Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, December 01, 2008


It is sensible to have a pause between election and inauguration, to permit an orderly transition and to certify election results. For example, it took 34 days to resolve the dispute over Florida's electoral votes in 2000. But 77 days? (As Pombat has asked, is it really necessary to give the outgoing Administration enough time to smash all the dishes?)

While President-Elect Barack Obama takes pains to remind us that we only have, "one President at a time," it is evident that pretty much everyone--from the financial markets to foreign governments--thinks that person is Obama. As a result, Obama is now announcing policies and holding press conferences nearly every day, because the nation is in crisis and desperately needs leadership.

Allowing time to plan for the holidays and possible recounts means that we cannot move the transition too early. But we could at least move Inauguration Day up to Jan. 3rd, to coincide with the first meeting of the new Congress. At least we would not be treading water all January.


USWest said...

Yeah, we need to do something. The markets are up and down like nuts. Until everything settles down in January, we will be frustrated by this holding pattern.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I dunno. If you can't move the transition up as far as December 1- like the CA legislature - what's the point of moving it a couple weeks earlier? Perhaps we could do that, but it would make recounts difficult apparently.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Well, it's better than doing nothing.

Raised By Republicans said...

"Well, it's better than doing nothing."

Not necessarily. Suppose there is a recount controversy and the new earlier transition date turns out to be difficult or impossible to meet. We could face a situation where the new Presidency's take over is delayed. That would be very bad in terms of perception.

It is often the case that "doing nothing" is better than changing institutions permanently to accommodate a problem in the present that may or may not recur.

Dr. Strangelove said...

RbR... Are you saying that Jan 3rd still would be too early? (I argued against moving it earlier precisely because of the recount controversy possibility you mentioned.)

The Law Talking Guy said...

What's the advantage of moving up the new presidential term by 17 days? I am not sure there is much to be gained. There is some reason why the legislature assembles on January 3, but the President takes office two weeks later. Why not at the same time? I suggest that the idea was to allow Congress a greater role in setting the agenda, which is probably a good thing.

Dr. Strangelove said...

The advantage: not having to wait 17 days.

Raised By Republicans said...

Well, one possible reason the Clinton-Bush transition was so rocky was because of the truncated transition period allowed by the Jan 20 date.

I'm not saying Jan 20 is too early but I'm just a little wary of taking positions like "any change is better than the status quo." My imagination for how things could get worse is pretty good, I guess.

The Law Talking Guy said...

It seems to me to be a big deal to change the constitution just to move up inauguration day by two and a half weeks. Isn't it?

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