The Conversation

Term limit counter-arguments

In response to Term Limits: My 6-2-2 Plan:

I'm also a fan of term limits - I'd happily sign on to your 6-2-2 Plan.  (Actually, I guess it's actually "6-2-2-2," because you wisely included a 2-year ban on lobbying after office.)  

The big counter-arguments I usually hear when beating the term-limits drum are:

1. The people should be allowed to vote for whoever they want to vote for, but term limits artificially restrict their choices.

2. We'll be throwing some genuinely useful experience out, along with the cobwebbed time-serving dinosaurs.

3. We don't like the way Representatives-for-life from safe districts behave, but we might not like the way a Congress stuffed with lame ducks behaves, either.

4. Corrupt big-city political machines will have no trouble finding a perfectly seamless replacement for the last hack they trundled into office, but other districts might have a hard time finding superior candidates to follow the classier acts who get term limited out of office.  (In other words, in a practical sense, term limits might end up hurting conservatives and Tea Party types more than they hurt machine-animated liberal Democrats.)

5. And of course, there's the perennial "you'll never get Congress to term-limit itself, so why even waste time proposing it?" argument.

What would you say to these objections?


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