Now maybe we know why they callÃ‚Â themÃ‚Â “Bills.”
There has been a buzz in Congress lately, and not just from happy hour this time. Some members of Congress have grabbed a broom and are attempting to sweepÃ‚Â away the 22nd Amendment — this is the law that limits a president’sÃ‚Â time in officeÃ‚Â to eight years total.
The 22nd Amendment was passed after FDR became the first president to go past George Washington’s self-imposed two-termÃ‚Â limit, andÃ‚Â was elected to his fourth term and soon afterÃ‚Â died ofÃ‚Â a stroke.
Two of the most passionate congressional advocates of such a move Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-MD, and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-WI Ã¢â‚¬â€œ have teamed up to sponsor a resolution that would represent the first step toward that change in the U.S. political system.
“The time has come to repeal the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, and not because of partisan politics,” explained Hoyer. “While I am not a supporter of the current President, I feel there are good public policy reasons for a repeal of this amendment. Under the Constitution as altered by the 22nd Amendment, this must be President George W. Bush’s last term even if the American people should want him to continue in office. This is an undemocratic result.”
Hoyer’s bill is not the only one in the House with the same goal. Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY, has introduced a similar resolution. Both of the Democrats have been working on repealing the 22nd Amendment since the presidency of Bill Clinton.
Not so coincidentally, Bill Clinton supports repealing the 22nd Amendment. The former president and megalomaniacal political lab experiment gone horribly awry is determined to find a way to liquefy himself in order to seep through all the cracks in the system. Now he’s saying that we as a nation might want to rethink that pesky little 22nd Amendment. Clinton has said in the pastÃ‚Â that this change wouldn’t affect him, but be “for future generations.” (Pause for laughter.)
And it’s not only Clinton.Ã‚Â DidÃ‚Â George W. Bush sense something as well? Maybe this is whyÃ‚Â Bush’s bust has no end date for his term(s) in office. (I like to throw that in just to make the Bush conspiracy bunch jumpy)
So, is repealing the 22nd Amendment a good idea? Shouldn’t a popular president be allowed to continue in office as long as the people want him (or her)? If not for the 22nd, my guess is that, even though Ronald Reagan is physically gone, we’d still be voting for his boots, saddle and jelly beans to this very day.
There is a downside, however.
I’m not a big “amendment” guy, but there can be good ones. The Constitution is great the way theÃ‚Â James MadisonÃ‚Â wrote it, but that doesn’t mean the Bill of Rights and a handful of subsequent Amendments weren’t necessary tack-ons. On the surface, the 22nd may seem to go against the freedom of the people to choose their leader, but I’m against repealing it, and here’s why. I’ll address this using an example both Republicans and Democrats can relate to.
The positive consequence, perhaps unintended, perhaps by design, of the 22nd AmendmentÃ‚Â isÃ‚Â that at some point, a presidentÃ‚Â will come along — one that wasn’t, shall we say, fit for office but that the proper circumstances aligned that made them repeatedly electable –Ã‚Â and the 22nd Amendment will be there to save usÃ‚Â from ourselves.
Sadly, the good ones are forced to go, but that’s a small price to pay to ensure that the bad ones are too.
Dan Quayle saw it coming
Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be accessed at DougPowers.com