Term limits for Congress would (in my opinion) go a long way toward eliminating lobbying, graft, pork barrel politics, and sleazy back-room deals. That's why it is nearly impossible to implement such a thing.
Freedom and the GOP are dying under 'Leader' McConnell. In a not-so-subtle chess move late last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., sent a signal to his rank-and-file that the time is coming to capitulate to Democrats on health care reform. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., did not hesitate to exploit the weakness: [...] Stock criticisms of McConnell's conservatism and principle indeed apply. But this last fumble, here at the final showdown over Obamacare — the apex of our generation's duty to limited government — goes well beyond questions of principle; it reveals a basic lack of competence to lead the Senate. The majority leader is not up to the job.
Maxine Waters as Resistance Leader? What a Joke. Thirteen-term Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters, Beltway barnacle permanently affixed to USS Government, is now the fresh-faced "rock star" of the Democratic party. [...] Waters has spent 37 years in office — many of those years as head of the Congressional Black Caucus — promising to make life better for constituents in economically ravaged South Central Los Angeles. What do the denizens of her district have to show for it?
Sen. Dianne Feinstein at 84 is not planning to retire. California's Dianne Feinstein turns 84 on Thursday and is displaying signs that she's headed for a re-election campaign, not a retirement party.
The Price of Power: Congress' Maddening Cash Quota System. Here is an exclusive first look at a new report that says you can put a price on success when it comes to Congress. The report by "Issue One" exposes the secretive money system in which members of Congress "buy" top spots on the most powerful committees. To raise the money, they often collect from the very interests their committees are supposed to oversee... As an example, ordinary Republicans have six-figure party "dues."
Is Nancy Pelosi The Poster Girl For Term Limits? Pelosi has been in office since 1987 — after inheriting the seat from her predecessor, Sala Burton, who had it bequeathed to her by her husband, Phillip Burton. Phillip Burton had been elected to Congress in a special election in February 1964 and held California's 6th Congressional District seat for 10 consecutive elections until his death in 1983. His wife, Sala Burton replaced him. When Sala became ill with cancer in 1986, she decided to not run for reelection but instead put her support behind her friend, 46-year old Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi won the seat in a special election after Sala's death and hasn't had any real opposition since. She hasn't even participated in a candidates' debate since that first election in 1987.
Congressman: Term Limits 'Only Going to Happen If Enough Americans Make It Happen'. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) on Thursday urged American citizens to mobilize support for limiting congressional terms, which he believes would be a major step in fixing a broken system. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Freedom Caucus Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) have all voiced support for setting term limits. Cruz and DeSantis in January proposed a constitutional amendment that would limit senators to two six-year terms and House members to three two-year terms. A constitutional amendment requires two-thirds support in both chambers of Congress, which would set the stage for state ratification.
Congressman Says Corruption in Washington Is 'Worse Than You Think'. Corruption on Capitol Hill is "worse than you think," Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., insists. "When you first get here, you think that you are in some sort of fairy-tale novel," Buck said. "They wine and dine you and they show you just exactly what it's like if you play the game. It's a wonderful life." Things quickly change, however, if "you don't play the game." "If you don't play the game ... it becomes a much less conformable existence here," Buck said.
Throw The Bums Out — And Other Reforms. Being a member of Congress was never supposed to be a lifetime employment. But for many, that's what it's become. And even those who don't spend decades in Congress — the average member of Congress serves more than nine years — do the next best thing and often become lobbyists so they can keep paddling in the swamp. President Trump supports, as do I, term limits for Congress to "clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, D.C.," as well as a five-year ban before members of the executive branch and members of Congress can be employed as lobbyists. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, has declared that term-limit proposals are dead on arrival: "I would say we have term limits now," Mr. McConnell told reporters. "They're called elections. And it will not be on the agenda in the Senate." McConnell has been in the U.S. Senate for thirty-three years; he's the longest-serving senator in the history of Kentucky. He's about the last person you'd expect to want to drain the swamp, because he thrives in it, and you'd be right. He is a firm supporter of the Washington swamp status quo. And he's a perfect reason why we need term limits — because while his seniority might make him useful to some of the people of Kentucky, it also makes him a firm opponent of necessary congressional reform.
The Government Doesn't Care About You. Let's be honest: congressmen don't care about America, and they certainly don't care about you and me, the individuals. Their every thought revolves around maintaining power and getting re-elected.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch willing to step aside for Mitt Romney. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said he would be open to step aside and not run for re-election in 2018 if a candidate like Mitt Romney were to run for his position in his stead. In an interview with National Journal, the Republican senator who has been in office since 1976 said he "might very well consider" not campaigning for another term if an "outstanding person" were to run for his position.
Orrin Hatch is a lying Beltway clinger who deserves to be kicked to the curb. In the last four years, since Sen. Hatch's landslide reelection in 2012, his voting record has repeatedly broken his promise to serve as a conservative senator. Hatch has voted to fund Obamacare, to give amnesty to illegal aliens in the Gang of 8 bill, and to pass a 1,582 page Omnibus spending bill. Hatch also voted over and over again to raise the debt ceiling and continue President Obama's big-spending liberal agenda. Hatch's record in this last term goes against everything he stood for on the campaign trail in 2012, when he ran on a solid constitutional agenda devoted to stopping President Obama's liberal agenda. Now he expects the people of Utah to send him back to the United States Senate for an eighth consecutive term.
Why Term-Limiting People Like John Lewis Would be Good for the Nation. John Lewis has been a Representative for Georgia's 5th district for 28 years. The 5th district of Georgia, which is mostly the city of Atlanta, has seen 5,203 commissions of violent crime in 2015, with 94 murders, 170 rapes, almost 2,000 robberies, almost 3,000 aggravated assaults and 25,556 total property crimes according to the FBI. Trump is right, Atlanta is crime-ridden. But not only is Atlanta a pretty dangerous city, it has become more dangerous since it has become a major drug-trafficking hub for Mexican drug cartels.
Chaffetz Wants To Relocate Federal Agencies Away From Washington, D.C.. Four of the five richest counties in the U.S. are Washington, D.C. suburbs — Loudoun, Fairfax and Arlington in Virginia and Howard in Maryland — so it is unsurprising that many Americans question the federal government taking money to prop up far-off elites? One solution to the federal government being too expensive and out-of-touch is moving parts of it away from Washington, D.C., according to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz.
Senator Chuck Schumer — A good example of why we need term limits in Congress. There is no better representation of why we need term limits than Chuck Schumer. Opponents of term limits claim experience is necessary. That claim is antithetical to representative government, because it implies that the people are rubes and need the "smarter, better" people to make decisions for them. It's in line with a need for rulers, instead of a representative. I don't know what the Republicans will do on Obamacare, I'm not automatically in favor of whatever they do because they are Republicans. That's partisan hackery. But because of the fact that government programs, once in place, never die, means we will be fighting over what we have lost for a very long time because of the government take over of health insurance.
Cruz, DeSantis push for congressional term limits. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) are pushing for an amendment to the Constitution to place term limits on lawmakers, arguing the move will help overhaul Washington. "The American people resoundingly agreed on Election Day, and President-elect Donald Trump has committed to putting government back to work for the American people," Cruz said in a statement on Tuesday. "It is well past time to put an end to the cronyism and deceit that has transformed Washington into a graveyard of good intentions." Under an amendment the two GOP lawmakers filed on Tuesday [1/3/2017], House members would be allowed to serve three two-year terms and senators would be able to serve two six-year terms.
