I’m treading on dangerous ground here, but an article in our local paper today got me going again on one of my favorite political rants. Term limits for congress.
According to the article, a number of the Republican (most of them) congressmen (and women) who were swept into office ten years ago in connection with their “contract with America” pledged to limit their own terms to two or three. I applauded that pledge, but knew even then it was doomed to failure.
Sure enough, the article said that while some of those were stepping down after two or three terms, others have decided to stay on. Their excuse for weaseling on their promise? Gee, they figured out that congress works on the seniority system, and in order to get on committees with any power they must have served longer than many others.
Well, duh! That’s part of the problem that term limits will solve!
And are they trying to tell me they didn’t know that’s how congress worked before they campaigned and made their pledge? That stretches my credulity WAY past the breaking point.
So what’s the answer? If we, the American people, want to break the cronyism and good ole boy systems that have caused the abuses in the spending of OUR money for decades, we need to force our congresspersons to pass a mandatory limit on terms.
A pledge from candidates to limit their OWN terms is OK, but as we can see from practice it doesn’t work. It’s unenforceable. Why? Because it’s voluntary. If some limit their own terms and others don’t guess who winds up with all the power.
We need to elect candidates committed to passing a term limits law. That will invalidate the seniority system.
Then we need to put all congresspersons under the same Social Security system as the rest of us. If that were to happen I bet congress would become REAL creative in ways to keep the system solid and solvent, instead of the political football it is today. Ah, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.
I promise not to get off on political ramblings very often. All they’ll do is alienate folks who disagree, and I’m not out to alienate folks. Guess in the future I’ll stick to...??
I’m trying real hard to think of topics to stick to that won’t alienate anyone. Not having much luck.