President Bush’s long-time friend, confidant and chief political adviser, Karl Rove, has resigned his post and is leaving Washington.
This relationship between Karl Rove and President George W. Bush is the best argument currently available for limiting the president to one (six-year?) term in office and prohibiting a sitting president from having any partisan political affiliations.
In article after article on Monday, Karl Rove is described as a “political adviser,” and the “political mastermind” behind George Bush in every stage of his political career and as a “political genius.” That is all undoubtedly true but consider just what it is that Karl Rove has been doing in the White House during the seven and one-half years George Bush has been president and ask yourself: just why does a sitting president (from either party) need a political adviser? The only reasons that come to mind are: to help a first-term president get reelected by molding his decisions so that his political base is happy with him and his political party; and, during the second term, to lay the groundwork for another president from the same party being elected — again by molding the presidents decisions.
A president certainly needs a military adviser, an economic adviser, legal advisers and no doubt dozens of other advisers to help him do his job, i.e., make decisions that are the most beneficial for the United States. The most pertinent question, however, is: can a political adviser help a president be a better president? I would say no! The only thing a political adviser can do is advise the president on the political implications of every move he makes and all that will do is make a president who takes that advise a more political president.
Is a more political president a better president? I say no; absolutely not!
If the President of the United States was limited to one term in office and was prohibited from having any political affiliations we would have a president in office who was not constantly trying to score points with either political party, we would have a president who’s sole concerns would be keeping the promises he made while running for office — the promises that got him elected — and serving the American public to the best of his ability.
To many, this may seem like a form of heresy; if so, I will wear the title of heretic as a badge of honor. Partisan politics do nothing but distract and polarize and the last thing we need (but the only thing we’ve ever had) is a president who is tempering his judgments based on advise from a political adviser or who is worried about not being able to win another term in office for himself or his party.
This post is, by the way, in no way meant to condemn George W. Bush or Karl Rove — this is a problem with the “system” and with the presidency more than it is a problem with any particular president.
The Associated Press: Karl Rove to Leave White House
McClatchy Newspapers: Rove’s departure signals beginning of end of Bush presidency
A proposal from: The American Change Party
The History News Network: What’s Wrong with the Presidency (And What Can Be Done to Fix It)
What bloggers are saying:
Toby Harnden of the UK Daily Telegraph: Exit Karl Rove, man of many monikers
The Moderate Voice: Sudden Timing Of Karl Rove’s Departure Surprises And Intrigues Most