Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Proposing a minor Constitutional tweaking

Now begins that merciless period we call "the transition." From an old administration to a new president.

At the beginning of the republic, in the horse and buggy days, it was 4 months long: the new president wasn't sworn in until March.

It's still painfully long: 2 1/2 months.

When a government is voted out in the UK, the defeated prime minister's stuff is being moved out that evening. The new PM begins forming a government within days. Most parliamentary systems operate with that kind of speed.

Why can't we do that here?

The January 20th inauguration is insane. George Bush is now about as hamstrung (thankfully) as a governing official can be. And until noon on Jan. 20th, Barack Obama is still private citizen Obama.

There's no reason (except that we love to have inaugural events befitting a king, which a president is not, and we should not have things that suggest he is) to go more than a week out. Why not change the Constitution on this? The new president could be sworn in on the Tuesday following the election. Or even sooner.

This isn't 1936. Barack Obama could already be in Washington. Why not get the next president in office quickly, and stop this 20th century delay?

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