Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Yes, we can term-limit the Congress.

I’m not saying it will be easy. It won’t be easy. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

That’s why I applaud U.S. Senator Jim DeMint for introducing a constitutional amendment to term limit Congress. Three two-year terms maximum for House members, two six-year terms for senators. Says DeMint, “term limits are not enough, of course. . . . But term limits are a good start. Because if we really want reform, we all know it’s not enough just to change the congressmen — we have to change Congress itself.”

DeMint knows that most congressmen are not eager to restrict their own power. But he’s not giving up.

Should he? In his Best of the Web e-letter, James Taranto asks whether DeMint’s proposed amendment will “include a provision stipulating that any senator who reaches the limit automatically becomes president? Because that’s the only way that two thirds of them would ever vote for it.”

Maybe, James. It is easy to be negative about the prospects for implementing major political reforms. One will be right most of the time. But I say it’s better to be an optimistic warrior pushing for the hard-to-accomplish but important-to-accomplish reform. Someday we’ll find the tipping point; someday we’ll see our “representatives” realize they have no choice but to accept term limits.

DeMint’s amendment moves us closer to that day.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

13 Comments

  1. Repeal16 says:

    Repealing the 17th amendment (along with the 16th) would not be a bad idea either. Then the Senators would be more likely to listen to their Governors and State Houses.

  2. Jake Hanson says:

    One way to get this amendment passed is to force every new U.S. representative to sign a statement that states they will back this amendment and have them put up a bond to ensure they do it (or forfeit the money).

  3. voxoreason says:

    Term limits would be nice in DC, but so would the Fair Tax, but neither is going to happen.

    Self-interest will kill term limits, while the Fair Tax doesn’t pass the bar stool test: can you explain it to someone having a beer with you… and do so in 5 minutes without boring your companion into a coma?

    Nope. I’ve read it and could live with it, but the density makes it a snap to take items out of context, use all capital letters, and completely distort what is being proposed.

    You could say the same thing about Obama Care…but you have no say in it! We are mere citizens, not communist rock stars.

    Term limits on the other hand are only too easy to understand. Aye, there’s the rub!

    Then again, if pulled off on the state level (and in lots of states), this would leave state pols approaching the finish line with nothing better to do than run against DC pols currently dis-servicing their states, almost unanimous among dems, while prevalent among repubs (and RINOs, of course; what do they PUT in the water in Maine?).

  4. Gregory Ghica says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! term limits , but wrong term limits proposal with no chance to pass. In order to pass take into consideration the following:

    To learn the way Congress works takes time, and two terms are not sufficient.

    Term limits also have to have an upper age limit as there is a lower age limit to be elected.

    Here is a proposal that could have a chance to succeed:

    1.- Increase the term for a House of Representative from two years to four years.

    2.- Limit the terms to eight terms and 70 years of age, which ever come first. 32 years will be enough for a person to serve the country.

    3.- In the Senate limit the the terms to five terms and 70 years of age which ever come first. 30 years will be enough for any person to serve the country

    4.- For the Supreme Court limt the term to 30 years to serve and 70 years of age which ever come first.

    Such a proposal could have a chance to succeed. Otherwise is a waiste of time.

    Prof. Gregory Ghica
    Retired Political Science College Teacher.

  5. Jim DeMint knows full well that it aint gonna happen. I would believe his sincerity only if he promotes the following to the voters for the next two election cycles (in fact, why don’t YOU make it the subject of your next few columns!!!):

    The only infallible, unstoppable, guaranteed way to get a truly new Congress is :
    NEVER REELECT ANY INCUMBENT! AND DO IT EVERY ELECTION!

    The American voter must IMPOSE term limits by NEVER REELECTING ANYONE IN CONGRESS, AND DO IT EVERY ELECTION! In other words, don’t let anyone serve more than one term. That’s the only way to teach them that the voter is boss! The “one term limit” can be eased AFTER citizens get control of Congress.

    Congress will never allow us to constitutionally term limit them by an amendment. Our only choice is to NEVER REELECT them. All of them!

    The number of ‘good guys’ left in Congress is negligible, so if we threw ALL 535 members out, we wouldn’t do as much damage as the good we would gain by by turning Congress into a bunch of honest, innocent freshmen.

    Some of the reasons in favor of this approach:

    • It gives us a one-term-limited Congress without using an amendment
    • It encourages ordinary citizens to run for Congress
    • It is supported by 70% of the country (see Rasmussen and Cato polls)
    • It is completely nonpartisan
    • If repeated, it ends career politicians in Congress
    • It opens the way to a “citizen Congress” of guys like you and me
    * It would open a torrent of fresh ideas to improve our government
    • It ends the seniority system that keeps freshmen powerless
    • It doesn’t cost money. But you MUST vote! Just don’t vote for an incumbent
    • It takes effect immediately on Election Day
    • It is the only infallible, unstoppable, guaranteed way to “Throw the Bums Out”
    • When the ‘pros’ stop running, ordinary citizens will run and win
    • If it doesn’t work, do it again and again! It will work eventually,without a doubt.

    NEVER REELECT ANYONE IN CONGRESS. AND DO IT EVERY ELECTION!

