06 March 2007

Dick Cheney Should Resign (And George W. Bush, Too)

But not for the reasons you're thinking.

Make up any excuse you want, the blod clot, fatigue, family, but I think the country would be better off if every two term President resigned early in their 7th year in office.

Pick a successor, make them President, and take the lame duck pall off the presidency that lingers after each President's second midterm election.

If President Clinton had stepped aside and annointed a President Gore early in 1999, Gore would have most likely won easily.

If President Reagan had done the same, much of the damage caused by his second term scandals would have been mitigated (but either way, he would have been followed by a President George H.W. Bush).

If President Eisenhower had decided to golf full time sometime in 1959, there may never have been a President Kennedy, and President Nixon would probably have deftly kept us out of Vietnam, or fought the war full on to victory, he certainly wouldn't have been as half-assed with regards to foreign policy as Kennedy and Johnson were.

So, given that the current President Bush is a wounded lame duck, and Vice President Cheney expresses no interest in ever being President, appointing President Giuliani sometime before May 1st would energize the Executive Branch, and give the Bush Administration a hand in shaping the next administration.

The reason I say a President Giuliani is because he is the only person interested in the job after the remainder of this term that would be acceptable to Congressional Democrats, as well as rank and file Republicans.

If he wanted to be truly audacious, he would pick Senator Lieberman as a successor. That confirmation battle would be some entertaining viewing.

Otherwise, President Rice for 20 months, or President Thompson, or President Gingrich would be fun, too, but each of those folks might not have an easy time getting through the Congress (actually Thompson would probably sail through confirmation, but the Congress would block Rice or Gingrich).

But, first a Cheney resignation, followed by a quick confirmation hearing, followed by a Bush resignation would lead to a more effective and robust Executive Branch.

The Democratic Party wouldn't know what hit them.

Term limits forces this on Presidents. If they want to take command of the continuity of the office rather than leave it up to the vagaries of partisan politics, then giving a favored successor most likely to continue their policies (or even someone with different ideas, but the vigor to make them happen) a leg up in the next election is the way to go.

A lot can happen in the 21+ months left for President Bush, but I think someone who has the opportunity to continue beyond that 21 month period would be in a position to be a much more effective leader.

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