El ocaso de nuestros dioses políticos

Durante algún tiempo pensé que la vigésima segunda enmienda a la Constitución de los Estados Unidos probablemente fuera la mejor forma de velar por que los dirigentes políticos no permanezcan en el poder más tiempo de lo conveniente y, cosa igualmente importante, dejen de ser eficaces. Dicha enmienda prohíbe a los presidentes de los Estados Unidos ocupar el cargo durante más de dos mandatos de cuatro años cada uno.

Tal vez hubiera olvidado los problemas de los predecesores del Presidente George W. Bush en su segundo mandato, pero la sistuación actual de éste muestra que el límite constitucional plantea sus propios problemas. Entre otras cosas, convierte al Presidente en un incapacitado en algún momento de su segundo mandato. ¿Recuerda alguien que, tras su reelección, Bush prometiera reformar el sistema de pensiones (la "Seguridad Social")? Ahora está claramente paralizado no sólo por la oposición demócrata, sino también –y tal vez más– por las luchas sucesorias dentro de su propio partido.

Sin embargo, la suerte del amigo de Bush, el Primer Ministro Tony Blair, muestra que puede haber una situación incapacitadora aun sin un límite constitucional de los mandatos: de hecho, sin constitución escrita alguna. Blair cometió el error fatal de poner su propio límite a su permanencia en el cargo al decir que no se presentaría candidato a una cuarta elección como dirigente del Partido Laborista, pero, incluso sin esa promesa, después de nueve años en el cargo le resultaría difícil combinar un programa de reformas con una idea clara de lo se puede lograr, dado el talante de su partido y del país.

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