The US Senate, in its vote Tuesday to continue the push on the pending immigration 'reform' bill, has showed that once again, and more dramatically than ever, it has no interest in actually serving the interests of the American people.
How many times have we heard some senate blowhard claiming to know what 'The American People' want, all usually tied to some phony poll that posted the desired answers before even asking leading questions to select respondents to be sure the required answer was delivered?
But when push comes to shove, and the American people are screaming bloody murder because our esteemed senators are turning a deaf ear to their concerns, suddenly 'The American People' are not to be listened to, trusted, or heeded.
I believe the reason we get so little respect from our senators, as opposed to our Representatives who seem to be at least a little more in tune with the electorate, is that senators only have to face reelection once every six years. The reasoning, as I see it, is that our senators think we are so stupid and suffering so badly from attention deficit disorder, that by the time they have to come around asking for our votes again we'll forget how many times they screwed us in the past six years.
The way to fix that little misconception is to reduce the interval between times when our aloof little senatorial miscreants have to talk to us, and limit the amount of time they get to spend inside the Washington, D.C. beltway, which has a debilitating effect on gray matter.
My suggestion, and I have made this many times in the past, but obviously I have to do it again, is to first revamp the length of the terms. Under the current system, representatives serve two-year terms, meaning they face re-election every other year.
Political campaigns being what they are these days, that means we get one year of work before they have to spend the second year of each term running for office. That means out of a six-year term of service, for instance, we got three years of real work and three years of campaigning.
The Senate on the other hand, serves six-year terms, so Senators give us five years of work, well maybe, for every one year of campaigning. Thus the House is far more susceptible to the shifting winds of American political opinion than the Senate.
I believe we should change the terms so Congressmen serve four years and Senators serve four years. Their terms should be staggered so a state isn't faced with reelecting its entire Congressional delegation at once.
Service in each house should be limited to two terms, meaning both senators and representatives can serve only eight years - if the voters like them enough to send them back after their first term.
Best of all, out of the eight-year maximum terms, only one year would have to be spent campaigning so we would get seven years of actual attention to the needs of the electorate. Not a bad deal as I see it.
Under my plan, eight years can be served as both senator and congressman if the voters like them that much, giving some politicians a total of 16 years in D.C. before having to actually apply for work with a lobbying firm, rather than working under the table.
In fact, lobbying in D.C. will take on a whole new energy level as the constant changes on Capitol Hill require near constant efforts at keeping up with who's who.
There is one major hurdle to this proposal, however, and I would like to hear from Congressional scholars on how it might be overcome. The hurdle is that terms are set by the Constitution, meaning a Constitutional amendment will have to be enacted for term limits to become effective.
But the very people who would lose their stranglehold on American politics would have to vote in favor of this amendment for it to go forward. We all know they aren't going to do that. So, does anyone have an idea how we can circumvent that process and get the people directly involved?
Wednesday, June 27, 2007