Projo Endorses Term Limits

Somewhat out of the blue, the Projo editorial page has come out in favor of term limits for Congressmen…

Now, it’s time for Americans to look at limiting the terms of members of Congress….A good way to start the discussion would be proposing to limit the time in office to, say,10 or 12 years (five or six terms) in the House and 12 years (two terms) in the Senate. That’s enough to provide a necessary learning curve but not so much that these legislators become life-tenured barons whose incumbency, supported by economic interests giving campaign money, thwarts democracy
However, the main question about reviving the term-limits movement is a strategic one; is this really the best time for those dissatisfied with the direction of government to be focusing their energies on a notoriously difficult-to-achieve process goal, when there’s so much happening in the realm of substance requiring careful scrutiny and public involvement?
On the other hand, perhaps if it were part of a larger movement to reform the Federal Government at the Constitutional level…

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George
George
12 years ago

“We may define a republic to be a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. It is essential to such a government that is be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans and claim for their government the honorable title of republic”
— James Madison

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

My problem with term limits is that you throw responsible legislators out along with irresponsible ones. Democracy dictates that we voters do the dirty work of getting rid of the officials who aren’t doing their jobs.

Frank
Frank
12 years ago

I understand your point rhody, but how many responsible elected officials do we really have? Better yet, don’t nearly all of the few responsible ones that are out there see their potential positive effect negated by the overwhelming majority of corrupt individuals who are allowed to return year after year with more savvy and even more influence that they previously held? We are at the point where a huge percentage of our legislature runs unopposed because they are deemed too powerful to beat – that is not exactly democracy in action.
It’s time to give term limits a shot. How could it possibly be any worse than what we have now?

brassband
brassband
12 years ago

I have never favored term limits.
Representatives are up for reelection every other year.
If you think your Rep. (whether in the GA or the U.S. Congress) has been serving for too long, you can run for the seat yourself or support someone else in the effort.
The effort and energy required to enact term limits would be better spent in developing candidates to run against unacceptable incumbents . . . and then running candidates against them if they don’t perform adequately.

Patrick
Patrick
12 years ago

For those opposed to term limits, do you favor eliminating presidential term limits?

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

We probably could. Since FDR, I doubt any of the two-term presidents could’ve been elected to a third (or would even have wanted to run for a third). Truman was pretty unpopular, Ike was pining for the golf course, LBJ had no chance, Reagan was out of gas, America had Clinton fatigue, and Dubya…

George
George
12 years ago

G.H.W. Bush was Reagan’s third term. He could never have won on his own merits.
Reagan would have won a third and fourth term hands-down if it had not been for the 23rd amendment and the on-set of alzheimers.
Though I doubt The Gipper would have run beyond his 2nd term. He had a solid grasp and a deep respect for what the founders intended.

Patrick
Patrick
12 years ago

Well, some say it’s unclear whether the 23rd amendment is for “consecutive” terms or whether Clinton could serve again, either elected or ascend as a VP. But many people also believe that Bill Clinton could have won the presidency in the last two elections.

kathy
kathy
12 years ago

Term limits for everybody. You are supposed to be doing a public service to your comunity. Serve, do something productive, step down, and let someone else have a turn to serve.

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