Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Recommended: "Abolish presidential term limits"

Expand Messages
  • gregcannon1@yahoo.com
    gregcannon1@yahoo.com recommends this article from The Christian Science Monitor I m actually inclinced to disagree with Zimmerman, but he makes a strong case.
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 26, 2006
      gregcannon1@... recommends this article from The Christian Science Monitor

      I'm actually inclinced to disagree with Zimmerman, but he makes a strong case.

      ======================= ADVERTISEMENT ==============================

      Sign up for the Monitor Treeless Edition!


      Click here to read this story online:

      Headline: Abolish presidential term limits
      Byline: Jonathan Zimmerman
      Date: 12/27/2006

      (NEW YORK)The people - and the experts - have spoken: It's time to change course
      in Iraq. But it still doesn't seem as though President Bush really
      heard them.
      And why should he, really? Under the 22nd Amendment to the
      Constitution, Mr. Bush is barred from seeking a third term of office.
      So he doesn't have to worry about his dreadful poll numbers, November's
      disastrous congressional elections, or anything else. Come January
      2009, he's history.
      That's why we need to let Mr. Bush - and all future presidents - run as
      many times as they'd like.
      As Bush admitted, his party took a "thumpin' " in the midterm
      elections. Since then, however, he has done very little to alter US
      policies in Iraq. He turned a deaf ear to the Iraq Study Group (ISG),
      which called for a gradual withdrawal of US ground forces and a
      diplomatic engagement with Iran and Syria. In private, Bush reportedly
      derided the study with profanity; in public, he continues to insist
      that the US will achieve "victory" in Iraq.
      And while Bush says he's considering "all options" in Iraq, he refuses
      to be "rushed." After the ISG report was published Dec. 6, he announced
      that he wouldn't offer anything new until after the Christmas holidays.
      Then, just before Christmas, the White House began talking about a
      troop "surge," which some top military officials reportedly oppose. So
      if you were looking for a wiser Iraq policy in your stocking ... too
      True, Bush did fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. But at this
      month's farewell ceremony for Mr. Rumsfeld, Bush continued to mouth the
      absurd pieties that voters rejected in November. Under Rumsfeld's
      watch, Bush declared, "the United States military helped the Iraqi
      people establish a constitutional democracy in the heart of the Middle
      East, a watershed event in the story of freedom."
      You can't have democracy, or freedom, without the rule of law. And
      that's precisely what has collapsed in Iraq, as the American voters
      But America's bizarrely complacent commander-in-chief insists that he's
      not that worried about Iraq, the voters, or anything else. "I must tell
      you, I'm sleeping a lot better than people would assume," Bush recently
      told People magazine.
      Does anyone believe that Bush would sleep so soundly if he were
      standing for reelection? No way. Of course, we have no idea what he
      would actually do. But it's fair to presume that he'd do something
      besides repeating the same smug bromides that brought the United States
      to this impasse in the first place.
      America's early presidents established a two-term tradition, fearing
      that a leader who served too long would evolve into a dictator or king.
      But they were wrong. Franklin Roosevelt was elected four times, between
      1932 and 1944, when he rallied the nation during the Great Depression
      and then led it toward victory in World War II. Even stalwart
      Republicans such as Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan - hardly FDR's
      ideological soul mates - have declared him one of America's greatest
      In 1947, after Roosevelt died, a new GOP majority in Congress pushed
      through a two-term amendment to the Constitution; four years later, it
      was ratified by the states. Once they won back the White House in 1952,
      however, Republicans started to doubt the wisdom of their handiwork.
      "The United States ought to be able to choose for its president anybody
      it wants, regardless of the number of terms he has served," Dwight
      Eisenhower said on the eve of his 1956 reelection. "I have got the
      utmost faith in the long-term common sense of the American people."
      This same common sense led the American people to reject three of the
      past five presidents who sought reelection: Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter,
      and George H. W. Bush. So it's hardly clear that removing the two-term
      limit would spawn an "imperial presidency" or "leaders-for-life," as
      some Americans argue.
      Indeed, as Eisenhower sensed, term limits reflect a loss of faith in
      democracy itself. If we believe in a government for and by the people,
      we should allow everyone - including Bush - to run for America's
      highest office. That would make the presidency less imperial, not more
      so, because presidents who were eligible for reelection would be more
      likely to heed the people who chose them.
      With Democrats assuming majority power next month, Congress has a fresh
      opportunity to make things right. The new House majority leader, Steny
      Hoyer, has proposed a repeal of presidential term limits in every
      session since 1985. Now he may have the political muscle to get it
      The rest would be up to the states, at least 38 of which have to ratify
      any amendment to the Constitution to make it official. Fifty-five years
      ago, they made a big mistake by restricting presidents to two terms.
      It's time to give them - and the American people - another opportunity.
      Are you listening, Mr. President? If the public could vote for you
      again, perhaps you would.
      * Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history and education at New York
      University. He is the author of "Innocents Abroad: American Teachers in
      the American Century."
      (c) Copyright 2006 The Christian Science Monitor. All rights reserved.

      Click here to email this story to a friend:

      The Christian Science Monitor-- an independent daily newspaper providing context and clarity on national and international news, peoples and cultures, and social trends. Online at http://www.csmonitor.com

      Click here to order a free sample copy of the print edition of the Monitor:

      ======================= ADVERTISEMENT ==============================

      Sign up to have the Monitor's headlines sent directly to your inbox.

    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.