Selective Term Limits

Voting is the American way to set term limits. If the misguided effort to legislate them goes forward, we offer a modest proposal. Make them selective. Designate not which offices are to have limited terms but which candidates.

We think of public servants lost too soon if unselective term limits had been in effect (and a few we could have spared sooner under selective term limits). To look only at the Senate, Nancy Kassebaum (R) of Kansas made good use of her 18 years before up and marrying Howard Baker (R) of Tennessee, whose 18 years also were not too much. The 30 years of Bob Dole (R) of Kansas let the "hatchet man" rise into legislative leader. Another 30-year man, Mark Hatfield (R) of Oregon, kept the tradition of standing for principles, alone if necessary. Wasn't America's military glad to have Sam Nunn (D) of Georgia for 24 years? Some folks wish Bill Bradley (D) of New Jersey had stayed longer than 18. We could go on.

But you have your own list, proof that any term limits other than the ballot box should be strictly selective.

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