The Republican National Convention in Philadelphia was billed as “inclusive.” But there was one issue that was excluded from the gala event and ever so quietly ripped out of the party’s platform: term limits.
It’s not that term limits aren’t popular. They are popular not only with grassroots Republicans, but with 3 of 4 Americans across every demographic group. No, the problem with term limits is that the GOP elite despises them.
Now comfortably in power, they plan to use incumbency to entrench themselves just like the Democrats they replaced. In 1994, Republicans won a House majority for the first time in 40 years by only seven seats. They did so by embracing term limits and winning reform-minded independents as well as energizing their base. But the longtime politicians in Congress were never enthusiastic. As Rep. Mark Sanford points out, “Only when shown polling data . . . on the power of the issue did Republican congressional leaders reluctantly change their minds. The [polls] made clear not only that term limits pulled higher favorable numbers than any other issue in the Contract, but that including a term limit provision could make the difference in as many as 15 House races enough to put the GOP in control of the House for the first time in four decades.” When they won a majority in Congress it was thanks to term limits.
Can Republicans keep that majority with the slogan, “When in Washington do as the career politicians do”?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.