Like a time-share condo they swear someone else will pay for, the media keep giving us a hard sell on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This week, her face graces the cover of Time magazine (Remember Time? Remember magazines?) The caption in large font reads: “The Phenom.” Well, they’ve been remarkably successfully at making her into a media phenomenon, but if the point was to pitch her socialist policies, most Americans are saying, “No sale.”
Recent polls show that the more Americans learn about AOC and her far-left policies, the less they like them. Now, even some of her own constituents may be starting to feel a little buyer’s remorse at having elected a socialist media star with global ambitions instead of a Representative of the Bronx.
I honestly try not to write about her that often, but she makes it difficult by being a never-ending fountain of outrageous comments. It’s earned her the description in some quarters of being “seldom right but always certain.” I actually admire the way she fights back when challenged (I wish more Republicans would stand up and fight for their principles like that when attacked), but if you punch back when you’ve said something demonstrably incorrect, it just comes across as combative and arrogant. That happens way too often.
Latest example: during a town hall on MSNBC, AOC claimed that Republicans passed the 22nd Amendment restricting a President to two terms “to make sure Roosevelt did not get reelected.”
As most of us used to learn in junior high, FDR was reelected three times. He died during his fourth term, and the 22nd Amendment passed two years later. It would have prevented his reelection only if he planned to run again after he died. I thought Democrats only vote after they die, not run for President.
If you want to get picky, Republicans couldn’t have passed a Constitutional Amendment alone (this is stuff we learned on “Schoolhouse Rock.”) The 22nd passed the House with 47 Democratic votes, and the Senate 59–23, with 16 Democrats supporting it. It then went to the states, where 36 of the then-48 states ratified it.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle have called for repealing it, including Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, Barney Frank and Mitch McConnell. It’s been called an infringement on the right of the people to choose their leader. Fair enough, but while the Founders didn’t include term limits in the Constitution, it’s hard to imagine they would have approved of keeping that much power in one person’s hands for an unlimited period after fighting a revolution to free themselves from a monarch.
Personally, rather than repealing the term limit on the Presidency, I’d like to see term limits imposed on the House and Senate. Sure, there are always elections as the ultimate term limits; but the benefits of incumbency (influential donors and supporters, PAC money, party support, pork, gerrymandering, etc.) make it very difficult to oust someone once they’re in office.
I suspect the Founders might have included term limits if they’d imagined we’d see the rise of politics as a lucrative lifelong profession. They envisioned a government run by citizen legislators who distinguished themselves at home enough to represent their districts in Washington for a while, then go home and live under the laws they passed. They didn’t think we’d have people somehow growing rich while in public service, passing laws from which they exempted themselves, and staying in office until the day they died – or, as I suspect in some cases, until several months beyond that.