Jim DeMint: Why not tack support for term limits on to no-insider-trading bill?

posted at 3:40 pm on February 1, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Monday, the Senate began to debate the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, and the House takes up its version of the legislation later this month. The bill would do exactly what its title implies: It would make insider trading of stocks and securities by members of Congress, their spouses and their staff members expressly illegal.

Now, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Virginia Republican Rep. Eric Cantor are also fighting to extend the provisions of the bill to the executive branch. It’s annoying that lawmakers ever exempted themselves from insider trading laws in the first place, but at least they’re attempting to right that wrong now.

In the meantime, Sen. Jim DeMint remains focused on one of his own legislative priorities and wants to use the present attention on insider trading to spotlight that priority once more. The Hill reports:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) hopes to force a vote that would “express support” for his constitutional amendment that would implement term limits for federal legislators as an amendment to the Senate’s insider trading bill.

“The only way to permanently reform Washington and discourage corruption is to pass a term limits amendment to the Constitution,” said DeMint in a statement.

The amendment would have little practical effect, other than possibly bringing the issue of term limits back into the national consciousness. House GOP members pushed for the restrictions during the 1994 Republican Revolution, but the movement has gained little traction since a constitutional amendment – requiring two-thirds of both chambers and approval by the states – would be necessary to institute the caps.

“Our founders warned us about creating a class of career politicians who amass personal power instead of fighting for the people they are supposed to represent. Decades of permanent politicians has left us with a $15 trillion debt, and a federal budget and tax code that favors special interests with the highest paid lobbyists,” said DeMint.

Linking the idea of term limits to a bill about insider trading is actually a pretty good fit. Two or four years’ worth of insider information — as compared with her present nearly 25 years in Congress —  might not have enabled Nancy Pelosi, for example, to get in on the ground floor of eight different companies while having access to information that directly affected those companies.

Like a balanced budget amendment, term limits often seem like a conservative pipe dream. On some level, they’re an easy concept to support precisely because they’re unlikely to pass. A politician can support ‘em in theory without ever having to face them in reality — but DeMint seems sincere about the idea. If nothing else, his repeated mention of it reminds voters to consider carefully whether they prize their present congressional representative’s experience over a fresh face and new ideas or vice versa. In the end, if voters have created a permanent political class, they have no one to blame but themselves. If the present anti-incumbent sentiment continues, voters might create de facto term limits anyway.


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Do it and put em on ssi take away their lifetime pensions and make have Obamacare too!

ConcealedKerry on February 1, 2012 at 3:44 PM

This great conservative should have been our nominee.

they lie on February 1, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Curse you Jim DeMint for starting the recession!
–Alvin Greene

Gatsu on February 1, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Great, more ineffectual grandstanding. We don’t have enough of that from the GOP, do we? Sounds a lot like the “starting a conversation” trope the Left so adores.

ConservativeLA on February 1, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Term limits are 1) very likely unconstitutional at the federal level unless done through constitutional amendment, and 2) an admission that the American people as a whole are a failure.

AngusMc on February 1, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Term limits….never….will….happen.

oldroy on February 1, 2012 at 3:46 PM

2) an admission that the American people as a whole are a failure.

AngusMc on February 1, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Here! here! 48% for sure!

ConcealedKerry on February 1, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Yeah Baby!

MontanaMmmm on February 1, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Why not tack a 90% tax on royalties for all present and former federal government employees, elected and non-elected, from books and speech about their time in government ?

The comes a point when they have taken enough from the American people.

J_Crater on February 1, 2012 at 3:48 PM

It would be beyond wonderful if both in the bill passed! But, the way dc works, if fear it will never happen and bho would probably veto the bill if it did?
L

letget on February 1, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Linking the idea of term limits to a bill about insider trading is actually a pretty good fit.

Yeah, if you want congress to continue to be able to commit insider trading legally. This will effectively kill a bill EVERYONE agrees with by tacking on a rider few in congress are even gonna come within 50 feet of voting in favor of, stupid whether term limits is an idea of debatable value or not.

Another good chance down the drain cause SOMEONE had to tack one more poison pill on like always.

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Term limits. How’s about forcing both parties to primary each and every incumbent…that’s just as likely as a term limit.

oldroy on February 1, 2012 at 3:48 PM

DING DING DING DING DING!
DeMint!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KOOLAID2 on February 1, 2012 at 3:49 PM

ConservativeLA on February 1, 2012 at 3:45 PM

We can dream can’t we.

Oh, I know lets not put any ideas out there and just manage the decline.

MontanaMmmm on February 1, 2012 at 3:49 PM

2) an admission that the American people as a whole are a failure.

AngusMc on February 1, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Or they’re stampeded by election laws created by incumbents for the benefit of incumbents.

MassVictim on February 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

DeMint once more comes down against conservatism.

Term limits exist at the ballot box. The people have the right to decide their representative. Do not let government take that away.

Dante on February 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Why not tack a 90% tax on royalties for all present and former federal government employees, elected and non-elected, from books and speech about their time in government ?

The comes a point when they have taken enough from the American people.

J_Crater on February 1, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Sorry Sarah, you had a good run but we’re gonna have to ask for all that money you’ve made since 2008 back now. Wait, I’m sorry, you get to keep 10%.

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

The bill would do exactly what its title implies: It would make insider trading of stocks and securities by members of Congress, their spouses and their staff members expressly illegal.

And an ethical, professional, moral Congress – wouldn’t need to legislate against it – because they wouldn’t have done it, in the first place. But, I speak in oxymorons.

As to term limits – it is the only way to stop the institutionalization of political pigs in perpetuity.

These people have become nothing but glorified ticks – sucking the blood out of the taxpayers.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 1, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Term limits exist at the ballot box.

Dante on February 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

No election is fair when the rules are made by the people whose sole interest is assuring their own re-election. I think this is the single greatest uncorrected oversight in the Constitution.

MassVictim on February 1, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Can always count on DeMint for some good ol’ conservative red meat! MMMM

Marcola on February 1, 2012 at 3:56 PM

As to term limits – it is the only way to stop the institutionalization of political pigs in perpetuity.

These people have become nothing but glorified ticks – sucking the blood out of the taxpayers.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 1, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I would actually argue the exact opposite. Making ALL lawmakers short term lawmakers reduces incentive responsibly or to commit to long term solutions as they have nothing to lose from taking their run at the trough and walking on. The idea that they could maintain their spot through representing their constituents properly is positive reinforcement.

Besides, term limits are working out great out in California, huh? Then again, your handle tells us quite a bit about you.

*Last line a friendly jab. Not serious.*

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Why not just make sure that you cannot tack riders onto bills that have nothing to do with each other.

I don’t care which party does it, but when I hear of Congressmen tacking on amendments to bills that have nothing to do with the original bill I get ticked. It’s clear that what’s going on is a game and “strategery”.

And Congress might wonder why they have such a basement level approval rating.

As a whole they are gambling with the nation.

Logus on February 1, 2012 at 3:57 PM

I think the No insider trading thing would cure anyone’s desire to become a lifer in congress

multiuseless on February 1, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Term limits exist at the ballot box. The people have the right to decide their representative. Do not let government take that away.

Dante on February 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Yep,….. and no words can describe how painful it is to agree with you on anything.
That said, the amount of damage that could be done by an outgoing congressman, who has been termed out and has nothing to lose, would be tremendous.

a capella on February 1, 2012 at 3:58 PM

No election is fair when the rules are made by the people whose sole interest is assuring their own re-election. I think this is the single greatest uncorrected oversight in the Constitution.

MassVictim on February 1, 2012 at 3:53 PM

That’s ridiculous. Why should some South Carolina citizen decide who I can or can’t vote for as my Representative?

Dante on February 1, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Term limits or allow them to work 10 days a year.

sdbatboy on February 1, 2012 at 4:00 PM

That said, the amount of damage that could be done by an outgoing congressman, who has been termed out and has nothing to lose, would be tremendous.

a capella on February 1, 2012 at 3:58 PM

A good point.

Dante on February 1, 2012 at 4:00 PM

YOU throw THEM out, every two years.

ALL of them in 2012, to teach them who pays for their power and frills.

Schadenfreude on February 1, 2012 at 4:01 PM

That said, the amount of damage that could be done by an outgoing congressman, who has been termed out and has nothing to lose, would be tremendous.

a capella on February 1, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Obama forever!!!

MassVictim on February 1, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

What federal position did Sarah hold that makes you think that would apply to her?

