Sunday, May 17, 2009

What About Term Limits

We need term limits in this country. It is essential. Without term limits there is no way to get rid of corrupt incumbent politicians who almost ALWAYS win re-election.

Currently, there are no term limits for our elected legislators in Washington DC. No term limits for U.S. Representatives. No term limits for U.S. Senators?

Why?

There is a term limit for the President? And why is that? Congress and the people of this country decided a few years ago that they did not want one man to be in power for too long.

In fact, did you know that the United States is one of the 1st countries to ever put a limit on terms for its presidency?

However, there are no term limits for Congressmen.

Currently, a U.S. Senator serves for a 6 year term but can run for re-elections as many times as they want. Representatives of course can run as many times as they want as well for 2 year terms.

And why are their no term limits?

Opponents say that term limits restrict the ability of the people to elect anyone that they want and think would be most qualified.

Oh. So do we not have term limits because the people themselves do not want term limits? Absolutely not. In fact, in the early 90s initiatives and referendums were put on 23 states ballots. In almost every one of these states term limits were approved.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1995 in the case U.S. Term Limits v. Thorton that states cannot impose term limits on federal elected officials. These decision effectively overturned the voters wishes in those 23 states.

This case was in response to an amendment that has been made in the Arkansas state constitution that stated no ballot access would be given to a Congressional candidate that had already served 3 terms in the U.S. House or 2 terms in the U.S. Senate. Soon after this amendment was adopted (by a vote OF THE PEOPLE in November 1992) the League of Women Voters sued the state to have it invalidated stating that it caused restrictions to who was qualified to run per the U.S. Constitution.

The Arkansas Supreme Court agreed that the amendment was unconstitutional. Hang on a minute. The people voted it in to make it PART OF THE CONSTITUTION. If it becomes a part of the Constitution, doesn't that make it Constitutional?!?!?

Anyway, it went all the way to the Supreme Court who declared term limits unconstitutional by a vote of 5-4.

Not only that but the idea of term limits was a part of the Republican Party's so-called Contract With America in 1994. Remember that? What happened there?

I will tell you. The Supreme Court declared that imposing term limits would require a Constitutional amendment. So an amendment was brought to Congress but never got anywhere because it lacked the 2/3 majority needed to bring it to a vote of the people.

So much for this country being of the people and by the people. The people can't even make laws without being told that the laws are illegal. @@

So why don't we have term limits? Because those in power do not want term limits. They want to stay in power.

The members of Congress themselves. The lobbyists that have these Congressmen in their back pockets. The special interest groups that have the Congressmen on their side. They are all opposed to term limits.

Why? Because they fear the idea of a career politician that cares more about their own power than the interests of the American people being forced out of office.

Other opponents of term limits argue that they are opposed to them because we need experience in office. Not novice leaders. Their argument states that we would not want a doctor without experience operating on us so why would we want a politician with no experience working for us in Washington?

I can answer that. Because the politicians with experience DON'T work for us in Washington. They work for themselves! Plan and simple.

Another argument of the opponents states that re-election gives politicians an incentive to do well. What??! What a crock of shit! What about a freaking sense of duty! How about patriotism? How about the desire to do the right thing? Politicians don't need an incentive to do their job? They need to remember that they represent US in Congress, not themselves. I have to say this is one of the stupidest arguments that I ran across.

There is a grassroots organization still ongoing to try and implement term limits on the members of Congress.

Click here to check out that grassroots organizations website.

You can also sign a petition to place limits on Congressional officials.

We really need to go back to the time when being a politicians was a short period, near voluntary public service and not a long-term career to aspire to.

The United States must become once again a system of the people and by the people and for the people.

Help bring an end to career politicians that care more about re-election and their careers than about the people that elected them in the first place.

Click here to sign the petition.

Anyone with their thoughts on term limits (for or against) please feel free to express them here.

3 comments:

  1. The big problem I see with term limits is running out of quality people who want to give up less than a decade of their lives under such public scrutiny etc knowing there is no long term future for them in it.

    Not sure the reward outweighs the benefit or perceived benefit vs the loss of privacy, loss of earnings and loss of experience in their "real" careers.

    This comes at a time when President Obama and Michelle are preaching to young people NOT to go into free enterprise but to commit themselves to public service... you don't commit to a lifetime of "public service" thinking there are going to be term limits. It ain't happenin' as long as Democrats are in power... fuhget aboudit.

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  2. I completely agree with you Steve. We need term limits and we need them now.

    Here is a scary statistic -- incumbents win re-election in this country 98% of the time. When he last ran for re-election, Saddam Hussein won with 99% of the vote. Think about that for a minute.

    Red -- I don't think we'll run out of qualified people. If we could clean up the system, then more good people would actually run, IMHO.

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  3. I know that if our political system was a little less corrupt, I might even run for office much to the disgust of many. :)

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