There is a cute little time bomb reposing in the federal legislative hopper, just waiting to explode at the proper time.
This planned maneuver, in the form of a resolution, was slipped into the mix last January, very quietly.
It is interesting that this effort was introduced by a Democrat, no doubt at the instigation of the neo-conservative clique in the White House.
The instrument is titled Joint House Resolution 11. The purpose of this move is clearly labeled on paperwork submitted to the House: 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.
Fox News fans will love this one. It means, if passed, that we could have Dubya for the next 20 years or longer. What wonderful news for those of us trying to understand what became of the constitutional republic we knew as America.
The 22nd Amendment states: No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President, shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.
Like HJR 11, the original amendment required ratification by three-fourths of the states within seven years from the time it was submitted.
The new resolution was introduced by Rep. Jose Serrano, a Puerto Rican by birth, who is in his sixth term as a congressman from the 16th Congressional District of New Yorkthe Bronx.
Serrano serves on the House Appropriations Committee and also is the ranking Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary and Related Agencies Subcommittee. He also is a member of the Homeland Security subcommittee.
After it was submitted in the House, it was referred to the Judiciary Committee where it waits for further action. As for Homeland Security, Serrano has voted for several bills that would establish wide-open borders, grant favorable tuition rates and amnesty for illegal aliens and voted for abolishing the Immigration and Naturalization Service and moved to revise laws to prevent local law enforcement from enforcing INS laws.
Serrano also opposed a measure that would have put troops on our borders to control the ingress of illegal aliens, and he sought amnesty for more than 500,000 illegals from Central America in 1997. Two years later, he was co-sponsor of a bill to give amnesty to one million illegal aliens from Haiti and Central America. A real servant of the American people, eh?
Term limits have been a controversial idea since they were first proposed. The restriction on the presidency was put in place after Franklin Roosevelt won four terms in that office.
It was put in place by a Republican Congress that feared things were moving toward a dictatorship in this country.
Ironically, it is a Republican-controlled body that now seeks, on the QT, to peel it away. The 22nd Amendment was proposed in 1947 and ratified during the Eisenhower administration in 1951.
The argument against any limits boils down to the claim that such restrictions limit the power of the people, especially if imposed on Congress. Opponents argue that seniority is necessary to accomplish very much in the way of legislation.
But the fact is, much of the peoples power has been given up by default. The neo-conservatives running the federal government have managed to scare the stuffing out of the majority to the point where they have surrendered most of their rights in favor of phony security.
George Washington, in his wisdom, decided to serve no more than two terms as president. Any longer, he believed, could give one man too much power and influence. His action became precedent until the time of Teddy Roosevelt and later FDR.
Dubya appears to be ready to top FDR. He intends to stay in the White House indefinitely. He cannot do that under the existing Constitution, hence the new resolution.
Do you really want Bush in the Oval Office for the next 20 or 30 years? If you think the country has been seriously damaged now, what would it be then?