Monday, May 15, 2006

Sharin' The Communion Kool-Aid

Deep swallow, breathe hard, all together now:

Better to lose!
Better to lose!

Impeach Bush! (See also here and here, etc.)
Impeach Bush! (This post helpfully provides links to specific bloggers of the right who are calling for this, which is why I'm not linking separate examples.)

I. Hate. Second-Term. Presidencies. All. Of. Them.

Bring on term-of-office reform: One six (or even five?)-year-term presidential term (anyone wanting a second bite at the apple can sit it out for six to twelve years).

And don't give me that lame-duck nonsense; I don't buy it anymore as a trump card. Why the heck do we think what we have is better now or at any time during second terms for at least the past 40 years?

We don't seem to have a problem with continuous, supposed lame-duckedness on the part of U.S. Reps, who serve two-year terms--not to mention the continuous fundraising etc. etc. necessitated by that system. (Of course, I think that at this point, that term is utterly ridiculous and largely destructive, and I would strongly support going to four years and some sort of limit on consecutive terms.)

What, am I crazy? Perhaps so. Maybe even probably. But think about it: We essentially find ourselves having, unwittingly or not, adopted (or at least fallen into) a pattern of regularly trying by means other than elections to "get the bums out" after five to six years anyway, or at least wrestle them to distraction and ineffectiveness. Even if/when outright impeachment isn't the goal, the net effect is to bring productive work mostly to a standstill: Call it death by probes, if you like.

Why not cut to the chase? Why not truly "put it to the people" at what appears to be the natural, organic point at which everyone gets fed up rather than go through all these other machinations, which are utterly destructive for periods of time far exceeding two four-year presidential terms?

By my lights, the pattern is playing itself out in such a way that the merits of whatever case can be made for investigating/censuring/impeaching specific presidents are almost beside the larger point. We have gotten ourselves on the mother of all hamster wheels, and however much true-believers and addicted political partisans may find that enervating, the rest of us, I suspect, would prefer our country not be in a perpetual, dizzy spin.

Maybe it's time to face up to the possibility that, for whatever reason, no person and administration will ever be up to the task of leading this country in a scandal-free fashion. Perhaps longevity by definition breeds arrogance, hubris, disconnection from the people, obsession with legacy, cover-ups, governance-by-latest-questionable-poll, beltway blindness and whatever else one wants to add to the list. We certainly know that partisan sniping and self-serving party (and/or movement) "loyalty" can't make it through even half of a single term before unleashing its worst: That bit-champing starts before dawn's early light can strike the day following any national election, if not sooner.

We are 2-1/2 years out from the 2008 elections, and no matter what happens next fall, the outlook is ugly and poisonous. Think about that: No matter what happens next fall, the outlook is ugly and poisonous. Whether or not Dems take back either the Senate or House, or both. Whether or not Bush is impeached and Cheney becomes president.

This is where we are. And where I expect we will continue to find ourselves so long as we have two polarized parties within a system that is out of sync with what appears to be the organic limits of our toleration for any president of any type, and any administration, of any stripe.