Democrat Moonbats Have a New Swamp Defender — Maxine Waters. One third of all recently elected Democrats hail from only three states: New York, Massachusetts and California. The entire party apparatus is increasingly ancient, archaic and collapsing unto itself because it now focuses entirely on social issues. Speaking of archaic — The Democrat House leader for the past 14 years is 76-year-old Nancy Pelosi. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is 77, and Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn of South Carolina is 76. Representative Maxine Waters, also from California, is in her twenty-fifth year in the House (elected '91). She is also 78 years old.
Here's What the Founders Thought About Term Limits. With the sudden dominance of Republicans in Congress, state legislatures, and, of course, the White House, conservatives have an incredible opportunity to restore constitutional principles to government. Several lawmakers have brought back the old idea of congressional term limits to "drain the swamp" on Capitol Hill. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post suggesting they will endorse a constitutional amendment to limit the number of times a legislator can run for re-election to the same office, an idea that was also popularized by President-elect Donald Trump during his campaign.
Census Bureau: 4 Richest Counties in U.S. Are Suburbs of D.C.. The four richest counties in the United States, when measured by median household income, are all suburbs of Washington, D.C., according to newly released data from the Census Bureau. They are Loudoun County, Va., where the median household income was $125,900 in 2015; Falls Church City, Va., where it was $122,092; Fairfax County, Va., where it was $112,844; and Howard County, Md., where it was $110,224. The Census Bureau treats independent cities such as Falls Church, Va., as the equivalent of a county when calculating its median household income statistics.
Draining the Swamp: Ted Cruz and Ron DeSantis to Propose Constitutional Amendment on Term Limits. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) have revealed their plans to introduce a constitutional amendment that will impose term limits for both congressmen and senators. In a joint op-ed for The Washington Post, the two Republican firebrands said that term limits would be an effective way for the new Republican administration to "drain the swamp." "We believe that the rise of political careerism in modern Washington is a drastic departure from what the founders intended of our federal governing bodies. To effectively "drain the swamp," we believe it is past time to enact term limits for Congress."
More Voters Than Ever Want Term Limits for Congress. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is calling for term limits on members of Congress even though his party currently controls both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Voters agree more strongly than ever with the need for term limits but also still doubt Congress will go along with them. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 74% of Likely U.S. Voters favor establishing term limits for all members of Congress. Just 13% are opposed, while just as many (13%) are undecided.
Evan Bayh Is A Carpetbagger. I live in the same neighborhood as Evan Bayh. Or so he wants Indiana voters to believe. Yet I never seem to see him at CVS or Dunkin Donuts or Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts. I sure would love to give that guy a friendly wave and a "Howdy, neighbor!" But he's never around. As it turns out, I'm not just imagining things.
8 Times Liberals Claimed An Election Was Stolen Or Rigged. In 2014, [Ezra] Klein wrote a piece explaining that the election process is skewed in favor of incumbent candidates. Once in office, candidates often get to have a say in where the electoral lines are drawn — which means they can gerrymander their way into staying in office. "A new Rasmussen poll finds that 68 percent of Americans think elections are rigged in favor of incumbents," he wrote. "And they're basically right. ... Few congressional elections are seriously competitive. Reelection rates for incumbents tend to hover around 90 percent."
CNN Host Tries to Burn Trump, Thinks Members of Congress Already Have Term Limits. CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin criticized Donald Trump's call for term limits on members of Congress on Tuesday [10/18/2016] by incorrectly saying that such limits already existed. As part of a new policy to "drain the swamp" in Washington, D.C., Trump announced Tuesday he would push for a constitutional amendment as president to impose term limits on all members of Congress. "Correct me, there already are term limits, so what does he mean?" Baldwin skeptically asked reporter Dana Bash. Indeed, Baldwin had to be corrected. Bash did so politely.
Smug CNN Moonbat Claims "There are already term limits in congress". In what can only be described as the current intelligence customarily found amid the Clinton News Network, host and pundit Brooke Baldwin looks at her panel, smugly and condescendingly replying: ... "there are already term limits, so what does he mean"? [Video clip]
CNN Anchor Brooke Baldwin Doesn't Know There Are No Term Limits for Members of Congress. The liberal media that is pushing Hillary Clinton down our throats while trashing Donald Trump every chance they get may not be as informed as they portray themselves. Take for instance CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin who is under the impression that there are term limits for members of the US Congress. Even funnier is that she made this mistaken point while trying to stick it to Trump. Brooke Baldwin is a fairly attractive woman and perhaps she got her job more on her looks than her journalist chops. On Tuesday she was reporting that Donald Trump has made a pledge that if he were elected president, he would propose a Constitutional amendment that would place term limits on Congress. Here's what Baldwin had to say about this: [...]
Bill Clinton is not responsible for the economic boom of the 90s. Politicians, have no value per se, they do not need to have a skill, be literate, do their jobs properly, or perform excellent customer service. In fact, quite the opposite. Once elected, a politican needs to be proven to commit huge crimes in order to be ousted from office. And that, as we've seen with HRC, is nearly impossible (because, they control the police, FBI, etc.). Politicans have no value or skill — they have POWER. Because once they are in office, they can enact ordinances, executive orders, create taxes, declare emergencies, zone property, create business licenses, enforce or not enforce regulations, and many other powers.
Former state Sen. Al Lawson beats longtime U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown in Congressional District 5. Embattled U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown lost her bid for a 13th term in Congress on Tuesday [8/30/2016], outpolled by former state Sen. Al Lawson while a federal fraud trial loomed ahead of her.
Our System Was Not Designed for Career Politicians. As an avid supporter of term limits, I have addressed this subject in this column many times over the years and have received some valid and sensible opposition to my opinion. The basic counter argument is that the bi-yearly or quad-yearly elections serve as term limits, as the voters have a chance to replace any candidate, but if they are doing a good job for their state, congressional district or whatever, why should they be removed from office just because they have served a prescribed amount of terms? Well, one rebuttal is fairly obvious and the other more obscure. [...]
The Unlearned Lessons of Watergate. [Scroll down] While most citizens believe that their federal legislators should go to Washington to legislate on the important issues of the day, they are appalled when they learn the number of hours legislators actually spend fundraising rather than legislating. Simply put, it is time for bipartisan, legislative action that benefits average Americans — not the special interests — to become the norm in Washington again, and the first step to a functioning government is relieving the stranglehold money has over how we elect our leaders.
Eight-term GOP congressman loses primary. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., became the third congressman and second Republican on Tuesday to be ousted in a primary this year. Forbes is an eight-term lawmaker from the 2nd District of Virginia, and his loss to state House delegate and former Navy SEAL Scott Taylor was due in part to redistricting in the state.
In year of supposed angry electorate, just one congressional incumbent ousted in primary. In the year of the supposed angry electorate, millions of frustrated voters have put their weight behind the outsider presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders but continue to back congressional incumbents — ousting only one so far in hundreds of 2016 primaries contests. The lone victim was Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah, but his ouster appeared more about questionable ethics than frustration with Washington insiders. The 11-term congressman is facing a 29-count federal indictment related to racketeering, bribery and mail fraud.
