Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Term Limits from the Grass Roots
Constitution Day, 2009 | cc2k

Posted on 09/17/2009 8:29:25 AM PDT by cc2k

We don’t need laws or constitutional amendments to do this, just some disciplin and determination from the electorate.

Seems like at every gathering of conservatives or self proclaimed constitutional patriots that I go to, a very popular theme is term limits. Everyone seems to agree that after spending a few years in Washington DC, even the best, most conservative, most constitutionally aware legislators go soft and are weakened by a combination of lobbyists and partisan politics. And everyone seems to have some proposed solution involving some legislation or possibly even a constitutional amendment.

Well, here’s the reality. We the voters determine who represents us in Washington, DC. We also decide who represents us in our state capitols, our county seats and even our city halls. We also elect (directly or indirectly) leaders of the executive branch in Washington DC, and in all the lower levels of government.

Term limits are possible with no changes to the current rules! All that needs to change is the behavior of the electorate.

As I value the constitution, and I wish for the Federal Congress to at least stop usurping further powers from the states and the people as a prelude to actually reducing federal involvement in areas for which there is no constitutional authority, I believe that new talent is needed in the Congress (and at state and local levels as well, I’ll be covering that later). I also recognize that it’s my duty as a citizen to truly re-evaluate the situation every two years, and to continue to seek further improvements rather than just keeping the status quo.

To move toward this goal, I make the following pledges:

A common complaint against term limits is, “What if I’m happy with the Representative I have. He or she is doing a good job for me.” My response to that is this question. Is this “good” representative the only person in your entire Congressional district who shares your views and can represent you properly? Or, in the case of the United States Senate, is this candidate the only person in your entire state who is committed to smaller government, openness and transparency, and following the constitution. If you answer yes to these questions, this country is already lost. If you think those questions are absurd, and you recognize that, of course there is at least one other person who shares these views, then it’s your duty as a citizen to seek out and find new talent, recruit them as candidates for office.

Now is the time that we should be searching for our candidates for next year. We need to prepare for this coming election cycle. The opportunity to make real changes may never be as good as it will be in 2010. Let’s make 2010 the year we send all the incumbents in Washington DC home.


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS:
Previous postings:

The Two Million Frog March (Why 9-12-2009 spells trouble for Republicans and Democrats alike)

1 posted on 09/17/2009 8:29:26 AM PDT by cc2k
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: goldstategop; nutmeg; CDFingers; SunTzuWu; a fool in paradise; Prokopton; KarlInOhio; ...
A follow up to “The Two Million Frog March (Why 9-12-2009 spells trouble for Republicans and Democrats alike)”. I thought you might be interested.
2 posted on 09/17/2009 8:30:57 AM PDT by cc2k (Are you better off today than you were $4,000,000,000,000 ago?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cc2k

3 posted on 09/17/2009 8:32:45 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Puppage

I like the Second Amendment’s method for “term Limits”!


4 posted on 09/17/2009 8:34:31 AM PDT by US Navy Vet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: cc2k
Well, here’s the reality. We the voters determine who represents us in Washington, DC. We also decide who represents us in our state capitols, our county seats and even our city halls. We also elect (directly or indirectly) leaders of the executive branch in Washington DC, and in all the lower levels of government. Term limits are possible with no changes to the current rules! All that needs to change is the behavior of the electorate.A lack of term limits is why we have people like McCain, Byrd, Kennedy, Murtha, Schumer in office so long.
5 posted on 09/17/2009 8:36:04 AM PDT by wastedyears (The best aid we could ever give Africa would be thousands of rifles to throw out their own dictators)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cc2k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRywBfkuQNk


6 posted on 09/17/2009 8:37:17 AM PDT by Paladin2 (Big Ears + Big Spending --> BigEarMarx, the man behind TOTUS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Puppage

WWAAAYYYYYYY ahead of me. ;-)


7 posted on 09/17/2009 8:38:24 AM PDT by Paladin2 (Big Ears + Big Spending --> BigEarMarx, the man behind TOTUS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: cc2k

No person shall serve more than 12 years in total as a US Senator. No person shall serve more than 12 years in total as a US Representative. No person shall serve more than 12 years total for the offices of President or Vice President. No person shall serve more than 12 years in total in any position that answers directly to the President, Vice President, Senator or Representative


8 posted on 09/17/2009 8:43:23 AM PDT by taxcontrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

I like your idea but would like to change it as follows:
No person shall serve more than 12 years in total as a US Senator. No person shall serve more than 8 years in total as a US Representative. No person shall serve more than 8 years total for the offices of President or Vice President. No person shall serve more than 12 years in total in any position that answers directly to the President, Vice President, Senator or Representative. No person shall serve more than 10 years as a District or Supreme Court judge.


