. However, Schultz was an occupational hazard that he couldn’t have foreseen.
A few days earlier, when Ben had walked into these offices Schultz had greeted him as the new paperwork monkey. He also regularly referred to Ben as undifferentiated slime because of Ben’s current status. Today, Schultz had even gone so far as suggesting that Ben get a name plate that said “Hey You” on it, because it would be easier to remember, and the next paperwork monkey could use it too. Ben couldn’t say anything about that because it was said that Schultz and the General went way back. They had served in Spain together and in every conflict since, so Schultz could do whatever he wanted, and no one could say a thing. There was also the fact that the General in question was the brother of Gräfin von Mischner and he was almost as crazy as she was. The one time that Hans von Mischner had spoken with Ben it had been to give him a pep talk and to tell that if he wanted a future in this business then he needed to earn the respect of men like Jost Schultz. Yes, that made logical sense, but the absolute insanity of it was apparent to Ben, yet seemingly no one else.
Finally, there was the aspect of Hans von Mischner being in charge of training for all personnel within the OKW. That meant that the Cadet Corps, of which Ben was but one small part of, fell directly under his purview. According to Major Armbruster, these assignments had been given out on the basis of where their perceived strengths and weaknesses were. That was why Ben had been shoved into a largely administrative role, when he wasn’t getting sent out on errands according to the General’s whim. Ben was also starting to understand why Kiki had been so angry with him the previous September. She had spent the better part of two years in the Other Ranks of the Medical Service. That had given her a leg up on the rest of the class and she had understood that Ben had no idea how this world he had found himself in worked. Spending the following months around Kiki had certainly been awkward enough, that she was supposed to be making sure that the rest of the class learned what had already become second nature for her had only served to make things worse. Especially when Ben had realized that Kiki thought that he couldn’t survive in this environment.
After two months of legal wrangling and battling over a handful of ballots, the Presidential race remained too close to call. Already historians were suggesting that no one would ever be certain who had won the popular vote in 1960 and the leadership of both major political parties were crying foul as the contest moved to the House and Senate. The Rockefeller Campaign had attempted to prevent that from happening by challenging the matter in the Courts, eventually appealing it all the way to the Supreme Court. Rockefeller and Goldwater figured that if the matter went to Congress then there was a good chance that it would result in a party-line vote against them.
Harriman wasn’t so certain. Once Congress got involved it would swiftly become just a session of horse trading, except it wouldn’t be over highway funds or who got a new bridge in their district. Instead it would be over who would be sworn into office as the President of the United States in a few weeks. The bidding was going to be fierce anyone who knew thought what the outcome was going to be was kidding themselves.
This could very well result in the end of the Electoral College ITTL, just to avoid this from happening again.
When the 87th Congress is sworn in January 1961 the OTL breakdown of the state's delegations in the House of Representatives is going to be 17 States with Republican majorities, 4 equal split delegations and 29 States with Democratic majorities but that includes 11 States of the Old Confederacy, 4 border states, plus Oklahoma and West Virginia which were not exactly pro Civil Rights, this also includes Alaska and Hawaii which may not have been admitted as States ITTL and if that is the case then that reduces the Democratic States to 27.
This puts the South in the driver seat in picking the next President and that is not going to be good for the United States.
My nightmare scenario is that Barry Goldwater gets enough votes in the Electoral College to become Vice President while the House is deadlocked and Goldwater becomes the Acting President.
It's nice to see that Jost has lost none of his motivational skills.
Modern day, ITTL Washington DC, Coin Room in the White House.
"And so, thanks to the deadlock caused by the 1960 Presidential Election, the final decider was simply this"
[Shows everyone three 25c pieces, polished and held in a display case].
"The procedure is simple, the challenger candidate picks heads or tails, the incumbent, or candidate from the out going president's party picks the coin to be used in the first toss, the challenger picks which coin is used for the second toss, and if a third is required, the chief justice of the supreme court chooses the third coin. The same coin can be used for multiple coin tosses too. Luckily, since then, this has never been needed, but these are the original three coins..."
I missed the ITTL part of this response and had a monumental double take. As my son would say, ”Epic!”
Well, if not this we could always go back to duelling?....
Rock paper scissors?
*Fear, Loathing and Gumbo intensifies*
That was my inspiration.
The big difference between that great timeline and this one is that Goldwater is no Agnew, the Nixon in this timeline does not exists compared to the other timeline, I think that with former Presidents Garner, Dewey, and Truman around there is going to be some wise consuls from them.
The South may make the mistake of demanding too much from Harriman and Rockefeller that there will be a tremendous backlash from the American people if any candidate accepts any deal from the South for the Presidency.
The way this plays out may mean that there is turning point one way or another in the direction that America takes from now on.
Yeah, if the South gets too coy, the two candidates are similar enough the other delegates could move en masse one way or another - R to D or D to R simply to break the bloc.
Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your periodical newsletter.
I feel I must apologise for any inconvenience I may have caused by my suggestion.
Although the notion may have some merit, it is unfortunate that the last time a Vice President dueled, it did not go well..., for him or his victim.
*Grabs popcorn and puts on duel of fates*
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