Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Where have all the years gone? The Republican math on presidential terms

Catherine Rampell (Washington Post/Rampage) works the GOP math in this morning's Daily Star editorial.

In elementary school, I was taught that presidents serve four-year terms.

Apparently that number is off by three — or so I’ve learned recently from listening to Republican politicians.

See, according to former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the first year of a president’s term doesn’t really count. After all, both have argued that George W. Bush “kept us safe,” suggesting that 9/11 didn’t stain W’s otherwise spotless safety record because it occurred too early in his presidency.

Also, according to Republican Senate leadership, the last year of a president’s term doesn’t count either; that’s why President Obama shouldn’t get to nominate a replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Finally, it turns out the second-to-last year of a president’s term also doesn’t count. How can you tell? Because Republican senators obstructed nearly all of Obama’s judicial picks last year, too. And obviously — per their recent rhetoric about Scalia’s successor — they would have only done that in a year when the president was already a lame duck.

By process of elimination, then, U.S. presidents really serve one-year terms, occurring just once every four years. The other three-quarters of the time, presidents presumably disappear into the ether, like Brigadoon.

That was fun. But check out the rest of Rampell's editorial for the more serious stuff - you know - how the Republican obstructionism is nothing new and how the GOPlins have seriously interfered with the judicial appointments and governance more generally.

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