For most of the congress, I'd like to see their term be 30 to Life in Leavenworth.
For most of the congress, I'd like to see their term be 30 to Life in Leavenworth.
Kelly, Weis, Willingham, & Davies
The United States Imports 70% of Our Oil.
What's the Plan?
"All those things bother me: The populism, the lying and the scapegoating and the xenophobia bother me, but then there’s a layer of incompetence here. I suppose, in a way, we should be thankful: If he had a coherent ideology, he’d probably be more dangerous." P J O'Rourke
Based on your perspective, you'd have to believe all voters have enough knowledge of the free enterprise system, and how a democratic republic works. You also must believe the sheeple offered 'ice cream', will still vote for the good of the nation...but you know that won't happen.
With the dumbing down of the product from our public schools by those with tenure, how can you not see the similarities between that institution and our current 500+ members elected to run the nation's business.
And I for one happen to believe if the founding fathers had a hint of what would become of their nation, they would have written in those limits. But they thought those entering politics were giving up their business at home to 'help' the nation with some of their ideas. They had no way to envision or even fathom the senate and congressional members would turn the institution into a full-time-forever-job. As Marvin stated, remove all those perks and you'll see them abandon Washington like a batch of rats fleeing a sinking ship.
Even if they were required to live by the same rules they legislate for the general public, many would be anxious to make their point and go home.
Just think of how limited the 'campaigns for election', and the limited amounts of $$$$ would be spent on these elections. Of course you won't get any support for this from the main stream press. Many of them LIVE off the political spending.
We can easily, intellectually, construct term limits that can indeed reward those you are fearful will be thrown out with the bath water. They don't have to be an "either/or" hard lined edict. It can be done...along the same lines that tax increases are voted in.
And finally, as Franco stated, how is it the current system is dealing with the ethics now? ANYTHING would be an improvement in my view.
When the one you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.
One cannot reason someone out of something they were not reasoned into. - Jonathan Swift
Thanks, UB. Back at ya. But I'll have to agree with my friend Henry V; I'm never wrong.Nobody I respect more than you, but you are wrong on this count. While those of us in Sodak that finally saw what we had in Tom Dashole, and ousted him, not many states have that kind of insight. I have no say in the keeping of Pork-King-Byrd in office. Or Gun-Control-Feinstein...or Fairness-Doctrine-Waxman.
For every dink like Byrd, Kennedy, etc. there's a Tom Coburn, James Inhofe or Saxby Chambliss. I don't want to throw them out with the bathwater. Each state has a different populace, different politics and different hot buttons. As a Floridian, who am I to tell Minnesota hoopleheads that they're not allowed to have a comic or professional wrassler represent them? Why should some tree humper in the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts be allowed to limit the elected representation of the good people of Texas?I don't think that Americans are dumber or less educated now than in the past. At most times they're apathetic and don't care to be fully informed because they feel by and large detached from what goes on in Washington. Big events and/or big politicians often overcome that apathy and inspire education and action...wars, economic tough times, Reagan, Obama, etc. If there's a difference between the voting public now and in the past it is the ridiculous ease with which uniformed and apathetic people can now cast votes. An uniformed buggy mechanic in 1878 likely wouldn't be bothered to cast a vote. An uniformed auto mechanic in 2008 who checked a box when he got his drivers license renewed has an unsolicited ballot mailed to his home with a pre-addressed and stamped return envelope.Based on your perspective, you'd have to believe all voters have enough knowledge of the free enterprise system, and how a democratic republic works. You also must believe the sheeple offered 'ice cream', will still vote for the good of the nation...but you know that won't happen.
With the dumbing down of the product from our public schools by those with tenure, how can you not see the similarities between that institution and our current 500+ members elected to run the nation's business.I think they did have a hint and that's why there's a 2 year term for the House. The House is supposed to be the coffee cup where steaming hot ideas percolate and overflow and the Senate is the saucer that cools and moderates the spillover (not my analogy). Historically there has been significant turnover in the House; particularly in the last 20 years...which kind of negates the notion that Congress is a lifetime gig or that it's worse now than in the past.And I for one happen to believe if the founding fathers had a hint of what would become of their nation, they would have written in those limits. But they thought those entering politics were giving up their business at home to 'help' the nation with some of their ideas. They had no way to envision or even fathom the senate and congressional members would turn the institution into a full-time-forever-job.
Instead of term limits, what I would like to see done to remove the "untouchable" tag from many House members is to eliminate gerrymandering. Gerrymandering has created districts that virtually guarantee a lifetime of politics for the occupier of that district. Both parties have done it (although the Democrats turned it into an art form). I'd guess at least half of the Congressional Black Caucus (some of the very WORST examples of a permanent political class of do-nothingness and excess) owe their seats to gerrymandering. Texas and Georgia have carved up districts to benefit Republicans. Getting rid of gerrymandered districts solves much of the problems associated with professional politicians.
Hew, I agree with most of what you say. Interestingly, one of the primary objectives of gerrymandering under Republican control following the last two census counts was to place black politicians in districts that were almost completely minority. By creating these "safe" districts, it was possible to avoid having large minority populations potentially providing the balance to elect more liberal candidates in multiple districts. Assume, for argument's sake, that 50% of the people would vote purple and 50% would vote gold. You want to use control of redistricting to "ensure" a purple majority in the legislature. To do this, you draw two types of districts to isolate the gold population. On one hand, you create a small number of districts that are almost 100% gold voters -- creating, say, 20% safe gold districts. In the remaining 80% of districts, you draw districts in which the gold and purple populations are distributed proportionally. Those districts would split the vote 62.5% purple/37.5% gold, with the result that purples would win 80% of legislative seats despite winning only 50% of the vote.
Democrats were actually slower to catch on to this math than Republicans, and were sometimes enticed by the safe seat lure. Now, both sides recognize the importance of this strategy. The downside, however, is what happened to Republicans in the last election. If there is a major shift in votes because of an unpopular President, a district that appears pretty safe can flip completely.
Courts have been reluctant to become involved in redistricting disputes since that is viewed as a purely political function. The exception is for districts where race appears to be a principal factor since that violates other laws. The showdown in Texas where Democrats literally left the state to delay votes on redistricting show just how messy it can get. I'm not sure how the situation can improve when one side or the other sees an opportunity to manipulate our representative system to gain that kind of advantage.
More could be done to reduce some of the advantages of incumbency -- mailing privileges, some fund raising advantages, etc. -- but this remains unlikely and would still not be very effective.
The reality is that, while the large majority of people are unhappy with Congress, the majority are happy with their own representative in Congress. The smaller the district (senate vs house, state senate vs state representative, etc.) the more popular the incumbent is likely to be in the absence of relatively disastrous circumstances. Maybe the reason is that the closer you get to "home," ideology becomes less important and personal relationships and service become more important. Is that a bad thing?