Think Rep. Jim Banks does a great job representing Northeast Indiana?
It’s a shame, we’re throwing him out of office.
Or at least we would be if we introduced congressional term limits.
In a plan advocated by Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, he would impose a limit of three two-year terms for US Representatives and two six-year terms for Senators.
I would be remiss not to point out too hastily that voters already have the power to replace their representatives on a regular basis. If you feel that your elected officers are not serving you well, you can vote them out at any time every two, four, or six years.
But let’s look at Banks as a case study. He was elected for the first time in 2016. He has served three terms and was just elected to his fourth with 65% of the vote. He’s obviously still very popular in his 12-county district. He narrowly lost the race for the majority whip, the No. 3 job in the upcoming GOP house majority.
So we should probably get rid of him and cycle someone new, right?
Let’s take our veteran worker, someone who has spent six years learning the job, making connections and building relationships with other legislators and with those in the many federal departments and agencies, and let’s throw him out and meet someone from start at the beginning who has none of this.
How do you build real leadership when you’re constantly leaving the team?
I recently spoke to Kendallville City Councilman Regan Ford after it was announced that Mayor Suzanne Handshoe would not be seeking a sixth term, and he told me that his longtime friend and former 20-year-old mayor, John Riemke, once said it took an entire four year term to really learn how to be mayor.
When I asked Mayor Suzanne Handshoe about it, she didn’t disagree and said she could look back on her first term and see how much she didn’t know.
To be effective in any job, experience is an advantage, not a disadvantage. And in government, it’s definitely a blessing to have breadth of experience and memory.
The government moves slowly. Decisions build on each other. Understanding why you did something then and how that affects what you do now is important for making informed decisions.
That’s not to say a newbie can’t be updated on a subject second-hand, but being “in the room where it happens” as Broadway’s “Hamilton” tell us is hard to top can.
I understand that people resent “career politicians” who have healthy majorities in uncompetitive districts. But if we kick agents like banks out just because we can set an arbitrary expiration date on his service, that’s us actually expect to get a new representative who is very different?
Would you? want a candidate who is very different?
Ultimately, what do you do when you have a leader who serves their constituents well with efficiency, skill, and wisdom?
Throw her out? Force the politicians to play their posts when they rotate posts every few years (as is the case in county government)?
What a waste.
If you don’t like your guides, you can vote them out.
Otherwise, let them serve as long as their constituents are happy to keep them.
Steve Garbacz is Editor-in-Chief of KPC Media and Publisher of The News Sun. Upcoming Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy? He has been in the House of Representatives since 2007 and will begin his ninth term next year. Better throw him out! Email him at [email protected]