Monday, January 19, 2009

The Abolition Of Term Limits In The United States

is now up on The Devil's Kitchen.


Blogger Martin Meenagh said...

I rather liked that piece, but I wonder if term limits do not represent another stage in the federalisation of everything. States were originally meant to determined the appointment and mode of election of their senators, for instance, and still do when a seat becomes vacant before an election. It's very entertaining. If states can control appointment, why should they and the people be regulated on whom they can re-appoint?

Equally, what about the electoral college? Should electors have limits placed not on their terms but on their decisions?

We've already seen a move to get around the anti-prohibition amendments in recent years and to force all states to sell alcohol in a federal way. We will soon see an unconstitutional attempt to get all states to provide abortion in the same way, and to the same degree.

This is all of a piece with term limits at a federal level; an attempt to set national standards on a federal republic. There's another point too, Martin, which is one I'm sure you know. Any reader of the federalist papers, which 'sold' the constitution and which reveal original intent, especially 10 and 51, and any look at the american legislative process will know that the system wouldn't work without backscratching and pork. Any american bill is an omnibus in which different legislators insert the needs of their various constituents, so that everyone has an interest in working togther.

What you are really calling for is two things; a sense of shame and a sense of national patriotism in the Congress. I think you'll find those in short supply, though not to the same extent as in the UK.

19 January, 2009 09:26  
Blogger Martin said...


We live in hope.

19 January, 2009 21:24  
Blogger Martin Meenagh said...

We do. And to despair is a sin for good reasons anyway. I admire your blog--and the pithy responses.

19 January, 2009 23:21  
Blogger Martin said...

Thank you, Martin - and I apologise for what must seem like the shortness of my answers.

The way my daily schedule works, I tend to create early in the morning, and get to see the comments late at night - by which time I'm afraid I'm too knackered to think much. Sometimes this leads to very good points being answered very shortly, if at all - I assure you it's much more a function of fatigue than anything else.

20 January, 2009 05:15  

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