Term limits are like ‘political junk food’
Reminding you why the Republicans came up with the idea
Anti-establishment candidates are capitalizing on widespread anti-incumbent fervor and proposing term limits as a way to bring the power back to the people. As political hopefuls try to persuade voters to send them to Congress, they’re also promising they won’t be there long.
It’s a message that polls well and gets applause at campaign rallies, but David King, director of Harvard’s program for Newly Elected Members of the U.S. Congress, said term limits do more harm than good.
Advocates and opponents of term limits are after the same thing: keeping the power out of the hands of lobbyists and special interests.
King says term limits do the opposite by taking the business of lawmaking away from elected representatives and giving it to professional staff and lobbyists.
Instead, the elections process needs better campaign finance laws and a more engaged electorate, he said.
“That leads to a situation in which we reward politicians or statesmen or stateswoman who have been around for a long time and are terrific, while at the same time being able to get rid of the low-quality legislators at all levels,” King said.
Term limits are the perfect solution for lazy-ass whiners. Someone in office you disagree with – will be gone sooner rather than later. It’s about as undemocratic a solution as you might have. The voting electorate loses a choice.
Long favored by populists, it favors political machines over independent elected officials. The machines will be around forever, staffed by willing adherents to 2-party narrowness. An independent activist in office won’t have time enough to build a following, an interactive group of peers willing to fight beyond “safe” limits.