Tackle term limits

Beyond DeMint's heroic fight, states should quash career politicians

  • Follow Editorials

One talk show pundit likes to say “We’re looking out for you!” Usually, when someone says that, it’s nonsense.

It wouldn’t be in the case of Jim DeMint. The South Carolina senator really is looking out for you.

Besides pushing his colleagues for fiscal sanity, individual liberty and other traditional American values, DeMint is one of the biggest champions for term limits – which, it is becoming clearer by the day, will be necessary to save America.

Career politicians in Washington are destroying this country with their imperialistic rule and their spending – which is fueled in large part by the desire to pander to their states and districts for votes, and to special interests that pad their campaign war chests.

They’re using our money to stay in power.

The careerism also is a big reason our politics are so toxic in Washington. Careerism not only fuels the insatiable desire for permanency, but it also encourages finger-pointing between the parties: The best way to set themselves in quick-dry cement is to find an enemy and tell you that you need them up there fighting him!

Plus, after going to battle against each other for several decades, you can see how personal relationships might be somewhat frayed.

The only answer is a return to the citizen legislature our founders thought they were creating.

DeMint, bless his heart, introduced a term limit amendment to the Constitution last year. This past week, he fought to have the Senate express symbolic support for the measure, in an amendment to another, quite popular, bill outlawing insider trading by members of Congress.

Unfortunately, the truth is that he stands little chance of ultimate success; he has but 10 co-sponsors on the amendment itself. And consider: If such a measure doesn’t pass this year – an election year in which the public has a historically dismal opinion of Washington and members of Congress would like nothing better than to make themselves look better for the folks back home – it will never pass.

Happily, the alternative, granted by our founders, is actually in our own hands. Like Dorothy in Oz, who always had the power to go home, we’ve always had the power to amend our Constitution – with or without the assent of Congress.

Congress may initiate a constitutional amendment, as DeMint is seeking, with the vote of two-thirds of each chamber; after that, three-fourths of the state legislatures – 38 of them – must also approve it.

But the states also may initiate the constitutional amendment process, if two-thirds of them – 34 – order Congress to call an Article V convention. In this process, Congress is largely reduced to a facilitator role. Once a convention produces an amendment, 38 states can ratify it.

Certainly the convention route is fraught with some peril; some fear it could produce amendments unforeseen and unwise. Others – including this page – believe otherwise, that the purpose of an Article V convention could be tightly conceived and controlled. Moreover: If the amendment is a bad idea, it will hardly get the support of 38 state legislatures!

So, while we appreciate the heroic efforts of Jim DeMint – one of the few in Congress who really are looking out for you – it’s pretty clear what has to happen.

We’re going to have to look out for ourselves.

Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
willie7
942
Points
willie7 02/07/12 - 01:01 am
0
0
How many terms has Jim Demint
Unpublished

How many terms has Jim Demint been a senator?

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 02/07/12 - 02:33 am
0
0
Well Wille7, from 1999-2005

Well Wille7, from 1999-2005 he was in the house representatives. And from 2005 until present- he has been a Senator, so that will be 13 years. He says he plans on retiring in 2016, bringing him to 17 years in congress. Not sure what a career politician looks like.

What I don't understand is- why do we need an amendement of term limits? Unless I'm mistaken- don't the people vote in their representative? That means we can vote them out... just saying...

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 02/07/12 - 07:26 am
0
0
WILLIE, at least he's trying
Unpublished

WILLIE, at least he's trying to do something about career politicians. See any liberal Dems speaking out for such things? And TPARTY, we have term limits for governors and presidents. Why NOT members of congress? But, this is all a moot point. Just like a balanced budget amendment, congress WILL NEVER PASS TERM LIMITS. They don't like laws that say how they can spend our money, or how long they can stay in power. Just won't happen.

faithson
5103
Points
faithson 02/07/12 - 09:52 am
0
0
It's all about the 'money'

It's all about the 'money' honey... Between the time it takes to raise the millions needed and sucking up to those that give, especially the big donors, we need reform. Real reform. There is no parity when the encumbent has all the advantage in fund raising. Of course those who get the most influence in the present system have no reason to change it.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 02/07/12 - 09:56 am
0
1
I agree, the money needs to

I agree, the money needs to be fixed in our politics. There is no reason Obama should raise $1 billion dollars for his election.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 02/07/12 - 10:05 am
1
0
DeMint's looking out for us?

DeMint's looking out for us? Sure he is.

skeptic griggsy
39
Points
skeptic griggsy 02/07/12 - 10:16 am
0
0
Demint is demented. We don't
Unpublished

Demint is demented. We don't need his reactionary views enacted as laws.
Yes,,TParty!
I say no to term limits. Indeed, I'd repeal the term limit applied to presidents! No, term limits isn't a reactionary idea,but it focuses on the wrong matter when what is urgent is to limit the power of the lobbyists who are there no matter the number of terms.
I Recommend that we do as Dylan Ratigan recommends in taking the power of money out of the system by amendment to overcome that dreaded court decision!

faithson
5103
Points
faithson 02/07/12 - 10:35 am
0
0
one billion for reelection;

one billion for reelection; just who is ponying up all that cash ? Not the citizens. So who gets influence... yea, big money ! We need reform and we need reform NOW !

Little Lamb
44975
Points
Little Lamb 02/07/12 - 10:58 am
0
1
We've tried reform. The only

We've tried reform. The only problem is that a small technicality, the U.S. Constitution, keeps getting in the way. People must be allowed to spend their money as they see fit.

pearlthesquirrel
786
Points
pearlthesquirrel 02/07/12 - 01:38 pm
1
0
Instead of choosing what
Unpublished

Instead of choosing what acorns to eat from my weekend collection, I'm dropping some sage advice for the "squirrel-o-holics." TParty - in not so many words - nailed it. We don't need term limits, we need people to get informed and get out and vote. If the politician is a "bum," let all your buddies know and vote against the clown. If you are in favor of term limits (let's say "regulations") on politicians, what's next? Term limits for college professors? Term limits for truck drivers? Term limits for nurses? Term limits for fork-lift drivers? Term limits for teachers? Term limits for real estate agents?
Term limits = the right to vote.......... I advise you to use your rights. But I do have one question: "I wonder if the person that wrote this article would be in favor of term limits for people that write articles for newspapers?" Just wonderin'...............Now, I'm back to my acorn collection to munch on my biggest and best acorns. Don't you dare get your fingers by my nuts !!!!!!!!!!!

Bowtie355
0
Points
Bowtie355 02/07/12 - 06:50 pm
0
0
I did not realize college

I did not realize college professors, truck drivers, nurses, forklift drivers, teachers and real estate agents were elected and served a "term". Bad analogy Pearl.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 02/07/12 - 07:21 pm
0
0
We have the term limits that

We have the term limits that we want. If you want a person out of office then vote them out.

Bill Walker
5
Points
Bill Walker 02/08/12 - 11:43 am
0
0
The editorial staff fails to

The editorial staff fails to mention the most important point about an Article V Convention. The states have already applied for it and one of the issues already applied for is term limits. The public record shows 49 states have already submitted over 700 applications for an Article V Convention call. The applications can be read at www.foavc.org.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs