Saturday, September 4, 2010

BURN: Most Americans Want Term Limits

A Fox News Poll says 78% of American VOTERS support term limits for Congress.  This INCLUDED their own Senator or Representative.

This is a subject I've been all over for the last decades.  Which is to say, I've been for and against term limits, and I know the arguments supporting each position.

But I have a two word irrefutable argument FOR term limits (actually several); Charlie Rangel.  (You can insert your own two or three word argument...i.e., Bwarny Frank...and it works equally well).

The issue, boiled down, is dissipating power.  Power is too concentrated in Washington, DC.  It is further concentrated in the person of a few people who happen to have their butts in a chair in the Congress for long periods of time.  They are immune to removal, as a practical matter, because they hail from districts that would elect them until they die...maybe past.  All politics are local, except when they are not.  These creatures of politics effect all Americans...generally HARM all Americans...and yet are beyond the ability of most Americans to remove.

We can break up this concentration of power...which we know "pre-removing" incumbents.  We do that with term limits.

In the process, we do a great many other very good things.  One reason so much money is spent on political campaigns is BECAUSE of the power incumbents hold.  That works in two directions at once.  A challenger has to overcome the fortification that IS incumbency, and that takes money as a rule.  The incumbent is supported by a lot of money (appreciably more as their seniority is factored in) by people who wish to have influence in the future.  This is important to note: the FUTURE...not the important to donors.  Donors get nothing for a pol's past voting...that is just bones and dust to them.  The meat is in the future.  Where you have a future that extends essentially to the end of your days, in our current system, to buy influence (even just an entree') with you is worth very big money.

We also give a lot of good, smart people a chance to bring their good, smart ideas to the "citizen legislature" our Founders envisioned.

Term limits is an idea whose time has most definitely come, and the WAVE that is coming will put it on the agenda of American politics in the near future...any way you cut it.


  1. "Term limits is an idea whose time has most definitely come, and the WAVE that is coming will put it on the agenda of American politics in the near future...any way you cut it."

    Absolutely no argument in principle. In practice, I don't believe it will happen. Congresscritters will never vote to kill their golden chicken - Dem or Repub. Hope I'm wrong. Anyhow, wouldn't it take a constitutional ammendment? That's 2/3 of both houses. Loooooooooooooong shot at best me thinks.

  2. But there SURE is the steam in the nation to power such a move.

    I agree that self-interest of SITTING congresscretins with dictate they hold on for dear life, for their dear life-times. The people can take that away, though.

    Roughly 80% in favor? THAT is a power to reckon with...

  3. Power in Congress does not fall to the members from the swing districts. It falls to the long term members from either the far left or the far right. The Republicans under Gingrich put in term limits for committee chairmen. The Democrats did not. So, you will get people such as Waxman and Frank forever as long as the Democrats maintain control.

  4. Rick, I don't want MY guys in life-time residence in a Congressional seat. I think it is a FINE idea to allow lots of people a chance to show their stuff, bring their ideas, and SERVE as opposed to RULE in DC.

    We have LOTS of great American folks to do that.