Sunday, October 17, 2021

Donald Trump is a ‘lame duck’ president. What does that mean?


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President-elect Joe Biden says ‘it is a humiliation’ that President Donald Trump remains to be refusing to concede the presidential race.

USA TODAY

President Donald Trump has not conceded the 2020 election to Joe Biden, however he is heading into the lame-duck interval of his presidency based mostly on voting projections.

“Lame duck” refers to a politician who stays in energy however will quickly get replaced by a newly-elected successor. Typically, this decreases the power of the “lame duck” officeholder as consideration shifts to the politician’s incoming substitute.

Nevertheless, lame-duck presidents have been recognized to make use of this era to train a few of their powers — such as the presidential pardon — with much less concern about public opinion.

Here is a number of issues to know in regards to the time period:

Are solely presidents referred to as a ‘lame duck’?

No. Different officeholders can even be referred to as “lame geese.”

The Senate recognizes the term and defines a “https://www.usatoday.com/”lame duck’ session” as one which occurs after a November normal election and earlier than a brand new Congress takes energy in January: “Some lawmakers who return for this session won’t be within the subsequent Congress. Therefore, they’re informally referred to as ‘lame duck’ members collaborating in a ‘lame duck’ session.”

Traditionally, the lame-duck session has not led to important bipartisan items of laws.

Nov. 11: Coronavirus stimulus negotiations in a ‘lame duck’ session likely to face more deadlock

The place does the time period come from?

“Lame duck” has gained a mainstream recognition over the course of centuries and certain finds its roots in England through the 1700s.

A Denver Post column, citing Brewer’s Dictionary of phrase & Fable, traces the origin of the time period to the world of London finance, the place it was used to explain an out-of-luck dealer who did not pay his money owed and needed to “waddle out of the alley like a lame duck.” (“Exchange Alley” was a London financial hub at the time.)

Over time, it turned extra generally used because the political time period and is now so broadly accepted that it has its personal Merriam Webster entry.

Some have criticized the time period, nevertheless. A 2015 Atlantic report referred to as it “offensive to both humans and, we can reasonably assume, the entire waterfowl community.” Writing about President Barack Obama’s ultimate days, the journal argued the time period undersells how efficient “lame duck” presidents might be when free of considerations about reelection.

What’s the ‘Lame Duck Modification’?

The hole between election and inauguration is way shorter now than it was, because of the 20th Modification of the Structure.

That modification — nicknamed the “Lame Duck Amendment,” according to the National Archives — was ratified in 1933 and moved up the inauguration and begin of a brand new Congress. 

Earlier than the 20th Modification, the presidential inauguration was held in early March, the archives report. The four-month hole between the election and inauguration was crucial within the early days of the nation to offer new presidents time to uproot their lives and transfer to the nation’s capital.

Contributing: Nicholas Wu and Christal Hayes, USA TODAY

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