Over at the Washington Examiner's "Beltway Confidential" blog, Sean Higgins reacts to a piece by the Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe highlighting some of the longest-serving members of the U.S. Senate.
Amongst the upper chamber's iron-men (and women): Susan Collins, who's on the cusp of her 5,000th consecutive vote; Chuck Grassley, who's nearly 1,500 yeas and nays ahead of her; Patrick Leahy, who's approaching vote number 14,000; and the reigning champion, Hawaii's Daniel Inouye, who has cast more than 16,000 votes (Inouye, of course, was originally appointed to the seat by King Kamehameha).
Higgins is not amused:
O’Keefe calls these “impressive milestones.” From a totally objective perspective, that is true. But it also goes a long way towards explaining why the Senate such a slow, hidebound institution. Did the founders really intend for it to be a lifetime tenured position for a small, elite group of politicians? Shouldn’t fresh blood be injected more often? Term limits anyone?
Well, how about it, Ricochet members? Would term limits solve the problem (or at least push us in the right direction)? Or do they simply throw out the good with the bad, ceding more power to institutional Washington in the process. Your thoughts, if you please.