The scourge of term limits

I am posting a link to a recent article in the Detroit Free Press. One of the most significant issues with which it deals is the issue of term limits for elected officials. The writer purports that partisan redistricting and term limits have severely limited the ability of Michigan's voters to affect their government.
IMHO the same applies to Ohio voters and Ohio state government. I have often stated that the only thing term limits truly accomplish is to limit the choices voters have for elected offices. But this writer puts in into the context of the real situation in Michigan today.
Here's the link:

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I agree with you Dale. I am wholly against term limits.

Now, I am not necessarily against limits on consecutive terms i.e. serve two terms then have to sit a term out. But I keep seeing people throwing around term limits for things like for the House of Representatives but that just shows how ignorant they are. House committee assignments are decided by seniority. Term limits then mean we have to reconsider a new way of choosing committee posts. Seems to me that's too much of an opportunity for corruption.


Sorry guys, but I most certainly do support term limits. The reason why is found in three letters: FDR, who tried to be our first "president for life".

those artificial limits, too.
Here's one recent example. Carty could have run for re-election in 2009. He had served 2 terms, elected in 1993 and 1997, dropped out for one term, ran against incumbent Jack Ford, and was elected once again in 2005. By the time that 2009 came around, the handwriting on the wall was clear, and he did not run. If he had run, is there any doubt that he would have lost? This makes my point. Artificial term limits only limit the choices voters have. If we don't like what an elected official does in office, we can refuse to vote for her/him!

BTW -- In the interest of full disclosure, I've met Carty several times. I like Carty personally. He has always been cordial to me, even when he was running against Jack Ford, and Carty knew that I was working for Ford's re-election against Carty.
Of course, I never had to work for him. I've heard stories, directly from someone who was in a very high appointed position with the city one of the times when Carty was Mayor of Toledo. But, in his defense, no one worked harder at his job than Carty did. He simply demanded the same type of commitment from those who served in his administration.

I understand your concern Dale but there is the problem of people who gain positions and keep them only due to name recognition.

By limiting consecutive terms it keeps politicians from feeling that the seat is theirs by right. There are several examples that can be given of this.

Note I don't believe limiting consecutive terms should be for all positions but I think definitely for executive positions, the more the power, the more the limitation. The example of Carty doesn't exactly fit. He was reelected again, yes, but had he been elected to Ford's term it's possible he could still be mayor today as his candidacy could have been viewed as a given had there not been the term limit. The term limit put new life into the position and after 20 years with only two people as strong mayor the people finally chose a different candidate.

Toledo government is one of the areas where I think consecutive term limits need to be enacted. Make district councilmembers run at-large every 8 years and at-large for districts etc. The only positions I think should be exempt at the local level are those where a unique skill set is required or the benefit of the taxpayers. I.e. Sherrif, Judgeships, Auditors, etc.


All elected officials are capable of "wearing out their welcome." Name recognition cuts both ways. If the recognized name becomes associated with negative events and/or actions, people turn against the recognizable name. As I stated, there are always term limits. It's called throw the bum out! I oppose all ARTIFICIAL term limits.

We can un-elect anyone with whom we do not agree. Artificial term limits, limit my choice of candidates to serve me. Artificial term limits leave a power vacuum which giant corporations and their lobbyists are eager to fill. They LOVE term limits!
As elected representatives rotate out of office, only the lobbyists are left serving with all of their experience and expertise. More and more legislation is written, not by elected representatives of the people, but by lobbyists.

As far as FDR is concerned, he won 4 elections! He did a LOT for a people who were desperate! When he died. none of the Republican leaders felt that Harry Truman would get elected on his own. The Republican candidate in 1948, Tom Dewey, seemed to be very popular. He ran well against FDR in 1944, at a time when FDR was leading the nation to victory in the most horrifying war in the history of the world. How could Dewey lose to Harry What's-his-name?
When Truman won, the Republicans panicked! So, they pushed the 22nd Amendment to limit the POTUS to 2 terms from that point forward. Since Truman did not run for re-election in 1952, the first POTUS who could have run for a third term would have been the very popular Republican, Dwight Eisenhower. But Eisenhower could not run for a third term. Would he have won? I'm sure he would have won! His VPOTUS, Richard Nixon barely lost to JFK, and Nixon was NOT popular in 1960. But Ike was!!
The Republicans should have been able to put Ike on the ballot in 1960, and there should be no artificial term limits for any elected office! If someone does a bad job, throw the bum out!

