Not Gonna Happen

Over at PJM, ol’ Roger thinks our presidential campaigns are too long (I agree) and wants to do something about it:

How about postponing the campaign until Thanksgiving and allowing the country and Congress to go about their real business? The British manage their campaigns in only 60 days. Maybe we could squeeze it down to, say, 180.

While he makes some excellent points about the folly of long election campaigns, Roger falls into the liberal trap of wishful thinking.  Whenever some asswipe Lefty (i.e. all of them) makes some stupid proposal, the common response from conservatives is twofold:

  • “How are you gonna pay for it?” — OR —
  • “How are you going to do that, exactly ?”

To whit:  “Free health care for everybody” gets question #1 in response;  and “We’re going to come around to your house and take away your guns!” gets question #2.

The problem with trying to limit the length of presidential (or any) electoral campaigns is that we have that pesky Constitution, in the form of the First Amendment.

If it’s (say) a week before Thanksgiving and someone says, “When I’m president, I will…”, telling someone that “You’re not allowed to say that yet” would result in you getting your pee-pee severely whacked by the courts, and deservedly so.

The Brits get away with their 60-day election campaigns by simply banning election speeches and so on before the start date.  Try doing that in the U.S. of A., and a shit-storm will ensue.  We’re a free people, and if Governor Sextoy Butt-Plug (D) of Michigan wants to announce in 2019 that she’s going to run for the presidency in 2031, she’s perfectly within her rights.

I’m irritated by  the perpetual campaigning thing myself, but at the same time, the First Amendment is more important than my irritation.  Some people are frightened by guns, but the Second Amendment is more important than their trepidation.  That’s how the whole thing works, even if it is inconvenient sometimes.

8 comments

  1. I’d trade that idea for election day being 24 hours long, and the same 24 hours across the nation. No time zones need apply. You must vote in person unless you have applied for an absentee ballot due to being out of town, or otherwise physically unable to reach the polling station.

    No vote tally releases allowed until the 24 hour period expires. Avoids east coast early results from contaminating other time zones.

  2. Perhaps we could limit the Silly Season by compressing the Primaries to the month before the Conventions? Primaries in August, Conventions in September, full campaign in October? Adjust the tax code so that campaign contributions have to be spent during that time frame or be taxed as (whatever maximizes the pain).

    States (that set the primary dates) don’t have First Amendment rights. Yes, loudmouths could still “campaign” outside that time frame (as they DO have 1stA rights) but it might not be as intense as they would be spending their own dime.

    Just off the top of my head and I’m sure there are some fatal flaws (especially the one where the type of person that runs for office these days has no sense of shame and likes being part of a clown show for as long as possible, and they run the current system and will in no way jeopardize their ego stroking or Phoney Baloney Jobs).

    Something that I would really like to see is to require anyone holding office (Senator, Representative, Governor etc.) should have to resign prior to starting to campaign for an office they do not currently hold. Ah well, I can dream can’t I?

  3. No, no, no, a thousand times no.

    The more time they spend campaigning, the less time they have to create asshole laws.

    “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”
    -as was supposedly said by Twain, maybe quoting Gideon Tucker.

  4. It’s worse, in that everything most elected officials do while in office is ultimately aimed at getting reelected.
    Their voting behaviour in congress, the bills they propose, everything is calculated to in some way buy votes for the next election cycle.

  5. Problem isn’t the election, it’s the office.

    Make it less attractive. Reduce the power by reducing the power of the Federales (I can name at least 100 agencies that need abolishing) and then reducing the power of the President within the government. Then turn the White House into a museum and have the President find his own housing, ditch AF One, abolish the security detail, make him get health care from the VA, etc.

    Do this and turn the President back into the First Citizen instead of an elected Emperor and a lot of this insanity goes away. But like you say , Not Going to Happen.

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