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 corrupts...by "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 past...is 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.
Observations, the QandO Podcast for 30 Jan 15
6 hours ago