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Term Limits--To Reduce Congressional Crime
ChronWatch ^ | 10 May 2003 | Doc Farmer

Posted on 05/09/2003 4:47:17 PM PDT by DocFarmer

"Term Limits--To Reduce Congressional Crime"

Posted by Doc Farmer Saturday, May 10, 2003

Years ago, there used to be a concept known as ''Jobs for Life.'' It was where a person would be hired at the age of 18, and work at the same firm for 40 or 50 years before either retiring or dropping dead at the office.

It was job security. And it didn't matter how badly you did your job, you'd have to practically burn down the building to get fired--that, or say the wrong thing at the office Christmas party.

But that was long, long ago. Now you can get fired because a consultant wants to downsize a company (while supersizing his bonus), for commenting on someone's haircut (sexual harassment), for a whole host of reasons. There are, however, some jobs that are still considered safe. Some that are, quite literally in some cases, ''Jobs for Life.''

Popes, Kings, Queens, many Dictators...

And then our own version of that:

Congress!

In March 1951, after a historical four-term presidency by Franklin Roosevelt, Congress put the 22nd Amendment into our Constitution. For those of you who haven't read the Constitution recently, it's the one that limits the presidency to two terms of four years each. But for some unfathomable reason, Congress didn't seem to bother with limiting their own terms. I wonder why...

Oh, yeah. Lust for power. How could I forget THAT?

In the days of Thomas Jefferson, he envisioned Congressional service to be just that--a service, not unlike military service or public service. You go to DC, you represent your constituency as best you can, you preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and your Country, and then you go home and go back to a ''real'' job.

Nice theory. But a little problem cropped up. Folks in Congress found out they could vote themselves raises, bonuses, perquisites, and an amazing retirement package. They could send out lots of free mail to the folks back home to tell them all what a wonderful job they are doing, and how nice it would be for everybody if they'd re-elect them so they could do more ''good'' for everybody. Everybody in Congress, that is, but they never seemed to mention that part.

We've now got a Congress where the folks spend millions and millions of dollars--including YOUR tax dollars, by the bye--to get a job that pays over $100 grand a year. Sometimes, they'll blow millions of their OWN money (or that of their rich wives) to get this job. Why? It can't be the pay. It must be the power.

Except Congress was never meant to be the seat of THEIR power. It was supposed to be the seat of OUR power.

So, I've come up with a plan.

I've mentioned the 22nd Amendment above, which was passed over 50 years ago. We've only had 5 more amendments since then--the last one, oddly enough, on Congressional Pay. How very nice for them. Well, it's time for them to pass an amendment that's nice for US!

I call it the 28th Amendment. A boring title, I'll grant you, but it's quite factual. It's subtitle, however, is ''Congressional Term Limits.''

Article One Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives (referred to as ''Senators"''and ''Representatives'') may only serve a single term of service in that position, not to exceed six (6) calendar years in duration.

Simple, ain't it? Six years. Why six? Because the Senate already has that as a baseline structure. Also, it gives the folks in the House of Representatives time to actually LEARN their job. Let's face it, with all the vagaries and parliamentary protocols and Robert's Rules of Order (or is it Robot's Rules of Order?) it takes a few years just to settle in.

Article Two Such limitations shall be inclusive of all Senators and Representatives, including those who are currently serving in office at the time this amendment is ratified. Those Senators and Representatives currently in service at the time of ratification of this amendment will serve the remainder of their current elected term, but will be ineligible for re-election or re-selection to the Senate or House of Representatives.

This little gem gets rid of that annoying ''grandfathering'' process (an appropriate name, considering the average age of those bozos), whereby folks who are already in Congress don't have to abide by their own rules. This tells them that time is up, last call, adios, auf wiedersehen, sayonara, sod off, you don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

Article Three A Representative, upon completion of his or her single term of service in the House of Representatives, may also be elected to serve as a Senator for a single term of service in the Senate. A Senator, upon completion of his or her single term of service in the Senate, may also be elected to serve as a Representative for a single term of service in the House of Representatives.

Call me an old softie, but I don't mind if they take a run at both jobs. And think of it this way. Say someone from the House has served well. S/he wants to continue to "move up the ladder" and the folks back home agree, so s/he gets the job in the Senate. Ambitions rise well, and s/he wants the top job. And gets elected there--twice. Six plus Six plus Four plus Four equals TWENTY years of service. In different jobs, granted, but it's still less time than a lot of folks in congress have spent in the SAME job.