But do note that while FDR was the first President to win 4 elections he wasn't the first to try.

Those that did try were not given the choice by the people to decide. They were not nominated by their party, this in the days before party nominations were decided by party bosses (some argue they still are).

I'm not opposed to allowing Presidents to run again after sitting out one term. In the modern day that could have pitted Ronald Reagan up against Bill Clinton, Bill Clinton up against GWB, GWB up against President Obama.

However, one should look to none other than Vladimir Putin to see the benefit of term limits (and they have a consecutive term term limit). Like I said before, the more the power, the more the limitation. ( In all actuality a President can serve longer than 8 years, as would be the case with LBJ and Ford).


Do you really believe that Putin was not in charge of the Russian government when he was not serving as Russia's president? What was he doing those 4 years out of the presidency? Oh, you say that his hand-picked successor Dmitry Medvedev appointed Putin to the second highest post in Russia, that of prime minister? And then, in 2012. when Medvedev could have put all of the "Putin's puppet" talk to rest by running for re-election, he stepped aside and let Putin take over again? And whom did Putin appoint to be Russia's prime minister following his 2012 election? Dmitry Medvedev!!
BTW, Mikey, are you aware that in the interim, the term of office for President of Russia was extended to six years. Of course, Medvedev had been elected to a 4 year term, so his term was up in 2012. A dictatorship is not thwarted by something so easily maneuvered around as "term limits" in a place like Russia.

Terrible example, Mikey!

"As far as FDR is concerned, he won 4 elections! He did a LOT for a people who were desperate! ".

Was putting 110,000 Asian Americans in concentration camps under EO 9066 an example of FDR doing something FOR people, or an example of FDR doing something TO people? My family came here to escape from another country also at war with the US. Other than some snide remarks, they basically had no trouble with the US authorities. But of course, the 1940s' era liberals were directing their racist might against the Japanese, and left my German family completely alone. The Italian folks I know, report the same humane treatment as well.

IMHO -- FDR's policy in this regard reflected both his own personal bias and the general racist feelings of the majority of Americans at that time. Were there protests against internment in college campuses around America, as there were protests against racism in the 1960s? NO!! It was a different era in America. Not everything about the "Good 'ol days" was so good.

I am so old that when I was growing up the contemporaries of my parents had all lived through the Great Depression. If you said anything negative about FDR in the 1950s, I mean anything at all, you'd better be ready to physically defend yourself.
The closest analogy I can make to any more recent leader is the way most Americans -- especially if they consider themselves to be conservative politically -- feel about Ronald Reagan. While the situations were not nearly so dire in 1980 as they were in 1932, both FDR and Reagan ran against very unpopular presidents who appeared to not understand the desperation of most of the American public at those times. Both FDR and Reagan were gifted orators. Both FDR and Reagan had visions of a better America, and were brilliantly capable of conveying their personal optimism to the people who were looking for, more than anything else, hope for their future. Neither was perfect. Both were successful.
Interestingly enough, both ran on a platform of balancing the federal budget, and, instead, oversaw record (to that point) budget deficits, and an exploding national debt. As much as Reagan and his advisors would deny this, both men benefited from the predictable effects of massive federal spending upon an under-performing economy. It was Keynesian economics, pure and simple.

term limits. If the people of Maricopa County, Arizona, believe that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is their best choice to continue as their sheriff into a 7th term, why should those constituents be denied the opportunity to re-elect him once again, just because he would reach some artificial number of terms and/or years in office? My political positions and those of Sheriff Arpaio are nearly 180 degrees apart, but if the people want him, why should they not be allowed to choose him in 2016?
There are ALWAYS term limits. It's called, elect someone else. But to artificially not be allowed to choose is, IMHO, undemocratic (and un-republican, too).
Here's a link to the article:

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