Shocker: Americans want term limits and end to Electoral College after re-electing a bunch of incumbents

posted at 12:01 pm on January 18, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Later today, when I’m hosting the Ed Morrissey Show, you’ll probably notice a deep red welt on my forehead and wonder how it got there.  It’s from banging my head on my desk repeatedly after reading the results of two polls released today.  The first comes from Gallup, where overwhelming majorities of Americans of every party affiliation demand Congressional term limits and an end to the Electoral College … just two months after re-elected almost every incumbent than ran for federal office:

Even after the 2012 election in which Americans re-elected most of the sitting members of the U.S. House and Senate — as is typical in national elections — three-quarters of Americans say that, given the opportunity, they would vote “for” term limits for members of both houses of Congress.

Republicans and independents are slightly more likely than Democrats to favor term limits; nevertheless, the vast majority of all party groups agree on the issue. Further, Gallup finds no generational differences in support for the proposal.

In other words, the message here is: Stop me before I vote for another incumbent!  I’m no fan of term limits in Congressional elections, after my experience in seeing the application in California do nothing but make the dysfunction there arguably worse, and certainly no better.  (The limit on presidential terms is more necessary, thanks to the power that has accrued to the executive branch over the last several decades.)  The best solution is to vote out the incumbents one dislikes, by finding better candidates to oppose them.

On the Electoral College, the numbers are lower but still majorities:

Americans are nearly as open to major electoral reform when it comes to doing away with the Electoral College. Sixty-three percent would abolish this unique, but sometimes controversial, mechanism for electing presidents that was devised by the framers of the Constitution. While constitutional and statutory revisions have been made to the Electoral College since the nation’s founding, numerous efforts to abolish it over the last 200+ years have met with little success.

There is even less partisan variation in support for this proposal than there is for term limits, with between 61% and 66% of all major party groups saying they would vote to do away with the Electoral College if they could. Similarly, between 60% and 69% of all major age groups take this position.

This has been a relatively stable level for at least since the 2000 election, but it’s based on almost nothing else.  What exactly is the problem with forcing a state-by-state approach that has worked well, with two (possible) exceptions, every four years since 1792? It allows states to have some influence on federal government, especially lower-population states that would otherwise get overwhelmed by the large coastal states in national elections.  If they were this dissatisfied with the results the last time, why did they bother to re-elect the man who won the presidential election in that cycle?

We can ask the same question after reading the new poll at The Hill, too.  In the survey, 42% say they are worse off than when Obama took office, with only 26% believing that life has improved — and they’re not expecting things to get better in the next four years, either:

President Obama is entering his second term with many of the nation’s voters still pessimistic or unsure about their economic prospects, a new poll for The Hill has found.

The president was reelected for another four years by a relatively comfortable margin, but 39 percent of likely voters say his first four years were worse than expected, compared to just 18 percent who say he exceeded expectations. Forty-one percent of those polled said his first term went as expected.

The president assumed office in the midst of one of the worst financial meltdowns in U.S. history, and those polled are still feeling the ensuing recession’s impact four years later. On the economic front, 42 percent say they are worse off now than when Obama first took office, compared to 26 percent who say they are better off.

Respondents are not significantly more optimistic about the next four years, either.

Sixty percent say they do not expect to make major economic strides during Obama’s second term, compared to just 38 percent who expect to be better off in 2016.

So why did Obama get re-elected?  More people blame Congress than Obama for their problems … even though Americans re-elected the exact same leadership on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

And now you’ll know why I’ll have a big, red welt in the middle of my forehead this afternoon.

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Because I know your game.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2013 at 1:08 PM

You really do seem a little agitated.

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Congress should be subject to the same laws as the American people. Creating laws and exempting themselves from compliance should be unlawful…

d1carter on January 18, 2013 at 12:52 PM

It would not surprise me if close examination of the Constitution and Bill of Rights might even have that language in there in some form.

Of course they don’t care about the Constitution anyway, so……

Tenwheeler on January 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

You really do seem a little agitated.

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Then you are clueless.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

You need to get rid of your representative, but my guy is great!

BobMbx on January 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

You got it exactly right on the first comment. It’s along the lines of “Everyone’s entitlements/pet causes should be cut…but not mine!!!”

thebrokenrattle on January 18, 2013 at 1:06 PM

I believe the old metaphor had something to do with Ox’s getting gored.

SWalker on January 18, 2013 at 1:12 PM

What I might suggest is that instead of electing your own officials, w scramble it up and have a lottery where all districts put a ticket into a bucket, and whichever ticket is drawn, that district votes for the district next on the list.

“And now voting for Alabama CD-1 is…..drumroll, please……..California CD-23!”

“Next is Alabama CD-2…..and the winner is……..Arkansas CD-7!”

And so on.

Karma.

