The ABC drama “Designated Survivor” (created by David Guggenheim), which premiered on Wednesday, Sept. 21, supposes that a less critical cabinet member (HUD Secretary Tom Kirkman played by Kiefer Sutherland) has been sequestered during a State of the Union address, and becomes president when all of Congress and the rest of the Cabinet and President and VP, and all of the Supreme Court are lost in a bombing of the Capitol.
The second episode names another Al Qaeda affiliate (a fictitious group) as the suspects.
While it would sound impossible for a group to plant a conventional explosive capable of this (unless it was somehow an inside job, which the show is likely to presume), the 9/11 plot attempted to decapitate the US government with further strikes on the Capitol and/or White House. Of course, even had the plane Flight 93 not downed in Pennsylvania, both facilities had been evacuated long before the plane could have arrived. But the idea that terrorists could have chosen the White House and Capitol as the first targets sounds like a chilling possibility (although President Bush was in Florida reading “My Pet Goat” to children at the time).
As a result of most of the government being destroyed, states (like Michigan) try to declare the Constitution invalid and want to secede. That idea suggests the idea that in internal right wing conspiracy of this sort (trying to falsely blame Islam) is at least conceivable.
Yet, such an idea drives readers to doomsday prepper Facebook pages and blogs like “Survivor Mom” with her talk of bug-out locations