Politician tells all in manifesto. An anonymous congressman has dropped a bombshell election-year book that confirms why Americans hate their national government and have rallied to anti-establishment presidential candidates like Donald Trump. The veteran politician lays bare a rotten and corrupt Congress enslaved by lobbyists and interested only in re-election in an anonymous, 65-page manifesto called "The Confessions of Congressman X." "Like most of my colleagues, I promise my constituents a lot of stuff I can never deliver," he admits. "But [...] My main job is to keep my job."
America Needs Congressional Term-Limits And A President From Outside-the-Beltway. To better understand why Republicans don't want an "outsider" in the White House, we need an honest assessment of congress members. Their average salary of $174,000 is three times the average American's salary of $52,000 — and many citizens are paid much less than that — if they are employed at all. Congress has set its own pay scales for years, and surreptitiously increased its own salaries while providing inadequate or zero cost of living adjustments for Social Security recipients, many who are elderly with health problems. Congress voted to put the public under the costly and flawed Obamacare, while exempting themselves because they have much better health coverage. Congress members who have served only five years are entitled to a governmental pension, whereas a citizens must have at least twenty years or more of service to qualify.
Plans for Congress Term Limits Must Be Kept Short and Tight. Term Limits is a weapon that should be used to stop congressional spending which always ends up by creating bigger governments, more taxes and ever-mounting debt that punishes our children and perhaps even drives more nails into the country's coffin. But instead of getting to the heart of the matter most proposals nibble at the edges and leave matters almost as bad as they found them. No one seems willing to jump on the wagon and drive it home with a workable goal. I have been preaching for several years that we need to stop legislative robbery. I'm talking about how we get novice politicos that come to Washington almost penniless and in a very few short years they are filing tax returns in the millions of dollars. How'd they do that on a salary of $174.K per year?
The Entrenched Parties Have Weakened America. The rise of Trump is not a fluke, but it reflects anger with the establishment. His vocabulary is inflammatory; he is braggadocio to a fault. The establishment opponents do not understand the frustrations of the citizenry. Our conservative leaders have not redeemed their promise to halt Obama's Executive Orders, his damage to our military, the bleeding of our treasury, the division among the races, illegal immigration at the expense of citizens and states, and loss of national pride and exceptionalism. Our nation is resilient, but our politicians have created this mess.
Monarchical Obama? Real monarchs are humbler and a whole lot cheaper. [Scroll down] For at least 100 years, power has been dribbling from the 50 states to Washington, and from the legislature to the executive. America's permanent federal bureaucracy has become an unofficial fourth branch, assuming most of the competences once exercised by the Crown. Do you imagine that President Hillary Clinton would reverse this trend? Or President Donald Trump? Even the most literalist conservatives have a tendency to give themselves the benefit of the doubt once their own hands are on the levers of power. And shall I tell you the worst thing? Hardly anyone seems to care. As long as people are getting the outcomes they want, they lose interest in process.
This is one way to "term limit" a politician:
75 Percent of Americans Think U.S. Government Is 'Corrupt'. A shocking finding from a recent Gallup survey explains a great deal of the turmoil rolling through the Presidential contest. A staggering 75 percent of Americans say that "corruption is widespread throughout the government." The number saying the government is corrupt is up dramatically, almost 10 points, since Barack Obama took office. This isn't just the cynicism of technophile citizens in the developed world. The number of Americans who view the government as corrupt is almost twice the number of Germans who believe their government is dirty.
After 25 Years in Congress, Sanders Claims He's 'Not Exactly a Career Politician'. The beginning of this year marked 25 years since Sen. Bernie Sanders first took the oath of office as a U.S. representative. Prior to that he served four terms as the mayor of Burlington — Vermont's largest city. Thus, you could say politics is all Bernie knows, making it all the more bizarre that he apparently doesn't consider himself a career politician.
It Has Come to This. The United States of America that we grew up in, and in some cases fought for, no longer exists. I would like to write something stirring in defense of our Constitution, but it isn't under attack. It is simply ignored. Some have proposed that we have a Constitutional convention to add new amendments. What would that accomplish? Would our present Federal government respect a set of new amendments when they don't respect the old ones? What good does it do to insist on one's rights as a citizen, when in fact mere citizenship has lost its meaning? Americans have no rights officials in Washington feel bound to recognize. Both Republicans and Democrats overrule majority opinion as a matter of course. They do not doubt for a moment that they are the best and brightest, and that our voting franchise is merely an antiquated inconvenience. My elected representatives represent no one but themselves.
Rubio: Amend the U.S. Constitution. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is endorsing a Convention of States to amend the U.S. Constitution, saying it's the only way to impose term limits on Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court and to require a balanced federal budget.
The surprising reason behind Obama's aggressive drive to regulate you more. Leveraging the behavior of massive institutions in a democracy is very difficult. On purpose for stability's sake. Even when control of Congress changes parties, institutional inertia is powerful. Same for altering the direction of accumulating liberal or conservative court decisions. Change requires, well, changing members through election and retirement. Opinion polls show approval of Congress now nearing historic lows in single digits. But wait! Statistics show that in congressional elections every two years, voters routinely reelect at least 90% of Senate and House incumbents — nine out of ten.
Conyers clings on and on and on. A Detroit looking hopefully to the future does not need political representation that's locked to the past. That's what it'll have if voters do what they always do and return Democrat John Conyers to Congress in 2016 just because his name appears on the ballot. A lot of his fellow Democrats were hoping the 86-year-old congressman would forgo seeking a 27th term and give one of Detroit's promising young leaders a chance at the seat. But this week, he announced he'll run once more for re-election.
Bobby Jindal: Fire everybody in Washington. Speaking in the undercard GOP debate Tuesday [11/10/2015] in Milwaukee, Mr. Jindal passed on the chance to answer a moderator's question about which Democrat they admire most on Capitol Hill, calling it a "silly" question and a waste of time. "Let me use my time to say this: I want to fire everybody in DC in both parties," Mr. Jindal said. "We need term limits, get rid of them all, and make them live under the same laws they pass for the rest of us." Mr. Jindal espoused a tough tone in the four-person event, ripping both parties for allowing the federal government to get bigger and bigger.
Wanted: A President of Good Character. The United States is getting slapped around by every thug and bully in the world, from Vladimir Putin, playing the Czar of All Russias, to the Chinese, the Stalinist North Koreans, the proto-Nazis of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Jihadi butchers of ISIS, and most of all, the Persian rug-sellers of Tehran. What a crew. Under Obama the nuclear horse has finally escaped from the barn, and will soon join the other four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Obama hasn't even tried to stop it, after swearing to do so, in public, a couple of hundred times. At the same time Valerie Jarrett was negotiating surrender behind the scenes. All that, thanks to the Washington establishment — yes, even the GOP and the DC lifers — the permanent bureaucrats.
McConnell Angers Conservatives By Blocking Defunding Planned Parenthood, Kate's Law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has never been a favorite of conservatives. Those who see him as a "squishy" compromiser more interested in placating President Barack Obama and K Street lobbyists than the Republican base had more fuel tossed on that fire when he blocked amendments to the Highway Bill Tea Party members wholeheartedly support. One amendment would defund Planned Parenthood, the nationwide abortion provider which receives more than a half billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies annually. McConnell has previously said he supports defunding Planned Parenthood, [...] But the leader blocked an amendment to the Highway Bill that would have defunded the organization.
The Editor says...