BobMbx on January 18, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Maybe we should have a constitutional convention?

(1) Term limits on congress
(2) EC to be based on district proportion in a state, no winner take all
(3) Some limits on the President in relation to EO
(4) Line Item Veto
(5) Balance Budget Amendment, except during a declaration of war

That should solve some of the problems.

William Eaton on January 18, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Then you are clueless.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Ok, perhaps very agitated.

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Why would you think that?

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Ummm, maybe because some of us have been reading what you post for a long time now.

SWalker on January 18, 2013 at 1:15 PM

William Eaton on January 18, 2013 at 1:14 PM

(6) No politician, from the president on down, s/b exempt to any laws they push upon the people.

Zero exceptions. It w/b fair and just. They are exempt from the excrements they pushed upon the land, for hundreds of years.

All who do it, or exempt their buddies and families, spontaneously combust, for hypocrisy alone.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2013 at 1:16 PM

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Psychology101 is indignant. You flunked that a long time ago.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2013 at 1:17 PM

(

5) Balance Budget Amendment, except during a declaration of warThat should solve some of the problems.

William Eaton on January 18, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Naw. Dems would go to war to bust #5. They do now.

Jabberwock on January 18, 2013 at 1:18 PM

But, dey didn’t tell me not to vote for him, or her, and they didn’t tell me who I shoulda voted for…so it is not my fault the same people just keep getting re-elected and re-elected or something.

If this is the state of how “we” the “people” have decided to manage our government of the people, by the people and for the people, well, seems we’ve pretty much hit bottom…and it ain’t very pretty.

We have achieved Idiocracy.

coldwarrior on January 18, 2013 at 1:18 PM

OT: From WWL, New Orleans:

A federal grand jury has indicted former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on 21 counts of corruption.

No mention of his Party affiliation.

/

Del Dolemonte on January 18, 2013 at 1:18 PM

We have achieved Idiocracy.

coldwarrior on January 18, 2013 at 1:18 PM

All relatively free people deserve the gov’t they elect.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Ok, perhaps very agitated.

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 1:15 PM

He is not the one freaking out over crappy little islands.

William Eaton on January 18, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Del Dolemonte on January 18, 2013 at 1:18 PM

…then they blamed GWB for it…

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Psychology101 is indignant. You flunked that a long time ago.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Yet a few simple comments of mine can really agitate you. Heh :)

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Naw. Dems would go to war to bust #5. They do now.

Jabberwock on January 18, 2013 at 1:18 PM

You mean me giving them the line item veto would not satisfy them. The thought of Obama whacking out all that pork…Oh wait…you are right.

Ok maybe a gay marriage amendment or maybe some fluff women’s rights amendment (like we need that, oh brother). I would be willing to trade on those to get our balanced budget amendment.

William Eaton on January 18, 2013 at 1:25 PM

We have achieved Idiocracy.

coldwarrior on January 18, 2013 at 1:18 PM

When victory and control is given to the person who can more effectively slander his/her opponent, we have missed the point of an election.
We do not elect “Leaders” anymore. We elect punks. Sophisticated punks, but punks all the same.

Jabberwock on January 18, 2013 at 1:25 PM

The best solution is to vote out the incumbents one dislikes, by finding better candidates to oppose them.

How do I, as an Illinois resident (aka serf), select and elect better candidates in CA or NY or MA? With term limits, at least there is a chance that they may run out of useful idiots to run for office after a while. I do think, though, that said limits should allow a long enough term to actually allow a legislator to to work on a project that may take more than just one term so that good legislation, if it should ever appear again, can be finished.

Big John on January 18, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I would be willing to trade on those to get our balanced budget amendment.

William Eaton on January 18, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Or even GET a budget ?

Jabberwock on January 18, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Term limits are a horrible idea. California did it. Here’s what happens:

1. Legislators vote for horrible legislation they know is going to blow up 10 years down the road but they also know they aren’t going to be around holding the bag when it does and nobody is going to remember that they voted for it.

2. They create great regulator bureaucracies that regulate with the power of law without intervention from the elected representatives and give themselves lifetime permanent positions of power in these boards, commissions, and bureaus.

NO, term limits are a horrible idea. It makes for even more irresponsible legislators.

crosspatch on January 18, 2013 at 1:29 PM

So why did Obama get re-elected?

Cheating, collusion, give-aways, fraud, and down right theft of office.

Big John on January 18, 2013 at 1:29 PM

In your scenario, Barky plays exclusively to the inner cities, academics, and labor unions and probably cobbles together enough of the vote without ever having to consider the needs or desires of the farmer in rural Georgia.

For every good shift you see (getting the Western PA votes we miss out on now) there is bad (losing the Atlanta votes in Georgia). It will allow encourage further Balkanization of the electorate.

