I love it when the enemies of term limits make the case for term limits for me. Because then I just have to quote their own words and I can take the rest of the day off. Consider the Portland Press Herald, a newspaper which says the Maine House of Representatives showed “real leadership,” quote-unquote, by calling unsuccessfully for a statewide vote to repeal term limits.
Career politicians who want to repeal term limits? Gee, that’s a profile in courage. The political scientists at the Herald also say that term limits prolong terms rather than limit them, because now challengers wait until the term limit kicks in before daring to compete for the seat. Hoo boy, that’s a good one. As if incumbents never had a lock on their districts prior to term limits. I guess the Herald thinks it would be best if challengers had to wait until incumbents die or retire.
Then, get this, the Herald says Maine needs somebody outside of politics to run the anti-term-limits campaign, the way Maine had somebody outside politics running the pro-term-limits campaign back in the early 1990s. As the Herald puts it, quote, “If the repeal campaign is to succeed, another outsider that the public will trust will have to lead it.” Uh . . . you don’t mean to suggest, do you, Portland Press Herald, that career politicians can’t be trusted? That when you really want something done that has credibility with the public, you need to get an “inexperienced” citizen legislator to do it . . . ? Gosh, that sort of sounds like a point in favor of term limits, doesn’t it? Hey, glad you’re on our side.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.