The partial government shutdown is about to enter its third week. To top it off, we're only days from defaulting on our bonds for the first time in this country's history. And yes, it's the Republicans' fault. Not because they're a bunch of slimy racist old bastards (they are, but that's beside the point), but because they're afraid of a group of even slimier and more racist old bastards...the Tea Party. Mainstream Republicans see what's happening to their party in the polls and, like President Obama, they want this thing to end, but they also want to keep their jobs. And because the Tea Party has apparently pledged to be against ANYTHING that Obama wants, any Republican who even hints at compromising faces a primary challenge from the Tea Party. All because the top priority for politicians in the House and the Senate -- for BOTH parties -- isn't doing the job, but keeping it.
Ya think we can start talking about term limits now?
In most cities, mayors have term limits. In many states, governors have term limits. Even the President of the United States is limited to two terms. But in the US House and Senate you can get in there, and pretty much just stay there as long as you keep getting re-elected. Congress right now consists of a crotchety group of old White men who probably knew Washington and Jefferson personally. How many stories do we hear about the House/Senate "fixtures" who've been there for 20, 30, 40, even 50 years. Democrat Robert Byrd who served a combined 57 years in the House and Senate was probably dead after 53 and the people just kept re-electing a corpse for four years. By the time Strom Thurmond retired from the Senate after 47 years they were probably hooking him up to the "Christopher Pike" chair from Star Trek and he would vote by flashing his light once for "yes" and twice for "no". Seriously, how old is too old to serve in congress. Republicans were lamenting that Hillary Clinton was too old to run for President (even though their last two candidates were older than her). Yet you have Senators and Representatives who's hearts beat maybe once a week, and need their diapers changed before every vote. Isn't it time for this to stop?
What would happen if we limited people serving in congress to only two terms? Imagine how much work would get done, how much bi-partisanship would happen, if congressmen and senators knew that their time in DC had an expiration date. Imagine what would happen if 90% of Washington didn't have to worry about a re-election campaign. Do you really think that the GOP would be in the sad shape it's in now if it didn't have to constantly kiss the ass of the tea-party? I doubt it. The shutdown that we're going through now would never have happened, because you wouldn't have a group of crazy inbreds (funded by rich people) hijacking an entire political party, and still trying to make Obama a one-term president. Now there are some who would say, "Voters can institute their own term limits by voting out incumbents," which would be possible if you didn't have parties gerrymandering their districts to the point where you couldn't blast an incumbent out of their seat, let alone vote them out. We all talk about how change is needed in Washington. But how can we expect that to happen when the faces in Washington never change?
Let's be real. This shutdown wouldn't be happening if we didn't have Republicans in congress who are trying to make the Guinness Book of World Records for longest serving piece of furniture in DC. And make no mistake, Democrats are just as bad. This is one instance where it really is "both sides do it", and it needs to stop. How do we expect a government to work when all they're working for is to get re-elected, and spending most of their time raising cash to make sure it happens? If we really want to have government of, by, and for the people, it's time to put a stop on this idea of entrenchment politics. It's time for some term limits.