November 29, 2013
Would Washington work better with a healthy duck President? (Drew Angerer/Bloomberg)
Would Washington work better with a healthy duck President? (Drew Angerer/Bloomberg)

So while we’re waiting around for the 2014 elections to tell us how we should have governed in 2013, Jonathan Zimmerman said, we could also make today count by lifting the two-term limit for Presidents. Then, for example, it would matter a lot more that Obama’s poll numbers are tanking, and other Democrats would have to stand by him and work doubly hard to ensure his policies worked.

Zimmerman has historical reasons to believe that term limits are bad — that the current two-term limit was only instituted for partisan reasons, not policy objectives etc. — but overwhelmingly, commenters expressed their concern that this is the first step in a long-awaited power grab that would install Obama for life.

wilde53

First grant amnesty with voting rights to millions of uneducated people, then abolish this messy representative system of govt altogether. Obama, first president for life.

It always begins with an op-ed. The second most whelming comment was a desire for term limits for more government offices:

baltic

I would rather take this issue one step further and suggest term limits also for members of Congress. Obama’s ineffectiveness has little to do with term limits — he’s just a klutz when it comes to policies and to working WITH people and is finding out that you cannot vote “present” forever.

With a twist from 1HappyClam: accuracy in candidate photos on their Web sites.

Do not end presidential term limits; make it three terms instead of two. Limit Supreme Court members’ tenure on the bench.

Don’t allow members of Congress to run without posting their updated photos online. Sick of looking at members’ photos from 25 years ago.

gus tries the shoe on another foot:

Just imagine no term limit and George W Bush still in the White House today. Impossible, you say, considering his incompetence and the damage his administration did to our economy and standing in the world? Not at all. They would have started a war with Iran at the end of his second term and patriotic people would have felt it their “duty” to support him during a time of war. No thanks, I’ll go for the term limit.

conare likes Obama but likes term limits more.

I would probably vote for Obama a third time over [any] of the likely Republicans, but I would not vote to repeal the 22nd. Term limits do a great deal to ensure the peaceful transition of power that has been the hallmark of the American Republic.

and George_S says we shouldn’t make this change because Obama can be a dictator if he wants already:

Who would stop Obama from running for a third term? The same constitutional forces that prevents him from unilaterally and capriciously changing the health care law’s written-in-stone target dates? Or the mechanisms in place preventing a president from using the IRS to harass politically differing opinions?

Could it be an approval rating in the thirties is the overriding emergency [spurring the power grab]?

Well, sure! And Ronald Reagan could be reelected in 2016. The presidential conditional tense is a tricky one.