Don't Let the Door Hit You in the Rear on the Way Out

The Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution is clear, “The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January…” And, as President-elect Obama has indicated on numerous occasions, we only have one President at a time. Currently, that President is George W. Bush. However, there are growing calls on the left for either President Bush and Vice-President Cheney to resign or to be impeached.

At first, when you hear such non-sense, you just ignore it because it is so unbelievably stupid that responding to it only lends credibility to such craziness. Juan Williams made this point on the O’Reilly Factor on Monday night. However, this position has now been taken by news outlets that are considered part of the main stream media.

In op-ed today, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to impeach both the President and Vice-President. She claims that we need the Obama team in place for the sake of the economy. She also claims that the Bush administration is rolling out a bunch of new federal regulations that will need to be overturned once Mr. Obama takes office. And, finally, Mr. Bush must go before he pardons his entire administration.

Also, last week, Chris Matthews on MSNBC called for Bush to step aside because he and Mr. Obama were not working well enough together to solve the economic crisis (as if it can be solved by the government in the first place). Again, the same claim, “for the sake of the country.” Of course, the President-elect is a miracle worker.

When President Bush was re-elected in 2004, his final term in office went from January 20, 2005 to January 20, 2009. We are a nation of laws and everyone who voted to re-elect Mr. Bush (and those who didn’t) knew exactly when his term would end. There are no provisions in our constitution for a “recall’. Any voluntary resignation prior to the end of his term would be counter to our notion of the peaceful transfer of power between chief executives.

While this President remains in office, his is obligated by his constitutional oath to faithfully administer the office of President of the United States. As such, he must continue to promulgate new federal regulations that are consistent with that oath. It is obvious that Bush and Obama have many large philosophical differences (although, not nearly as many as those of us on the right would like). However, these difference are irrelevant to the way President Bush should conduct his office for the next two months. Mr. Bush was re-elected as a conservative. Anyone who thinks that he should not continue to govern in that way was asleep in November of 2004.

The Bush administration has bent over backwards in order to make the current transition a smooth one. This is typical of Mr. Bush’s graciousness. Remember, that at the urging of the Bush Administration, a new law was passed in 2004 that allowed the two major party presidential candidates to designate up to 100 people to received security clearances in advance of the election so that once the winner had been determined, his people could start the transition process on the day following the election. The President himself has ordered all members of his administration to fully cooperate with the transition process and, by all accounts, everyone has.

In large part, the calls for George W. Bush to step down are generated by Bush Derangement Syndrome. The left’s hatred of Mr. Bush isn’t even tempered by the election of Barack Obama. They feel the need to kick him in the rear as he departs the national political scene with the same personal grace that has exemplified his adult life.

The Constitution provides for the time that it does between the election and the inauguration for a reason – in order to provide for a smooth transition and allow the incoming members of the executive branch some time to get acclimated. A smooth transition of power is in the best interests of the country. You don’t have to be on the winning side in order to benefit from gracious behavior from both old and new.

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