Former Clinton Treasury secretary Larry Summers proposes that we switch from an eight-year, two-term limit for the union’s presidency to a six-year, single-term limit. He contends that by chucking the president’s second term, we can maybe prevent such gridlock and scandal as tends to especially afflict those second terms.
Six years is a long time to be stuck with an abysmal president, though.
And when the policies that a president imposes or encourages in his first term turn out to be an endless horror show — I’ll name no names here except Obama and Obamacare, IRS’s ideological targeting, NSA’s surveillance of us all, millions in tax dollars flung at bankrupt eco-firms like Solyndra, etc. — the more gridlock the better, seems to me. For it nobly reduces the extent to which we can be kicked in the teeth.
And I don’t like being kicked in the teeth.
However, throw in a national recall power so Americans can boot incumbents from office when they’re fed up with them, and I might accept that single six-year term, Professor.
In reply to Summers, some pundits argue that we should just drop presidential term limits altogether. We have heard the suggestion before. But I agree with blogger Matthew Dickinson. He argues in a piece for Christian Science Monitor that whatever the abuses plaguing term two, these must pale in comparison to the problems which flow from enabling presidents-for-life. Their abuses of power, around the world, are legion, and nigh unstoppable.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.