A Wisconsin lawmaker has changed his mind about term limits. Maybe.
Power that politicians shouldn’t have in the first place is easily abused. And it’s easy to see how incumbents who come to regard inherently abusive power over others as “normal” may succumb to other ethical laxities.
That is, power tends to corrupt. Lord Acton had a point.
On the other hand, some incumbents are morally derelict before they reach office — for example, with respect to the pledges they make to voters as a way of appealing for votes.
Which breach did Scott Krug commit? That of swerving from fidelity to the truth in 2010 about whether he would limit his tenure (“I’m for real. . . . Four years, done.”)? Or that of scuppering an “honest” pledge only after it dawned on him that if he kept his promise not to run again after serving four years, it would mean not running again after serving four years?
Does it matter? If Krug wasn’t lying back then, he’s lying right now when he expatiates about how his newfound appreciation of the Value of Experience trumps any formal vow.
I’m gratified, and not surprised, when candidates keep their term-limit pledges. I’m saddened, but also not surprised, when others fail to. Krug’s cruddy conduct is just one reason I must dispute Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s recent pronouncement that although a hyper-corrupt state like Illinois may need term limits, Wisconsin does not.
Acton’s principle is no respecter of geographic boundaries.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.