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Style of the Union
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, January 29, 2008

[Via Bill Beutler] Tom Shales, Washington Post Style Columnist, should probably explain the opening sentence of his column today in a bit more detail...
George W. Bush finished his seventh and possibly final State of the Union speech at 10:02 p.m. last night...

That's not the sort of thing you just float out there without some explanation. Shales should explain - something like, "Congress enjoyed the State of the Union speech so much that they're asking for an encore performance in June", or "I have reason to believe that Bush will declare himself President-for-Life!". Or, more likely, "I lost my medication!"
 
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Or possibly, "I, the best-paid writer for the largest-circulated newspaper in our nation’s capital, am woefully ignorant about the particulars of our constitutional democracy."
 
Written By: WWB
URL: http://blogpi.net
Jon, as I have pointed out to you before, Bush can technically run in 2008 without violating the 22nd Amendment. You clearly haven’t paid enough attention to the arguments from the Left that

a) Bush was selected (not elected) in 2000, and
b) he hasn’t acted as President - Cheney has.

If the GOP would just admit that the Left has been correct about these two points all along, GWB could have another go this fall.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
I believe the reason for the word "possibly" is that , technically, Bush would have the right to give a SOTU address before leaving office on 20 Jan 2009.

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/sou.php
Finally, President George W. Bush is set to deliver his next State of the Union Address on January 28, 2008. It is widely believed that this will be his last address before leaving office on January 20, 2009, but assuming this is incorrect. Bush has the right to deliver either a written or oral State of the Union in the days immediately before leaving office in 2009. Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Ford, and Carter chose to do this. Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, chose not to.
 
Written By: Doug Mataconis
URL: http://www.belowthebeltway.com
Bush was selected (not elected) in 2000
It just kills you that Florida voted Bush, doesn’t it.

Still.

As for the columnist, do you real think Doug that he’s well-informed enough to know that tiny detail, considering the last three Presidents have opted not to?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Bush can give a state of the union address next year before he leaves office, and could choose to if he feels events of 2008 have vindicated his policies (the economy has turned around, tourists are flocking to Baghdad to enjoy it’s charms and stability, etc.) President Carter gave a state of the union address in 1981, and I think in the past it was common for out going Presidents to do so.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Oops, I see that as this page was open and I took my time to respond Doug M. already made the point.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
It just kills you that Florida voted Bush, doesn’t it.
Jacobs, I attributed the arguments to "the Left", and said nothing of my own views. There is nothing about the 2000 Florida vote that "kills" me.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
My mistake.

Though this might explain why it appears that the Left is still running against Bush, even to the point they are willing to spend millions to keep his approval numbers down...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
technically, Bush would have the right to give a SOTU address before leaving office on 20 Jan 2009.
Shales said this was Bush’s last SOTU "speech". A written address is not a speech.

In order to deliver it to Congress as a Speech, Bush would need a formal invitation from Congress. From a Democratic Congress. Anybody want to wager on the odds of the Democrats issuing an invitation to the outgoing President of the opposite Party to pick up a lot of free TV time to talk about whatever he wants?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
In order to deliver it to Congress as a Speech, Bush would need a formal invitation from Congress. From a Democratic Congress. Anybody want to wager on the odds of the Democrats issuing an invitation to the outgoing President of the opposite Party to pick up a lot of free TV time to talk about whatever he wants?
That’s true, but there is the small possibility that the Republicans gain a majority in Congress this election. The incoming Congressmen would take office on January 3rd. So it’s still technically possible that Bush could give another SOTU address.

I don’t see anything particularly nefarious in Shales’s article. It’s time to find something else to sink our teeth into.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
By the constitution the President is obliged to delivery messages from, "time to time," which has usually, at least in recent memory, been annually, but I think that if a President wanted to do it daily, he might be properly able to do so, unless there is some accepted interpretation or court ruling on the point that I am unaware of, and there might well be.

Excepting that and the possibility of a final address before he leaves office, it might be a reference to the cynical and melodramatic belief held by some leftists that at some point President Bush will by some trick prolong his term in office, thus inviting direct parallels to dictators and making his most excessively passionate enemies swoon with all sorts of wretched joy over having their ability to indulge in hating him prolonged.
 
Written By: Paludicola
URL: http://www.vikinghats.com
The owrding is closer to "is required, from time to time, to inform congress as to the state of the union".

As they said on the West Wing years ago, if the president buys them a subscription to the Wall Street Journal he’s fulfilled his constitutional obligation...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
"I have reason to believe that Bush will declare himself President-for-Life!".

Dude! Ixnay on the Esidentpray-orfay-Ifelay!
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
Yes, you must not reveal our secret plan!!

Master Rove will not be pleased...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
McCain hearts Bush. Picks Bush to be VP. McCain kicks it. Bush becomes Prez once again. Delivers SOTU.

Since the GOP’ers (i.e., dead-enders) revere Bush, this is not as far-fetched as it might sound.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
McCain hearts Bush. Picks Bush to be VP. McCain kicks it. Bush becomes Prez once again. Delivers SOTU.
Damn, you’re stupid, mk. How is it that you’re a lawyer? Isn’t constitutional law a required class in law school?

No one in the chain of succession can become president if they do not meet the constitutional requirements. In that case, Bush would be skipped over and the Speaker of the House would ascend to the presidency. Wow. President Pelosi. Sweet dreams, kids.

Just like Henry Kissinger could not have succeeded as president, even though he was SecState under Nixon and Ford, because he was foreign-born. In his case, he would have been passed over for the President Pro Tempore at the time.

Idiot.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://repatriate.blogspot.com
Bush was selected (not elected) in 2000,
Good, lets get the Supreme court to select him again this year!

AND EVERY 4 YEARS AFTER THAT! THE MASTERPLAN SPRINGS INTO ACTION! JOHN ROBERTSTRON4500 ACTIVATE!!!!

(Or maybe they can select Rove to be president. With all the mass suicides I’m sure to get a seat on the train for my commute...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Damn, you’re stupid, mk. How is it that you’re a lawyer? Isn’t constitutional law a required class in law school?

No one in the chain of succession can become president if they do not meet the constitutional requirements. In that case, Bush would be skipped over and the Speaker of the House would ascend to the presidency. Wow. President Pelosi. Sweet dreams, kids.

Just like Henry Kissinger could not have succeeded as president, even though he was SecState under Nixon and Ford, because he was foreign-born. In his case, he would have been passed over for the President Pro Tempore at the time.

Idiot.
You are obviously confusing "electability" under the 22nd Amendment with "eligibility" under Article II. Bush is eligible, he just can’t be elected.

Explaining how the constitution actually works to wingnuts is a never ending task.

I won’t call you an idiot; calling you a wingnut is insult enough.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
You are obviously confusing "electability" under the 22nd Amendment with "eligibility" under Article II. Bush is eligible, he just can’t be elected.

Explaining how the constitution actually works to wingnuts is a never ending task.
I keep a well-thumbed copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence in my briefcase, and that goes everywhere with me. I dare say I’m more familiar with it than you are. Since you seem to need some further instruction, lemme put up the text for you:

Amendment Ye Twenty-seconde:
Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
Can’t be elected President twice: at least you understand that much.

The money quote from Amendment Ye Twelfth:
But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
Having been elected President twice makes him CONSTITUTIONALLY INELIGIBLE to be Vice-President, according to the TWELFTH AMENDMENT, which is part of the, you know, CONSTITUTION.

Q.E.D., motherf*cker.
I won’t call you an idiot; calling you a wingnut is insult enough.
Did you play flute in the band, by any chance? Because that, and especially it’s derivative, winger, is about the most effeminate and ineffectual insult I’ve heard tossed around here. I’ve been meaning to tell you that for some time now. Thank you for reminding me.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
Having been elected President twice makes him CONSTITUTIONALLY INELIGIBLE to be Vice-President, according to the TWELFTH AMENDMENT, which is part of the, you know, CONSTITUTION.
Nice try.

The Twelfth Amendment says that no one is inelgible to be president can be vice president. The eligibility requirements are set out in Article II. The 22nd Amendment places no limits on how many terms a person can serve. It places limits only on how many times a person can be elected.

If the 22nd said that no person who has served two terms is "eligible" to be president, you would be right. But it doesn’t. So I’m right. I presume that the drafters of the 22nd knew the difference between the word "eligible" and the word "elected." Apparently, you don’t.

Bush was born here, has lived here for 14 years, and is over 35. He is eligible.

Once again, nice try.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Plus, Bush and McCain live in different states. So too with Romney. So no problem there either.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
You are so dense.
But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
There is the crux of it. The 22nd was written for the purposes of term limitation of the office of President. It AMENDS Article II, but does not INVALIDATE the 12th Amendment. Why is that too much for your brain to handle? Two terms, and that’s it. If it was as easy as running for Vice President and having the President die so you could succeed him, Al Gore would be at the bottom of the Potomac in non-biodegradable cement boots and B.J. Clinton would still be president.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://

 
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