Article Four Representative terms shall be extended from two calendar years to six calendar years, and shall follow a structure for division of voting years equal in structure to Article 1, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States of America for the segregation of the Senate into three equal sections. Such division of the House of Representatives will permit the initial rotation of initial terms for Representatives to be two calendar years, four calendar years and six calendar years. Those Representatives elected in the first election following the ratification of this amendment and whose terms are truncated by being selected in the section of Representatives in the first section (serving two calendar years only) or the second section (serving four calendar years only) will be ineligible for re-election or re-selection to the House of Representatives.

Sorry for the boring technical bits, but this gets the House into the same one-third/one-third/one-third election cycle as the Senate. This also makes sure that the "short-timers" don't try to become "old-timers" at America's expense.

Article Five Senators and Representatives must be resident in the state and/or district they represent for at least four calendar years before they are eligible to be registered on the ballot for election. Resident status is defined as being a citizen of the United States, a registered voter, a property owner and registered as a property and/or income tax payer for that state and/or district, and having lived in such real property as their primary residence for at least 75% of each of the four calendar years prior to their registration on the ballot for election.

I have to admit that this one is my favorite. It eliminates the "carpetbagger" routine that we saw a certain Illini cum Arkansan cum Washingtonian use to get a job "representing" the Knickerbocker state. It also cuts down on an annoying practice I saw when living in the United Kingdom. Folks in power there, especially those in the cabinet, would often try to find a "safe" seat if they lived in a district where the electorate actually knew what a jerk they were.

Article Six To eliminate the risk of a conflict of interests in The Congress, this amendment shall only be revocable when and if such revocation is ratified by 75% of the popular vote per state, and the legislatures of 75% of the several states, or by conventions in 75% thereof. The Congress shall not have unilateral authority to revoke this amendment.

In other words, don't try and pull a fast one on the American People. Again.

http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=2639

(Excerpt) Read more at chronwatch.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: amendment; carpetbagger; congress; constitution; house; jefferson; limit; president; representative; senate; term

1 posted on 05/09/2003 4:47:19 PM PDT by DocFarmer
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To: DocFarmer
There is a fictional account of a different type of 'term limit' written by Vince Flynn. Here's a description of the plot:

"Taking America back...one politician at a time What if America's leaders were held accountable for their broken promises -- and made to pay for their corruption? Vince Flynn brings to life a chilling scenario of Washington under siege -- in the provocative, edge-of-your-seat political thriller that stormed onto national bestseller lists."

"Term Limits In a night of shattering brutality, three of Washington's most powerful and unscrupulous politicians have been executed with surgical precision. Their assassins, vanishing without a trace, have delivered a shocking ultimatum to the leaders of the American government: set aside petty, partisan politics and restore power to the people, or be held to deadly account."

" No one, they warn, is out of their reach -- not even the president. A joint FBI-CIA task force reveals that the killers are elite military commandos, but no one knows exactly who they are or when they will strike next. Only Michael O'Rourke, a former U.S. Marine and freshman congressman, holds a clue to the violence: a haunting incident in his own past with explosive implications for his country's future..."

2 posted on 05/09/2003 4:59:33 PM PDT by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: 45Auto
Well, there are more than a few in Congress who probably deserve a good kick in the butt, but I don't know if I'd go so far as to off the buggers...
3 posted on 05/09/2003 5:12:26 PM PDT by DocFarmer
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To: DocFarmer
The book is purely a fictional account of some patriots who went a little too far.......
4 posted on 05/09/2003 5:14:32 PM PDT by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: DocFarmer
Term Limits suggest that the people are too stupid to pick their own leadership. If I like a guys performance the first teo times, who are you to tell me I can vote for him again. I just hope the Repubs dont jump on the back of this dead horse again.
5 posted on 05/09/2003 5:19:20 PM PDT by Blackyce (President Jacques Chirac: "As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure.")
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To: Blackyce
Term Limits suggest that the people are too stupid to pick their own leadership. If I like a guys performance the first two times, who are you to tell me I can't vote for him again. I just hope the Repubs dont jump on the back of this dead horse again.
6 posted on 05/09/2003 5:20:27 PM PDT by Blackyce (President Jacques Chirac: "As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure.")
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To: Blackyce
I would favor a constitutional amendment giving Representatives a four year term but allowing them a maximum of 12 years service in the House. That's three terms. Senators would be allowed to serve three six year terms. That's 18 years. That's plenty of time for legislators to learn the job and deliver on their campaign pledges. Total amount of time in Congress presuming some want to go up the political ladder, would be thirty years. I consider that a reasonable trade-off in exchange for Congresscritters capping their tenure to a reasonable amount of time to get their job done. It would be a balanced mix between preserving institutional experience and bringing in new blood. So people think thirty years isn't plenty of time enough in public service? They're living on another planet.
7 posted on 05/09/2003 7:12:41 PM PDT by goldstategop ( In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Blackyce
"Term Limits suggest that the people are too stupid to pick their own leadership."

