Just Another Guy with Opinions

Presidential Term Limits?

Posted by shadmia on October 10, 2006


Rep. Steny Hoyer D-Md

There is a bill currently in the House of Representatives that would repeal the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment, simply put, prohibits a President from serving more than two terms in office. This bill (H.J. RES.24.IH – dated 2/17/05) is sponsored by Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md and supported by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner R-WI.

“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.”

“We do not have to rely on rigid constitutional standards to hold our Presidents accountable,” said Hoyer. “Sufficient power resides in the Congress and the Judiciary to protect our country from tyranny.”

I strongly disagree with Mr. Hoyer and would go one step further to suggest that not only should the President be limited to two terms but also the Congress (both House and Senate) itself. There is a saying: “Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”

We see much evidence of this in the Congress, which currently has no term limits, with all the scandals and reprehensible conduct that has been going on. Congressmen have been accused of everything from taking bribes to influence peddling to sexual misconduct. Some of these accused people go back to their constituents, plead their case, and get re-elected. Over 90% of the incumbents in Congress get re-elected. This creates a system that encourages corruption.

If Congress itself is corrupt do we then need to elect a President who may be in office for decades? I personally think that eight years of Bush is quite enough and will not be sorry to see him go. However, even if there were some other President in office, I would still feel the same way. Don’t give anyone too much power because it will be abused.

When Rep. Hoyer says we don’t have to rely on “rigid constitutional standards” and would rather do away with them, we all better be very careful. Those “rigid constitutional standards” are what define this country as a democracy. We all live by those standards. We should be looking for ways to strengthen those standards to protect ourselves from tyranny, instead of depending on a corrupt Congress to do it for us.

Why strip away the safeguards that are already in place!?

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