We’ve wanted term limits for a very long time, even though we didn’t always hate Congress like we do today. Here’s a link to the data. As recently as 2000-2003 Congress had a positive approval rating. Right now it’s 20% approve, 76% disapprove. 20% seems high to me, but that’s Gallup’s number, so be it.
So 76% of us don’t like Congress, and 75% of us support term limits. That’s a 3/4 supermajority. That’s what you need if you want to use Article V. A 3/4 supermajority, just as 3/4 of the States must ratify any proposed Amendment. The Balanced Budget Amendment has the support of a 3/4 supermajority, and that’s why it’s close to succeeding. Bipartisan support isn’t enough for Article V. Even the support of 2/3 of the people is not enough. It’s got to be something that the vast majority of the public wants.
20 years ago term limits had the same 3/4 supermajority. Today is different than back then. Right now people don’t just dislike Congress, they disdain it. It’s so corrupt, and full of place holders and mediocre hacks, that it’s a national joke. Just take a look at the Democratic House leadership. These are all very old people. And in their case, very ineffective people. Why would a Democratic State Legislator try to save their careers by opposing term limits? It wouldn’t make sense. If we were ever going to get support from Democratic Legislators for Congressional term limits, the time is now. Most of the people who will be term limited out are Republicans. If you’re a Democrat, what’s not to like?
2017 is a prime number. It’s indivisible, and thus one of a kind. It’s a great year to pass Article V term limits Resolutions. I think there’s a real chance we can get it done in California. That might make people realize it’s not a left/right issue. The Bernie Sanders voters and the Trump ones agree on this one. There’s no reason it can’t be done. It will be something to talk about at Nashville on 7-11-2017. Prime numbers all.
Obama is out with a lot of last minute orders and actions, all of which are an indictment of Congress. It is Congress that enables a President, any President, this sort of unilateral power. Congress surrendered this power to the Executive, and they don’t want it back. It would be too much work. They’d actually have to pass some legislation, instead of leaving all the responsibility with the Executive. But that would interfere with their fundraising, and other reelection activity, so that won’t happen.
28 years ago my buddy Robin Taylor and I introduced House Joint Resolution 54, calling for an Article V Amendment Convention for the purpose of proposing a Congressional Term Limits Amendment. Some things take a while before they catch on.
Back in Alaska, the shortest day of the year was a big deal. The day was five and a half hours long in Anchorage today. After today you could tell yourself that every day will be longer, for the next six months. We had eight hours here in the Gold Country. Spring isn’t that far off now. This is going to be a year to remember.