Term Limits for Congress

In 1951 the twenty-second amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, establishing term limits for U.S. Presidents. I’m not going to go into the history of this amendment, but I do believe it is a good idea.

In fact, I think it’s such a good idea that I’d like to see a similar amendment establishing term limits for Congress, setting a two term lifetime limit on both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Of course that’s pretty much a pipe dream. No one in congress is likely to propose such an amendment. Even if they did, it would probably never reach a floor vote. And if it did, it wouldn’t pass and be presented to the states for ratification.

But there is another way.

Just as many so-called “blue states” want to do an end run around the constitutionally mandated electoral college by taking advantage of the clause, “Each state shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct…” and choosing their electors based on the national popular vote, the people of the several states can institute their own term limits on Congress. All they need do is not vote in favor of anyone running for the office in excess of the voter imposed term limits.

Yeah, sure. Like that’s gonna happen.

Hey a conservative in Utah can dream about getting rid of Mitt Romney can’t he?


  1. Frankly, it’s almost a truism that anyone who wants the gig (congresscritter) is not qualified for thr gig. sigh Congress is also evidence that Third World County’s corollary to Santayana’s axiom holds true:

    “In a democracy (‘rule by mob’), those who refuse to learn from history will be the majority and will dictate that everyone else suffer for their ignorance.”

    Thus, democratically elected representatives tend to be legitimate representatives of the lowest common denominator, and, as anyone observing the passing scene can tell, the lowest common denominator among the electorate is constantly spiraling downward.

  2. I am strongly opposed to term limits, even for president. This comes from someone not a fan of FDR. The plan was that this was to be a government of, by and for the people. We are supposed to be running the country and voting for those we believe will best represent and lead us and that duty is denied us when good servants of the people are denied additional terms because morons continue to vote for those who serve only themselves or their party. This is a matter of taking the bad with the good and advocates for term limits insist we must throw out the good with the bad. That doesn’t serve the nation at all.

    The real problem isn’t the politicians. It’s the voters. Each of us must impress upon our peers the reason this politician needs to go and that politician needs to stay. It’s hard to believe too many were paying attention while FDR continued to be elected. I know no one cares in my state of Illinois (which in about 8 days will be my former state), but to term out those in this state will only result in a new boss just like the old boss because the people continue to keep Dems in charge. Term limits would make no difference to that sad reality.

    1. Actually, I disagree with you on this. I believe that when we limit the number of terms a politician may serve, we get a more accurate representation of “the people.” Anyone serving many terms will lose touch with the people they claim to represent and will tend more toward representing their fellow office holders.
      I would even go so far as to eliminate the use of words like “re-elect” or “incumbent” in political advertising, except that a first amendment argument could be raised against that.
      Whether the person being elected under term limits is a Democrat or Republican isn’t as important as whether they are truly representative of the electorate.
      Politicians, especially career politicians are indeed the problem, as are lazy voters. Making it harder to make a career out of politics is a good thing in my mind.

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