Bill Murchison

"Unlimited?" That's not what it says in the Constitution, is it? Certainly not. The lack of limits comes through sheer assertion andunchecked chutzpah. The Obama White House's talent for ignoring laws it doesn't want to enforce and doing "big things" by executive order is starting to attract overdue notice. The collaborative nature of this enterprise is what seems to need more attention. A bad -- theoretically speaking -- White House and a good -- again, theoretically speaking -- Congress are incompatible, and vice versa. One theoretically offsets and checks the other. When neither branch is properly respectful of its constitutional role, we've got a problem.

Voters get a shot at reining in the incompetent and deceitful and abusive types among their leaders. A little help, nevertheless, wouldn't hurt. We need to start talking, as many did 20 years ago. I was one of them. We talked about term limits on congressional service. Too much power, exercised in isolation from rebuke, over too long a period of time, undermines and endangers democratic institutions.

We properly limit presidents to a pair of back-to-back four-year terms. Why not similarly force senators and congressmen to go back and live the lives they've made for their constituents?

Some say three two-year terms is enough for congressmen. I'm more generous than that. I'd allow five, but then it would be bye-bye. Two six-year terms for senators -- that's similarly enough. The Obamacare farce is only a reminder of the self-seeking and general obliviousness that mark modern lawmaking. There should ring out around the nation amid the low comedy of Washington, the old vaudevillian chant: Get the hook!


Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
 
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