Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thoughts on Term Limits

While not the major focus of the Tea Party at the moment, the concept of term limits does seem to have support among many there. I've been somewhat ambivilent about them in the past, agreeing that it seems the only way to get rid of some of the national policy makers who, despite scandal, horrible policy-making, more scandal, senility-induced incompetence, etc nevertheless survive by funneling more of my tax dollars to their constituents every year with a bonus dose on election year. But I disagree that we ought to deprive the diverse local constituencies of their choice of representation by some sort of national dictum. Seems okay with me for the Presidency, even appropriate, but for State-wide representation and District-wide representation, I don't care for it.

One reason, in particular, that I don't like it is unfolding right now. Democrats are not just stating their support for, but are actually petitioning the Speaker of the House to not let the Bush tax cuts expire--not even for the wealthiest 2%. I doubt seriously that this would happen in a non-election year and I doubt even more seriously it would happen if there were term limits and these people knew they were prohibited from running for reelection. As it stands, they recognize their chances of reelection are pretty slim (my own representative, Glenn Nye, a really good guy, for a Democrat, is leading this and is in a desperate race to keep his position). If we didn't have local guys like my guy Nye (sorry), running scared that they'll lose their jobs right after Christmas, we wouldn't be sending our individual influence to the policy makers with such direct impact.

No, I like the Constitutional limits just as they are. Despite their flaws, putting more limits on the American citizenry on how they can vote just doesn't sit well with me.


"The Hammer" said...

Term limits are just stopgap measures to fix a broken system. One of the biggest threats to free and fair elections is gerrymandering. As a man once said, give me the power to draw a district and I will impact the election more than the candidate, more than the party, more than the contributors and ultimately more than the voters.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

I'm sorta with Hammer--though I don't even consider term limits a "stopgap". I just think they are dumb.

Gerrymandering however--there's much mischief there....

Sally said...

I agree with you.. Some people are very effective well into their sixth and succeeding terms. If not, let the voters toss them. Though I do like the GOP policy of term limits as heads of committees as opposed to the Dem policy of chairmen for life.

But I do think we should explore the idea of Congressional age limits. An 86-year-old shouldn't be working at ANY job.

H. Hefner said...

"An 86-year-old shouldn't be working at ANY job."

Sally, Speak for yourself young lady. Speaking of which, what is your self doing tonight?

Stephen Monteith said...

I don't generally like cliches, but I've found this one to be fairly cogent:

"We already have term limits; they're called elections."

You may not like Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi, but frankly, that's irrelevant. They're not your representatives in Congress; they're someone else's, and it's up to those people to reelect them or not.

As for age limits, the same principle applies.

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