Flange on February 1, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Term limits sound great in theory but are reactive, lacking in long-term thinking, and chock full of unintended consequences, imo.

Please don’t ruin getting rid of congressional insider trading just to attempt to make a weak, controversial, never gonna happen, and meaningless grandstanding argument.

His rider does NOTHING. Nothing but hurt the bills chances. Which leads me to question it’s true intent. Many in congress don’t want that tap turned off, what easier way to kill the bill than put something stupid, never gonna be voted for, and meaningless words on paper at the end. You gonna go home after your second term is up Mr. Demint? Didn’t think so.

“Oh and we should all have term limits.”

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Why not just make sure that you cannot tack riders onto bills that have nothing to do with each other.

Logus on February 1, 2012 at 3:57 PM

This was obviously a problem in the early 19th century. The confederate constitution, which used the US constiution as a starting point, fixed that problem in its Bill of Rights (see number 20).

20. Every law, or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.

Adding that clause to our constitution would probably be betterr than term limits.

WashJeff on February 1, 2012 at 4:06 PM

That said, the amount of damage that could be done by an outgoing congressman, who has been termed out and has nothing to lose, would be tremendous.

a capella on February 1, 2012 at 3:58 PM

So, don’t we stand the chance of that happeneing now when an incumbent loses an election? Plus, one or even a small number of congressmen don’t have that kind of power.

they lie on February 1, 2012 at 4:06 PM

@Dante: Exactly right.

You don’t like someone; don’t vote for them. Unfortunately, most people dislike another person’s Representative or Senator, and aren’t willing to vote out their own. Let the people of San Francisco, Hollywood, or any other place elect who they want to and I’ll try to elect whoever I want to.

That’s the power of the vote. I, you, and everyone else gets to say who they want to represent them.

We have term limits to prevent the presidency from becoming a dictatorship.

The true balance of power should reside in the House and Senate, Unforutnately, Congress ceded so much power to the Presidency over the years, the whole system has been turned on its head.

This is exactly what the Founders warned would happen without a vigilant citizenry, by the way.

simon on February 1, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) hopes to force a vote that would “express support” for his constitutional amendment that would implement term limits for federal legislators as an amendment to the Senate’s insider trading bill.

“The only way to permanently reform Washington and discourage corruption is to pass a term limits amendment to the Constitution,” said DeMint in a statement.

Jim, that is so…..well…..stupid.

timberline on February 1, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Well putting a term limits amendment on a bill is one way to kill it.

Vince on February 1, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 3:56 PM

I think that two things are clear, when it comes to term limits:

1. The Founding Fathers didn’t do it, because they couldn’t foresee that members of Congress would morph from being private citizens, temporarily sacrificing for their country – into perpetual parasites inside of the Beltway – the job of being a politician was anathema to them;

2. It’s pretty clear to me that the lack of term limits has gotten us where we are today – on the brink of catastrophe.

Re: the jab. Not to worry. I’m a graduate of both schools – but I choose to be a Poke. And, besides, I’m not into all of the hate, anymore. It doesn’t pay my mortgage or put food on my plate – so it just doesn’t matter to me. I, literally, didn’t watch one second of an oSu football game, this year. The emphasis on sports, when this nation is close to failure and collapse – just doesn’t make sense to me.

Are you new, on HotAir? If so, welcome. It’s always good to see another Okie – or Okie related poster.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 1, 2012 at 4:08 PM

We can’t have term limits because…then all the politicians will be amateurs and the new politicians will be pushed around by the professional staffers.

You know, people like Alan West and Marco Rubio would just become tools of the machine.

/ Mark Steyn (sadly)

CorporatePiggy on February 1, 2012 at 4:09 PM

What federal position did Sarah hold that makes you think that would apply to her?

Flange on February 1, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I’m sorry. You’re right, it did say “federal” huh and not just govt. So it’s ok for state politicians then? And stops being ok when elected to the federal govt?

Ok, replace Sarah with Newt Gingrich, every president who wrote a memoir, pretty sure Demint himself has probably got some money somewhere we can grab too.

Point is that’s stupid terrible idea. Think you get it.

