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Term Limits and Line Item Veto, good ideas even in the 19th Century

I’m a big Civil War buff, if you ask me just about any question about it I can answer it.  I knew in the back of my mind that the Confederate Constitution was mostly identical to the U.S. version, but that it had some interesting things in it, ( I know mentioning anything Confederate and you are an evil racist. :) ) but that info generally stayed in the back of my head, finding it less interesting than the battles my ancestors fought and bled in. That is until recently, when I began to look harder at the document and found a couple of ideas that are worth reviewing:

Line Item Veto: This is the one we are most familiar about so I’m not going to say too much about it.  I still don’t know how we haven’t gotten this passed yet.

Limiting the President to 1 Six-year term in office: I find this appealing for many reasons.  Six years is about the time that most presidential administrations start going stale and lose focus.  A six year term would somewhat limit the power and influence of lobbyists and special interest groups, it won’t make go away completely, but that would reduce it and I think that is good for the country.  And if the President isn’t worried about getting reelected, there is more time for him to WORRY ABOUT THE AFFAIRS OF THE COUNTRY! Isn’t that his job in the first place? Look at our current President, who is on pace to shatter records for time spent on his own fundraising and reelection activities. Why don’t we expand the idea to include members of Congress too, say limit members of the Senate to two 8-year terms and members of the house to four 4- year terms. This way we can get new blood in there. It might take some creative election scheduling but it could be done.

I find that these ideas were incorporated in the C.S. Constitution interesting because some very smart men of that era had thought these reforms necessary even then. Remember that many of the founding generation had only been dead 30 or 40 years, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had only been dead 35 by the time the Civil War broke out.  And these men weren’t just backcountry plantation owners, most had considerable experience in the U.S. Government, and in the South it was much more acceptable for a Gentleman to involved with politics.

But like I said before, mention anything Confederate and you are looked at like a mad dog. Such is life I guess.

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