The current system makes that argument with great clarity. An incumbent is almost never defeated. The USSR had more turnover in their Supreme Soviet than does the US Congress.
8 posted on 05/09/2003 7:14:38 PM PDT by narses (Christe Eleison)
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To: Blackyce
PS in 1994 Term Limts was the critical issue in returning the House to the People.
9 posted on 05/09/2003 7:15:35 PM PDT by narses (Christe Eleison)
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To: DocFarmer
At advent of Civil War, the South adopted the same Constitution with a few changes. One was term limits, they did this because they foresaw the coming of professional politicians that would be more interested in retaining power than doing what was right for the country.

The office of president was fixed at one 6 year term, that way the holder would not be running for re-election the first day of his first term.

After 1932, when FDR and congress found out they could keep their deathgrip on power via the national treasury, the lifetime terms were on.

10 posted on 05/09/2003 7:26:06 PM PDT by cynicom
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To: DocFarmer
It doesn't work in California.
11 posted on 05/09/2003 7:49:28 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Blackyce
Haven't you ever heard of gerrymandering?
12 posted on 05/09/2003 7:55:56 PM PDT by nygoose
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To: nygoose
There are many other solutions to gerrymandering besides telling me who I can and cannot vote for.
13 posted on 05/09/2003 10:47:38 PM PDT by Blackyce (President Jacques Chirac: "As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure.")
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To: goldstategop
Only problem with that is a continuation of the problem you've got now. They spend most of the time in office running for re-election instead of doing their jobs.

Single term is closer to the Jeffersonian ideal, in my book.
14 posted on 05/09/2003 11:53:46 PM PDT by DocFarmer
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To: Blackyce
Sorry, but that argument doesn't really wash. If what you're saying is true, then you object to presidential term limits too.

Congress is supposed to be a public service. That means they're supposed to provide a service to us, not the other way 'round. Problem is, when you get as deeply entrenched as these bozos, you forget that and figure the constituency owes YOU.

I must respectfully disagree wiht you on this one.
15 posted on 05/09/2003 11:56:45 PM PDT by DocFarmer
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To: Carry_Okie
It hasn't worked well in Arizona either.

Why Can't people understand that we have term limits, they are called elections?

16 posted on 05/10/2003 12:23:17 AM PDT by AZ GRAMMY
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To: DocFarmer
If we are able to re-elect Congress until they quit or die, I don't understand why the same doesn't apply to a president.


Anyone who agrees that campaigning and adjusting to the job takes up part of the term: Please explain why the most difficult and powerful position in the world is limited to eight years??


IMO, term limits should apply to executive and legislative or neither.


17 posted on 05/10/2003 4:51:30 AM PDT by Susannah (Reformed Democrat of the 70's)
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To: DocFarmer
Repeal the 17th amendment and a lot of the federal edicts will stop.
18 posted on 05/10/2003 7:56:42 AM PDT by metalurgist (Never underestimate the power of a large group of stupid people....... U S Congress's real motto)
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To: DocFarmer
It's The Vote Fraud, Stupid.
19 posted on 05/10/2003 8:02:01 AM PDT by Consort
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To: DocFarmer
When people will spend millions of dollars of their own money, trying to buy a seat in congress, that is a sure indication that they do intend to do "service" for the good of the country.

Power and access to power is what drives these professional politicians.

20 posted on 05/10/2003 8:03:55 AM PDT by cynicom
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: DocFarmer
bttt. I'm all for removing Maxine Waters under "term limits".
22 posted on 05/10/2003 10:53:05 AM PDT by cgk (Liberal truisms are the useless children of hindsight.)
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To: goldstategop
You wrote:

"That's plenty of time for legislators to learn the job and deliver on their campaign pledges. "

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

Wait just a dang sycamore minute here......Here in Okla..our "esteemed" gov'ner tells us only Jacoby's are smart and savvy enough to be "representatives of the people"....So how is it...they can't "learn the job" in a month or three? Hummmmmmmmmmmmmm?

FRegards,

23 posted on 05/10/2003 11:07:02 AM PDT by Osage Orange (Bill Clinton's heart is as black as the devil's boots.)
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To: 45Auto
//There is a fictional account of a different type of 'term limit' written by Vince Flynn. Here's a description of the plot://

Yep, I enjoyed that book and have always remembered it :-)
24 posted on 05/10/2003 11:19:28 AM PDT by Tamzee (I wondered why somebody didn't do something. Then I realized... I am somebody! - Anonymous)
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