America Is Completely On Board with Mark Levin's Proposal for Supreme Court Term Limits. It's okay to have no patience for the hero-centric model of political interest — wherein we fall in line with a leader's opinions like a flag to rally around, neglecting that the conservative movement is about ideas, logic, and never about personality — while believing that Mark Levin's decade of getting it right on the Supreme Court deserves some recognition. Plenty of conservatives — and conservatism itself, via the above point — correctly predicted every negative occurrence of the past decade's adventures in progressivism. But I'm not sure anyone else can claim to have been completely on the mark about the Court's progression, as Levin was with his 2005 book Men in Black.
Ted Cruz Is Right: The Supreme Court Needs Term Limits. In a year in which both liberals and conservatives have had plenty of decisions to cheer for and to criticize, term limits appropriately does not favor either political party or any ideology and has strong bipartisan support. There are many ways to accomplish term limits, but the best idea is that each justice should be appointed for an 18-year, non-renewable term, thus creating a vacancy every two years.
Cruz blasts Supreme Court on rulings, calls for judicial retention elections. Presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz blasted the Supreme Court's rulings on ObamaCare subsidies and same-sex marriage Friday [6/26/2015], branding them "lawless" and calling for a constitutional amendment that would introduce "periodic judicial-retention elections." [...] Arguing that the Constitution specifies that Supreme Court Justices "Shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour," Cruz called for judicial retention elections as a legitimate method for "throwing off judicial tyrants." "Every Justice, beginning with the second national election after his or her appointment, will answer to the American people and the states in a retention election every eight years," Cruz proposed.
The Editor says...
Too bad we've lost interest in term limits. Republican John McCain says he will seek election to a sixth six-year term in the U.S. Senate. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) built a power base over nearly 30 years before deciding this year to retire. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco has 27 years in the House of Representatives. Politicians grow ancient and even die of old age in office. Democrat Robert Byrd spent more than half his life in the Senate, representing West Virginia from 1959 until his death in 2010 at age 92. Republican Strom Thurmond of South Carolina clocked 48 years in the Senate, retiring at age 100 and dying afterward.
Sen. John McCain announces he's running for 6th term. The Arizona Republican made the announcement to run for a sixth term on Monday [4/6/2015] in an interview with NBC News.
The Old, Rich Washington Lawyers' Party. The recent mention of Al Gore as a possible alternative to Hillary Clinton suggests that the top five Democrat contenders, if Gore actually gets in the contest, will be, in order: Hillary, Warren, Biden, Gore, and Webb. Governor O'Malley trails even Webb in the polling data, and Bernie Sanders, of course, is a Socialist and not a Democrat. [...] [These] Democrats are lawyers, Ivy League professors, and federal politicians. They live within the Beltway of Boston to Washington. They are old. Everything about these five reeks of insider influence, unproductive jobs on an engorged public teat, and physically living in the Never-Never Land sandwiched among the rich, spoiled Ivy League academia; the global capital of the news media; and Washington D.C., whose only product is government.
This month's poster child for term limits:
Another Case for Term Limits. In 2010, Plymouth, Conn., was awarded $430,000 for widening sidewalks and related matters near two schools. This money was a portion of the $612 million that Congress had authorized for five years of the federal Safe Routes to School program, which is intended to fight childhood obesity by encouraging children to burn calories by walking or biking to school. Really. Fortunately, Plymouth is near Sharon, Conn., home of the Buckley family, whose members, when their gimlet eyes notice nonsense, become elegantly polemical. So Congress's Safe Routes silliness inadvertently did something excellent. It helped to provoke James Buckley to write a slender book that, if heeded, would substantially improve American governance.
Lott to GOP: Rein in conservative freshmen. Former Senate Republican leader Trent Lott is urging today's GOP leaders to co-opt staunchly conservative freshmen if possible and to marginalize the rest in order to ease congressional gridlock.
Almost half of the 114th Congress has been elected since 2010. Come January, nearly half of Congress (48.8 percent) will have been in office for four years or less — i.e. elected in 2010 or later. That includes 49.7 percent of the House and 45 percent of the Senate — assuming GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy defeats Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in the Louisiana runoff Dec. 6. Going back a little further (based on numbers crunched from Fair Vote data), 63 percent of the new Congress will have been elected in 2006 or later.
The Editor says...
Time for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to go. In politics, there's nothing harder than realizing that it's time to go. People who have made their careers as Beltway politicians start to think they've become indispensable to Washington, when in fact it's Washington that has become indispensable to them. And so they can't or won't recognize when the moment has come to move on to other things. For Democrats Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, that moment has arrived. With the Democrats' midterm losses, the two 74-year-olds should announce that when this session of Congress ends, they will relinquish their roles as leaders of their respective Democratic caucuses.
How the GOP Establishment Plans to Steal Your Election. Almost every anti-establishment firebrand is the same. Elected to break the chokehold that Beltway elites have on the republic, they come to Washington with their constituents' concerns foremost. They are eager to heave overboard the dead weight that sinks the balance of powers, and ready to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Then it happens. One taste of the waters of forgetfulness on Capitol Hill and suddenly their goal is something called "incumbency," and their allegiance is to the powers that be — "the leadership." It hardly matters which party's.
Give Back the Senate. The Seventeenth Amendment made the Senate utterly redundant. Now it's kind of a retirement home for lifers; the House of Lords with six year terms that get further and further away from the people that elected them and who sit in a sort of royal court being serenaded by special interest groups in DC steakhouses. The Senate was designed to protect the power of the states because the more power the states have, the less power the Federal government has — and vice versa.
This month's poster child for term limits:
A new case for Congressional term limits. It is official: America "is at war." We know this because the president's press secretary says so. Congress has not said so, but many members say that the Islamic State must be countered and that they may have more to say about this in a few months.
Term limits would probably eliminate situations like this:
Another poster child for term limits:
Sen. Pat Roberts fends off tea party challenge. Milton Wolf, 43, a Leawood radiologist making his first run for public office, failed to pull the upset in the race against [Senator Pat] Roberts, 78, whose political dates to the late 1960s, when he was a congressional aide.
'Blame Cruz' Is the New 'Blame Bush' for Whiny Democrats. No one is living rent free in more Democrats' heads these days than Ted Cruz. [...] What Cruz is most guilty of is responding to his constituency rather than the popularity police on Capitol Hill. We have created a permanent ruling class thanks to a lazy electorate who returns idiots to office for decades. These idiots stay in office by mugging for the cameras but not really doing much. Anybody new who shows up and acts like a representative in this — you know — representative republic is just asking for trouble.
Career Politicians on the Rise: How to Stem the Tide. The trend creating "career politicians" has been growing for decades, and it has surely contributed to the entrenchment of power in D.C. and its separation from the will of the American people. Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post states, "There are many more people populating our state legislatures and U.S. Congress who have never done anything outside of being a professional politician than there were even a few decades ago.
16 Reasons Why the United States is Going to Hell in a Handbasket. [#8] As former Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura has said; when you spend millions of dollars to get elected to a position that pays a hundred thousand a year, we know those figures don't add up.
Why Are Establishment Republicans Supporting Thad Cochran? Anyone that wants to know what is wrong with today's Republican Party need only look to the state of Mississippi. A 76-year-old Republican Senator, Thad Cochran, who has been serving in the United States Congress for 42 years, is running yet again for another six-year term. This, while his dementia-ridden wife has been sitting in a nursing home for the last 14 years.
Mississippi vote rattles Cochran, Republican country club. Taking out an incumbent U.S. senator is not easy. Nine of 10 senators up for re-election in the last congressional elections held their seats. This kind of job security makes the Senate a bit of a country club, where the attitude of "going along to get along" ensures a life of relative ease and comfort. Tea Party activists have been itching to cancel a few of those country club memberships and invite conservatives of a deeper shade of red to the club. They have a shot now in Mississippi,
No, the Supreme Court Doesn't Need Term Limits. Some of you may believe partisanship is a healthy organic reflection of genuine disagreement in the nation, but for the well-known political scientist Norm Ornstein, there is nothing more devastating than inaction. [...] Limiting terms is hardly a new idea among those on the left who believe that a bunch of old codgers are holding up progress by taking all things too literally. The thing is that Ornstein's justification for term limits is selectively deployed. First off, when you dig a little deeper into his argument, you end up where you always end up when you dig into his argument: "Partisanship" and "polarization" equal "conservatives." Ornstein notes how "asymmetric" things have become as "conservative justices have moved very sharply to the right, liberals a bit more modestly to the left."
Oldest man in Congress makes Texas history — by losing. Ralph Hall made history this week, not just for being the first incumbent defeated this year as he lost in his 18th bid for re-election. The oldest member of Congress — described as an institution in Texas politics — also became the first incumbent Republican House member from Texas to lose his party's nomination in nearly 150 years, according to a review by SmartPolitics, a nonpartisan political news site. Hall's loss to John Ratcliffe, a 48-year-old former U.S. attorney backed by the Tea Party, ends a streak of 256 House primary wins by incumbent Texas Republicans.
Look What 42 Years In DC Has Done to Senator Thad Cochran. There are things that campaign strategists do when they are terrified of losing, and when they are the autopilot for a candidate too detached and insulated to bother monitoring them, things get ugly really quick. [...] It really is DC against the people. We must understand that. It's only us out here, in our towns, small and big, that can change the direction of this nation from the course it is on.
Rep. Ralph Hall defeated by John Ratcliffe. Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Tex.), the oldest-serving member of Congress and one of the last World War II veterans serving on Capitol Hill, became the first incumbent House lawmaker to lose a primary challenge this year by losing Tuesday night to a tea party-backed challenger. Hall lost to John Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney and small-town mayor who spent more than $500,000 of his own fortune to defeat the 18-term incumbent, especially on television ads that raised questions about whether 91-year old Hall was still fit to hold elective office.
Oldest man in Congress fights for another term. [Scroll down] The main topic is Hall himself and whether the oldest man serving in Congress should be elected to an 18th term. "I'm the hardest worker in politics you ever saw," Hall said. "I still run two miles every morning. I vote 99% of the time. I do anything that those other guys do." John Ratcliffe, the Republican trying to unseat Hall, asserts his issue is not with Hall's age but his tenure. A former U.S. attorney and small-town mayor, Ratcliffe said he is trying to make a point about citizen legislators and the need for change in Washington.
Anti-incumbent sentiment strongest in 20 years. A new Gallup poll shows that congressional incumbents should worry about re-election — at least a little bit. More than 70% in the poll say that incumbents don't deserve re-election while only 22% say they do. This represents the lowest percentage of voters who believe incumbents should be returned to Washington in more than 20 years.
Sometimes politicians term-limit themselves.
This 50-Year Congressman Can't Find the Ballot. After nearly 50 years in Congress, John Conyers may end his political career in the most undignified way possible, by not even making the ballot. The Michigan representative is the longest serving African-American in congressional history and will be the most senior elected official on Capitol Hill if he's returned to office next year, but a snafu with the signature-gathering process may cost him a place on the ballot and make a formidable opponent out of a challenger who would otherwise be a long-shot.
Long-Time Dem Rep. John Conyers Fails to Qualify for Election Ballot. Wayne County, Michigan officials reported this weekend that long-time Detroit Democrat Representative John Conyers didn't submit enough signatures to qualify for the ballot this year. Authorities say Conyers was 400 signatures short of having enough to qualify to run for re-election. Many of the signatures were thrown out because some of his signature-gatherers were not registered to vote in Michigan as required by law.
Dem 'disarray'? Florida House candidate drops out, Conyers kept off ballot. Democrats suffered a double blow after their choice candidate in a Florida House race suddenly dropped out and longtime Michigan Rep. John Conyers apparently failed to qualify for the primary ballot in his state. Republicans, looking to defend their majority in the House this fall, seized on the developments as a sign that Democrats are in "disarray" in the mid-terms.
Cochran Lists DC Address As His Primary Residence. Newly revealed documents cast a doubtful glare on where exactly Republican Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran calls home. The documents, as first reported by Breitbart, show that since 2003, Cochran repeatedly lists an address owned by an aide as his primary residence. His campaign claimed that his primary residence was instead a self-described "cabin" in Oxford, MS, but on formal documents, Cochran identified that residence in 2006 and 2010 as a second home.
Ted Cruz: 'Our democratic process is broken and corrupt right now'. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, denounced the current electoral rules as "broken and corrupt" because they favor incumbents, as he responded to retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens' argument in favor of a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to cap campaign donations. "Our democratic process is broken and corrupt right now because politicians in both parties hold on to incumbency," Cruz said during a Senate hearing Wednesday [4/30/2014]. "We need to empower the individual citizens."
Pat Roberts Stumbles in Answering About His Kansas Residency. On the topic of his residency, which has been subject of controversy, [Sen. Pat] Roberts insisted he was a resident of Kansas and downplayed the importance of actually being in Kansas in order to properly represent Kansas. However, Roberts did stumble during his explanation when asked where he spends his time when the Senate is not session, which apparently has not been his declared residency of Dodge City, a home that has been rented out.
GOP primary challenger to Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts: 'Nobody should spend 47 years in Washington'. The Republican challenger to Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., thinks nobody should spend 47 years in Washington. Dr. Milton Wolf, a diagnostic radiologist from the Kansas City area, on Wednesday released a television ad criticizing Roberts for his nearly five decades in the nation's capital. "After 47 years in Washington, Kansas is a distant memory for Pat Roberts," the ad opens, before pivoting to Wolf's daily routine as a Kansas doctor.
For Whom The Tea Party Tolls. Ralph Hall is the oldest person to sit in the House of Representatives in American history. The Texas Republican, who was born in the Harding Adminstration, was first elected to Congress in 1980 and has represented Northeast Texas's 4th Congressionial District ever since. But his time on Capitol Hill may come to an abrupt end in Texas's primary runoff on May 27th as conservatives sense blood in the water.
A case for House term limits. [Scroll down] Think about it. Four-year terms for representatives, senators and presidents. The same start time and end time for the executive and legislative branches of government. A maximum of two terms for any elected official. This is the type of scenario that could potentially create a more democratic and transparent political system that many Americans crave. It would prevent the same old political names from always appearing on the ballot, and, hopefully, encourage new people with good ideas to run for public office.
Congressional Terms & Benefits: A Proposed Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Longtime US Rep. Ralph Hall, 90, Faces Runoff. A conservative former U.S. attorney forced the oldest member of the U.S. House into a runoff election Tuesday night [3/4/2014] for the Republican nomination.