CycloneCDB on January 18, 2013 at 12:48 PM

The problem is that the scenario you are describing already happens now under the current EC.

Did you look at the electoral map this past election? The NE, Florida, and the West Coast alone won the election for Obama. it was even worse when you look at the individual electoral maps for the states. For example in Ohio, Romney won 70+ counties while Obama only won 14 counties, yet Obama won the state because those 14 counties were all urban counties that overwhelmed the rest of the state. The same thing happened in Pennsylvania, where Romney won about 56 counties vs Obama’s 13 counties, but again Obama won the state by virtue of the number of votes represented by those 13 counties.

It seems to me that the current EC method is not stopping the NE and West Coast from controling every national election. What it is stopping is the rural counties or districts from having any say whatsoever in national elections. At least with proporational allocation of EC votes, those rural counties’ votes would actually count. As it stands right now, if you don’t live in an urban or suburban county, you may as well not bother to vote.

gravityman on January 18, 2013 at 1:30 PM

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Quit trying. Seattle is missing an idiot. China is glad to have him.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Well that was quite an amazing argument you made there. Oh wise one, please explain to me why I should not be allowed to vote, because I do believe in your dreaded proportional allotment of electoral votes.

Or is the depth of your argument one of “cuz I said so”? Will you next yell for mom and tell her we keep looking at you?

Put forth a cogent argument as to why proportional allotment is such a horrible idea that people should be disenfranchised of their vote to even consider it.

ButterflyDragon on January 18, 2013 at 12:53 PM

My argument was right above your post. So you, ButterflyDragon, you should not be allowed to vote because you simply lack the ability to read. Forget your belief in proportional allotment of electoral votes.

CycloneCDB on January 18, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Or even GET a budget ?

Jabberwock on January 18, 2013 at 1:28 PM

LOL!

Ok how about this…

(7) If congress does not pass a yearly budget they will automatically trigger a special election for all the seats in congress (house and senate) in which all of them will be forced to sit out. I don’t normally support collective punishment but on this one I am willing to let it slide. They will be known as a “loser congress”.

William Eaton on January 18, 2013 at 1:32 PM

The thing about term limits is this — I can try to term-limit my own representative (Betty McCollum, who richly deserves it, by the way) by voting for her opponent in every election, but I can’t do a damned thing about politicians in other states. Living in Minnesota, I have no way to do much about the morons in Michigan who have sent John Dingell back to Washington since he was first elected during the Franklin Pierce administration.

Of course, the real problem is that the federal government has so much power that John Dingell can affect my life. If power devolved back to the states, I wouldn’t much have to care about him, or Chuck Schumer, or Nancy Pelosi. But that’s a different (and more difficult) conversation.

Mr. D on January 18, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Quit trying. Seattle is missing an idiot. China is glad to have him.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Oh, you know I’m an idiot from Seattle. Yet you pay me so much attention. I’m flattered :D

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 1:36 PM

The problem is that the scenario you are describing already happens now under the current EC.

Did you look at the electoral map this past election? The NE, Florida, and the West Coast alone won the election for Obama. it was even worse when you look at the individual electoral maps for the states. For example in Ohio, Romney won 70+ counties while Obama only won 14 counties, yet Obama won the state because those 14 counties were all urban counties that overwhelmed the rest of the state. The same thing happened in Pennsylvania, where Romney won about 56 counties vs Obama’s 13 counties, but again Obama won the state by virtue of the number of votes represented by those 13 counties.

It seems to me that the current EC method is not stopping the NE and West Coast from controling every national election. What it is stopping is the rural counties or districts from having any say whatsoever in national elections. At least with proporational allocation of EC votes, those rural counties’ votes would actually count. As it stands right now, if you don’t live in an urban or suburban county, you may as well not bother to vote.

gravityman on January 18, 2013 at 1:30 PM

People fail to realize that the scenario where the popular vote loser wins the electoral vote is actually the precise instance the electoral college was designed to address.

Protection of the minorities’ rights.

Your exaggeration of “the NE and West Coast are controlling every election” is bunk. The election was decided by OH, FL, WI, MI, VA, IA, NV, and CO. We know the morons gravitate to NY, MA, DC, and CA. That’s why you should embrace the elctoral college. The more they congregate, the less their groupthink dominates the election.

CycloneCDB on January 18, 2013 at 1:37 PM

William Eaton on January 18, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Sounds good, but a bit over the top.

How ’bout they and their staff, LOSE all pay for time without a budget.
And I mean LOSE it. Not paid back once budget is achieved.

Many folks just might agree to that.

Jabberwock on January 18, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Just remember – the more granular the vote gets, the more “democracy” (i.e. “mob rule”) prevails.

Direct democracy is dangerous.

CycloneCDB on January 18, 2013 at 1:39 PM

This has been a relatively stable level for at least since the 2000 election, but it’s based on almost nothing else. What exactly is the problem with forcing a state-by-state approach that has worked well, with two (possible) exceptions, every four years since 1792?

