The Washington Post sports a new masthead slogan: “Democracy Dies in Darkness,.”
A story in last Sunday’s Metro section suggests that the editors are yet to fully implement the slogan’s implicit mission — providing impartial, unbiased illumination. “Term limits for Maryland legislators?” reads the headline. “Here’s why that’s unlikely,” it immediately answers.
“Term limits seem highly popular in Maryland,” begin the article.
What produces that elusive sensory perception? I mean, other than every poll ever taken and, as the Post elaborates, “Voters in the state’s two largest jurisdictions, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, strongly endorsed them at the polls in recent years.”
Add to that three other counties, which had previously enacted term limits, the paper informs.
Still, the idea is “widely considered dead on arrival.”
Why? you ask.
“It’s very difficult,” explains Gov. Larry Hogan, “to convince people to willingly give up their power.”
“People” not as in “the People” but, instead, such as Senate President Mike Miller, a 46-year incumbent and the Senate boss for three decades running, and Speaker Mike Busch, a 31-year incumbent and the longest serving speaker in state history.
But wait . . . why didn’t politicians in those five Maryland counties block term limits like state legislators “likely” will? Did their lack of experience cause them to forget to be self-serving jerks?
No. Counties in Maryland have a ballot initiative process whereby citizens can petition term limits directly to a democratic vote. Their elected servants simply cannot ignore them.
The Post piece could have pointed out that very difference — between the democratic outcomes in those counties and an unrepresentative one at the state capitol.
It did not.
Democracy dies in darkness.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.