Vox’s Matt Yglesias has proposed something that would probably horrify most Americans: A Literal Third-Term Obama. Shamelessly, the Voxer takes sycophancy to new heights in his his latest piece, aptly entitled, “Democrats’ best choice for 2016 is the guy already in the White House.” Apparently, de facto third-term Obama candidate Hillary Clinton isn’t enough. “It would make a lot more sense for him to directly face his critics on the left (Bernie Sanders) and right (every Republican) rather than do so indirectly through the proxy of Hillary Clinton,” writes Yglesias without a hint of sarcasm.
Humbly acknowledging clearly-articulated constitutional limits, Yglesias finds himself in the unenviable position of being tied in a stranglehold. On one hand, he really, seriously fanboys hard over the fantasy of the Third-Coming of “Hope and Change” Obama. On the other hand, there’s this thing called the U.S. Constitution raining down on his parade …
The problem, of course, is that a third Obama term would be unconstitutional. The 22nd Amendment, ratified in 1951, prohibits presidents from serving more than two terms. But though it can’t be repealed in time for the 2016 election, term limits clearly have to go. We should return to the democratic practice that served our country well for 150 years: Let the parties nominate whom they like, and let the voters choose their favorite.
Not the least bit deterred by the overwhelming audacity of his demand, Yglesias then doubles-down by citing “research” suggesting that term limits are harmful. Unfortunately, the Voxer’s so called “explanation” is filled with tautologies like “The best governors are experienced governors.” He then adds, “This comports with the fact that our only multi-term president was one of our best presidents ever, and that several earlier presidents who sought third terms failed to obtain them.” Confusing correlation for causation, Yglesias not only takes qualitative assessments like “best presidents ever” for granted, but fails to account for extrinsic variables like wartime stressors.
It’s almost as if Yglesias was waiting for some morsel of hope to share his radical idea. That morsel of hope came when President Obama’s poll numbers shot up earlier this week. The Voxer pounced and exploited the opportunity instantly. Accordingly, the self-identified “explanatory journalist” premises his argument on President Obama’s latest approval ratings.
Here’s the caveat. At the beginning of Yglesias’ non-self parody he makes the ultimate concession: the Democratic field this election cycle is incredibly weak. “Hillary Clinton has a net favorable rating that is unprecedentedly bad for a non-incumbent major party presidential nominee.”