A Prof's Protest: Constitution Makes It Too Hard to Bounce Bush

October 16th, 2006 1:11 PM

If only we had a system like Britain's, where an unpopular Prime Minister can be turfed out by a simple vote of no-confidence. Unfortunately, we're saddled with a Constitution that requires the difficult and time-consuming process of impeachment. And thus, sadly, we're stuck with W until January, 2009. That in a nutshell, is the complaint of Sanford Levinson, professor of law at the University of Texas at Austin.

Now, it's true that the good professor notes some other beefs he has with our central document of government. But one suspects that it is the inability to summarily dispatch President Bush that prompted him to write his LA Times column of today, Our Broken Constitution. Laments Levinson:

[W]hatever happens, George W. Bush will continue to occupy the White House until Jan. 20, 2009, despite the fact that about 60% of Americans disapprove of the job he's doing. Most political systems around the world have mechanisms by which leaders who lose the public's confidence can be removed. A model in this regard is Britain, where the Tories unceremoniously dispatched Margaret Thatcher when she was no longer found suitable as their leader, and where the Labor Party is in the process of doing the same with Tony Blair. Under our Constitution, although criminals can be removed, mere incompetents are protected. One need not adopt a parliamentary system in order to construct a system by which Congress could declare "no confidence" in the president and force a replacement.

Buck up, professor. It's a mere 27 months till we bid Bush farewell, and inaugurate . . . Newt?