July 19th, 2010
09:50 AM ET
4 years ago

Term limits like 'political junk food,' expert says

Term limits are like ‘political junk food,’ according to one expert.
Term limits are like ‘political junk food,’ according to one expert.

(CNN) – Anti-establishment candidates are capitalizing on widespread anti-incumbent fervor and proposing term limits as a way to bring the power back to the people.

As political hopefuls try to persuade voters to send them to Congress, they're also promising they won't be there long.

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul said that if elected, he can't see himself serving more than two terms. In Rhode Island, Democratic congressional hopeful Bill Lynch has proposed a 12-year cap in the House and Senate. And in Maryland, Republican Andy Harris has assured voters that, should he go to the U.S. House, he'll be out of there by 2023.

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Filed under: Congress • Term limits
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    Term limits won't matter unless they are applied to Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, John Kerry, Boxer, Feinstein and Waxman...retroactively.

    Even if enacted now, we may face another term with these fools passing arbritrary laws that the people are against.

    July 19, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Bill from GA

    I don't really believe in term limits, but I hate to think Georgia is going to keep sending the same 2 Republican puppets to the Senate for years to come. However, if not these two No-sayers, we would probably find someone worse, like most of the other Repugnant Senators.

    Our (Georgia's) Republicans mainly just vote no on everything the Dems do to fix the mess we are in; some of the others have to get loud about it and seek the camera when they do it. And then you have Mitch McConnell.

    A better solution would be serious campaign finance reform, even if it takes a Constitutional Amendment. Most voters would support limits on spending, based on the office. I'm sure Big Business would get their propaganda network (Fox) to fight it.

    July 19, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Larry of Boston

    I am all for Term limits and would place the same limits as the president 2 4 year terms. As a compromise Id go along with two 6 year terms. But we must get rid of the career beauracrat whose only goal in life is to keep getting reelected and therefore they run to the unions and lobbyists -- The current system is broke beyond repair –too many life time politicians whose business is not the peoples' business

    July 19, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Half the seats be termed; the others not

    Why not split the body politic – have half of the seats for COngress from each state be term limited and the other half not -

    July 19, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Jeff S

    I think presidents, representatives, and senators should all get one 5-year term. They should also be hung (live on television) if they're found to be accepting bribes in any form. This should help curb the practice of most members of congress and the president spending most of their time working for corporations, investment banks, and foreign entities far more often than they work for the citizens who hired them.

    July 19, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Tom

    When are people going to understand there will be no term limits as long as those whose terms would be limited are the ones making the decision? Why would they want to give up their perks, and exmptions from the laws they pass? Their pork? Their "contributions" (bribes)? When will people understand the legislators are self-serving, not serving the people?

    July 19, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. larry

    "Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul said that if elected, he can't see himself serving more than two terms." I'm sure he would only need one term to cause irreparable damage to this country.

    July 19, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. Mark Ferbet, KCMO

    while normal Americans have been screaming about term limits for decades, the fringe movements in the political system are finally catching on.
    House. Three, two year terms.
    Senate. Three, six year terms.
    President. One six year term.

    Let's also make it mandatory that campaigning for the House can't start until four months prior to election day, so they actually do their jobs instead of work for six months, and begin campaigning for 15 prior to the election.

    But, what do average Americans know.... Common sense for starters.

    July 19, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. Michael

    A few years back the Republicans were pushing for term limits. Then, they gained the majority and you didn't hear another word about term limits. The hypocricy in politics is amazing.

    July 19, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Paul from Phoenix

    GOP had this as part of their Contract for America in '94, but power corrupts. And as the dems are seeing today, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    July 19, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. BobH

    Yes, we need to make space for inexperienced idiots who say anything to get elected, do whatever they want while in office (since they don't have to worry about being reelected) and then join the private sector to capitalize on their Capital Hill creds.

    July 19, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. pat

    Term limits does not bring power to the people. It just means your choice is more limited. If people want to re-elect a representative 20 times and he/she gets those votes, that should be who gets in. Limiting who gets to run for office limits the vote of the people. Those representatives and senators don't get to hold office just because they want to – they are there for years because their constituents WANT them there! Term limits – no way.

    July 19, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. Debbie

    First of all: Rand says dumb things all the time. He wouldn't support Civil Rights Act as starters and then backtracks. Doubt he would really not run.

    Second, Term Limits don't work. Yes the "term" of the current job runs out but the long term politician just runs for another office. These are people who can't get a job elsewhere so they run for political office...any office. First they run for Representative, then Governor of their State or Senate, and a few then make a run for President.

    July 19, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. Get A Grip

    Should have had 'Term Limits' years ago.

    July 19, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. JohninTampa

    Term limits make perfect sense. 12 years sounds good. Even 18 years-3 Senate terms or equivalent, is not too much. After that you've either ready for POTUS or you're not.

    July 19, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. JonDie

    Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul said that if elected, he can't see himself serving more than two terms."

    Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. But Rand Paul refuses to commit to two terms. That's the story.

    In fact, prior to 1994 the conventional Republican wisdom was that Republicans could NEVER break the Democratic stranglehold on Congress without forcing most incumbent Democrats to retire.

    But oddly enough, MOST Republicans dropped their support of term limits...after Republicans took control of Congress in 1994.

    Same goes for the deficit. Republicans are against big deficits when they are in the opposition, but when they take office (such as during the Reagan years and the W. Bush years), the deficits explode.

    Of course, the corporate media (aka the "liberal" media") always takes pains NOT to bring up these Republican-unfriendly facts.

    July 19, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Conservatives love term limits whenever they fail to win elections. If they win the House in November, they'll forget about term limits until the next time they lose it.

    July 19, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. lovable liberal

    Conservatives love term limits whenever they fail to win elections. If they win the House in November, they'll forget about term limits until the next time they lose it.

    July 19, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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