Wife of John Dingell Running for Seat He Is Stepping Down From. If you think the Kennedy dynasty seems to have lasted forever, that's nothing compared to Michigan's 12th congressional district, where Democratic Congressman John Dingell, Jr., 87, who succeeded his father in 1955 and is the longest serving Congressman in U.S. history, announced on Monday that he is stepping down. Dingell is tacitly encouraging his wife, Debbie, 60, to replace him. [...] Dingell's father, John Dingell Sr., served from 1933 to 1955.
29-Term Congressman Retiring, Because 'I Don't Want People to Say I Stayed Too Long'. The longest-serving representative in the history of Congress will be stepping down at the end of this term. Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), who turns 88 years old in July, has served in the House for 58 years and 29 terms. "I'm not going to be carried out feet first," Dingell told the Detroit News. "I don't want people to say I stayed too long." Dingell is expected to announce at a luncheon in his district today that he'll retire from the seat he's held since 1955.
This Senator is 76 years old.
Here's an example of a problem that term limits would mitigate:
Pat Roberts, senator from Kansas: I don't have a home of my own in Kansas. This feels like a re-run of Dick Lugar's last campaign: Midwestern Republican who's spent decades in Washington decides that turning 80 is still too soon to cede power. Lugar didn't reside in his home state either except in the most pro forma way, in order to qualify for the ballot. Roberts has already learned a lesson from that, tacking towards the right over the past year a la Orrin Hatch to pander to tea partiers in hopes that there won't be a groundswell against him as there was against Lugar.
Visiting Wichita isn't the same as living there.
Pat Roberts races to renew ties, if not make a home, in Kansas. It is hard to find anyone who has seen Sen. Pat Roberts here at the red-brick house on a golf course that his voter registration lists as his home. Across town at the Inn Pancake House on Wyatt Earp Boulevard, breakfast regulars say the Republican senator is a virtual stranger. "He calls it home," said Jerald Miller, a retiree. "But I've been here since '77, and I've only seen him twice."
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts won't say how many days he spends in Kansas. Recently the New York Times reported that Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who owns a duplex in Dodge City as well as a house in Alexandria, Va., does not live in the Dodge City home when he is in Kansas. Instead, Roberts has rented out the house for several years; he told the Times he pays a friend $300 a month to stay in a room in the friend's house during visits to his home state. The article set off an uproar, with both Democrats and Republicans slamming Roberts. But the piece did not shed much light on the bigger question, which is how much time Roberts spends in Kansas.
Rep. Mulvaney Introduces Congressional Term Limits Bill. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) announced in a release he introduced a bill this week that would establish term limits for members of Congress. The bill would limit members of Congress — in both the House and the Senate — from serving more than 12 years in either chamber, or 24 years total between the two chambers. "Believe me, 24 years is more than enough time to serve in Washington," Mulvaney said in a statement.
Top 10 Revelations From Robert Gates's Memoir. [#1] Contempt for Congress: Mr. Gates expresses open disdain for Congress and the way lawmakers treated him when he testified at hearings. "I saw most of Congress as uncivil, incompetent at fulfilling their basic constitutional responsibilities (such as timely appropriations), micromanagerial, parochial, hypocritical, egotistical, thin-skinned and prone to put self (and re-election) before country."
Term limits are a check against an American cult of personality. Americans want their presidents to be decisive and effective, but they also, understandably, fear the potential abuse of power. The 22nd Amendment is a practical if imperfect compromise between the need for energy, decisiveness and leadership in the presidency and the republican principle of rotation in office.
Tom Latham is 3rd House member to declare retirement Tuesday. Tuesday was a busy day for House retirements, as Iowa Rep. Tom Latham was the third lawmaker to say he wouldn't run for reelection next year. [...] arlier in the day, Reps. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and Frank Wolf, R-Va., announced they too would step down when their terms end in January 2015.
A Government Separated from the People Cannot Stand. The United States is now controlled by a Democratic and Republican ruling class that transcends government and sees itself as distinct from the rest of society and as the only element that may act on its behalf. The ruling class considers those who resist it as having no moral or intellectual right, and, only reluctantly, any civil right to do so. Power rests, not with the citizens, but with a relatively small group of politicians and financiers, who enhance their personal wealth and privilege by looting the country through a self-serving legislative process.
Challenged by Tea Party, Veteran Mississippi Senator Decides to Run for Seventh Term. Thad Cochran, a Mississippi Republican who was first elected to the Senate in 1978, set up a generational and ideological clash in the state's Republican primary when he announced Friday that he would seek a seventh term in 2014.
Rep. Gutierrez: Obama 'Should Be Expanding His Prosecutorial Discretion'. At a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said that President Barack Obama should be expanding his prosecutorial discretion when it comes to enforcement of immigration laws. "Unfortunately, he should not be limiting his prosecutorial discretion. He should be expanding his prosecutorial discretion," Gutierrez said during a hearing on the constitutionality and legality of actions the Obama administration has taken on issues like the enforcement of immigration laws.
Liberal law prof: Obama's unconstitutional power grabs are creating a "very dangerous and unstable system". Show of hands: Who thinks Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will keep Obama in line? Before you answer, note that leading amnesty shill Luis Gutierrez argued at this same hearing that, if anything, Obama should have a freer hand so that he can go about unilaterally legalizing the illegals Gutierrez has been effectively representing in Congress for years. That's what's left of Democratic opposition to the imperial executive.
On repealing the 22nd amendment. This is one of those issues which seems to pop up reliably during the second act of every two term presidency. Should we impose term limits on US Presidents and was the 22nd amendment really a good idea? It's a concept which has been unofficially in place since the first President and was then enshrined in the constitution in 1951 as a backlash against FDR. Of course, the people most exuberant about the idea tend to be supporters of the current White House occupant and for all the wrong reasons.
WaPo Op-Ed Urges Letting Obama Run for a Third Term so Senate Will "Fear Him". Four more years. 10 trillion more dollars in debt. And by the end of it, we'll have a nuclear war in the Middle East and mandates forcing you to buy everything from electric cars to Michelle Obama's trademark Soy and Asphalt pie.
No Uncertain Terms. On Wednesday [11/27/2013] we observed that it's hard for a political humorist to keep up with the real-life absurdities of the Obama crowd. To illustrate the point, along comes Jonathan Zimmerman, a historian at New York University, with an op-ed in the Washington Post arguing that we need to repeal the 22nd Amendment. Now of course the way this was supposed to work was that Obama would be such an amazing president that he would come to seem indispensable.
Presidential term limits: necessary and right, or bad for democracy? In an opinion piece published in the Washington Post, Jonathan Zimmerman, a history and education professor at New York University, says deciding whether a president deserves a third, fourth or more terms should be left to the American people, not the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which placed a two-term limit on the position.
End presidential term limits. Democratic lawmakers would worry about provoking the wrath of a president who could be reelected. Thanks to term limits, though, they've got little to fear. Nor does Obama have to fear the voters, which might be the scariest problem of all.
Washington Post: Repeal presidential term limits. As President Obama faces a small revolt within his own party, a Washington Post op-ed is calling for the United States to end presidential term limits and allow him to run again in 2016. "Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him," writes New York University Jonathan Zimmerman professor of history and education. "Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves."
Needed: A Different Sort of President. One-term presidencies — or a constitutional change to a single six-year presidential term — make better sense. A single presidential tenure might curtail an incumbent's customary exaggerations about supposed past achievements and the phony promises about great things to come that are apparently necessary for reelection.
