Let’s Go with Term Limits All Around

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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Ron DeSantis (Republicans from Texas and Florida, respectively) have published an op-ed in the Washington Post that deserves a “hear, hear”:

 On Election Day, the American people made a resounding call to “drain the swamp” that is modern Washington. Yet on Capitol Hill, we seem mired in the same cycle of complacency: The game hasn’t changed, and the players remain the same. Thankfully, there’s a solution available that, while stymied by the permanent political class, enjoys broad public support: congressional term limits.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump called for enacting term limits, and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has endorsed the idea. As soon as the 115th Congress convenes, both of us will move to restore accountability among the entrenched Washington establishment by introducing a constitutional amendment to limit the number of terms that a member of Congress can serve to three in the House and two in the Senate.

As a nation, we deserve a political class that changes with some regularity to remain reasonably representative.  Relatedly and more importantly, though, we need to eliminate the strong incentive to build into the law policies that favor incumbents, both by giving them an edge with voters and by giving others reason to want to give them money and other support to maintain the predictability of their long-term rule.

In a variety of contexts, Instapundit has repeatedly posted this tweet from Rob Province perfectly capturing the schadenfreudic aspect of the election of Donald Trump:

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Whether we’re talking about the Obama administration’s weaponizing of the federal government or the Senate Democrats’ undermining of the filibuster for the appointment of nominees, it’s critical for the rule of law that the people currently controlling government behave as if any expansion of power they give themselves may soon be given over to people who do not agree with them.

Term limits would make that a rolling feature of our government and should be applied for all elective offices at the federal and state levels.



  • Rhett Hardwick

    Aside from cutting short the terms of good people (one assumes they exist) what I fear from term limits is the Mandarization of government. Inexperienced legislators will be inclined to lean on experienced bureaucrats..

  • We already have term limits. Every single election. The problem is they aren’t fully implemented often enough.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    I am not sure that this is a compelling argument, but the “power of the incumbency” does deter “races” for office. A requirement to step down might encourage more serious contests.

  • D J Dub

    Term limits are for a brain dead electorate.
    Wouldn’t education be better ?

    • Rhett Hardwick

      The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and membership in the NRA.

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