Non-Partisan discussion... when are you too old to be in office?

highfigh

highfigh

Seriously, I have no life.
Here's my personal assessment of past presidents that I remember, and whether their age mattered to their presidency.

Eisenhower – Was not a good politician, but was highly experienced and probably not too old
Kennedy – Too young to die. Maybe too young to keep it zipped up.
Johnson – Highly experienced and very complex. Too hard for me to view objectively.
Nixon – Expletive Deleted. He was probably always an SOB from the day he was born.
Ford – Once he pardoned Nixon, he was a temporary caretaker president.
Carter – Just the right age, not that it mattered.
Reagan – By his 2nd term, he was clearly developing Alzheimer's.
Bush – An experienced politician, but evidently not experienced enough. He angered all GOP by reinstating some taxes, making him a 1-term president.
Clinton – Also too young to keep it zipped up.
W – Dumber than a sack of rocks. Was delighted when Trump unseated him as Worst President Ever.
Obama – The first black man to be president. His age had nothing to do with that.
Trump – See Expletive Deleted (above)
Biden – Could be both experienced & wily. So wily that he takes advantage of being underestimated.

Bottom line? Age may have had something to do with Kennedy, Reagan, and Clinton. But two of them were too young, not too old. Age was not an issue with the others.
WRT Nixon, he was a Quaker, so I think something changed but I may be wrong. Not defending him but I haven't heard of Quakers being a$$holes.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Samurai
I realize this is off topic, but if we're discussing Constitutional Amendments, revising the pardon power would be near the top of my list.

>>>The Constitution gives the president the “Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”<<<


I'm not sure what the answer is (assuming there's a problem), but it seems to me that approval by another branch of government should be required.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
I realize this is off topic, but if we're discussing Constitutional Amendments, revising the pardon power would be near the top of my list.
Agreed. But I'd like to also see these further revisions or reforms to the Constitution:
  • End the Electoral College. Instead use the nationwide popular vote count for President/VP.
  • Revise the 2nd Amendment to clarify it's meaning. The absence of any gun control has led to violence and chaos.
  • Over-rule the Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision that allows unlimited dark money in politics. It's influence is pernicious. This should also be accompanied by new laws to regulate political contributions – with some real enforcement teeth, unlike the toothless Federal Election Commission.
  • Somehow, address election district Gerrymandering … but I don't know if that could be better done at a national level or at a state level. Remove elected politicians from that process. Replace them with Independent Non-Partisan Commissions.
I'd also like to see more use of Ranked Preference Elections instead of a Two Party Choice election as we now do elections. But that's a relatively new idea. It probably needs more testing at local or state levels before it should be considered nation-wide. As now done in the 2022 Alaska state-wide election, it seemed to work well.
 
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Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
WRT Nixon, he was a Quaker, so I think something changed but I may be wrong. Not defending him but I haven't heard of Quakers being a$$holes.
I don't remember any Quakers ever defending Nixon. He certainly did not adhere to any Quaker teachings about waging war.

I said Nixon was an SOB, not an a$$hole. More specifically, he was a liar and criminal who repeatedly broke laws and violated the Constitution. His religious background had nothing to do with that. I stand by my words.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Seriously, I have no life.
Personally I'd pick 70 as the maximum age for president.

For the House and Senate it doesn't bother me as much because both can continue to function even if several members can't. Having said that, I'd prefer a limit of 70 for those institutions as well.

Both would probably require amendments to the Constitution:

>>>Maximum age limits are considered unconstitutional. Part of the reason that's true dates back to 1995. At the time, Arkansas attempted to deny ballot access to prospective U.S. representatives who had already served three terms and prospective U.S. senators who had already served two terms.

That case was argued in front of the Supreme Court in U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton. The court ruled that the Framers could have created term limits for lawmakers in Congress but chose not to, suggesting that they did not intend for term limits to be part of the Constitution.

The same could be argued against maximum age limits, according to Jeremy Paul, who teaches at Northeastern University School of Law.

"Whether you're talking about adding term limits or whether you're talking about a maximum age, you're still changing the qualifications that are set out in the Constitution," Paul said.<<<


Cognitive testing seems like a more logical way to address the issue, but it would probably lead to endless arguments about the criteria, litigation about whether or not the test was administered properly, etc.

A bright-line age limit would undoubtedly keep some capable people out. On the other hand, there would still be plenty of capable people who could serve and meet an age limit requirement.

With regards to judges, I have mixed feelings about it. There has been a controversy concerning judge Newman, who is 96 years old.


It's unclear exactly what is driving the effort to remove judge Newman. Most of it seems to be closed-door. According to public reports, it is based at least in part on statements by staff that Newman is losing it.

Newman writes a lot of dissenting opinions, and these seem to be well-written. This creates the appearance that the other judges want to push her out because they are tired of getting skewered by Newman in her dissents.
I wonder how far future thinking the founding fathers were.
How could they imagine how long people will live two hundred years after they die, advancements in everything, weapons included. Nor the exponential
increases in knowledge to invent.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Seriously, I have no life.
I don't remember any Quakers ever defending Nixon. He certainly did not adhere to any Quaker teachings about waging war.

I said Nixon was an SOB, not an a$$hole. More specifically, he was a liar and criminal who repeatedly broke laws and violated the Constitution. His religious background had nothing to do with that. I stand by my words.
I think the acts and characterization as an SOB kind of shift him toward my term.

I was surprised to learn he was a Quaker AND served in the military although I just read that serving has become relatively common.
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Spartan
I realize this is off topic, but if we're discussing Constitutional Amendments, revising the pardon power would be near the top of my list.