Til Death they do Part — The U.S. House. It has become abundantly clear that most of our so-called "patriotic public servants" in D.C. run for office with the intention of staying until "death they do part". They have no allegiance to the constituents they represent nor the Country. It's all about power, corruption, ideology and greed, but We the People re-elect them every two years.
Till Death They Do Part — The House, Part II. [Edward] Markey is 67 years of age and after serving 37½ years in the House was elevated to the Senate by the voters of Massachusetts in a special election. [...] He is second only to Patrick Leahy as the longest serving member of Congress from New England. Edward Markey is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Rep. Markey, with his sidekick Henry Waxman, authored the Cap and Trade Bill. Markey is the primary force behind the global warming/climate change hoax.
The Elites Stumble on Syria. [Scroll down] I suppose you have to have lived in Washington a long time for this fairy tale to make sense. And frankly, some elected officials have lived in Washington for far too long. We must remember that in addition to Senator Graham, John McCain — who like Graham was elected to be the loyal opposition — rushed to the Oval Office weeks ago in support of Obama's Syria policy. In fact, after meeting with President Obama, McCain and Graham emerged confident — even cocky — that they had the entire Syria scenario figured out.
Mark Levin: 'Entrenched' Republican 'losers' may cost GOP the House in 2014. Conservative talker Mark Levin blasted Republican House leaders on his Tuesday [8/13/2013] radio show, warning that by attacking more conservative members of the GOP, Speaker John Boehner and prominent Reps. Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor are throwing away the 2014 midterm elections. Levin, author of "The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic," said the GOP establishment's disparagement of conservative colleagues, could be a disaster in a midterm "turn out the base" election.
Time For Third Party. [Scroll down] What in the world gives the bureaucrats at HUD the unmitigated chutzpa to think that they have a right to determine who lives where? Or perhaps even worse, that they are the arbiters of neighborhood "balance?" In keeping with the true nature of progressivism, this is nothing less than the attempt to regulate society irrespective of talent, ambition and, above all else, liberty. Once again, it illuminates the left's lust for control and their pathetic misunderstanding of human nature.
The Editor says...
Rep. John Dingell's Irresponsible Abuse Of His Bullying Pulpit. Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich) today becomes the longest serving member of Congress in history, with a 57-year tenure. Most of the press coverage of the milestone has focused on the power he wielded, primarily as the chairman of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee from 1981 to 1994. There has been little notice taken of the irresponsibility and tyranny with which he wielded that power.
Dingell, Lautenberg and the Problem With D.C.. In sports, some athletes have a tendency to hang on too long, playing past their prime as their skills diminish considerably. In doing so they put themselves at greater risk of injury even as they become more of a burden to their teammates. But in politics, an even more pernicious force is at work. Some politicians don't "play past their prime." They play until they die in office. The question arises: Who is that helping?
How Did America Become A Paper Tiger? When crises erupt around the world, stock markets crash but the cunning somehow bet short and make billions. Either they are omniscient or somehow manipulating the crisis. It takes money to buy arms, explosives, travel documents, airplane tickets, identities and other resources to foment violence and overturn stable governments. It takes money to finance campaigns to place compliant politicians in office that will pass legislation to benefit their sponsors. Mr. Smith went to Washington and found that the long termers in Congress stayed there thanks to big money.
We need an IQ test for politicians. While politicians talk about expanding background checks for gun owners, I'm starting to think that what we really need are IQ tests for political officeholders. The only problem is, that might leave us with a lot of vacancies in Congress and America's statehouses.
Making the world safe from armed Mallards. Dianne Feinstein is the absolute, living demonstration in support of the concept of term limits for Congress. No pol has been more aggressive than Old Dame Feinstein in seizing on the recent school shooting tragedy in Connecticut to advance her über liberal, gun-grabbing agenda. This old Left Coast tool has recently advanced her silliness to the point of making herself the subject of outright ridicule.
20 Reasons America Is Becoming An Increasingly Nonfunctional Society. [#12] Gerrymandering, increasing partisanship, and a lack of term limits have allowed politics to become a lifetime job for a majority of members of Congress. The average congressman cannot be defeated by a member of the opposing party and only has to worry about making special interest groups on his own side angry enough to back a primary challenger against him. For most members of Congress, once they're elected once, they never have to worry about the voters in their own district again.
One more reason for term limits:
Americans want term limits [...] after re-electing a bunch of incumbents. I'm no fan of term limits in Congressional elections, after my experience in seeing the application in California do nothing but make the dysfunction there arguably worse, and certainly no better. The best solution is to vote out the incumbents one dislikes, by finding better candidates to oppose them.
Whatever Happened to Common Sense? Today we protest against many of the same injustices [Thomas] Paine complained about in Common Sense. What was once a tyranny by the king has become a tyranny of the majority foisted upon an unwilling minority. Voices of opposition are now ignored as politicians scheme in various ways to ensure their re-election. We have come full circle.
Political Elites Keep Power By Blocking Change. A couple of economists have determined that rulers around the world keep their subjects in poverty so they can maintain power. What does this impart to us about where our country is headed today?The covenant of the mob. Americans, along with much of the Western world, have been persuaded to replace their old understanding of lawful, restrained government with a new Covenant of the Mob, in which popular support is the only authority required by the State. [...] The Covenant of the Mob replaces the original model of a strictly limited federal government with something like this: "Let politicians do whatever they think necessary, and if they really screw up, we'll vote them out of office." It's incredibly foolish to trade tough legal restraints on government for punishment at the ballot box.
House Ethics Committee finds no violations in Rep. Waters case. Now serving her 11th term, Waters won her last race with 79 percent of the vote.
7 Unhappy Truths About Politicians. [#4] Most members of Congress aren't particularly competent: On average, the politicians in Congress are generally well meaning, a little smarter than average, a lot more connected, and wealthy — but also considerably less ethical. Beyond that, they're mostly just like a random subsection of a population. If you had a hundred random Americans in a room, a senator probably wouldn't be the smartest person there, the person you'd want in charge, or even necessarily one of the more useful people to have around.
Toqueville Was Right: Four Years Is Enough to Suffer Under Any President. Exactly why do we allow presidents to seek re-election? Why not restrict them all to one four-year term?
Here's a prime example of the problem:
It's Time for Beltway Barnacle Orrin Hatch To Go. Six-term entrenched incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is attacking his conservative challenger, Dan Liljenquist, over his alleged support for tax hikes in Washington. My sides ache. Liljenquist has never voted for federal tax hikes or massive entitlement spending or multibillion-dollar bailouts or serial debt-limit increases in Washington because he has never served in Washington. Never. Hatch, by contrast, has spent the last 36 years racking up a Big Government record that cannot be whitewashed away.
Whoa, Rick Santelli, on Term Limits! The case for congressional term limits is a strong one. Americans would like to have citizen-legislators again. My friend Gov. Rick Perry of Texas strongly advocated cutting congressional pay in half and cutting their sessions to just a few months. Columnist George Will has pumped for term limits for decades. Both Gov. Perry and George Will doubtless see the impact of career politicians in Washington voting for ever more federal spending and enriching themselves in the process. I would like to offer some cautions, however.
This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart
DeMint tries to ban 'permanent politicians'. Sen. Jim DeMint says Washington politicians are like fruit on the vine: the longer they hang around, the more rotten they get. The South Carolina Republican — hearkening back to the days of the party's "Contract with America" — on Tuesday [11/10/2009] offered a fix to the corrupting influence of "permanent politicians," introducing an amendment to the Constitution that would limit Senate members to three six-year terms and House members to three two-year terms.