Nothing — unless you want to go to one state, one vote.

But this question, as a poll question, is probably junk, since it seems likely that almost no one in the United States, statistically speaking, knows what the college is or does, beyond what Colbert told them. Which leads to my other point:

I’m no fan of term limits in Congressional elections, after my experience in seeing the application in California do nothing but make the dysfunction there arguably worse, and certainly no better. (The limit on presidential terms is more necessary, thanks to the power that has accrued to the executive branch over the last several decades.)

Our media is entrenching a permanent political class. More turn-over is the only chance we have to keep it from cementing. A succession of clowns is better than one clown that can’t be removed from office because the local and national media are tending to his or her public image. The media rationalize disasters, don’t report embarrassments — or do, depending on which politician they want to wind and which they want to bury.

Support term limits, Ed. I’ll make you a button.

Axe on January 18, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Just remember – the more granular the vote gets, the more “democracy” (i.e. “mob rule”) prevails.

Direct democracy is dangerous.

CycloneCDB on January 18, 2013 at 1:39 PM

See Egypt for an example of how democracy works out for minorities.

CycloneCDB on January 18, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Axe on January 18, 2013 at 1:48 PM

A bit OT, but thanks for that definition on Bishop’s “quail”
I had NEVER seen the word used that way. Doubt I will again.
I did look it up on phone and came up with nothing but birds.

Thanks again.

Jabberwock on January 18, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Thanks again.

Jabberwock on January 18, 2013 at 1:57 PM

de nada.

Doubt I will again.

Nope. It’ll be all over the place now. But quail not. :)

Axe on January 18, 2013 at 2:08 PM

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 1:36 PM

You’re just annoyed that I exposed your propaganda. You tried to hide it for a long time.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2013 at 2:17 PM

I’d like to introduce a bill for a part time Congress. 2 months in the fall and 2 months in the spring. That’s it. The rest of the time they work virtually in their home districts and listen to the people. Hell, they can even keep their full salaries and take other jobs for all I care.

It will limit the damage, and have them concentrate on only the most important legislation (if any) and budget concerns. They seem to work well when they only have days to consider legislation anyway.

NickelAndDime on January 18, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Personally, I think term limits on Congress is a good idea, but my comment is more about the EC. I agree it allows low-population states to have a voice in national elections and I would like to keep that process. However, some states such as IL are ruled by major cities such as Chicago. In that example, IL citizens outside of liberal Chicago feel like they have no say in national elections.

I think a better fix would be to allow major cities or counties, say those over 1 million population, a proportionate share of the state’s EC votes. Again, using the IL example, the Chicago area would control about half of the EC votes since about half the population lives there. Since no other city in IL exceeds 1 million population the remainder of the EC votes would be decided by non-Chicago citizens (the rest of the state). In the end, half the EC votes would go Democrat and half to Republicans (usually) and election races would be much tighter. This process would prevent a candidate from becoming President simply because he campaigned hard in a dozen specific U.S. cities. Instead, they would have to win votes from all parts of many states.

sirmatthew on January 18, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Holding public office ought to be an onerous public duty, like serving on a jury. Therefore, instead of elections, I propose a draft/lottery hybrid, a modification of the idea the we would be better off if we chose names at random from the phone book.

Every citizen eligible for office must register. Officeholders are chosen by random lottery.

I think we would be better served.

novaculus on January 18, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Well, at least ObamaPhone Lady is happy with her vote.

/Oh, wait.

Key West Reader on January 18, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Holding public office ought to be an onerous public duty, like serving on a jury. Therefore, instead of elections, I propose a draft/lottery hybrid, a modification of the idea the we would be better off if we chose names at random from the phone book.

Every citizen eligible for office must register. Officeholders are chosen by random lottery.

I think we would be better served.

novaculus on January 18, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Would that include the non-tax paying citizenry? If so, I don’t recommend it.

Only those who pay taxes should be allowed to cast their votes. That’d be the demise of the democratMarxist cartel in Washington.

Key West Reader on January 18, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Only those who pay taxes should be allowed to cast their votes. That’d be the demise of the democratMarxist cartel in Washington.

Key West Reader on January 18, 2013 at 2:36 PM

In a way, that is how we started out. Not a great idea.

Jabberwock on January 18, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Key West Reader on January 18, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Hey, good to see you!

You raise a valid point. I am of course just offering food for thought. In a democracy citizenship traditionally confers the right to vote. And some non-tax paying citizens would undoubtedly serve well. Heinlein suggested that citizenship should be restricted to people who performed military or other difficult and dangerous public service. I’m not suggesting that we wouldn’t select any incompetent of corrupt people by lottery, but that we would get significantly fewer. We seem to actively select for incompetence and corruption by election.

