Thursday, February 4, 2010

GOP Committee Chairs Hate Term Limits They Enacted

Back in 1994, the Contract with America included a proposal for term limits on Congresspeople. As soon as Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay and their crew took power, of course, that pledge was thrown away- "How can I serve my constituents if I leave just as I'm getting things done?"

On one point, though, they fulfilled their pledge: they imposed term limits on chairmanships (or, if in the minority, the ranking party member) for Congressional committees. This was done not from idealism, but from pragmatism- it got rid of old chairmen so they could be replaced with people loyal to the lockstep, zero-dissent tactics Gingrich and DeLay used, and which the Republican Party has continued to use, to advance their own agenda and destroy any other.

And now even this feeble gesture to what Republicans claimed as an ideal is proving too onerous for them to sustain.

Texas Rep. Joe Barton, the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee who would be term-limited out of a chairmanship, called the limits that apply to ranking members “counterproductive.”

“Don’t ask me to do a good job in the minority and make a rule that says you can’t continue to do a good job as chairman,” said Barton.

Leaving aside the fact that Joe Barton is a birther and a known nutcase even by Republican standards, he speaks for most of the ranking Republican members of various Congressional committees. However, fear not: House Minority Leader John Boehner has announced that some exceptions will be made to the rule.

Exceptions, he does not have to say, solely for Republicans who are utterly loyal to him, who are utterly in lockstep with his commands.

Irony: that a measure purported to help prevent corruption and abuse of power is being used by the party that enacted it to ADVANCE corruption and abuse of power...

No comments: