Removing a Failed President by Joel S. Hirschhorn

Dandelion Salad

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
Atlantic Free Press
Monday, 06 August 2007

We no longer can trust Congress to impeach and remove a terrible president. The Washington Post has published an op-ed piece by Robert Dallek that proposes a constitutional amendment to allow “ouster by the people” for removing a president other than by impeachment or because of incapacity. Considering the dismal performance of George W. Bush and his administration and the difficulty in obtaining impeachment, this is a fine idea.

Here are the main features of the amendment: The recall procedure would begin by obtaining a 60 percent vote in the Senate and House. Public pressure on Congress could help it shift decisionmaking to the electorate. Congressional support would initiate a national referendum that would be open to all eligible voters in state elections. Clearly, it should be done fairly quickly. The ballot would simply offer the choice of voting “yes” or “no” to the option of removing the president and vice president from office immediately. If the majority votes in favor of removal, then the Speaker of the House would become president and choose a vice president who would have to be confirmed by majorities in the House and Senate.

These are solid ideas that would add a much needed dose of direct democracy that would hold presidencies more accountable to Congress and the general public than any constitutional mechanism now available.

There must be limits in a functional and fair representative democracy to what a president can do. Bush has more than demonstrated that the presidency has become much too powerful, able to undermine our Constitution and the rule of law, sell out our national sovereignty, put us in incredible debt, waste American lives, and walk all over Congress.

There are 18 states that have a recall process for sitting governors. So this notion is not absurd. Interestingly, in only two cases have governors been removed through citizen action: In North Dakota in 1921, and more recently in California in 2003. Recall works, but has not been used frivolously.

As Dallek correctly concluded: “The nation should be able to remove by an orderly constitutional process any president with an unyielding commitment to failed policies and an inability to renew the country’s hope.” Amen.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.


Six Judiciary Committee Members for Impeachment – Forty-five Congress Members now stand in one manner or another for impeachment. by David Swanson

Tomasky on Impeachment: The Dumbest Advice the Democrats Ever Got by Dave Lindorff

7 thoughts on “Removing a Failed President by Joel S. Hirschhorn

  1. I agree with Will Mac
    – a danger in making it a standard procedure
    lies in populism running wild during a cramped
    time of deciding how to move on.
    Nutshouse escapees like rambling McCain and
    ratty aryan backwoods like R. Paul would have
    more chances by proimising a 2nd christmas,
    free beer/pot for all and no taxes of course.

  2. Namiste,

    Great article LO:)…

    I wish that we could do it as well as the rest of the corrupt cabinet…

    Namiste and peace,

    NOTICE: Due to (U.S.) Presidential Executive Orders, the National
    Security Agency may have read this email without warning, warrant, or
    Notice, is in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  3. This seems like a grand idea on the forefront, but there are many things that need to be taken into account. For example, would, if the people decide to impeach a president, the people also be able to decide whether or not to keep the current vice president. In addition, should the majority vote of the people to impeach a president and vice president be automatically routed to appoint the Speaker of the House as president?

    Also, should there be a set number of impeachment proceedings per year on behalf of the majority will of the people? Meaning, should there be a set number of, say, only 1 to 3 time a year something like this can be done?

    There are a number of ways this idea can screw us over, and a number of ways it could help. The ways that this could screw us over is that we could not do it in times of war or in times of extreme foreign association (war), we could only have the Speaker of the House become president after a president is impeached, and only be able to implement such an action 1 or 2 times a year (which gives government agendas’ the chance to appoint House speakers that agree with those agendas in case such an act occurs, and so one, knowing that the American people can only do this so many times).

    I think that the only way this idea would help us, and ACTUALLY put this power back into the American people is if the American people had more choice as to who they would choose to be president after such an impeachment. For example, perhaps a number of senators and representatives could choose to be considered as our next president should such an act occur. For example, just like an individual can choose to be an organ donor or not, let’s say that a Senator or Representative can choose whether or not to be considered a candidate for president once such an impeachment occurs. This allows the majority that impeached a president to be able to choose from a vast congressional and Senate majority as to who will be the next president outside the confines of either Speaker of the House or Vice President. In addition, perhaps state governors and other registered political entities could also register as eledgable of president should the majority decide to impeach the current president and decline that the vice president or Speaker of the House take control.

    So, how would we do this, and still keep the country in control? Well, the majority will of the people will decide whether to impeach the president. If the majority will of the people decide that the Vice president or the Speaker of the House is not eledgable to be president, then a four month “alternate” debate occurs. People from each state vote for their own personal representative or senator that has already decided to be a candidate should such a thing happened. According to that vote, the nation is reduced to a number of candidates. First, several debates within a month ensue, and the entire nation votes to narrow down the candidates by “least favorite” candidates. This means we have even fewer standing.

    After this is accomplished, and the White House is still being run by the current president, the enitire nation, for the next three months, votes by popularity on a month-by-month poll until there is one candidate left for the presidency, in which that candidate will win

    This may sound incredibly familiar to a reality television show, but hell, it works, right? I think it work for this case. People could send in votes through in-person polls, through official secured websites, or through cell phones. However, this poses another problem of whether or not these services will be rigged. There needs to be some kind of extreme assurance, and indisputable records system that allows the average American voter to access official voting records. Indeed, something to prove these are the right records. But that is something that involves deep thought.

    Long comment I know, but we need to stop taking everyone else’s good ideas, and begin making them our own.


  4. That will not work. Nancy Pelosi will just continue the carnage. In fact, anyone of them, including Barack, are itching for a chance for prestiges and previledges to be the second president (first black) to use nuke. It’s time to revolt.

Comments are closed.