The rumor mill is churning and word has it that at least one member of congress has proposed HJ Res.5 (House Joint Resolution 5) that would be a first step to repeal the twenty-second ammendment to the U.S Constitution. The amendment added in the early 1950’s prohibits a President from serving more than two full terms as President. The Joint resolution is being sponsored by U.S Congressman Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) but reportedly has no co-sponsors and scant support. Here is what the legislation states:
Title: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.
There are those out there who support such a measure. Former President Ronald Reagan once expressed support for such a measure and I would imagine that ex-President Bill Clinton would feel the same way. Much of the ambitious agenda that any President has can not be enacted or come to fruition in a period of four to eight years. However on balance I think that to repeal the twenty second amendment would be taking a big risk and would receive tepid if any real support from the American public. The only President to serve more than two terms as President was Franklin Roosevelt, all others stayed with in the limit of two four year terms, a tradition in a way that was begun by the very first President George Washington.
Most Americans, especially after a president has served eight years, grow tired of a President. The last two years of a President’s second term are largely unproductive. Thus Political Scientist Larry Sabato’s proposal that a president be restricted to one six year term rather then two four year terms. Besides, do we really want Presidents running over and over again for re-election non-stop, every for years the same candidates in the same quadrennial cycle from only two major political parties? Is there anyone who really wants another possible four years of Bush/Cheney? Or even more than eight years of any president? With the recent amassing of power in the Executive branch and the weakling of many of our checks and balances, as well as the advantages those steeped in office already have over any challengers; removing such a restriction would be regrettable.