Term limits would drain the swamp
There’s a lengthy list of Democrats interested in imposing their own brand of term limits by seeking their party’s nod to kick Donald Trump out of the White House on his hind parts.
Some of the Dems have considerable name recognition, such as Beto O’Rourke, who is not Hispanic; Kamala Harris, who can tout experience credentials similar to Barack Obama’s in 2006; and Kristen Gillibrand, the New York senator who could join Hillary Clinton in a rendition of Beyonc’s “Runs the World (Girls).”
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
As the “Democratic Demolition Coalition” grows, another group of get-out-the-vote movers and shakers is on the move, too.
Supporters of term limits are making their voices heard.
One of them is James Baker, who lost to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in the 2018 Democratic primary and was a write-in candidate in the general election.
Mr. Baker sought approval from the D.C. Board of Elections to place the term limits issue on the ballot. This week the board told him no, explaining that the it cannot put the cart before the horse.
In its decision, the board said the issue of term limits must first be proposed by the D.C. Council and can be imposed only if the D.C. Charter is amended.
Ironically, the council heard the voices of supporters of the term limit ballot initiative in 1994, when 62 percent of voters gave it their nod. The council heard it loud and clear — because council members struck it down in 2001.
Lawmakers have been painting the city with various shades of deep blue ever since. Indeed, now you understand why the swamp is so wide and so deep. The Clinton administration’s “X” marked the spot, while the liberals and socialists kept diving in.
Mr. Baker, though, is taking a different path, promising to take the election board’s ruling all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.
“I will file for the Writ of Mandamus with the D.C. Superior Court on Friday in the morning,” Mr. Baker told Georgetown University’s The Hoya student newspaper. “I think we’re going to win in the courts. We are ready to take it the Supreme Court if we need to.”
He’s not alone in revitalizing the push for term limits.
U.S. Term Limits, a nonpartisan movement, is winning support around the nation. In Mississippi, for instance, some statehouse candidates are signing onto a commitment pledge. The goal is to establish limit terms for elected positions in at least 34 states and to limit the terms of members of Congress.
It seems the consensus around the nation has grown deeper than it had for D.C. voters back in 1994. According to a McLaughlin & Associates poll conducted in January 2018, 82 percent “support for term limits is broad and strong across all political, geographic and demographic groups.”
That’s not music to career politicians’ ears, whether they are governors or state lawmakers, hold a seat in the U.S. Capitol or are newbies and incumbents in the District’s all-blue City Hall.
Like flies to honey, millennials can’t resist shiny, new movements.
Mr. Baker and U.S. Term Limits should grab multiple megaphones to be certain that voters, supporters and elected officials can hear the rallying cry: “Drain the swamp.”
• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at email@example.com.
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