Ultimately, the real problem is an electorate that continues to elect more charlatans and fools than effective government managers.

novaculus on January 18, 2013 at 2:48 PM

In a way, that is how we started out. Not a great idea.

Jabberwock on January 18, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Considering the alternative, which way was worse?

I know it rubs against our nice warm egalitarian fantasies. But good grief, take a freaking look at what letting every fruit and nut and welfare recipient has gotten us!

MelonCollie on January 18, 2013 at 2:51 PM

You’re right, ED.

Maybe you can include a math segment on your show, to explain how the public’s “headed in the wrong direction” and the President’s favor-ability ratings have been tracking each other.

Apparently he’s the President but he’s not the President.

To quote Clint: “The biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

The only problem is, we need to add to the old adage: Fool me once, shame on you — Fool me twice, shame on me — Fool me three, four or five times, what? Get a net? I don’t know. Maybe you can finish that off better than I can.

IndieDogg on January 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Just remember – the more granular the vote gets, the more “democracy” (i.e. “mob rule”) prevails.

Direct democracy is dangerous.

CycloneCDB on January 18, 2013 at 1:39 PM

in the case of the way EC votes are allocated by winner take-all, this is more akin to direct democracy than is allocating EC votes by congressional district. This allows the tyranny of the majority (large, monolithic population centers) to decide the selection of president over the interests of the minority (outlying, less dense population areas) By allocating EC votes by congressional district, the presidential election becomes more representative and less democratic. Don’t see how you make the argument that if the votes are allocated, then the candidate only has to focus on the large population centers. That’s whats happening now and how various large states go for the democrat while their rural areas have no say in the presidential election. California is another example.

AZfederalist on January 18, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Considering the alternative, which way was worse?

I know it rubs against our nice warm egalitarian fantasies. But good grief, take a freaking look at what letting every fruit and nut and welfare recipient has gotten us!

MelonCollie on January 18, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Actually, getting MORE people to pay some form of tax may be a better avenue. Even a small tax. And I mean everyone. If they see the govt taking money from them they may wonder why.

Skin in the game and all that.

Jabberwock on January 18, 2013 at 2:59 PM

It’s the other guy’s incumbent they don’t like.

Othniel on January 18, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Ultimately, the real problem is an electorate that continues to elect more charlatans and fools than effective government managers.

novaculus on January 18, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Agreed. Great to see you as well.

Key West Reader on January 18, 2013 at 3:20 PM

(1) Term limits on congress
(2) EC to be based on district proportion in a state, no winner take all
(3) Some limits on the President in relation to EO
(4) Line Item Veto
(5) Balance Budget Amendment, except during a declaration of war

That should solve some of the problems.

William Eaton on January 18, 2013 at 1:14 PM

(6) Term limits & prerequisite qualifications for SCOTUS: at least 50, retire by 75, have served at least 5 years at state or fed appellate level.

In fact, I’d like to see a mandatory retirement age for congress too. No more of this wheeling old fossils into the chamber when they’re barely cognizant enough to realize they shat their adult diapers.

Nutstuyu on January 18, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Term limits are a horrible idea. California did it. Here’s what happens:

1. Legislators vote for horrible legislation they know is going to blow up 10 years down the road but they also know they aren’t going to be around holding the bag when it does and nobody is going to remember that they voted for it.

2. They create great regulator bureaucracies that regulate with the power of law without intervention from the elected representatives and give themselves lifetime permanent positions of power in these boards, commissions, and bureaus.

NO, term limits are a horrible idea. It makes for even more irresponsible legislators.

crosspatch on January 18, 2013 at 1:29 PM

You made an excellent argument against term limits….in California. I live in Nebraska and happen to think that they work rather well here.

I don’t understand how you think that the situation in California would be better without term limits. Everything I see coming from the political class in that state would lead me to believe that the government is going to act irresponsibly regardless of the rules on term limits. Do you honestly believe the situation would be better if there were no term limits?

weaselyone on January 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM

DumbarkCurrent on January 18, 2013

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Mrs. Bachman is an incumbent. Paul Ryan is an incumbent. I like them. I want to keep the incumbents I like, and be rid of the others!

Seriously, the change that needs to happen is that the rules of the House and the Rules of the Senate have to end privileges based on Seniority. We want other rules changed too, of course.

Scott Brown went to Washington for two years, and really almost no one was his friend, and so he made a few quick moves and got an Insider Trading bill thru the HOUSE, the Senate and pinned the president down on camera saying he would sign it. It is the law.
That will help a lot with your incumbent problem. Ed Markey, a man from MA who barely held a private sector job, and only had a salary from the congress has a few millions in profits from the telecom industry on which committee he sits. He uses privileges that he has, called “power” sometimes, that come from being a senior member of congress to place himself above others and control things, giving other “lesser” newer congressmen less power and less say. Shouldn’t all reps be equal?

