Advocates of limited government have lamented the decline and fall of the 1994 Republican “revolution” since, well, not long after the so-called revolution began. But before it melted into a puddle of politics-as-usual, there were some serious efforts at reform.
One procedural reform that survived was term limits on committee chairmen. The Democratic leadership, after gaining a majority in 2006, decided to keep these limits.
But now, with their majority increased, a Democrat headed to the White House, and economic collapse as a distraction, they apparently feel the time has become as ripe as a freckled banana to peel away such impediments to their rule. The scuttling of committee chair limits is now part of their new rules package.
The package also limits the ability of Republicans to force votes on bills that would be politically difficult for Democrats to vote on. Sheesh, I thought voting on stuff was the whole idea.
The minority Republicans have sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi, complaining, “This is not the kind of openness and transparency that President-elect Obama promised.”
But they shouldn’t stop there, even if the new rules are implemented over their protest. In politics, it often pays to keep fighting.
Term limits remain very popular with the many of the same voters who also like the openness and accountability the new president keeps talking about.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.