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Why Not Let Bill Clinton Run For A Third Term?

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Now the conservatives out there are going to think I'm off my rocker, but Bill Maher in his latest show, Real Time with Bill Maher, ended with a commentary that suggested such.

I can't find a transcript of the show yet because it doesn't seem to be online. The gist of it was "Why not let the two people that everyone wants to see run as President, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Clinton, go for it." It was of course followed up with a few jokes on them both smoking pot, grabbing asses and liking hummers. The Terminator versus The Sperminator.


But I think it's a legitimate question. There was recently new legislation put forward by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California, that would allow anyone who has been a U.S. citizen for 20 years run for president. This new Legislation seems fine to me. Someone who has been a citizen for that long has been in country for probably 25-30 years. They know how the country runs, they have a feel for the culture and have put forth a lot of effort towards our country.

On the Clinton side of things I really don't see the two term limit being that beneficial to the country if a leader is doing well and has enough support to be elected a third time. Putting politics aside, why would you want to get rid of a great leader? Ignore the Clinton angle for a minute and just ask yourself the question "if a leader was truly great, why would the American people want to kick him/her to the curb if they were still willing to keep things moving forward?"

My immediate reaction when Maher put this forth, like within the first 10 seconds of hearing it, was that it would basically be like having a king. But the truth is a king isn't elected and anyone wanting to go beyond 2 terms would have to be elected. They wouldn't just magically get a third term unless their first two terms fit with what the American people want.

Let me take a Kerry approach to this and state that "I was for term limits, before I was against them". I really see a need for term limits in the case of producing a quagmire of just sending the same guy to the Senate or Congress year after year for no apparent reason. There are plenty of people who have been Senators for decades, but have seemed to be mediocre. However, if someone is really doing a good job then why shouldn't they be allowed to continue?

I don't really know where I stand on this. I see pros and cons to both angles of the issue, but don't really know how to implement it in a way that prevents stagnation yet allows for the greater good.


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Posted by Digger on September 26, 2004 11:27 PM (Permalink)

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Your "I really don't see the two term limit being that beneficial to the country" statement arbitrarily dismisses the fact that 2/3 of Congress passed the amendment and 3/4 of the states ratified it. Your argument needs to address why you think the overwhelmingly majority of the population of the U.S. was wrong for amending the Constitution in the first place. Bottom line is that term limits ameliorate the domineering power of incumbency.

With respect to Clinton getting a third term, it's fine with me as long as he serves the first two. Tacking on a conviction and sentence for giving the Chinese secret missile guidance technology would suit me fine. But first, I'd like Bubba to spend some time in the slammer for perjury and abuse of power. As long as the terms aren't concurrent, give him as many as the law allows.

From a strictly conservative viewpoint, I'm unaware of any significant problems associated with the two term limit for the president and, therefore, don't see any need to change it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Posted by: Interested-Particpant on September 27, 2004 06:42 AM

Response trackbacked and waiting on my blog, but Interested-Participant summarises my Clinton argument fairly well.

Posted by: SparseMatrix on September 27, 2004 06:57 AM

Well both 'reforms' would require a constitutional amendment, a process that tends to take some time. Given our other priorities, and the obvious benefice being granted to two men, I doubt it would garner that much support.

Posted by: MartiniPundit on September 27, 2004 02:24 PM

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