In the Senate much goes the same, Marco Rubio, would get no say about things that the “leadership” decides…leaders based on how many years they have hung on there, not based on their wit, good looks, or charismatic nature, not even if they are smart enough. Scott Brown and Marco Rubio have been equals…on the bottom.

It is hard to change these things with republicans in the minority, and when they are in the majority, all politicians want what they had coming to them under the old rules.

Don’t forget that an exception had to be “granted” in order for Paul Ryan to move to budget head, over not as competent men, maybe good looking, nice, whatever, but not having enough years to be picked next.

That is how Unions work. It is not for me.

Fleuries on January 18, 2013 at 5:09 PM

A consideration for tweaking the EC is that with today’s polling and media, many solidly red or blue states voters have no incentive to actually go out and vote because they pretty much know the results of their state ahead of time.

The GOP is hit especially hard because we win more states but end up with fewer overall votes because we have a lower turnout in larger areas.

If states would go to a NE/ME type of EC split, then every state would be in play and people would be more likely to vote. Urban areas will always have higher voter turnout because of more organzied union bussing and “incentives” handed out.

Result would be that some of TX, GA, AZ and MO would go blue but conversly, parts of CA, NY, FL, VA, OH, and PA would definitley go red. Candidates would have to campaign over a much larger area and organized labor funds would be spread very thin.

JetBlast on January 18, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Part of the problem here when you have screwed polls like this… is that there is not clear competing ideas out there. The left is dominating the message because the GOP would rather cower. So.. because there is no one leading from our side.. no clear distinct conservative ( dare I say American ) message to compete with the left’s, this is what you get. Confusion.

It’s funny… when I look over the political landscape, in my small little limited way, I don’t see this strong opponent in Obama. I see a weak, vulnerable man politically, presenting a failed defenseless ideology. Corrupt and incompetent.

But because he has no real opposition, he succeeds.

The GOP doesn’t confront him They want to work with him. they want to be seen liking him.

You can’t call your opponent strong when you never actually engage him in a struggle. The Democrats win by default.

We don’t really know how often Obama has bluffed. How many times he would have caved… because the Republican leaders would rather be the ones to give in and give up first.

JellyToast on January 18, 2013 at 5:41 PM

I don’t understand how you think that the situation in California would be better without term limits. Everything I see coming from the political class in that state would lead me to believe that the government is going to act irresponsibly regardless of the rules on term limits. Do you honestly believe the situation would be better if there were no term limits?

weaselyone on January 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM

AFTER they created term limits, they started creating a boatload of boards, bureaus, and commissions. California Coastal Commission for example. The legislature then delegates to the commission what amounts to power to rule by decree, just like the Air Resources Board can set fuel standards, tell you that you can’t use your wood stove, etc. without any interference from the legislature. When the legislator’s term expires, he is appointed to what amounts to a lifetime position on one of these boards and rules that little fiefdom for the rest of his career if he wants to. So you have some legislator from Half Moon Bay gets appointed to head the Coastal Commission and basically “runs” coastal development for the next 30-40 years like a little Al Capone. We didn’t have all those commissions before we had term limits.

Congress would do the same thing. They would legislate the creation of a bunch of boards, commissions and bureaus where term limited Congress critters would be appointed for the rest of their lives and rule their little jurisdiction like little princes for life or until they retire.

crosspatch on January 18, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Also, when a law someone supported 10 years ago comes home to roost, that person can be thrown out of office if they are still in the legislature or congress. This causes them to think twice about how something is going to work down the road. If they are term limited, they don’t give a damn how it is going to work down the road. All they know is that someone told them that if they vote yes on this bill, they will get appointed to some commission for life after their term expires.

Term limits are a stupid idea. It says “I can’t be trusted to make good decisions so take away my right to keep GOOD politicians in office” or something. It is one admitting they are an idiot. It is taking away our rights for no benefit.

crosspatch on January 18, 2013 at 6:23 PM

I oppose term limits and three strikes for the same reason: they attempt to treat the symptom while ignorning the cause.

ConservativeLA on January 18, 2013 at 6:38 PM

I oppose term limits for people who use “literally”, when they mean “figuratively”. That term is way overused.

Rusty Allen on January 18, 2013 at 7:22 PM

I support term limits. But I also support taking away all the perks that make the job a career. For example, members of Congress should not be eligible for a pension. None. Zero. No one should serve in Congress long enough for that to even be an issue. Being a politician should not be a career for anyone.

Shump on January 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

http://twitpic.com/bw9in6

davidk on January 18, 2013 at 7:35 PM

The zoo keeper gave each monkey 4 bananas in the morning and 3 bananas each evening. After a while the monkeys became displeased, so the monkeys voted to replace the zoo keeper and the new zoo keeper gave each monkey 3 bananas in the morning and 4 bananas in the evening and the monkeys were much pleased.

