There was a time when I opposed term limits, on the theory that the right to vote guaranteed the application of term limits if constituencies desired to do so. In other words, while term limits might automatically remove “bad” legislators and executives, they might also force the removal of “good” ones against the wishes of their supporters.
I no longer feel this way.
We have created a political and cultural situation — or, rather, the progressive movement, expressed through both of our major parties, has created it — that more or less guarantees the impossibility of removing any legislator at the federal level, no matter how atrocious their record or behavior, by means of the ballot. Only in the smallest and most egregious instances do we ever see malefactors in high office removed by vote, and even when that happens, voting districts have been so gerrymandered that a more or less carbon copy is guaranteed to achieve succession. And in the end nothing ever changes, and the progressive project marches ever onward to greater and greater power, and greater and greater tyranny.
We’ve had term limits for a while here in Soonerland, and while they haven’t been an unalloyed joy — some of the replacement pols have been even more disappointing than their predecessors, and it sometimes seems that the revolving door between lobbyists and legislators is moving faster than ever — I still prefer them to the alternative. At least the replacement pols will be replaced themselves in due time.
Then again, P. J. O’Rourke might have been right all along: “Term limits aren’t enough. We need jail.”