Declaration of Independence II. There is a symbiotic relationship between the fabulously wealthy and our politicians-for-life. The political establishment, both Republicans and Democrats, use taxpayer money to fund special interests in return for kickbacks in the form of campaign funding and other benefits to remain permanent fixtures in Washington, D.C. Politicians buy votes with our money, then steal our wallets, then repeat the process. It is not capitalism, but socialism for the wealthy. Unfortunately, our permanent politicians are starting to run out of our money.
57% Would Like to Replace Entire Congress. If they could vote to keep or replace the entire Congress, just 25% of voters nationwide would keep the current batch of legislators. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% would vote to replace the entire Congress and start all over again. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure how they would vote.
Lies, Compromise, and Reptiles. In his 2010 State of the Union address, the president was critical of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC. "I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities." The last time I checked, candidates from both major parties gladly accepted donations from "America's most powerful interests," and seem to have no compunctions about continuing the practice.
Breaking the Incumbent Protection Rackets. In a typical election today, the average turnover of congressional seats unrelated to voluntary retirement is under ten percent, sometimes far less. Turnover in 2000 was only three percent. Despite what incumbents claim, in most cycles, elections simply are not effective term limits. Once having created professional legislators, or a "Congress for Life" career path, Congress found it necessary to protect incumbency.
Term limits are far from dead . Term limits ceased to be a practical political possibility when the 1994 Republican congressional majority failed to fulfill their Contract with America promise on the issue, right? Wrong on both counts. The GOP Congress did vote on the issue, but the vote was rigged to insure that no concrete progress was achieved. And term limits, which continue to enjoy massive public support in 2010, CAN become a reality despite the previous setback.
Term limits: It's baaack! It seems inevitable, in retrospect — that the anti-incumbent spirit at work among voters this year would lead to a resurrection of the term limits movement that was last heard from in the 1990s (but never really went away).
It's Term Limits or Certain Slow Death for America. Most, if not all, the grief, antagonism, misconduct, lies, corruption, cheating, intimidation, bribery, and other ailments short of hang-nails and diarrhea on the political scene here in our country can be solved by doing just ONE thing: Pass TERM LIMITS. Unfortunately, it can only be done with Congress' cooperation. ... It will require a truly honorable Congress overwhelmingly dedicated to making our country stronger and less prevalent to the urges of greed and self enriching.
In God We Trust... In Government? Not So Much. By using a vague, collective term such as "government," we give the individual legislators, administrators, regulators, and millions of drones in the government who both actually cause our problems and are the cause of our distrust a free pass. Many people believe that we could solve part of this dilemma through the passage of a term limits amendment. But why do we need one? Every two years we get a chance to replace every member of the House and a third of the Senate. Within a six-year span, every House member, every senator, the president, the entire cabinet, and thousands of senior appointed officials could be gone.
New Republicans catch term-limit fever. In what appears to be a breath of life for the moribund term limits movement, roughly half of the 80-plus Republican House freshmen — and a handful of the newly elected GOP senators — have promised to limit their congressional tenures, with some even promising support for new term limits legislation.
Retirement age: The painful realities of the oldest Congress in history. In February 2009, 83-year-old Rep. John Dingell, Michigan Democrat, became the longest-serving House member in history. In November, 92-year-old Sen. Robert Byrd, West Virginia Democrat, became the longest-serving member of Congress, period. And it's not just those two. This is the oldest Congress measured by its average age since records have been kept.
A Cancer In The Capitol Is Killing Us. America, it's time to clean house in this government and throw all of the sanctimonious tyrants out. It's time to replace every single one of them and then demand that their successors legislate term limits on both the House and the Senate, just like they do for the president. Never again should anyone be allowed to make a lifetime career of public office in Congress. The temptation for corruption is just too compelling to resist over extended periods of time. The consequences of this tradition should now be painfully obvious to anyone.
How to skew the news without really trying. As columnist Jill Stewart notes, "disingenuous reporters hate … term limits because reporters must woo new legislators every eight years, working their butts off for leaks and cell phone numbers." Journalism depends on access. Term limits, by making old cultivated sources of access irrelevant every few terms, make reporters work harder. Why would they want that?
Term Limits: An Idea Built on Solid Ground: Career politicians don't like the idea of a periodic stimulus to electoral competition. Advantages of incumbency that result in mere token (or even zero) electoral opposition in a district are just fine with them.
Coming to Terms With Term Limits. The issue is term limits. When people first began making a case for them, I was completely opposed. I felt that if the voters were happy with their elected officials, it was only right they be free to keep re-electing them. I have completely reversed my position. For one thing, I have come to believe that incumbents have far too great an advantage over their challengers. These days, I don't want any of them — even those few I actually approve of — staying in office for more than a few years.
Solving Whose Problem? No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.
Time's Up, Big Daddy. A South Carolina senator has introduced a constitutional amendment that would set congressional term limits. It should carry the image of a certain West Virginia senator who's been in Washington far too long. Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, the amendment's sponsor, is correct when he says "real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians."
Time to resurrect the term limits movement. Why must the importance of issues that impact our daily lives, and what they portend for our progeny, be degraded by relating them to the personal desires of our duly elected representatives to retain their access to cushy benefits and the perks of power? Are not the ramifications to our collective interests of national fiscal responsibility, defense of our country, energy independence, and health care policy more important than the career longevity of our congressmen?
The case for judicial term limits. The deal that pulled the Senate back from the brink of a shootout over judicial nominations this week didn't really settle anything. Democrats retain the right to filibuster future nominees "under extraordinary circumstances" — a phrase it is left to them to define. … Odds are the deal will collapse as soon as the next vacancy opens up on the Supreme Court.
Benching the judges: Term limits aren't just for the U.S. President and legislatures in 15 states. They deserve to be extended, even to the Supreme Court. Why? … Partisan rancor in the U.S. Senate is dangerously high; add the issue of selecting federal judgeships, especially to the High Court and for a life term, and you reach meltdown.
King Bloomberg. When Mayor Bloomberg deployed his vast personal and political power to overturn the term limits law, he began to demystify the public relations image he had purchased at considerable expense. It was only then that New Yorkers began to recognize the danger of making Gotham's wealthiest man its chief executive. That recognition is the reason his approval rating slipped by nine points in the latest Marist poll. The public chose a mayor; they didn't expect an elected monarch.
The open secret — who runs the show? The legislative staffs at the federal level as well as in the states have far more power than it is polite to talk about. Usually, politicians fear bringing the subject up. They don't want us to realize how much they rely upon their professional staffs to keep cranking out their never-ending batches of half-baked legislation. They only bring it up when they have to: when a goofy provision just seems too goofy even for Congress. Or when their careers are threatened with term limits.
The sleaziest ballot measure in America. Are voters stupid? The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the city's League of Women Voters apparently think so. Both groups are pushing Proposition R on L.A.'s ballot next Tuesday. Prop R is the ultimate test of whether the slick power elite in the City of Angels can fool the people into voting to weaken the city's eight-year term limits law by not telling voters what the measure actually does … by pretending that it "establishes" term limits already established.
Back to the top of this page
Over to The Editorial Page for the overflow from this and other pages.
Back to the Home page
Document location http://akdart.com/tl.html|
Updated July 18, 2017.
©2017 by Andrew K. Dart