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Some claims don’t persuade. For example, the claim that starting a conversation is an effort to end conversation. Or that one “bullies” officeholders by telling constituents what officeholders are up to.

But so contends a Columbus Dispatch editorial (“Don’t let pledges close discussions”) chastising U.S. Term Limits, my old stomping ground, for spotlighting pols plotting to pulverize term limits.

U.S. Term Limits advised constituents of Ohio State Representatives Bob Cupp and Nathan Manning that neither will pledge to forbear from weakening Ohio’s state legislative term limits — and that both men serve on a commission scheming to weaken the limits.

The organization’s mailing is “out of line in two ways,” the paper opines.

First, lawmakers mustn’t “surrender their autonomy to bullying interest groups” but must consider issues “with open minds.” Should these open minds be closed to any reminders of the legitimate interests of constituents? The Dispatch editors write as if they’d never head of politics and political debate before; anyway, as if it should desist forthwith.

Second, the pledge itself is “misplaced,” because Ohio voters must approve any referendum Ohio lawmakers send to ballot; lawmakers can’t act unilaterally. True. But why take even one bad step on a bad road?

How can the Dispatch’s theme be that USTL seeks to “close” discussions of term limits? U.S. Term Limits would be delighted if all Ohioans engaged in loud and long discussions of term limits, as well as of what Ohio lawmakers hope to do to their constitutionally limited terms in office.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


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