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Friday, November 13, 2009

Oh fer cryin' out loud: Yet Another Republican Hypocrite Edition
Posted by Jill | 6:30 AM
Two-term republican Senator Jim DeMint thinks we need a Constitutional amendment mandating term limits:
A handful of Republican senators have proposed a constitutional amendment to limit how long a person may serve in Congress.

Currently, there are no term limits for federal lawmakers, but Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, and several of his colleagues are advocating that service in the Senate be limited to 12 years, while lawmakers would only be allowed to serve six years in the House.

"Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians," DeMint said in a statement released by his office. "As long as members have the chance to spend their lives in Washington, their interests will always skew toward spending taxpayer dollars to buyoff special interests, covering over corruption in the bureaucracy, fundraising, relationship building among lobbyists, and trading favors for pork -- in short, amassing their own power."

No word on whether Jim DeMint plans to run for re-election, since he has served the two terms to which he wants to limit OTHER Senators.

There's an easy way to enforce term limits, and that's to have voters pay attention. I live in a town that just out of force of habit elected a mayor who has been on the exclusively-Republican town council for nearly three decades, and ran as the candidate of "change." Voters don't pay attention, and so they vote for the familiar name on the ballot. If voters want term limits, they need to start paying attention and doing the civic part of their duty as citizens.

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Blogger Bob said...
Generally, I'm in favor of term limits for local offices - Mayor, council, not congress. The party out of power always wants term limits. It takes two terms for a good rep to figure out how to be a good rep, provide constituent services, & bring home some bacon. Hubris, incompetence, or complacency have more directly serious consequences close to home, & the greater opportunities for serving in local offices would bring new faces into local party organizations, which would have a ripple effect upward, on the crucial county machines.

Anonymous ted said...
Two terms is one too many in my opinion. Even TWO too many for some of the crooks we elect.
But as I've said here and elsewhere, we have the government we deserve. And for whatever reason the American voter wants crooked politicians in office. But we're not even getting the A-list crooks! As we've just seen, crooks can do much better running hedge funds and major brokerage firms than they can getting elected to office. Politicians to them are just the hired help!

But the unintended consequence I see from term limits is that the politicians will now have a much shorter time to "get theirs" and "assure their retirement" and will have very little incentive -- like comes from being reelected periodically -- to behave. Until and unless we make it seriously illegal -- and ENFORCE it -- to accept any private money in political campaigns we will have a corporacracy.

Be VERY careful what you wish for...

Maybe we should hope that the 2012 doomsday predictions are true!

Blogger Barry said...
I have mixed feelings about term limits myself, but I'm having a hard time seeing the "hypocrisy" here. You yourself said "No word on whether Jim DeMint plans to run for re-election." What am I missing?

Anonymous Charlie O said...
I agree that the ballot box is the true arbiter for term limits, but you do have to admit that many of these guys just don't know when it's time to go home. Look at Strom Thurmond and currently Robert Byrd. They were serving in the US Senate yet obviously too feeble to get around on their own.

Anonymous mandt said...
It's time to establish Howdy Doodie as a third party, Tea Bag candidate.

Blogger Rhode Island Rules said...
I would love to see term limits but in reality if you do happen to have good representation you would be loathe to lose it due to "time's up". It is an unfortunate thing that reps have to stay a long time in order to move up on committees, etc. And in today's world I agree with Ted that the people who get in to politics to "get theirs" will just speed it up and get it quicker.

In addition to increased enforcement of ethics one thing I would love to see implemented is that any person seeking federal office need to take a basic US History and Civics test. If they do not pass it, they cannot run. They are welcome to keep trying (like the bar or a driver's test) but until they pass they cannot run.

Anonymous ted said...
Your comment about "losing" good representation simply reinforces the obvious problem: Electing a "good" politician these days is so unusual that we notice it and don't want to lose it [him/her]. There are doubtless many good people who would make excellent -- and honest -- representatives if they could be enticed to run. If only we could find a way!

As to your other point: I would insist on more than a "basic" test of history and civics. I'd accept nothing less than the citizenship test which is way beyond "basic". Perhaps we should only allow immigrant citizens to run for office.. They at least should know why they are here!

Blogger Rhode Island Rules said...
I agree with you Ted on the test, but we have to take baby steps for these idiots to catch up.

We in Rhode Island have been spoiled (or smart in voting)in that for the smallest State we have had some giants. Sen. John Pastore, Sen. John Chaffee, Sen. Claiborne Pell and recently Cong. James Langevin has been doing well and Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse have been upstanding. I don't think you will see any ethics scandals from the current crop.

I think for the most part, across the entire country, that the "good" people cannot be encouraged to run because they know that it would make them sick to their stomachs to be around such dishonesty, lack of principles and among so many self-serving people. I'm sure there are many who start in politics hoping to make a difference but in the end give in to the graft and start loving the power.