Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Getting to Know You

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The Fourth Estate is coming undone.


But little did I know the problem was term limits.

Respected journalist Tim Skubick complained last November how incredible is the strain created by “44 mostly unknown faces” coming into the Michigan Legislature, adding, “I have to get to know them.”

Courage, Mr. Skubick, courage.

Then yesterday, the Detroit Free Press announced “a growing number of criticisms, from across the political spectrum . . . on just how catastrophic it has been to leave legislative decision-making, in particular, to people with little time on the job.”

“Catastrophic” to the people of Michigan, who now support term limits in greater numbers than when limits passed 23 years ago?

No, that word might better describe the Free Press’s decades of editorializing for the corrupt status quo.

By “across the political spectrum,” the editorial board really means “insiders from across the spectrum.”

The newspaper “offers five different takes on the trouble with term limits”:

  • The op-ed editor posits that legislators need greater experience . . . and only legislative service, not experience elsewhere, is valuable.
  • Another writer argues that being a representative is no different, really, than being a barber or a florist.
  • Legislators sometimes make sacrifices to serve and then are sad they cannot stay in office longer. (Boo-hoo.)
  • Two academics, who have long despised term limits, suggest weakening the limits.
  • A former congressman’s spouse claims elections in this world of social media are term limits. (No evidence offered, there being none.)

All five op-eds oppose term limits; none supported them. This is a liberal broadsheet’s fair and diverse discussion.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

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By: CS Admin


  1. Brian Wright says:

    Yes, the Freep is predictably pro-statist in its arguments against the limits. Nothing new there.

    The real question for us as libertarians is whether term limits has made the Michigan government more oriented toward liberty over the years its been in effect. The answer is clearly no. Or at least it hasn’t been able to stop the state’s slide into abject statism–under a Republican legislature and governor btw. What I see as the true antilibertarian effect is solid voices for liberty–I can rattle off half a dozen–were term-limited before their true effectiveness could be brought to bear against the entrenched aggressors. Term limits are a ‘comfortable illusion,’ like the Libertarian Party. What we need is Nullification and grand jury empowerment to go after statists for actual myriad CRIMES, and failing that, Revolution…. in the form of Gandhian noncompliance and boycott.

  2. Skip Cook says:

    Several years ago, I bumped into an Arkansas Democrat Gazette Reporter.  While covering the issue during the initial campaign in 1991-92 he admitted he was totally closed to the idea, despite having a far less critical stance than most of the media who were so grafted to the good ole boy system they feared having to work for a story if term limits passed in Arkansas.  And pass it did.  

    As we talked for a while, he pronounced he was then a believer.  “I saw it at work”.  Lobbyists and bureaucrats had to be in front of the newbies pitching their often conflicting positions.  It was no longer, “How are Martha and the kids — let’s go have a drink.

    Sadly, the competition we thought we were fostering between Democrats and Republicans has turned out to produce a Republican majority littered with some of the most unethical and despicable legislators.  The majority of whom couched a term limits extension slyly in an “Ethics” Amendment. There was nothing ethical about their amendment whatsoever.  

  3. Robert Wolfe says:

    I can only wish that term limits could fix California’s “one party” legislature. 

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