Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Senator DeMint Sponsors Term Limits

by Smitty (h/t Audacity of Hypocrisy)

Senator DeMint continues to impress. As incumbency is one of the three Big Evils of the Federal Government (interference with private citizens and the Federal Reserve's "Cosmic Credit Card" being the other two), anything to help restore citizen representation as a meaningful concept at the Federal level is welcome:
Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), and kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) cosponsored the bill. Coburn has long supported term limits. He retired from the House in 2000 after being elected in 1994, pledging only to serve three consecutive terms.

Coburn then ran for Senate and won in 2004. Brownback is stepping down from the Senate in 2010 to run for governor, citing his support for term limits. Hutchison is running for governor against incumbent Rick Perry (R), who is running for a third term in 2010. If elected, Perry will become the longest serving governor in Texas history.
While the argument that limiting the people who can be on the ballot is a Bad Thing, the level of debt and corruption generated in the last century would seem to indicate that incumbency is an order of magnitude worse, or better.


  1. Yeah, term limits will help. Staffers and lobbiests don't have enough power as it is.

  2. @Huey,
    I'd argue that staff/lobbyist 'incumbency' could be correlated with cozy incumbent relationships.

    The point here is that centralization has the appeal of decay, and turning the compost pile more often will help.

  3. How about a limit on how long you can be on the public "dole" period? e.g. The career politicians at the State Department, Pentagon, etc. need to be turned over with more frequency.

  4. I've historically opposed term limits because they restrict my freedom to choose who can represent me. But now I am willing to accept that restriction because the damage from the corruption that comes from "career politicians" is the greater harm.

    I agree with the author. I like what I've been seeing come from DeMint. He is stepping up more often to promote true conservative principles.

  5. The lesson in California is that when you term limit the politicians, you empower the bureaucracy. They are the ones setting policy, wages and retirement plans.

    If we put into place term limits, it needs to apply to them as well.


  6. There is nothing wrong with people who wish to serve serving for as long as the people want them to.

    In fact, longevity can be a good thing. Certainly, in general, it's a "better thing" than having to retrain a new crop of people every year -- just so that as soon as they're up to speed in the legislative process they're out the door for another new crop of legislative virgins.

    And, where are these new people going to come from anyway? Will the creation of term limits cause the creation of a whole new crop of people who wish to go to Washington who differ in any great detail from the old crop? I mean, what NEW is being offered?

    Think about it. Right now, without term limits, we get pretty much a worthless bunch of political hacks who know little to nothing about the very laws they're voting on. (Or, is there some argument that the failure to read the Health Care and Cap & Trade bills is something NEW?)

    With the draw of money, power, a career, retirement, etc....what kind of people do we generally get?

    You believe that we're going to get a BETTER crop of people when the incentive for going to Washington is REDUCED?

    No. That defies logic.

    Again. Nothing wrong with longevity, in fact, longevity is often a "good" thing.

    The problem isn't with how long a representative CAN serve, it's how long many of them DO serve, but that's due to the VOTERS continuing to vote for corrupt, venal idiots even after they are exposed as corrupt, venal idiots.

    Will term limits somehow make voters more informed and less...stupid?


    So, all we're left with is, with term limits, an even smaller pool of corrupt, venal idiots from which to choose -- corrupt, venal idiots who will spend the majority of their time learning the job and the rest of it campaigning for some OTHER job (in or out of government) since their seat is going to be yanked out from under them -- resulting in an increase in power to political machines in the nomination process, an increase in the power of staff as a function of the necessity of having SOME continuity in government (and SOMEONE has to know how to turn the lights on), and lobbyiests who will be the the only ones who have any actual KNOWLEDGE on the issues at hand.

    Me? I'm for the old-fashioned term limits of throwing the bums out for a new set of bums, but, in the rare instance where we have a good one -- KEEP him for as long as he's willing to stay.

  7. I think term limits are an excellent idea but I tend to think that sort of *long* term limits would be best.

    Longevity and the power that comes with it means that the *people* continue to vote for Murtha; continue to vote for Ted Kennedy; etc., because putting a new person in office loses their state influence. People won't vote for that even if they mostly can't stand the guy because they'll lose committee chairmanships and everything else.

    I'd support term limits that let people accumulate experience and influence, but don't let them stay in the House or Senate for their entire lives.

    Maybe 18 or 20 years before they *have* to leave for something else.

  8. Conceding that term limits is a good idea, it will fail unless there is a corresponding change in thinking among the people running, the bureaucrats, and the voters.

  9. Uh --- I always thought term limits mean't you served a couple of terms in elected office to serve your country and then returned to private life.

    My view of ternm limits is not serving in Congress until your term is up; then getting elected as a Senator until your term is up; then getting elected as Governor until your term is up; and, then taking a run at the Presidency.

    All of the people co-sponsoring DeMint's bill are "professional politicians", just rotating between different elected offices. This includes Brownback (who is only leaving the Senate and running as Governor because he thinks it will give him executive experience and a better chance at the Presidency in 2016); Hutchison who is leaving the Senate to run for Governor (probably for the same reasons as Brownback); and unfortunately, Cobourn who seems to also be breaking his word. These people are all hypocrites and no less a "professional politician" than Rick Perry is.