Wallythedog on January 18, 2013 at 7:59 PM

You’re just annoyed that I exposed your propaganda. You tried to hide it for a long time.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2013 at 2:17 PM

How’s that?

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 8:23 PM

DumbarkCurrent on January 18, 2013

FKOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM

See how easy the childish ad hominem is?

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 8:26 PM

The worst problem with the EC can be done away with simply by awarding electors by congressional district and two statewide for whoever carries the statewide vote. Even Kalifornia would open up.

We need Congresscritter term limits even more than we need Presidential term limits. Congress is the major source of trouble in FedGov at the moment. Congress needs to stand up and do its constitutional duty, and you aren’t going to see that as long as those twits can stay forever and build their relationships so they can “bring the bacon home.”

Quartermaster on January 18, 2013 at 9:04 PM

DumbarkCurrent on January 18, 2013

FKOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM

See how easy the childish ad hominem is?

DarkCurrent on January 18, 2013 at 8:26 PM

…yep!

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Ed,

I don’t think people are being illogical here. Everyone wants term limits.

However, without a law preventing an incumbent from continuing to run and run and run, the incumbent is likely to win. This is because, although everyone is aware of the benefits of incumbancy in the general election, but they are even more greatly magnified in a primary. The opposing party in a general election to an incumbent can at least have the backing of a national party. A primary opponent has no such backing.

Further, with the way we’ve seen incumbents act as sore losers to sabotage the primary victor (Murkowski, Murdock, etc…), there is likely no way to prevent this scenario from repeating absent a law.

makattak on January 18, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Wow, wish there were an edit feature. Please pretend that middle sentence makes sense. (remove the but)

makattak on January 18, 2013 at 10:07 PM

The Electoral College didn’t do it.

What we need is strict election laws where Democrats can’t steal elections.

Obama and his boys stole this election, let’s not lose sight of that.

The Republicans were not ready to counter the cheating and deal with it. That’s why they lost.

Axion on January 18, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Be careful there. 12 people on this board will call you all kinds of names and tell you to get over it. And that his Majesty Lord Obama did not steal the election, you are just a bitter loser. This usually comes from the many David Brooks type republicans on the board.

Alabama Infidel on January 18, 2013 at 10:12 PM

The Electoral College didn’t do it.
What we need is strict election laws where Democrats can’t steal elections.
Axion on January 18, 2013 at 12:14 PM

It is much easier to steal an election when you only have to worry about a few thousand votes in a swing state. The map per county was basically red. We are being controlled by a few urban coastal areas with the present EC and will never win another election.

If we had an EC that was tied to county results, we might be swearing in President Romney this month.

HellCat on January 18, 2013 at 10:48 PM

I see the Electoral College as a buffer to a legal paralysis that would destroy the country.
If every vote in the country had equal weight, there would be chaos after each election.
Imagine Florida in 2000 extended to every state on the nation.

J_Crater on January 19, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Really, they want to get rid of the electoral college so that the most populated cities always decide the election? God my fellow countryman are idiots!
All they need is to appeal to their states to change how the EC is used. In other words, don’t make it winner take all. Allow a split.

These people are too stupid to vote. What we really need are voting limits for these unqualified citizens. They’re the reason that our jury pools are so damned screwy that even OJ walked.
Term limits already exists … VOTE THE SUCKERS OUT.

kregg on January 19, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Having a hard time determining how much of the poll’s results are due to Gallup’s wanting to please the administration and therefore reduce the risk of another visit by the Ministry of Propaganda’s Compliance Department or the utter failure of this country’s liberal-run school system…

ROCnPhilly on January 19, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Polls are easy to rig.

So are Pols

percysunshine on January 19, 2013 at 10:39 AM

After you say “blind, beast like stupidity”, what else can yoy say?
Never mind office holders in general, a majority of the apes voted for Obama, one of the great disgraces of the human race. THAT’S stupidity !!

arand on January 19, 2013 at 10:43 AM

It’s possible that the only solution may be a natural one: death. We might just have to wait until the old House and Senate geezers croak and maybe the following generations will act smarter and more prudently in who they vote for.

I support keeping the EC but I would like to know if apportioning EVs according to Congressional districts would have made a difference in previous elections and if it did, then consider the idea. In IL in recent years Crook County has pretty much controlled which way the state has gone presidentially. But for the 24 years prior to Clinton, IL voted Republican for president 6 times (can’t blame IL for Carter) so it could just be due to shifting attitudes and changing beliefs.

stukinIL4now on January 19, 2013 at 12:26 PM

So the House wants to say no pay if no budget, but the 27th Amendment disallows that until after 2014 elections. So no problem. Follow the lead of the ACA i.e. ObamaCare. Impose a penalty/tax on Congress members for not passing a budget. The NBCTA, No Budget Congressional Tax Act. The tax would be $14,500 per month that a Congressional budget has not passed both bodies. $14,500 being 1/12 of there base salary of $174,000. It would be a tax for not doing something, just as the ObamaCare tax for not buying health insurance is imposed.

