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Why are there presidential term limits?

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ringmastery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:40 PM
Original message
Why are there presidential term limits?
What was the logic behind the constitutional amendment for term limits?

Why shouldn't Clinton, or anyone else for example, run for president as long as he wants? Go through the primary process and the voters.
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LittleDannySlowhorse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. If there weren't term limits
Ronald Reagan would still be president.
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. it was due to FDR
he would still be prez without them
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. FDR was seen as a traitor to his class
The rich and powerful didn't want to take the chance that another president would be so loved by poor folks that they'd overwhelmingly reelect him 3 times. His reforms meant that the working people got a better deal and the rich got richer more slowly.

The rich knew at that time that they'd never be numerous enough to unseat a popular president who did things they didn't like. They hadn't anticipated Reagan's coalition based on god, guns, and bigotry.
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leyton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. They were understood since George Washington.
He established the precedent of only serving two terms (which remained until FDR), along with many other precedents (like isolationism, also broken by FDR).
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lastknowngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. so we don't have kings
expect that to change very soon.
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IronLionZion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. It was a tradition started by George Washington
and it later became law. Clinton would be president for quite some time if it weren't for term limits. It's good to change an administration every 4-8 years. It helps prevent tyranny. I don't want to think about what would happen if Dubya wins even a second term, let alone a third!
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LostInTheMaise Donating Member (250 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. I'm not sure Clinton would have made three terms
After Perot helped him I'm sure the cons would have devised a plan in 2000 to take him out.
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LittleDannySlowhorse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I don't agree at all
I firmly believe Clinton would have been easily re-elected to a third term. For example, he would have so humiliated Bush* in the debates that I might almost have felt sympathy for him for as long as three full seconds. Clinton was an absolute master campaigner --- no contest.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
LittleDannySlowhorse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I respectfully disagree
Just in Clinton's case. Gore has an undeniable command of the facts, but Clinton had that PLUS charm, a lethal combination.
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elperromagico Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. A Republican reaction to the 12 years of FDR,
if I'm not mistaken. I believe the Republicans gained control of one or both houses of Congress in the 1946 elections, and one of the first things they pushed through was the 22nd Amendment, which created Presidential term limits.

Of course, the argument has been made that, given extenuating circumstances, a President should be eligible to stand for a third term. But, as an above poster said, can you imagine 12+ years of Reagan?
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yes, but not just Republicans
Democrats in his party hated him, too, and many wanted him out of office.
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Josh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. True, and yet it was Teddy Roosevelt who first RAN for a third term -
he ran for the Republican nomination after his successor, Taft, had abandoned his progressive platform and become very protectionist and conservative in his policies. He lost the nomination though and formed the Progressive Party, also known as the Bull Moose party. he ran a strong second, leaving the incumbent president third in the race with a showing of 8 electoral votes; the split between Taft and Teddy allowed Woodrow Wilson to win.

Teddy Roosevelt said that he believed the "two term rule" established by Washington only meant that a president shouldn't serve more than two consecutive terms. Uh huh.
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Kal Belgarion Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Am I mistaken, or did...
Teddy Roosevelt not serve a full first term? McKinley was shot, and TR was bumped up into office in '01. He ran for President for the first time in '04, then opted out of the '08 race. Then, angered at what Taft did as President, he ran again in 1912, for his second *elected* term.

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elperromagico Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. Grant *attempted* to seek a third term
in 1880, but he couldn't garner sufficient support at the Republican convention, and the nomination went to James Garfield.

TR, I think, was one of those Presidents who absolutely loved the job, and couldn't stand to see someone else in office. Some Presidents are glad to be rid of the office; others, like TR or Clinton, hate being out of office.

I think Clinton would willingly run for a third term if he had the chance. He's still young enough (younger than Bush, in fact), and could probably still garner enough support.
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LittleDannySlowhorse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. 20+ years!
It's making me feel extremely old, but I'm realizing that Reagan was re-elected 20 years ago. Hard to believe it's been that long.

I think the initial damage from Reagan's presidency is still being felt. The current crop of neocons view him in messiah-like terms, and I'm convinced that everything they're trying to do is meant to be a direct line from the man himself.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. Yes, started with FDR
who was already very ill when elected to his fourth term and was very ill when attended the Yalta meeting.

Some say that we not have such a sick representative at that meeting, the USSR would not have retained that iron first over Eastern Europe for 40 years.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
18. 22nd Amendment
22nd Amendment

http://www.usconstitution.net/constamnotes.html#Am22

Since the presidency of George Washington, only one thing could be said to be totally consistent - that no President had the job for more than two full terms. Washington had been asked to run for a third term in 1796, but he made it quite clear that he had no intention of doing so; that an orderly transition of power was needed to set the Constitution in stone. And so it was for almost 150 years.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was first elected President in 1932, and re-elected in 1936. When it came time for the Democrats to nominate a candidate for the Presidency in 1940, two things had happened. First, the Republicans had made great gains in Congress in the 1938 elections. And Hitler happened. Europe was in the throes of a great war, with trouble in the Pacific, too. A change away from Roosevelt, who had lead the nation through the Great Depression, did not seem wise. He was nominated for an unprecedented third term, and won. It was not a landslide victory, however, and it is debatable that FDR would have had a third term had it not been for the war. When 1944 rolled around, changing leaders in the middle of World War II, which the United States was now fully engaged in, also seemed unwise, and FDR ran for and was elected to, a fourth term.

His life was nearly over, however, and his Vice President, Harry Truman, became President upon FDR's death less than 100 days after his inauguration. Though FDR's leadership was seen by many as a key reason that the U.S. came out of WWII victorious, the Congress was determined, once the war ended, to ensure that Washington's self-imposed two-term limit become the law of the land. Specifically excepting Truman from its provisions, the 22nd Amendment passed Congress on March 21, 1947. After Truman won a second term in 1948, it was ratified on February 27, 1951. Truman could have run for a third term, but bowed out early before campaigning began.
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