Friday, October 10, 2008

Term Limits

So keeping with the next steps to improve the function of a Republic I want start the conversation with Term limits. We need term limits for the Congress and Senate which many Americans have discussed and called for. In addition we need to push people off "The Bench" after so many years or at an age limit.

For Congress and Senate, lets say the max is 12 years. Is that enough overlap to allow some consistence and leadership to exist as well as limiting the extreme political power that certain individuals can obtain. Several issues arrive from life long government workers. The most devastating is the extreme power that is acquired via the relationship of lobbyists and representatives. This power allows them to bully Jr. representatives and keep the 'business as usual' mentality alive. Without the draw of future service Representatives could represent the people instead of the lobbies and media. Further damage is caused by the total detachment between government and 'real' Americans who actually work for a living. Yes, I understand that Representatives believe they work a lot, but lets try for some honesty here, its not the same. We are taking the $200/day train ride to and from work in the first class cabin and saying we are like the folks because we ride the AmTrak. I believe if we lived in a democracy or it was put to a public vote, people would vote for term limits. We don't have them because of the people who make the laws don't want to give up their power.
As voters we can take it back. When someone gets to their second term, don't vote for them again. So the issue always comes back to, if people support this why don't they do it. That's not really true. Because of the 2 party system in the US, there is no alternative to vote for. The party picks who will run and so to vote out someone in for 4 or 6 terms, you have to vote for the other party in order to remove them. In some areas that just won't happen and so no other person can even get on the ticket for that party. The party almost always runs the incumbent. So unless we change the law, this isn't going to happen.
Why did it happen for the President, because the people who make the laws took the power away from the President and moved more to them. If term limits are constitutional for one arm of the government, then it should be in force for all arms of the government.
That leads to the 'term' limits for the legal branch of our government. Activist judges have intensely hurt this county. Understandably these people's views change over time and we need consistency in our legal views. But to say at age 65 you must retire from the bench, I don't think is unreasonable. Most American's want to retire at that age. This allows for the gradual transition of the court but also for lucid judges to be on the bench.
One of the major issues I have with the court today, is that states can escalate state issues to a federal issue the become the Federal Law of the land. I commonly refer this as coastal oppression. The occurs where the Coastal states like CA, MA, and NY bring lawsuits to the federal court to change country wide laws based on an partisan agenda. This is unacceptable and we need to start amending the Constitution to offset the judicial corruption as well as allow for Judges to be tried in a court (or the Senate, etc.) if they create rulings which are outside the bounds of the constitution. There are supposed to be checks and balances here already, but I submit the argument they aren't working. The congress and senate simply don't their job of passing new laws the counteract bad interpretation by judges. Many reasons for this, which I will let you debate in the comments section here, but the source is they aren't doing their job because they only work 1/2 the year and 1/2 of that is spent to their benefit, not ours.

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