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:10 PM

In the end, if voters have created a permanent political class…

There is no “if” about it, Tina.

gravityman on February 1, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Jim DeMint seems like one of the very very few people in elected office that seems to genuinely want to fix the corruption, pandering, and generally unconstitutional manner in which Washington operates. Good for him. We need more like him.

gravityman on February 1, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Why do we have term limits on the POTUS but not the Congress..?

d1carter on February 1, 2012 at 4:12 PM

I live in Michigan. Anyone who thinks term limits work must then consider Michigan a success, because the state government of Michigan has one of the most restrictive term limits in the nation.

New members come in, and are only focused on the short term of getting reelected, because they won’t be there when the consequences come in. Sure, let’s spend more and more, because that will ensure their reelection with the pork hungry constituents at home, and they won’t be there in 8+ years when the bill comes due.

Those that do want to make things work don’t have the institutional knowledge to make effective change. By the time they get the know how and form the relationships across party lines to accomplish something, they are kicked out, and a whole crop of new folks with no idea how things work come in.

Who does that leave? lobbyists. They are the only ones who know the ball game, and law makers rely heavily one them for their next idea of a bill or a law because they will provide the money to get reelected for the next two terms, and then the money to try to get into a higher office like Congress.

No, term limits do not work. They are a short sited idea, and they admit defeat. Focus on gerrymandering and other things that prevent fair elections or ineffective candidates from being voted out. But term limits is not the way to fix things, rather they are the beginning of the end.

schmitty on February 1, 2012 at 4:12 PM

That said, the amount of damage that could be done by an outgoing congressman, who has been termed out and has nothing to lose, would be tremendous.

a capella on February 1, 2012 at 3:58 PM

This is true….Presidents come to mind.

timberline on February 1, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Term limits does NOT exist at the ballot box.

This argument assumes an intelligent electorate. Not an electorate that have become dull, ignorant, illiterate and willfully dependent on the State.

The electorate have become cattle – feeding at the State trough and waiting to be told what to do, and when.

All hail the healthcare mandate!

OhEssYouCowboys on February 1, 2012 at 4:14 PM

I’d like to see the insider trading bill to be retroactive in nature. Meaning, that anyone in congress of any stripe, if they have ever participated in any form of insider trading they must immediately make those trades public knowledge.

Remember, America… we pay their salaries. Therefore, we should presume that OUR money was used to make those trades.

Then. Have all proceeds from any and all trades published on Drudge.

Then. Let American Taxpayers decide what to do AFTER these criminal weasle buttlicking anthills are prosecuted.

Do we pay down their deficit? Or do we enrich the welfare state?

Key West Reader on February 1, 2012 at 4:14 PM

while term limits seem a reasonable response to the corruption in DC, is it not a limit on our free speech.

smitty41 on February 1, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Oh, BTW, I’m dreaming above at my 4:14. None of them will ever openly admit to any sort of insider traderism. Oh, no. Oh, and their staffers won’t either. And the secretaries, nooo, they don’t do it. And the Janitors.. oh, no.. nooo. They don’t do it.

Key West Reader on February 1, 2012 at 4:16 PM

RIVIERA BEACH— Authorities are seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who robbed a McDonald’s on Saturday while wearing a President Barack Obama mask.

J_Crater on February 1, 2012 at 4:16 PM

While Americans are scared to death of losing their jobs, the do nothing GOP house and their out of touch senators are playing politics with term limit proposals. May God help us.

Uppereastside on February 1, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Alcee Hastings comes to mind as a candidate for term limits…gerrymandered districts scream for term limits…

d1carter on February 1, 2012 at 4:17 PM

I think that two things are clear, when it comes to term limits:

1. The Founding Fathers didn’t do it, because they couldn’t foresee that members of Congress would morph from being private citizens, temporarily sacrificing for their country – into perpetual parasites inside of the Beltway – the job of being a politician was anathema to them;

2. It’s pretty clear to me that the lack of term limits has gotten us where we are today – on the brink of catastrophe.

Re: the jab. Not to worry. I’m a graduate of both schools – but I choose to be a Poke. And, besides, I’m not into all of the hate, anymore. It doesn’t pay my mortgage or put food on my plate – so it just doesn’t matter to me. I, literally, didn’t watch one second of an oSu football game, this year. The emphasis on sports, when this nation is close to failure and collapse – just doesn’t make sense to me.

Are you new, on HotAir? If so, welcome. It’s always good to see another Okie – or Okie related poster.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 1, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Thank you! I am indeed new and an Okie and since you didn’t watch any of the football games I’ll be the first to tell you you guys did great and wish you’d gotten a chance to play for the championship. If we couldn’t have it, it would have been nice for you guys to get your first shot ever during a really great year for you.

That being said, to your points:

1. They were career politicians. They weren’t just temporarily sacrificing. D*mn near all of them spent the entirety of their adult lives in government. I think your missing the forest for the trees there, respectfully, and overly romanticizing the nature of the founders.

2. I see no evidence of your assertion there at all. We may indeed be in a bad spot but it has more to do with money, lobbying, and election laws than term limits. Term limits merely make short term lawmakers who have little to no concern for what comes after them nor any ability to see things out that they start. It simply has to be handed off to someone else in hopes that they don’t screw it up or want to do something entirely different. A SINGLE short term congressional session might be a great idea, a way to finally ACTUALLY get some reform done cause people aren’t worried about being negative campaigned out of existence for doing what needed to be done even though it was hard and the American people might not be ready for it or cognizant of the full extent, reasoning, and need.

But that’s all. ;)

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Just think of the damage that is done by those who stay in office 30, 40 years or more…

d1carter on February 1, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I’m going to go a little off topic here and say…

M-I-Z!!!

Dante on February 1, 2012 at 4:19 PM

This argument assumes an intelligent electorate. Not an electorate that have become dull, ignorant, illiterate and willfully dependent on the State.

The electorate have become cattle – feeding at the State trough and waiting to be told what to do, and when.

All hail the healthcare mandate!

OhEssYouCowboys on February 1, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Oh yea! Comments like this will definitely put those illeterate electorate in their place. They will vote GOP now. Jeez

Uppereastside on February 1, 2012 at 4:20 PM

I might be in the minority, but I do not support term limits. There are plenty of good conservative members of the Senate/house, I don’t want to lose. Tina should know about valuable conservatives, as her Senators are Jim Inhofe (who stood up against the radical “global warming” movement, from the start), and Tom Coburn. Imposing term limits is not going to change anything. Nanzi Pelosi would have been replaced by Nancy Pelosi 2.0 and so on.

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 1, 2012 at 4:20 PM

I’d like to see the insider trading bill to be retroactive in nature.

Key West Reader on February 1, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Unfortunately, this is against the Constitution.

Article 1 Section 9
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

timberline on February 1, 2012 at 4:22 PM

gerrymandered districts scream for term limits…

d1carter on February 1, 2012 at 4:17 PM

No, gerrymandering screams for an end to gerrymandering, set districts that give no concern to populations of cities. You have a state with two representatives, the state is split in half evenly somehow. Gerrymandering is the problem you rightfully bring up. But term limits do nothing to stop it at all, period.

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:10 PM

The idea of taxing those royalties at 90% I took as being a sarcastic response to obozo’s statement about people getting to a point of having enough. I think people should be able to make money without a punitive tax levied on them. As far as term limits go, I had always been against them for the reasons people have already stated, but now I’m not as sure. But one thing that doesn’t get mentioned are a form of term limits on bureaucrats and lobbyists. These are the people that get entrenched, no one sees them and they corrupt the system.

Flange on February 1, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Jim really doesnt want to stop insider trading by the looks of it.

Sultanofsham on February 1, 2012 at 4:28 PM

M-I-Z!!!

Dante on February 1, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Z-O-Who? Aren’t you that ex-girlfriend I used to date who left me your loving partner for the meatheaded jock who cheats on you and treats you like you’re unimportant, but who lives in a bigger house?

Oh yeah! I thought I remembered you! SEC girl! ;)

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:28 PM

I have to disagree with the general consensus that attaching a term limits ‘discussion’ (or whatever it is, since the wording sounds like it is not anything binding yet) to the insider trading bill is a bad idea. I understand the argument being made, but I am looking at it a different way.

What congressman wants to be known as having voted against insider trading laws applying to congressmen? The optics of that vote will be HORRIBLE in their next election campaign.

“My opponent voted to continue to allow congressmen to be exempt from the insider trading laws to which you and I are subject!!”

To me it’s six of one, half dozen of the other. Brilliant to attach something they would never vote for to something they can’t afford to vote against… or stupid to sink something they can’t afford to vote against by attaching something they can never vote for… pick your poison?

gravityman on February 1, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Unfortunately, this is against the Constitution.

Article 1 Section 9
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

timberline on February 1, 2012 at 4:22 PM

How fortunate for “them”.

Roar.

Key West Reader on February 1, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Do We The People have the power of subpoena?

Key West Reader on February 1, 2012 at 4:30 PM

No, gerrymandering screams for an end to gerrymandering, set districts that give no concern to populations of cities. You have a state with two representatives, the state is split in half evenly somehow. Gerrymandering is the problem you rightfully bring up. But term limits do nothing to stop it at all, period.

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:24 PM

That’s crazy. I don’t want gerrymandering stopped. Especially since the GOP controls so 31 of the 50 state legislatures, in redistricting. In North Carolina the state legislature knee-capped Democrats for 10+ yrs. With the new districts taking out 4 more democrats.

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 1, 2012 at 4:30 PM

stupid to sink something they can’t afford to vote against by attaching something they can never vote for

gravityman on February 1, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Clearly my choice of the two you offered. To me it just seems like a clever scheme to avoid letting a bill pass that would cut off insider trading. They can ALL collectively laugh at the idea they should have voted for that bill and not be hurt on bit in reality.

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:31 PM

If the present anti-incumbent sentiment continues, voters might create de facto term limits anyway.

Never happen. My rep and senator are A-OK. Its yours that needs to be voted out.

Mirimichi on February 1, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Unfortunately, most people dislike another person’s Representative or Senator, and aren’t willing to vote out their own.

simon on February 1, 2012 at 4:07 PM

So spot on that nothing else needs to be said.

Sultanofsham on February 1, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:19 PM

My history books taught me that the Founding Fathers were statesmen and politicians – precisely because they were successful in business, farming, etc., and, therefore, had the time and wherewithal to serve in Congress, in the first place.

But, then, history books have a way of being re-written, don’t they?

Could you refer me to any Founding Father member of Congress who was a politician, before he was anything else?

I see no benefit to the country, in having people who grow fat, lazy and statist in the comfort of their in perpetuity Congressional offices, and on the taxpayer dime – or, who were in Congress for so long, that they were actively serving while having once been Klansmen. Oh, and I just love the people in Congress, who are there solely because Daddy was there, before them – and because the cattle who were dependent on the largesse of Daddy, voted for Baby, too.

We may just have to disagree on term limits.

But, welcome to HotAir – we’ll talk again. Good to have you on board.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 1, 2012 at 4:34 PM

I think it is good and right that the 535 can enrich themselves through insider trading.

I think it is good and right that an unvetted candidate can be elected POTUS.

I think it is good and right that we should just subject ourselves to the mandates of the few at the expense of the poupulace at large.

Sigh

Key West Reader on February 1, 2012 at 4:35 PM

“the do nothing GOP house” – Uppereastside on February 1, 2012 at 4:17 PM

If only we could get the rest of the federal govt to follow their lead..

Machismo on February 1, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Neither will be accomplished. Should the POTUS have term limits?

d1carter on February 1, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I’m not 100% in love with term limits. Yeah, the lack of them suck when you look at folks like Kennedy (whose death I certainly did not mourn) and Boxer, but you’d also lose folks like DeMint, Rubio, etc that I would prefer to keep around as long as possible.

Technically, every election is an opportunity to impose a term limit, and if the rotten eggs continue to win every single time, then we just need to work harder to turn the vote our way. Obviously some areas are always going to be lost (see SanFran) but you take away their rotten egg with a term limit and another, possibly more rotten egg will pop up in their place.

tdpwells on February 1, 2012 at 4:38 PM

That’s crazy. I don’t want gerrymandering stopped. Especially since the GOP controls so 31 of the 50 state legislatures, in redistricting. In North Carolina the state legislature knee-capped Democrats for 10+ yrs. With the new districts taking out 4 more democrats.

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 1, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Sounds great! Until a district is gerrymandered against republicans then it “screams for term limits”. Gerrymandering is underhanded and shady, and I have enough principles to not agree it’s the right thing to do even if it might give some temporary advantage right now. All things change and you’ll sing a different tune when it flows back the other direction. Like people always do.

Filibustering is undemocratic and deliberately obstructive, until I want to use it.

Gerrymandering is undemocratic and deliberately manipulative, until I want to use it.

Recess appointments are undemocratic and a subversion of congress right to check the executive branch, until I want to use it.

Going to war without a congressional declaration is undemocratic and a blatant misuse of executive power, except when I do it.

The list goes on and on. I get your point, but still, it lacks principles and would be foregone the moment Republican’s got knee capped. How about we just stop it all together and make our elections honest rather than superficial manipulations of population representations?

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Bad idea for anyone to tack on unrelated amendments. That’s how we end up with these ridiculous bills that no one can even read, let alone comprehend. If DeMint wants to install term limits – an excellent idea that I only wish would be law tomorrow – then he should propose a billl to do just that.

independentvoice on February 1, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:31 PM

I certainly can’t argue with the logic in looking at it either direction. It’s two sides of the same coin.

The most obvious solution would be an electorate that bothers to keep itself properly informed. Which seems odd in the “information age” and with so much information instantly at our fingertips that we are apparently less informed as an electorate than we once were. However, being that an actual informed electorate, and one that actually understands the purposes and methods of the Constitution and the Founders, is probably a lost cause… well… what are our other options to correct the Roman road we are travelling to the same fate of our republic.

“We have given you a republic, madam, if you can keep it.” Did Benjamin Franklin ever speak more prophetic words?

gravityman on February 1, 2012 at 4:45 PM

NO NO NO NO!!!!!!

if the voters want to remove an elected official, vote them out. just imagine how many scorched earth bills will be passed by term limited senators and reps who wont be accountable. i can just imagine the amount of special interest riders hidden deep in bills to benefit cronies and such cause hey, i cant get re-elected. and what about those who are happy w/ their senator/rep?? they have to elect a new one that may turn out worse? if people are too lazy or complacent to get out and vote out the bad ones than so be it. a bill like this wont make the voters any better it will just cause more problems.

chasdal on February 1, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Neither will be accomplished. Should the POTUS have term limits?

d1carter on February 1, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I’ll give you that that’s a wonderful devil’s advocate delving into my reasoning and forces me to confront either (A)a seeming hypocrisy if I say yes, or (B)looking like a dictator favoring idiot if I say no.

My take I suppose would be that the chief executive is different. A precedent for it was set at the very beginning because allowing the HEAD to remain indefinitely risked a return to monarchy and General Washington set an example for all of us for morality, judgement, and an acknowledgement of human limitations, including his own, and I respect it.

Basically I do agree with presidential term limits as it’s the HEAD of the government and eight years is long enough to see your many of you initiatives through if you’re effective. I don’t want a King or Dictator for life and politics and elections can be manipulated. But we’re talking about senators and representatives. They can’t change anything all by themselves or do any damage at all without consensus and support from their like minded colleagues at least, the President CAN.

I just don’t see any reason to throw out Tom Coburn, as another poster mentioned above, in order to be able to tell San Francisco that Nancy Pelosi can no longer represent them and they’ll have to choose a new stooge with even less long term electoral repsonsibility.

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:53 PM

independentvoice on February 1, 2012 at 4:42 PM

In a bill by itself, it would surely never pass. Not in a million years. If you are a proponent of term limits, then the ONLY way to get them passed would be to tack them onto something that no congressman could possibly ever in a million years be seen to vote against. This may be as close as Washington ever gets to a bill that no congressman can be seen to vote against in a million years, and even at that it would be a longshot to get term limits passed with it.

As for term limits personally, I am torn on them. There are legitimate arguments both ways for them, equally persuasive. And it is difficult to come up with another solution to the corruption of DC that doesnt involve the electorate suddenly deciding to inform itself properly (which I think is a pie-in-the-sky proposition, but then I’m an avowed cynic). That said, I do at least respect DeMint for putting it forward, and I find he generally seems to be one of the few on Capitol Hill that may be genuinely interested in Constitutional government.

gravityman on February 1, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Congress seriously needs a makeover. I would rather see a clause where they have to spend two weeks every month in their district. Less staff, less committees, less speeches, less time in Washington. All transcripts posted on the internet.

And if the Senate doesn’t pass a budget, they don’t get paid.

monalisa on February 1, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 1, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Yes, term limits will do nothing but force out the good congressmen, to be replaced by a never ending stream of bad congressmen.

gyrmnix on February 1, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Great, more ineffectual grandstanding.

ConservativeLA on February 1, 2012 at 3:45 PM

+1

kunegetikos on February 1, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Term limits does NOT exist at the ballot box.

This argument assumes an intelligent electorate.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 1, 2012 at 4:14 PM

It assumes no such thing.

Dante on February 1, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:53 PM

I know it is a difficult issue when you consider your own representatives. Here’s another problem that should be debated…seniority?

d1carter on February 1, 2012 at 5:11 PM

If the present anti-incumbent sentiment continues, voters might create de facto term limits anyway.

Isn’t this why we have elections? Let’s leave the power to the people. The last thing I want in Washington are more politicians who have no regard for the wishes of their constituents and know they don’t have to be accountable. Can you imagine 6 years of a Senator Boxer doing whatever she wants? No thanks.

TeaParty on February 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM

How about making insider trading illegal for “ALL AMERICANS?” The way it reads so far (members of Congress, their spouses and their staff members), there must be some loop-holes (are second-cousins-in-law to staff members exempt?), especially, when they are now considering the executive branch too (how many hundreds are in that group–anyone? anyone?)! Or, is that too draconian an idea? BTW, we don’t need term limits–we just need to pass two laws: first, outlaw all payroll deductions for all income taxes, making everyone write a check each year. Second, move tax day to 1 Nov, so that big, fat check to the IRS will be fresh in everyone’s mind come election day that week…problem solved!

Dougger on February 1, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Term limits….never….will….happen.

oldroy on February 1, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Then we will never be free.

M_J_S on February 1, 2012 at 5:50 PM

gravityman on February 1, 2012 at 4:53 PM

You likely are correct about term limits never passing by themselves. If true, then so be it. I would rather they not be passed than pass them as an unrelated amendment to a bill. Unrelated amendments are a major reason why we are in trouble.

independentvoice on February 1, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Boomer_Sooner on February 1, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Hear hear! Great post! If we got rid of gerrymandering I think term limits would not be needed. Unresponsive/lousy REPs/SENs would be voted out (at least I hope they would). Good ones don’t need gerrymandering anyway.

independentvoice on February 1, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Curse you Jim DeMint for starting the recession!
–Alvin Greene

Gatsu on February 1, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Lol. Talk about a blast from the past – what HAS Alvin been up to anyway?

Myron Falwell on February 1, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Linking the idea of term limits to a bill about insider trading is actually a pretty good fit.

NO IT IS NOT a good fit.

They are two separate issues and deserve two separate laws. One law makes Congress as accountable as any investor/trader, the other is a constitutional matter.

lexhamfox on February 1, 2012 at 7:18 PM

While you’re at it, Senator, I’d like legislation to limit Presidential campaigns to starting no sooner than the fall of the year before the election and I’d like for all the primaries to be held within a 4-5 week period between March and April of the election year, no changes allowed.

I’d also like to propose an Amendment to the US Constitution that all salaries, benefits and raises for members of Congress–yes, both Reps and Senators–be subject to vote approval of the citizens of the United States of America.

stukinIL4now on February 1, 2012 at 9:33 PM

How about we stop tacking anything not related to the primary bill to the primary bill?! The tactic of stuffing bills with non-related legislation and pork needs to STOP! Anything that has nothing to do with the main bill should be put forth as its own bill. If it is not strong enough to pass on its own then it shouldn’t pass in the 1st place! Finally, we don’t need freakin’ term limits because we already have the power to affect that – it’s called ‘the vote’. The only thing that passing a term limit would accomplish would be to prevent ‘stupid’ people from putting losers like Nancy Pelosi back in again and again and again by taking the option to do so away from them…which is not necessarily a bad thing….

easyt65 on February 2, 2012 at 8:57 AM

While you’re at it, Senator, I’d like legislation to limit Presidential campaigns to starting no sooner than the fall of the year before the election and I’d like for all the primaries to be held within a 4-5 week period between March and April of the election year, no changes allowed. — fstukinIL4now on February 1, 2012 at 9:33

Hey fstukinIL4now, since obama loves ‘redistribution of wealth so much’ and Liberals love the idea of taking every dollar the rich make over $250k so much, maybe we could pass a law that sets a CAP amount with which politicians can raise to run for election/re-election & every dollar they raise over that CAP is seized and re-distributed to candidates who have not raised enough money to reach the specificed CAP?!

easyt65 on February 2, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Hornet’s nest. Big stick.

Go for it.

davidk on February 2, 2012 at 10:23 AM