Think We Can Say Goodbye To Obama In 2017? Think Again
January 20, 2016 1 Comment
Well, one year from today, we’ll have a new president, for good or ill. That’s up to us, between now and then. If we do the right thing, perhaps we’ll travel to those “sunlit uplands of peace” that Churchill talked about, if we don’t we’ll likely descend into the chaos, in one way or another. Either way, we’re going to be stuck listening to Obama natter on for a good many years, just like Carter, and for the same reason.
You see, if you accomplished something, like Washington, or Lincoln, or either Roosevelt, or Eisenhower, or Reagan, you don’t have to defend your legacy, others will take care of it, even if you’re dead. But if you were ineffectual, you have to spend every minute of the rest of your life protesting how great you were, like Carter has done. And make no mistake, Carter was a pretty good president compared to Obama. So you can guess how strident the coming years will be, as all the ‘true believers’ attempt to defend their failed hero.
Jack Butler had some thoughts about this, as well:
The authors of the Federalist Papers, a series of Founding-era “op-eds” that advocated adopting the Constitution, predicted this—specifically, in Federalist No. 72, which defended unlimited presidential terms. It argued that unlimited terms would keep presidents in power for as long as they could get reelected, which would encourage better behavior, as opposed to automatic removal, which could encourage recklessness if removal from office resulted regardless.
It would also limit the number of dissatisfied ex-presidents haunting the public square. “Would it promote the peace of the community, or the stability of government,” Federalist No. 72 asks,
…to have half a dozen men who had had credit enough to be raised to the seat of the supreme magistracy, wandering among the people like discontented ghosts, and sighing for a place which they were destined never more to possess?
Is there anything the founders did not think of?
He also said this:
The Cult of the Presidency
Although these examples suggest a partisan divide, the ex-presidential temptation is bipartisan, for three reasons. First, the aura of the presidency has risen and become a sort of currency, with which one can buy all sorts of influence and attention. Second, our media environment welcomes these newly elevated figures to lend authority to whatever narratives happen to duel on a given day. Third, and perhaps most important, the conventional wisdom of a president’s time in office is still forming in its immediate aftermath, which encourages the post-president to attempt to shape the inchoate opinion of this legacy.One doubts Obama will spend his life after the presidency ‘on a beach somewhere drinking out of a coconut.’
Will President Obama resist these powerful incentives or succumb to them? Evidence from the Obama universe so far suggests not. According to The New York Times, Obama seeks a “blend” of the quiet and the loud post-presidency, as David Plouffe, his former campaign manager, put it.
Yay, us! Something to look forward to! 🙂
The serious lesson in here is that the president has less power than we (and the candidates, usually) think he really has to change things, that’s why we endured as long as we have.