Terms Limits for Houses of Congress
It seems that some members of the Republicant Party are again floating the idea of Term Limits for federal Senators and Representatives. Ignoring for the moment that they only do this when they’re out of power, I think this is a bad idea. First off, the members of Congress are not going to take it seriously so this can only be an attempt to distract we the people from the tougher realities.
Second, the history of term limits at State and local levels is not one of uproarious success; from the Mayor of New York getting them overturned so he could spend something like a hundred MILLION dollars to barely scrape out a win to states where citizens report everything from gridlock to bad (worse) laws written by Lobbyists. Although we don’t have state Term Limits on representatives here in Ohio, the bad economy has conspired with money-grubbing businessmen to hoodwink the electorate into passing an incredibly bad (rotten would be a better word) selective-casino-operators-enabling constitutional amendment.
I dread to think how much worse it would be with term-limited members eager to please potential future employers/clients. To say nothing about freshmen representatives who might be mislead by unscrupulous lobbyists (is that redundant?). Looking back into history; how many times has there been a royal adviser that is now recognized as “the power behind the throne“? Basically, a bureaucrat that knows ‘how things really get done’ and so decides what things really get done. From ancient Egyptian viziers to papal advisers to regents of under-age monarchs; even if most of them really do have high ideals, it’s just too risky.
Perhaps we need Term Limits on lobbyists; perhaps we need to tweak (and strongly enforce) campaign finance rules and gift-getting policies. Major corporations have rules on what executives and purchasing agents may and may not accept; should members of congress and their advisers be any different?