Paul Jacob

Republicans in Arkansas, Missouri and Montana are trying to gut the term limits laws passed by voters in those states.

Wait, that's not quite exactly accurate. Most Republicans in Arkansas, Missouri and Montana love term limits.

There appears to be something of a disconnect.

You see, the Republicans working to destroy term limits were elected by and represent the Republicans who love term limits. Make sense now?

Apparently, people become politicians very quickly. And once given a taste of power, politicians tend to want more. And more. And more still.

“If our American society and United States Government are overthrown,” President Abraham Lincoln stated, “it will come from the voracious desire for office, this wriggle to live without toil, work, and labor — from which I am not free myself.”

Politicians, whether an R or a D gets slapped up next to their names, don’t much care for term limits (or for any limits whatsoever, come to think of it). Regular folks, by whopping majorities and regardless of party or political philosophy — and no matter how you slice-and-dice them demographically — support term limits as a common sense way to reduce corruption and bring new people and new ideas into our political process.

Still, it seems odd that, with Republicans struggling at the national level to find solid footing with a majority of voters, state legislators in three increasingly red states would be openly attacking arguably the most popular grassroots issue in modern political discourse.

In “the Natural State,” Republicans have taken control of both Houses of the Legislature this year for the first time in well over a century — since Reconstruction. Yet, the celebration had hardly begun when Senate Bill 821, undermining the state’s voter initiative process, began to move. As I asked in a column, “Will Arkansas Republicans throw this monkey wrench into Arkansas’s long, proud tradition of initiative and referendum? Will they allow this law to pass on their very first watch?”

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.