Our dubious Constitution (continued)
7barksda at jmls.edu
Sat Mar 18 07:51:54 PST 2006
Actually, didn't Bush run as a manager during the first election? I
recall the argument that his strength he was a businessman and a MBA,
and he would bring sound business management principles to the White
House and to government, as opposed to Clinton's notoriously chaotic
style.. Also, at the beginning of his term, a lot was made about how
efficient and no nonsense he was - every memo could only be one page.
Meetings started and ended on time, etc. Also, much was made about how
many former CEOs were in the government etc. Certainly, Bush's mediocre
college record and frat boy image were also made a lot of, and no one
assumed he was the sharpest tack in the box. Also, limited experience
except 1 and 1/2 terms as governor. But then the argument was, again
Cheney and other CEO's can give back up.
As to Lynn Swann - I don't a know a lot about him, other than the fact
he was a football player and is currently another businessman, (and as
my mom would say - "easy on the eyes"), but is there evidence that he is
likely to be incompetent?
Professor Yvette M. Barksdale
The John Marshall Law School
315 S. Plymouth Ct.
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 427-2737 (phone)
(312) 427-9974 (fax)
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Mark Graber
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 6:50 AM
To: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: RE: Our dubious Constitution (continued)
A thought on our incompetent president.
I wonder if any of the Bush voters on the list really believed that Bush
was a more competent executive manager than Gore or Kerry. Indeed, for
many of us Bush has been as competent as expected, which is not very.
Pushing further, we see both parties, thought I think Republicans in
particular, running pretty boys, celebrities with little executive or
management experience. Consider the most recent, Lynn Swann running for
governor of Pennsylvania. So imagine the following scenario. In fact
Pennsylvan Republicans know that Swann is unlikely to be very competent.
But the plot is this. He is popular. He wins the election on
popularity, carrying with him enough Republicans to ensure that, when he
is impeached for incompetence (or whatever), Republicans get to choose
the replacement. In short, I am wondering whether the best defense
against pretty boys (interesting, that I can not think of a pretty girl
off hand), is that if you vote for the celebrity or the more likeable
candidate, you have to live with the consequences. Democracy, after
all, is where people get governed no better than they deserve.
>>> "Sanford Levinson" <SLevinson at law.utexas.edu> 03/17/06 1:03 PM >>>
I know there are problems with the following analogies, but I'd like to
be told exactly why they don't work. They arise in the course of trying
to figure out what so many people I respect believe that it's better to
have a constitution that requires keeping an incompetent president in
office for another two or three years rather than one that risks the
political instability attached to a no-confidence procedure that would
bounce him from office. So the analogies are these:
1) You are on the board of a corporation and the CEO has a propensity
for making disastrous decisions (e.g., deciding that merging AOL and
Time-Warner would be a great idea). Do you say, "Well, let's give him
another couple of y ears. After all, it's only the investor's
money...., Or "maybe he'll do better next time; after all, a stopped
clock is right twice a day."
2) You are the general manager of a baseball team, which has lost a
number of games because of clearly questionable decisions by the manager
(e.g., leaving a clearly tired pitcher in the game when the heart of the
batting order is coming up, remember Grady Little). Do you say, "Well,
perhaps he'll learn"?
3) You are about to undergo open-heart surgery and are told that your
surgeon or anesthesiologist has a significantly higher error-rate than
others who are available to you. Do you say, "Well, most of us his
4) You are deciding what airline to fly. One of them has a
significantly higher delay rate, in addition to a markedly lower rate of
maintenance on its planes that has seemingly accounted for several
crashes over the past year. Do you say, "Well, the ticket is $5
Are we so casual about keeping incompetent Chief Executives in office
because, at the end of the day, we really don't think it's all that
important who is president (which seems counter-intuitive) or because we
are really fearful of the consequences of making it easier to bounce him
from office (because we may, after all, be bouncing Lincoln). But
isn't this a little bit like investing the family fortune in lottery
tickets because, after all, you might hit it big and win a billion
dollars? It's still a stupd thing to do even if you in fact hit the
jackpot. That makes you lucky, not smart.
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