    Nelson Lee Walker of tenurecorrupts.com
    Send for your free NEVER REELECT bumper sticker to nels96@gmail.com

  6. If two terms years is good enough for the president, it should also serve the members of congress. More than that amount is bad because they become power hungry and too involved with the lobbyists and others who seek favors. Yes, it’s nice to be able to throw them out at the ballot box, but when they run unopposed, it’s impossible to do unless we have a “none of the above” on the ballot which of course is as likely as brown cows giving chocolatae milk. MOst of them are wealthy, so it’s not money they want. It’s the feeling of power and being able to lord their decisions over us little people, showing us that they are running
    things and the hell with our opiniions even when we are in the majority. And once they become powerful, the next thing is greed and corruption, but even then it’s hard to get them out. Look at the ones that have been accused of being corrupt and they’re still in office. If they could stay honest and listen to the people instead of cowtowing to those who give them the big bucks with which to win elections, it might not be so bad for them to be in longer. But as my dad used to say, spit in one hand and wish in he other and see which one fills first. The polysci teacher above who talked about 32 year terms–what good is that except to help him keep a job teaching people about entering poliltics. With the people so much up in arms over health care, cap and trade etc. and the Tea Party movements,maybe this will help get decent people in starting in 2010 who will push for term limits. Lyle R. Rolfe

  7. Joel Glasser says:

    I agree with Mr. Rolfe about his comments about the Poli Sci teacher- 30-32 years in Congress, why bother with term limits- they serve(?)t that long now. And, as mentioned, many (of both parties) run unopposed.

    And, as to the local level-look at New York City- voters imposed term limits, the City Council revoked thwem, “because only Bloomberg” could handle the crisis. Why wasn’t the same thing said about Rudy G? after 9/11).

  8. Timothy James Maki says:

    Paul,

    What a joke. Sounds like George Nethercut from the 5th District in Spokane, WA. Term Limits – Term Limits – was his battle cry. Then after he was elected he declared he was needed and could not keep his campaigne promise to serve ONE Term. Then after he was there for SIX YEARS – and could draw a pension – he stopped running. What a joke. OMG! How long does it take the American people to wake up and see a lie for what it is. Whoever believes this garbage should not be allowed to vote.

  9. Richard Poor says:

    I am for term limits but like many people have trouble placing an exact number on where to stop.

    My main thought on this is that we want to do away with politics a career. We want to have a citizen legislature. If this is the case what we want is to force politicians to return to private sector jobs every once in a while. So, just limiting how long a person can stay in one office is not enough, we need to discourage them from jumping from one elected position to another. To do this we need to make it so they can not run for one elected position while collecting the paycheck from another elected position they are neglecting.

    I also think a good compromise would be that rather than limiting total terms we limit consecutive terms. This helps neutralize the lame duck argument since they will be concerned about ruining their chance to run again down the road. It also makes it so if someone is elected when they are younger they are not eliminated from contributing again if they feel it is necessary when they are older. i.e. a person could serve a few years, then take a time off, relax, reconnect with the real world, get a new perspective on things, and then if the voters agree that they are not used up they can return.

  10. Steven P McNicoll says:

    I agree with James Taranto, sitting Congresscritters are unlikely to support an amendment that limits their power. That’s why a Congressional term limits amendment would have to be written so as not to apply to any current Congresscritter, just as the amendment that limited the President to two terms was.

  11. Paul Jacob, PLEASE write a column addressing the following idea:

    The only infallible, unstoppable, guaranteed way to get a truly new Congress is :
    NEVER REELECT ANY INCUMBENT! AND DO IT EVERY ELECTION!

    The American voter must IMPOSE term limits by NEVER REELECTING ANYONE IN CONGRESS, AND DO IT EVERY ELECTION! In other words, don’t let anyone serve more than one term. That’s the only way to teach them that the voter is boss! The “one term limit” can be eased AFTER citizens get control of Congress.

    Congress will never allow us to constitutionally term limit them by an amendment. Our only choice is to NEVER REELECT them. All of them!

    The number of ‘good guys’ left in Congress is negligible, so if we threw ALL 535 members out, we wouldn’t do as much damage as the good we would gain by by turning Congress into a bunch of honest, innocent freshmen.

    Some of the reasons in favor of this approach:

    • It gives us a one-term-limited Congress without using an amendment
    • It encourages ordinary citizens to run for Congress
    • It is supported by 70% of the country (see Rasmussen and Cato polls)
    • It is completely nonpartisan
    • If repeated, it ends career politicians in Congress
    • It opens the way to a “citizen Congress” of guys like you and me
    * It would open a torrent of fresh ideas to improve our government
    • It ends the seniority system that keeps freshmen powerless
    • It doesn’t cost money. But you MUST vote! Just don’t vote for an incumbent
    • It takes effect immediately on Election Day
    • It is the only infallible, unstoppable, guaranteed way to “Throw the Bums Out”
    • When the ‘pros’ stop running, ordinary citizens will run and win
    • If it doesn’t work, do it again and again! It will work eventually, guaranteed.

    NEVER REELECT ANYONE IN CONGRESS. AND DO IT EVERY ELECTION!

    Nelson Lee Walker of tenurecorrupts.com
    Email nels96@gmail.com for your free NEVER REELECT bumper sticker

  12. CJ says:

    There is so much more work to do internally then externally. What I mean to say is that if we don’t get a handle on who these representatives are representing it doesn’t matter how long they stay in office. Perhaps they should be made to work as long as the rest of us in order to earn entitlements and other benefits? Perhaps their schedule should not reflect the school year with all the time off like those they represent? And perhaps we should eliminate the center isle and have them sit according to an alfabetical seating chart like their counterparts in grade school.

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