A Limit on Presidents

From Ralph Hipp

Critics who wonder what difference this race for President makes, probably think we're about to be governed and ruled by President Obamney for four years.  Is there any difference in the parties?

Here's one difference to think about.  Barack Obama is in the battle of that other four-year tradition; winning a 2nd term to burnish his legacy and his place in history.  Mitt Romney is vindicating the President race of his father, George Romney, in 1968; while charging into battle to win his first term as the 45th President of the United States.

They're spending upwards of $750 million on a job that pays $400,000 a year.  But it's for the ultimate ego trip, the lure of the power they crave that will make this a 2% to 3% point race and a fight to the finish.

It's time again to make a suggestion that could curb all this madness.  A single 6-year term as President.  Six years?  That's one term for a U.S. Senator.  Guys like Orrin Hatch in Utah have served SIX, 6-year terms.. 36 years in the Chamber... and he is in the fight of his life to make it 7.  That is far too long to serve.

The idea of a single 6-year Presidential term has been floated by William Jennings Bryan, the sage of Fairview, Nebraska who was a brilliant orator but not quite as good a politician -- and never made it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  One guy who did, Jimmy Carter, had also resurrected the idea of a 6-year term during his 4-year term.  It would have changed history.  Richard Nixon would have left office anyway shortly after the time he resigned in disgrace after Watergate.  Ronald Reagan would have departed with his head held high after what would surely have been a fizzled out controversy over Iran-Contra. 

Bill Clinton would have already made the bed he had lain in, departing after his six-year term with much less of the political bloodbath from the lawsuits and impeachment fight over lying about his affairs.  And while all that was happening, Osama bin Laden was planning the 9-11 attacks because he knew no one in Washington was paying any attention to him.

Even in the campaign 100 years ago, Teddy Roosevelt shot down the one time, 6-year term idea for the part platform because he thought it would be far too much time to put up with a dud, and it would not be enough time for high-minded reformers like himself who would need both their well-deserved 4-year terms.  He could have run again as President in 1912 if he hadn't promised to leave and put his hand-picked choice, William Howard Taft, in there.  Then he wanted back in again anyway.

It was his nephew, FDR, who politely thumbed his nose at two terms, saying he needed to continue running World War II.  Agreed.  He was in for two 6-years terms anyway, before Congress made 8 years tops the law of the land.   rh

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