‘President for life’

‘PRESIDENT FOR LIFE’…. A prominent far-right website called WorldNetDaily ran a piece the other day with a provocative headline: “Hail King Obama: President for life — Move under way to repeal Constitution’s term limits.” WND reported:

As Inauguration Day approaches and Barack Obama prepares to assume his first term as president, some in Congress are hoping to make it possible for the Democrat to not only seek a second term in office, but a third and fourth as well.

The U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary is considering a bill that would repeal the Constitution’s 22nd Amendment prohibiting a president from being elected to more than two terms in office.

Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., earlier this month introduced the bill, H. J. Res. 5, which, according to the bill’s language, proposes “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.”

Steve M. noted a variety of right-wing blogs that got pretty worked about this, including one that insisted Obama “might take a page from his role models Chavez and Castro.”

Before this becomes a standard conservative talking point — I can only assume Fox News coverage is around the corner — let’s just nip this in the bud.

Serrano did, in fact, recently introduce a measure to repeal the 22nd amendment. Is this because he wants Obama to be “president for life”? No. Serrano has introduced this exact same measure a half-dozen times, starting 12 years ago. It has nothing to do with Obama — Serrano just happens to believe presidential term limits are a bad idea. (I happen to agree with him.)

But what about the WorldNetDaily claim that Serrano’s bill is under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee? In reality, every piece of legislation introduced in the House relating to constitutional amendments is referred to the Judiciary Committee. Serrano’s bill almost certainly will be ignored, will not generate co-sponsors, and won’t get a hearing — which is what has happened to his bill in previous congresses.

So when you get that email from your crazy uncle complaining bitterly about the Democratic effort to make Obama a dictator, just keep this post in mind.