• Well, we can agree on one thing the end of gerrymandering, that is doable. One last point I think gerrymandering violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:42 a.m.

  • Three different branches of government; three different rules, which is not an apples to oranges.

    A four year term for a president is ideal because it usually takes about two years for them to get their feet planted firmly into the ground, and it invokes much more responsibility than debating and voting on legislation.The people will then decide if they will get another term...You are trying to compare 535 legislators to one president.

    A two year term for a house representative is term limits and a longer term for senators counters the turnover rate in the house. It allows the senate to take ownership of the legislation they pass. This system allows for the more unruly house members to get a bill to the senate for a measured committee hearing, then a floor debate before passage…Have you noticed the house will often debate and vote on the same day but it might take weeks of debate in the more deliberate senate..The house is supposed to be the will of the people per say and the senate (2 senators from each state) is supposed to slow down the process and consider the short and long term effects of the nation as a whole…We often hear how Senators Orin Hatch and Ted Kennedy worked together and enjoyed a lifelong friendship making much easier to compromise.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:16 a.m.

  • The maximum turnover for the Senate during an election is 33%, while the House could have a 100% turnover. All term limits would do is prevent the building of empires by entrenched politicians. The term limits would not be for one term; twelve years of service would be plenty. Besides we have a complete turnover of the executive branch every four to eight years without to many problems except lately.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:37 a.m.

  • arlewill

    That was a good analogy and it leads to the real reason term limits will never be implemented.
    1. We would have to amend the Constitution but in this climate, we have to have a filibuster proof “bathroom break.”….Good luck.
    2. I cannot see a speaker or a majority leader bringing this legislation to the floor.
    3. We can rearrange the deck chairs all we want but they are still deck chairs with the same appetite for lobbyist money, free rein because of gerrymandered districts but this time they will be inexperienced having to rely on seasoned staffers.
    4. I really believe people want a constant turnover because they want to feel like they are in charge without having to familiarize themselves with legislation matters, parliamentary procedures, and the effectiveness of compromise.
    5. I feel real comfortable with the Republican senator from New Hampshire, Greg Judd, being on the Senate Banking committee but it makes me uneasy that Scott Brown had to ask a reporter at the why he should vote for the reform bill…. An experienced senator (Democrat or Republican) may make some noise on the cable shows but they know the opposition leaders they can make a deal with.
    6. Do we really want a lot of freshmen senators on the Senate Armed Forces committee?

    April 20, 2010 at 10:15 a.m.

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    April 20, 2010 at 10:11 a.m.

  • Waywardwind

    I do have a rebuttal for your first paragraph. Your answer for people not voting is a constant parade of candidates for elective office. As I have said before that fresh faces and ideas is a wonderful concept but if you have a slew of that; you end up with staffers and lobbyists writing legislation because of the inexperienced fresh faces. Now we have inexperienced and timid legislators not compromising with the other side because of fear of retaliation. I do agree we should purge those that are in the pockets of the legislators but many just want two or three terms in congress, make some lobbyist contacts and move on. The merry go round effect does not get at the heart of the matter….IMO

    In all due respect I think the Electoral College ensures that candidates will visit each state.i.e. If we eliminated the Electoral College and just use the popular vote; all a candidate would have to do is win New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston to get the same result as visiting Iowa and Montana. Either I’m misinterpreting your sentence or we are agreeing in the opposite directions...For the record I want to do away with the electoral College because it was put in place back in the day when trains were at the travel of choice; no internet, or 24/7 cable TV..i.e. A Republican candidate will make a token visit to California at a large fundraiser; a Democrat would do the same in Texas.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:39 a.m.

  • Why do we have term limits for the president? Is that harmful? The term limits for Congress would have to be staggered so there would not be a complete turnover for the state delegations and the Congress in general.

    But I agree this is probably not going to happen - but it should.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:03 a.m.

  • Mike
    Even though, you and I are in disagreement on most political things, I agree with you on this issue. You are right to say we need to keep experience in Congress. Would investors buy stock in a Company that lays off their management team every four years and hires new people? I recall a Company that had what they called "team concept" where 1st and 2nd line supervisors were reduced to team members and some sort of lottery was used to select a team captain for one year. This resulted in total chaos and was changed back after a few years. I think term limits for Congress could be the same kind of mistake.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:29 a.m.

  • "During the health care debate, many freshmen legislators were overwhelmed with the complexity of all the issues brought before them; they had to rely on staff and the lobbyist because the more experienced legislators were at committee hearings."

    Everyone was overwhelmed by the complexity of the healthcare bill - I mean no one could read it with comprehension. That should have been a clue right there that what they were doing was stupid and unconstitutional. The federal government is suppose to be limited in it's power.

    Each year about four trillion dollars flows into Washington DC. There is no way that lobbyists and special interests can be kept out of the politics in that city. We need to start cutting spending, and the size and scope of government. We don't need all this government. I had to laugh at Sen. Chuck Schumer getting involved with the airline carry on luggage "crisis" - what a jackass!

    We need term limits. Our currently entrenched politicians are a threat to our liberty. Secondly we need to eliminate gerrymandering. This can be done with census data and a computer that would minimize the perimeter of a district. We would probably have to store the computer and the program code at Fort Knox.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:26 a.m.

  • Michael....spare me. You are absolutely the only person I have ever heard who truly thinks that ingraining yourself in government for years and years, feeding off the lobby, and voting yourself ever more benefits through those years is a good thing. Thank God early citizens saw that error and made the decision to establish laws for term limits of the President....can you even imagine??? Congress as it stands is so corrupted and incompetent that it is no wonder our country is in the mess it is in. You have ancient old men with power beyond belief because of their years of tenure; and we have a voting public who need to be forced into actually looking at a candidate's credentials and platform rather than voting for a name that they have heard or seen written the most often.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:35 p.m.

  • Mike, I agree that the ballot box is the best term limiter, but the PEOPLE have got to use it. This is the only reason I support term limits. Yeah, if we fire congress, we'd lose a lot of experience, but would that be such a bad thing? Fresh faces with fresh ideas would, I believe, be better than what we have now. For one thing, it'd remind the congress critters just who they work for -- and it AIN'T the lobbyists. Probably the best definition of government I ever read was "of the people, by the people and for the people." When representatives and senators work harder for lobbyists than they do for the people, it's time to fire them.

    "Do we still need two senators for each state? Do we still need the Electoral College? "

    I think the bicameral legislature is best, and two senators from each state is fine. I do think it's past time to do away with the Ectoral College and elect presidents the same way we elect everybody else -- through direct votes. That would force candidates to campaign everywhere they want votes. The current process means states with small populations don't get courted. Wyoming has three electoral votes. Why would a candidate care who Wyoming votes for if they can only contribute three votes to the electoral total when California can contribute 55? Without the electoral college, each individual vote will count equally regardless where it's cast.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:41 p.m.

  • True, the states would have to amend their constitution for special elections but it is doable.

    I believe state elected judges are apolitical for the most part. The voting districts could be drawn by a computer according to county lines. I believe Texas has 32 voting districts and about 254 counties. I believe the fights begin when partisans try to align Travis, Harris, and Dallas County with adjoining counties that don't really represent Austin, Houston, and Dallas… Those cities need to have at least two districts assigned to them but I guess I have to agree; highly improbable…. A lot of partisan imagination had to be used to draw the districts we now have but the previous lines weren’t much better.

    April 19, 2010 at 4:19 p.m.

  • If we could truly enact (2) (highly improbable), the problems with (1), (3) and (4) would, for the most part, go away.

    April 19, 2010 at 3:43 p.m.

  • Actually the term limits are set in the constitution.i.e. but proposals would be about 3 six yr terms & 3 two year terms,it would not separate the powers..That veto power the president has would still be a a deterrent for congress......I still think the ballot box,informed voters,public finance and campaign reform are the best methods but I agree the longer one stays in office the more vulnerable one becomes.

    April 19, 2010 at 1:36 p.m.

  • Mike,

    I do agree with some of your thoughts, but however I do disagree is on term limits. We do need term limits; we have to get back to checks and balances. The Senate is where the biggest problem lies, the power of the Senate is for greater than the President, because the lobbyist have become so embedded with the Senate, 1 term 4yrs that is all, I feel it would put a stop on potential corruption, the longer you stay the easier it’s gets… The House can stay the same, but only 2 terms. These little empires have to be stopped, and it has gone on far too long. If it takes a constitutional amendment let’s get it done sooner the better…

    My thinking is it will limit the power of the White House. My idea is this, it will cause a President to care of problems that are directly impacting the nation upon him/her entering office and will possible stop this idea of extreme ideology. Then you have a congress that the people would be willing to put their support behind.

    April 19, 2010 at 1:13 p.m.