January 7, 2013

Because things are going so swimmingly, and because, well, forward!

And let’s be realistic here: sometimes in order to go forward, you have to redefine it to mean backward — be it with de-industrialization policies, the tearing down of damns, the suppression of oil and gas exploration, the return to a race- and sex- and orientation-based system of special pleading and governmental dispensation, the desire to secure a steady economic class system by destroying the middle class bourgeoisie and coopting the big industrialists to form a de facto fascist framework of government regulated crony capitalism, and, of course, the push for populist dictatorships and a permanent ruling class, which is what Rep Jose Serrano evidently has in mind, and has had in mind for the last decade plus.   What makes it so chilling now — other Presidents of both parties, including Reagan, have supported similar repeal efforts of the 22nd Amendment — is that, well, we have in place a Chief Executive who I have no doubt believes such a move would be a step in the right direction for this country, not because he believes in the wisdom of the voters, but rather because fundamental transformation is a time-consuming undertaking and all, and elections can be massaged and managed if needs be, as is evidenced by certain Philly precincts where Obama won 99% of the vote, or other precincts in which he received more votes than there were registered voters:

A Democratic congressman Jose Serrano on Friday introduced a resolution seeking to repeal the 22nd Amendment and thus remove the limit on how many terms a US president may serve in office.

Although some websites are reporting the move as evidence in support of Obama-conspiracy theories, reports say that the Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) has introduced similar legislation every Congress since 2001.

According to The Blaze, the 22nd Amendment which prohibits any US president from serving more than two full terms in office was passed by Congress in 1947 and was ratified in 1951 after Franklin Delano Roosevelt served four terms.

Although Serrano’s bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, it is not expected to go far. The resolution has no cosponsors and it would require the approval of both the House and Senate and three-fourths of the states to amend the Constitution.

According to The Blaze, this is not the first time that effort has been made to repeal the 22nd Amendment. The late Rep. Guy Vander Jagt, who was then the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, introduced a bill to repeal the Amendment in 1986 and allow President Ronald Reagan a third term. Vander Jagt said: “The 22nd Amendment is an insult to American voters who are wise and well-informed.”

A similar resolution introduced by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in 1989 also did not pass. In 2005, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) attempted an unsuccessful bipartisan move cosponsored by Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.).

Several presidents have, understandably, expressed support of allowing presidents to serve more than two terms. Reagan reportedly supported Jagt’s move. He said the 22nd Amendment violated the right of Americans to “vote for someone as often as they want to do.” The Blaze reports that former President Bill Clinton also spoke in support of presidents serving more than two terms.

First, and in all seriousness, let me applaud Rep Serrano for at least going about this the right way:  he recognizes that a repeal of the 22nd Amendment is necessary to re-create a system in which a permanent political class can gather favors, clients, power, and the monied infrastructure to set up long-running political dynasties (as we’ve seen them do in Congress or at the state level), and so he has introduced the appropriate legislation.  Whereas most progressives have decided that regulatory back-door repeals of certain Constitutional protections are the way to go — including the current and longstanding push to erode the second amendment.

In short, I feel like Rep Serrano at least decided to buy me dinner and a few cocktails before trying to bend me over the couch and have his way with me.  And that at least makes him a gentlemen rapist.

The rest comes down to the question of intent:  and I’m of the opinion that the left pushes for a repeal of the 22nd Amendment because it figures it can work the system in such a way that it can bring Chicago- / Tammany Hall-style politics to the national level, whereby the illusion of representative government is maintained, while in fact the cards are all carefully stacked in the electoral deck to give them the game always and forever.  Whereas for their part, (most of) those on the right who have supported similar challenges to term limiting — and for many years I was with them — believe in the principle that underlies the position:  that a free people need not be limited in their choices arbitrarily.  Others, of course, are just as power-hungry and douchey as the left, but those kind are easy to spot.  Many of them, for example, come in orange and weep a lot.

But I digress.

Sadly, the presupposition for such a principled anti-term limit position is that, as Vander Jagt noted, it requires “American voters who are wise and well-informed.”  And in this post-modern age, where “reality” is what the activist media manages to package into soundbites narratives and distribute through carefully crafted memes, and an electoral consensus is nothing more than a coalition of special interest client groups willing to join together temporarily in order to secure a system wherein the government spigot is open to them in exchange for their votes, American voters who are “wise and well-informed” beyond their own immediate self-interests are few and far between.

So as filthy as it makes me feel, I not only oppose a repeal of the 22nd Amendment, but I now support term-limiting every single politician.  The only way to change the culture in politics is to change the culture of politics.  And the only way to do that is to return political office into a public servant paradigm, not professionalize it and allow destructive, liberty-stealing con artists to keep voting themselves more “revenue” and giving themselves raises and exemptions, even as they hold us, their subjects, to a different standard.

The emphasis of politics must be returned to the states and localities.  Were it up to me, I’d wait until everyone in DC had left to go home for the evening, then pour bronze over the whole edifice.

It would be like creating a giant trophy to the re-assertion of our individual liberties and the salvation of the American experiment.  Plus, it would look really boss from space, should we ever go back up there.

(h/t newrouter)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 8:46am
8 comments | Trackback

Comments (8)

  1. I’d be willing to repeal the 22nd amendment if, at the same time, they repealed the 16th (federal income tax), 17th (popular election of Senators), 23rd (DC electoral votes), and 26th (require voting at age 18).

  2. And throw in a sunset requirement, retroactive where necessary, on all laws — and a 120-day (at most) limit on each year’s normal congressional session, with strict limits on why Congress can be called into special session once the 120 (at most) days have passed.

  3. Serving in public office used to mean exactly that — “serving”. People would make the sacrifice to leave their farms or shops or smithy or law offices and go to DC (which at the time was a mosquito-infested swamp land that was classified as “hazardous duty” by most countries until just a few decades back) to represent their neighbors to the far distant capital. After a few years, they would get lonely and want to come back home and take over doing what they really wanted to do – run the shop or smithy or office, in the field for which they were trained.

    It wasn’t until the creation of the occupation “politician” that people started looking for ways to make that their lifelong career choice, switching offices and residences around as far as you could until it became “your turn” for the big office upstairs. Thus a congressman could become a Under-Secretary, then an Ambassador, then over to the lobbyists side, all the while doing the Georgetown cocktail circuit and keeping in good with the old crowd while teaching the fresh blood what they need to do to maintain their cushy jobs (to wit, quit making waves and don’t pretend that you are suddenly this generation’s “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” because the rules have been re-written to prevent that sort of nonsense).

    My first step would be to cut the salaries of all 535 elected Congressional seats to $1 per year, and cut each of their staffs to two people (one to handle correspondence, one to handle scheduling), who will make no more than the average salary for school teachers in their home state.

    See how many of them want to run for office then…

  4. To that, McGehee, add a requirement that anyone who has at some point in their lives held a license to practice law is barred from being seated in either the House or Senate.

  5. Darth, that sounds kinda like a certain interpretation of that “real 13th amendment” thing I’ve heard about. I’m not sure the voluntary adoption of the honorific “esquire” qualifies as a title of nobility, but I can certainly sympathize with the sentiment.

  6. Interesting link, I wasn’t thinking of it in that sense. My concern was more about lawyers writing laws for other lawyers to argue with yet other lawyers about the right way to interpret them, and make tons o’ cash in the process.

  7. And that’s the part I sympathize with.

  8. This Serrano suggestion is the “plow right through them” part of the admonition “Once you’ve got them thoroughly demoralized and prepared to give up, plow right through them!”, ain’t it?

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