9 posted on 09/17/2009 8:54:18 AM PDT by Eternally-Optimistic (anything is possible)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: cc2k

They should serve only two terms, one in Congress and one in jail.


10 posted on 09/17/2009 8:57:34 AM PDT by stockpirate (Joe Wilson Truth Czar for a Free Republic!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cc2k

Term limits are critical, but neither party will pass them. They were part of the Republican contract with America 1994, broken contract obviously.


11 posted on 09/17/2009 9:03:00 AM PDT by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, redistribution is the government spending you demand")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: wastedyears
cc2k, you nailed it. "Term Limit" legislation is a total fantasy. IT SIMPLY CANNOT HAPPEN !!! No legislator would actually vote to throw himself out of office. On the other hand, we citizens can ---and should--- apply de facto term limits by regularly voting our own congressmen and senators out of office, regardless of party and regardless of whether or not we think he or she "has done a good job." And, yes, we DO intend to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The "baby" has been crapping in the tub!
12 posted on 09/17/2009 9:18:37 AM PDT by Walrus (My congressman is toast in 2010 --- how about yours?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Walrus

I’m not cc2k


13 posted on 09/17/2009 9:27:56 AM PDT by wastedyears (The best aid we could ever give Africa would be thousands of rifles to throw out their own dictators)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: cc2k

Sorry, but I’d still rather see term limits embedded in the Constitution by means of a formal amendment.


14 posted on 09/17/2009 9:36:17 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog ( The Hog of Steel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Walrus
"cc2k, you nailed it. "Term Limit" legislation is a total fantasy. IT SIMPLY CANNOT HAPPEN !!! No legislator would actually vote to throw himself out of office."

Wrong. Term limits have been successfully voted in, in MANY local and state governments. And the politicians really, really, really HATE THEM. Which, in my view, means that they are "a good thing".

15 posted on 09/17/2009 9:39:13 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog ( The Hog of Steel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: cc2k
Tea Party
16 posted on 09/17/2009 9:53:47 AM PDT by xeno
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wastedyears; sickoflibs; Wonder Warthog; Walrus
First a few questions for each of you. Will you join me in my pledges? And, how much have you contributed to the RNC or DNC, or to the Republican/Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee, or the Republican/Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee? Have you ever contributed to the campaign of an incumbent who exceeds your preference for term limits? If you favor term limits, why would you contribute to these committees which are for the most part dedicated to re-electing incumbents way beyond the term limits you claim to support?
wastedyears wrote:
A lack of term limits is why we have people like McCain, Byrd, Kennedy, Murtha, Schumer in office so long.

Sorry, I won’t buy into that. Lazy voters in Arizona, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York are what have kept McCain, Byrd, Kennedy, Murtha and Shumer in office for so long.

If we had term limit laws or a term limit amendment, it would force the issue. But there is no reason, other than laziness, why voters can’t enforce term limits on their own.

sickoflibs wrote:
Term limits are critical, but neither party will pass them. They were part of the Republican contract with America 1994, broken contract obviously.

If you believe any politician who promises to support term limits, you’re very naive. They might follow through, it has actually happened, but it isn’t very likely.

Wonder Warthog wrote:
Sorry, but I’d still rather see term limits embedded in the Constitution by means of a formal amendment.

Nowhere have I said that I am against an amendment specifying term limits. However, I am pointing out the hypocrisy of many who claim to support such an amendment, but also support candidates who exceed the very limits they are proposing.

Are you saying you are unwilling to search for new candidates unless the Constitution is amended to force the issue?

Walrus wrote:
And, yes, we DO intend to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The "baby" has been crapping in the tub!

Well stated. I can’t add to that, but I thought it was worth repeating.

17 posted on 09/17/2009 9:57:13 AM PDT by cc2k (Are you better off today than you were $4,000,000,000,000 ago?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: cc2k

thanks for the ping.

I’m proud that my town in the middle of ‘blue’ NJ, elected an independent mayor a couple of years ago - a fiscal conservative. It was close, but he won; I supported him with my available resources.

Unfortunately this did not work with the last presidential election nor our current gubernatorial one.

I sent back notes to the RNC and state repub party when they come begging, but they seem to care less.


18 posted on 09/17/2009 12:54:08 PM PDT by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: cc2k
"Nowhere have I said that I am against an amendment specifying term limits. However, I am pointing out the hypocrisy of many who claim to support such an amendment, but also support candidates who exceed the very limits they are proposing."

There's no hypocrisy at all involved. A voter would be a fool to vote against a long-serving legislator who he feels is doing a good job WITHOUT statutory term limits, due to the power incrued by that legislator from seniority, which would then be lost.