Dasher on January 19, 2013 at 7:24 PM

You mean me giving them the line item veto would not satisfy them. The thought of Obama whacking out all that pork…Oh wait…you are right.
Ok maybe a gay marriage amendment or maybe some fluff women’s rights amendment (like we need that, oh brother). I would be willing to trade on those to get our balanced budget amendment.
William Eaton on January 18, 2013 at 1:25 PM

See, this is where you guys lose me. There’s absolutely zero check or balance to the line item veto. Say you get your balanced budget amendment in exchange for some other concession on the Republicans behalf, say… Whatever, say cuts to the military included in the bill. Congress passes it. Goes to the President. Strikes off what he doesn’t like, the heart of your parts, and let’s the rest go through?

A president should at least half to send it back to congress or the courts or somewhere to maintain a check on that executive power, don’t you think?

But that’s what we have. The president can either veto the whole thing and send it back, or sign the whole thing. If you want to reform the system to where the President can basically do a line-item veto, then send it back to congress to see of they will sign off on the law without those provisions that they had included? That’s reasonable, but basically what we already have.

If what you want is the ability for a President to craft his own bills by use of party coordination then sticking the knife in their opposition once any given bill made its way through congress and to his desk though? With no check or balance? That’s NOT reasonable, or well thought out.

Genuine on January 19, 2013 at 8:38 PM

Term limits should be in force. Arkansas has term limits. Each state should decide to do this. I do believe that politicians are very corruptible. When they can serve as long as they want. They can do what they want. When the electorate goes and votes for one person and that person does not have competition. The voter just votes and they do not have a choice. Of course constituents like their man. Some Congressmen serve their people well. Some serve themselves well. These congressmen keep their people uninformed.

The electoral College should be left along. The little state will have no voice. New york and California already elects the President. These two states President Obama. Popular vote unfortunately is subject to voter fraud.

Portia on January 19, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Term limits are a horrible idea. California did it. Here’s what happens:

1. Legislators vote for horrible legislation they know is going to blow up 10 years down the road but they also know they aren’t going to be around holding the bag when it does and nobody is going to remember that they voted for it.

2. They create great regulator bureaucracies that regulate with the power of law without intervention from the elected representatives and give themselves lifetime permanent positions of power in these boards, commissions, and bureaus.

NO, term limits are a horrible idea. It makes for even more irresponsible legislators.

Yeah..um.. Okay. Can you explain to me how that is different than what is going on now. No term limits.. and we have.. yes.. wait for it.. Obamacare..and blowing up, and they don’t give a hoot. They h have great insurance, paid for by us chumps. Blah Blah Blah.

Noelie on January 20, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Leave the Electoral College alone, New York and California already have far too much impact on my life.

Cindy Munford on January 20, 2013 at 12:22 PM

I don’t support change to the electoral college.

that said…

I find it interesting that we’re not supposed to support third parties, because the dims will have a perpetual majority, or so the story goes. So we keep swallowing whatever the GOP serves, and they keep serving up incumbents. But WE’RE the idiots because we want to change the system.

OK.

avgjo on January 20, 2013 at 7:33 PM

On term limits – consider this: Let’s say that US senators are limited to two terms (12 years). How often will they be challenged after the first six-year term? and IF challenged, how often will they lose? Rarely.

Perhaps, we should revoke the 17th Amendment to the Constitution and make US senators accountable to their state legislatures – then, we might keep them in line and THEY might do their job as required by the US Constitution.

Remember the Democrat controlled US Senate has not passed a budget (as required – see above) in almost four years. THEY are not doing their job.

MN J on January 20, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Shocker: Americans Jazz Shaw wants term limits and end to Electoral College after re-electing a bunch of incumbents

Dante on January 21, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Theoretically all we need is for the Supreme Court to change its view — that because the Constitution does not say that States may impose term limits on their representatives that they cannot do so — and term limits could be imposed on a State’s Senators and Representatives by (state) law. All the Constitution does is specify the age and length of term of Senators and Representatives (um more or less). It says nothing for how long they may serve (i.e. no Senators may serve for their lifetime which would negate any State law on term limits).

The President is elected by the Country (via electoral college) as opposed to the States (though the electoral college is based on the States), so term limits for the President would have to be written into the Constitution. But Senators and Representatives are elected by their respective States so States should decide the number of times they can serve. This would also include recalling their representatives.

Russ808 on January 22, 2013 at 4:26 PM

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