>>>The Constitution gives the president the “Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”<<<


I'm not sure what the answer is (assuming there's a problem), but it seems to me that approval by another branch of government should be required.
Failing that, how about an end to pre-emptive pardons? I mean, someone should at least have been tried and convicted, before becoming eligible for a pardon.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
It may be worthwhile to ask about and discuss whether it is possible to have a reasonable set of requirements which any person seeking higher federal office needs to pass prior to running. After all, there is no reason to discriminate based on age and I am not meaning to suggest such in this thread.
@Swerd
While being fantastically optimistic, let's face it that something here should be done. ;) Holding "higher office" is not dissimilar to other jobs where basic performance metrics are expected of employees. Of course, who is the employer in this scenario is completely unclear as it should be us (the constituency) yet clearly we are disconnected from the process once our tax dollars are collected and we rubber stamp this peanut gallery into office for life.

Believe me, I get there are no easy answers about any of this. Not that I really expected there to be any, either.

It's always seemed that voter apathy is the absolute largest risk we need to overcome. While there are many examples of other problems in our system of government which you brought up, an educated and motivated electorate is our greatest resource to combat many of these issues.
As long as the greater populace is unwilling to deepen their sense of responsibility, it will always prove easy for an incumbent to prevail, even where local sentiment is souring on said person (L.B. in CO?, for example).

The simple truth is that term limits and age limits weren't seen as necessary during the founding of our country because it was always expected people would serve their term, maybe two, and return back to their homes and respective family and career/profession. Government wasn't seen then, at least as I understood it from my schooling, as a career in itself but a term of service one might choose to pursue for a short while.
Arguably, we have seen many instances of the shortcomings of our founding documents. Whether it is the westward expansion, modernization of transportation or countless other unforeseeable advances in society like automatic firearms with high capacity magazines and bump stocks; arguing today that the Constitution needs to be interpreted only by original intent or struck down is completely disingenuous if not outright ridiculous and malicious in intent.

I was always bored with civics and politics in school which does little to serve me here. ;) For every whack-a-mole idea I think of, two more are popping up and laughing at me only to escape back into the machine of government and burrow away at the fabric that government was meant to serve and protect. *shrugs
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
You are too old when you are Mitch McConnell and you freeze while talking.

It was like watching his operating system crash and reboot. The last PC we had would do this. It had fatal registry errors and a couple friends that knew the inner workings of DOS said it was hopeless.
It would be really creepy if his eyes just went that royal blue color that windows machines do when they aren't working.
:eek:
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
It was like watching his operating system crash and reboot. The last PC we had would do this. It had fatal registry errors and a couple friends that knew the inner workings of DOS said it was hopeless.
It would be really creepy if his eyes just went that royal blue color that windows machines do when they aren't working.
:eek:
Something like this?
geoff petersen.jpg
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
It was like watching his operating system crash and reboot. The last PC we had would do this. It had fatal registry errors and a couple friends that knew the inner workings of DOS said it was hopeless.
It would be really creepy if his eyes just went that royal blue color that windows machines do when they aren't working.
:eek:
I like how she tried to "reboot" him by yelling in his ear. Took him a second, but he came back. But it is a bad indicator, like not something seriously wrong, but it definitely isn't right either.

Saw another article that said this:

Experts say the freezing episodes could be a result of injuries Mr McConnell suffered earlier this year. In March, he was hospitalized for five nights after a fall left him with a concussion and a fractured rib.
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Ninja
I'd say 70 for a new president. Maybe if he or she did a great job I could go 74 for a 2nd term. Any older and you way out of touch with Americas youth. And I'm stretching it with these numbers.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Samurai
Agreed. But I'd like to also see these further revisions or reforms to the Constitution:
  • End the Electoral College. Instate national popular vote count for President/VP.
  • Revise the 2nd Amendment to clarify it's meaning. The absence of any gun control has lead to violence and chaos.
  • Over-rule the Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision that allows unlimited dark money in politics. It's influence is pernicious. This should also be accompanied by new laws to regulate political contributions – with some real enforcement teeth, unlike the toothless Federal Election Commission.
  • Somehow, address election district Gerrymandering … but I don't know if that could be done at a national level or better done at a state level. Remove elected politicians from that process. Replace them with Independent Non-Partisan Commissions.
I'd also like to see more use of Ranked Preference Elections instead of a Two Party Choice election. But that's a relatively new idea. It probably needs more testing at local or state levels before it should be considered nation-wide.
Unless it unexpectedly rides off into the sunset on a unicorn, dark money will be with us for a long time (I realize you were just posting a wish list, not proposing that these are feasible).

It's a catch-22 because a constitutional amendment would require a 2/3 vote in both houses, and the party that's in control at any point in time is probably in control (at least in part) because they benefited from dark money. A constitutional convention is theoretically possible, but it's hard to imagine it would actually happen.

Democrats seem to be winning the dark money war right now so it's doubtful that they'd push for an Amendment to the Constitution to ban it.

As far as I can tell, Republicans hope to regain the low ground and rake in more dark money.


>>>Democrats Decried Dark Money. Then They Won With It in 2020.
A New York Times analysis reveals how the left outdid the right at raising and spending millions from undisclosed donors to defeat Donald Trump and win power in Washington.<<<


This trend continued in 2022:

>>>Democrats benefited more from dark money than Republicans in 2022

The 2022 federal midterms mark the third consecutive election cycle where Democrats benefited from more dark money than Republicans, OpenSecrets’ analysis of FEC data found.

Liberal political committees reported over $316.4 million in political contributions from dark money groups and shell companies during the 2022 cycle while conservative political committees reported $263 million.

The trend of Democrats benefiting from more reported dark money in federal elections began during the 2018 midterm cycle when liberal groups first outspent their conservative counterparts. That’s despite Democratic rhetoric decrying dark money and a series of failed efforts by some members of the party to crackdown on political contributions from undisclosed sources.<<<

 
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