Atlantis Alumni

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Reform The Presidency: One Six-Year Term

In the city we have the city fire department, with paid firefighters and lots of stations and equipment paid for with our tax dollars. In the suburbs volunteer fire departments are the norm, and Cherry Grove is no exception. We have one particular problem here, though. We lack a road through the town. This means that we can't have a fire truck, a "pumper," and so we have these hybrid fire trucks that look sort of like golf carts on steroids. Unfortunately, the insurance companies feel that since we don't have a "pumper" truck, we really don't have a fire department at all, at least that's what I was told when I asked my insurance agent why my fire insurance rates were so high. Chalk it up to living out here on the barrier island.

The good news: pundits are declaring that Junior Bush has entered the official "lame duck" period of his presidency. The prime indicator of this was the collapse of the immigration bill, which he was pushing for. It seems as though he will be unable to get any additional parts of his agenda through before he leaves. Whew! Is that ever good news! Just think of what he tried to do to the country: he tried and failed to destroy social security and to pass a federal amendment banning gay marriage. It's bad enough what he has done to us with Iraq - turned us into a rogue nation that flaunts the Geneva Conventions, tortures detainees, attacks sovereign nations under the premise of "preemptive war," etc. His tax cuts for the rich have further exacerbated the gaps between the rich and the rest of us and have resulted in a massive deficit that will take a miracle to erase. Yes, it's great that Junior in now a lame duck. He was way lame-brained already, we just added the duck part recently.

The case of Junior Bush reminds me of one of the reforms I used to teach, one that could improve the presidency by de-politicizing it, and one that would lessen the lame duck effect. Namely, change the term of office of the president to one six-year term with a one term limit. If this were to be instituted, presidents would have a lot less incentive to be swayed by the political winds, and more incentive to do the right thing for the country, and thereby help their own legacy. And, if we were to elect another walking disaster like Junior Bush, we'd only have him for six years, instead of eight. It's an idea whose time has come.


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