Thursday, November 17, 2016

 

Political Mayhem Thursday: Term Limits


I spent the start of this week in Washington DC, and people there are confused, worried, and turned around. The election of Donald Trump was not foreseen by either side, really. There is a lot to say about the whole thing, but let's start with a small, digestible bit.

Right off the bat, Trump repeated his argument for Congressional term limits, On 60 Minutes he said “We’re going to put on term limits, which a lot of people aren’t happy about, but we’re putting on term limits.”  

It's not hard to guess who is not "happy" about this, of course: Congress. They like the job, and don't want to give it up. Some of them have been in Congress for most of their adult lives. 

There are strong arguments for term limits, but because of gerrymandering many if not most congressional elections will not be competitive no matter who is running-- they were constructed to be won by one party or the other.

So what do you think about the idea of term limits?


Comments:
Diligent voters
best accountability.
NO to term limits.
 
Then sophomores (and juniors) will be committee chairs.
 
Stop me before I vote again! Terms limits won't solve anything.

And Trump lacks a fundamental understanding of U.S. Law if he thinks he can impose them. This proposal is DOA and the less time spent on it, the better.
 
But he IS representing the constituency that sent him here by pushing this. They do not want an established political class.

Aren't they kind of right?
 
I had to laugh. They talked about draining the swamp but they re-elected all the reptiles in Congress. Would like nothing better than to get rid of the two yahoo's from NC (Burr and Tillis). This will go nowhere for the obvious reasons.
 
I'm open to the idea, but respect that argument that Congress needs an institutional memory--it needs people that know how to get things done when facing a crisis, and or have the creative ability to reach back to a former scenario and draw upon the lessons learned.

One way to accomplish both would be to institute a maximum of 5 terms/10 years for House member and 3 terms/18 years for Senators, or some variation on that idea. Grandfathering in current members would be one way to help get the idea passed, as self-serving as it is.

In addition, in a time of need, like when confronting 9/11 like scenarios, or the financial meltdown, or when facing some new procedural question or proposal to change the rules, nothing would prevent respected former legislators from lending their expertise to the process as advisors and friends of their former colleagues.

That is my two cents, but I don't see it happening!



 
Speaking of institutional memory. I was not aware how far term limits got in the mid-90's, but google turned this article up.
https://www.boundless.com/political-science/textbooks/boundless-political-science-textbook/congress-11/congressional-elections-81/congressional-terms-and-term-limits-447-1558/

 
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