This is one of the main reasons IN FAVOR of statutory term limits, that it minimizes the loss of power from seniority.

19 posted on 09/17/2009 12:55:18 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog ( The Hog of Steel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Walrus

The problem with this is that gerrymandering laws that are passed by those who got elected has made voting out incumbents nearly impossible.

The incumbents have rigged the game in their favor to make it virtually impossible to kick them out.

It’s actually a direct and blatant attempt to make and end run around the representative system. We do not have a real republic until the entire gerrymandering system is abolished.

My proposal is to have randomly drawn districts that changes every 2 years. That will more than anything ensure term limits.


20 posted on 09/17/2009 1:02:00 PM PDT by Truthsearcher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Truthsearcher
The incumbents have rigged the game in their favor to make it virtually impossible to kick them out.

Unfortunately this is very true. I believe this is a major reason why is it so difficult for an independent to get elected.
21 posted on 09/17/2009 2:48:03 PM PDT by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: cc2k

Term Limits...what brought us to this discussion? How about $158,000 salaries? What about a pension that pays them much of that same salarie once out of office. Oh, and did I mention their health care?

We give candidates incentive to run for office for all the wrong reasons. Take away those reasons and flush out the statesmen..you know those ones who run to actually make a difference.

You get a pledge from a prospective candidate to reduce the salary to the median income for white males (48,000); fund their own retirements like the rest of us; and allow them the same pay-in health care coverage as any other normal Joe. If they even flinch or stall, turn the other way and walk.

The beautiful irony here is that we will NEVER find good candidates if the pay is too lucrative and the benefits to good to turn down. Ask yourself this: Who would want to serve office with what I have described? Not the greedy, that is for sure.


22 posted on 10/01/2009 7:03:25 PM PDT by Arrowhead
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Arrowhead
You make some good points. Someone last weekend suggested an interesting solution for this problem. It would take a constitutional amendment to implement (so it will probably never happen) but it was an interesting thought. The solution was amend the Constitution as follows:

Representatives and Senators shall be employees of the State that they represent. Their compensation, salaries and benefits shall be set by the legislature of their state.

This does a couple of things. First, it put them out of the business of setting their own pay and benefits plans. And it moves those decisions a step closer to We The People.

But even more, it reminds them who they are supposed to be representing. It doesn’t undo the 17th amendment, but it still gives a little reminder with the paycheck or direct deposit stub that "Hey, you work for us back home."


From the desk of
cc2k:

23 posted on 10/01/2009 7:53:02 PM PDT by cc2k (Are you better off today than you were $4,000,000,000,000 ago?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: cc2k

Now THAT is the best idea I have heard yet! So good in fact, we should pursue it! You know who that fella is? When I pass this knowledge on I want to be sure and give proper credit.


24 posted on 10/03/2009 9:08:41 AM PDT by Arrowhead
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: cc2k

Unfortunately, excess incumbency is NOT JUST a voter problem. It is caused by LOCAL redistricting that strongly favors incumbency, and rewards longevity with increasingly friendly wards and precincts.

The only cure for that is to outlaw “Gerrymandering” - the creation of highly distorted, meandering districts that accumulate tiny pockets of support within a sea of opposition. The only mechanism I thought of would be to set a legal maximum ratio of district boundary to district area. Mathematically, the minimum would be 2xPi - about 6.284 - for an almost perfectly circular district. I don’t know what the maximum should be, but my own district is probably in triple digits.


25 posted on 10/07/2009 9:52:51 AM PDT by MainFrame65 (The US Senate: World's greatest PREVARICATIVE body!.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MainFrame65
MainFrame65 wrote:
Unfortunately, excess incumbency is NOT JUST a voter problem. It is caused by LOCAL redistricting that strongly favors incumbency, and rewards longevity with increasingly friendly wards and precincts.

I agree with you that gerrymandering is a problem. But I don’t buy that this isn’t just another problem the voters need to fix. Voters can fix that too.

Who draws the gerrymandered districts? And how do they get the authority to do that? Are they perhaps elected?


From the desk of
cc2k:

26 posted on 10/07/2009 10:55:40 AM PDT by cc2k (Are you better off today than you were $4,000,000,000,000 ago?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: cc2k

True, we DO elect the state and local reps that do the gerrymandering, but in turn they immediately become the incumbents, whose primary interest is the next election. That is the reason that objective, enforceable, LEGAL barriers to it must be created - and the legislatures will NEVER do it for us.


27 posted on 10/08/2009 7:10:38 AM PDT by MainFrame65 (The US Senate: World's greatest PREVARICATIVE body!.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson