Again With The Term Limits

From the folks at QandO, longtime favorites of your scribe, comes another insightful post.

The meat:

I’d posit instead that term limits increase choice in politicians, because it throws open races that would otherwise be foregone conclusions because of the money and power of the incumbent. I find it difficult to believe that a legislature with 11% approval but 95% plus re-election rates offers the electorate anywhere near the optimal amount of choice.

However, the main reason I favor term limits is because I think career politicians become utterly detached from the real world. Many (most?) of them go from law school to some short law career to politics, and then spend decades in a fantasyland. Washington is like Hogwarts to these people. They are induced by the culture there to believe they can perform magic by passing laws. Inside the Beltway, that magic actually works; they get great press from newspaper reporters than have an extreme bias in favor of activist government, and they get treated like royalty on an everyday basis.

I don’t see any cure for this problem that does not involve forcing these people into the real world, and that means term limits. I agree with former senator and presidential chief of staff Howard Baker, who believes that our system simply does not work well with career politicians. He prefers what he calls a “citizen legislature“. That makes a lot of sense to me.

95% re-election rate and 11% approval rating. Just think about that for a few minutes.

Then consider if there is any relationship to this:

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