Poll: Americans want term limits. But at the ballot box, they don’t.
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.
These findings, from Gallup Daily tracking conducted Jan. 8-9, are similar to those from 1994 to 1996 Gallup polls, in which between two-thirds and three-quarters of Americans said they would vote for a constitutional amendment to limit the number of terms that members of Congress and the U.S. Senate can serve.
The problem is that voters reelected 90% of congress in 2012, meaning that they think term limits are a good idea — so long as they’re applied to someone else’s congress critter. Their’s is fine. Congressional approval ratings are very low and term limits are one way we’d lose a lot of really awful legislators that other dopes keep reelecting (I’m looking at you, people in Louie Gohmert’s district).
But term limits solve no real problems. The problems are the undue influence of money in politics and the revolving door that allows congress members to come back to Washington and write law as lobbyists — even when voters soundly rejected their ideas. Term limits only ensure that congress is staffed with idealists and dreamers. Seriously, in what other line of work would you say, “The less experience, the better.” And do you want to fire Bernie Sanders in order to fire Michele Bachmann? There’s an old saying about babies and bathwater that I’m sure you’re familiar with.
No, the way to fix politics is to end multi-billion dollar campaigns that convince people to vote for complete tools. Replacing congress with a bunch of people who don’t even know where the cloakroom is would only make things worse. Doubt me? Name the Tea Party freshman you think did a bang-up job 2010-2012. Those were the new guys — and they sucked.
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