Are we in for a Third-Term with President Obama?

It has been over 6 months since Congress reconvened for a new legislative session.  I knew that the agenda was on a downhill-train course from the moment that Mr. Obama was elected President, but I believe that the velocity of that train has far exceeded all anticipation.  We have been inundated with “change” so quickly that heads are spinning for those who care to stay involved.  Others may have already decided it is too much effort to get into the fray.

So now, a full six months ex-post facto, I came across an obscure link to something that has quietly been brewing behind the scenes, while we were busy being boondoggled by the enormous debt we have been handed.  Here it is–a movement to rescind the 22nd Amendment which limits the Presidential office holder to two terms.

This proposed amendment was introduced in the Senate on January 6, 2009.  Talk about not waiting for the dust to settle!  Congress had just begun the new session, and the President was not yet inaugurated. So why the rush?

Part of the answer is in the wording of the proposal itself.  Seven years has been established as the ratifcation period, based on the time frame from several prior amendments.  If this change does indeed go through all the channels within that time, we will be in January, 2016–just enough time for the President to begin a campaign for a third term.

Although several similar changes to the constitution have bee proposed over the past fifty years,  the idea generally never made it out of committee. [1]  So why has it come to the surface now? 

Here are some possible ideas:

  • The Demoocrats were anticipating getting their filbuster-proof majority in the Senate, so this would be an ideal time to give a show of support to their leader.
  • Obama’s plans for “change you can believe in” began with an enormous base of support, so the state ratification process might go more quickly than expected so the darling of the populace could be honored with the right to run for a third term.
  • Big change will require a big bankroll for implementation (as we are seeing), and a longer time frame is needed to make all the pieces work together.

I find it interesting that  Congressman Jose Serrano is the only sponsor of the resolution, AND almost no action has been taken on it:

Sponsor: Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] (introduced 1/6/2009)      Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 2/9/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

What a pity that the party that seems to get all the breaks does not seem able to capitalize on this golden opportunity. 

Perhaps President Obama’s mantle of influence is not strong enough to carry him through to a third term after, and we need not be too concerned.

********************
Here are the details of the proposed amendment:

Congressman Jose Serrano has introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to Repeal the Twenty-Second Amendment.

  H. J. RES. 5

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.

 January 6, 2009

Mr. SERRANO introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


 

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.

 Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:

 

`Article–

 

    `The twenty-second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.’.

 

JOINT RESOLUTION

 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

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