Total Recall

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Total Recall

Robert Dallek thinks impeachment is too unwieldy, and that the voters should decide whether a president continues in office.

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The historian Robert Dallek thinks it’s time to put an additional safeguard in place against presidential malfeasance.

Writing in Presidential Studies Quarterly (March), Dallek faults the impeachment process as unwieldy. Better, he says, to let the voters decide whether a president should continue in office. Under Dallek’s plan, which would require a constitutional amendment, 60 percent of the House and Senate could place a recall measure before the electorate. If a majority voted in favor, the president and vice president would be ousted and the Speaker of the House would become president.

“There seems little danger that the recall provision would be abused. Only two governors have been recalled in the last century, including Gray Davis in California, where Arnold Schwarzenegger has given the recall a good name,” Dallek remarks. A national recall could “help keep our all-too-flawed presidents and their administrations on the straight and narrow.”