The return of content

So I was just reading Article II of the Constitution, and it got me thinking: Wouldn't now be a good time for a Democrat to propose a Constitutional amendment repealing Presidential term limits? I'm going to ignore the substantive merits of such a proposal in this post (Isn't the fact that Jed Bartlet was in favor of such a repeal enough? I hope so, it's all I have) and talk about how great it would be politically.

It looks far too self-serving to propose eliminating term limits when someone in your party is an incumbent (this is in some ways the reverse of the problem where the minority party is always the one complaining about gerrymandering). But the Democrats don't have to worry about this, because Bush is anything but a Democrat. Also, Bush is amazingly unpopular right now, so there's far less risk than normally exists for an incumbent of him being elected for a third term (Updated: originally said “elected for a third time” but edited to take into account Bush v. Gore) (a truly terrible outcome, and even the lesser than usual risk which my plan entails might be too much.). But the really great (political part) is that most likely Bush will try for a third term. This would almost literally destroy the Republican Party's ability to do anything. Too many Senators are too ambitious to possibly stay on with the Bush agenda if they know that doing so strengthens him and hurts their own chances at the presidency.

While the more I think about a third Bush term the less I favor this, let me throw out one positive argument that is not adequately developed in the Wikipedia entry on the topic: it greatly increases the incentive for Presidents to think in the long term, which is not currently sufficiently strong. And another interesting point which I'll borrow from my professor: Second terms following the passage of the second amendment have had a marked tendency towards scandal. While this seems like an argument in favor of repeal, it might not be, since the suggestion of his post is that just as much scandal-worthy activity takes place in term I, but less is done about it because of fear of the President's power in his second term.