“All too often politicians focus on their own re-election,” says Robert Francis ‘Beto’ O’Rourke, “at the expense of addressing the challenges our country faces.”
A supporter of term limits during his six years in Congress, in 2018 Beto left a safe House seat to challenge U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, also a term limits backer. In a very Republican state, Mr. O’Rourke fell just a smidgeon short of an upset, catching a ton of national attention — leading to his current candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
His “Plan to Realize the Full Potential of Our Democracy” calls for 12-year congressional limits and 18-year limits on U.S. Supreme Court justices. Admittedly, both require amending the Constitution, but a president using his bully pulpit sure can help the effort.*
“The issue of term limits in Congress has some bipartisan support,” notes a BuzzFeed News story, “but . . . it starkly divides Democrats.”
The reporter is not talking about voters — a poll last year found a whopping 77 percent of Democrats favor “Establishing limits on the number of terms members of the U.S. Congress can serve.”
But as the BuzzFeed article explains, “Former vice president Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and [Sen. Bernie] Sanders all oppose instituting them for members of Congress.”
Not surprising. Both Sanders and Warren are incumbents — with Sanders in Congress for the last 28 years and Warren in her second Senate term, while Biden spent 36 years in the Senate and eight more as Vice President.
“Limit permanent incumbency,” Beto’s website states, “to promote progress, reduce gridlock and inspire more to run for office.”
While Democrat politicians may not be pleased, O’Rourke’s term-limit push will register with voters of all parties.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob