With all the blatant corruption on display is Washington (the current price for a Senator’s vote is $300 Million), perhaps it is time for term limits to be passed. In the last decade, many states had grass-roots initiatives to impose term limits on House and Senate seats. In fact, several states did pass legislation to impose term limits.
All to no avail. The democrat pols went to court and had all such state sponsored term limit initiatives declared unconstitutional. Only Congress, so said the court, could impose term limits. Now, Jim Demint (R-SC) thinks it’s time to try again. This time from within Congress.
Sen. Robert Byrd has the power to redistribute wealth for political advantage. The West Virginia Democrat greeted the crowd at the 2006 dedication of…View Enlarged Image
Corruption: A South Carolina senator has introduced a constitutional amendment that would set congressional term limits. It should carry the image of a certain West Virginia senator who’s been in Washington far too long.
Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, the amendment’s sponsor, is correct when he says “real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians.”
Perpetual re-election, based far more on seeding home districts and states with taxpayers’ money than promoting and protecting the Constitution and the liberties it guarantees, becomes the life’s work of many lawmakers. This sordid convention has no place in a nation established as a haven from heavy-handed government.
But rather than make the argument that the founders intended for the legislative branch to be run by citizen lawmakers and not professional officeholders, we offer Sen. Robert Byrd as a prime example of why term limits should be considered.
Byrd has been around for a while. The Democrat has been in the Senate since 1959, making him the longest-serving senator and congressman in history. He was a U.S. senator before Barack Obama was born, taking office two days after Fidel Castro overthrew the Cuban government. Prior to being a senator, he served six years in the U.S. House and six years in the West Virginia legislature.
Byrd has been on the Senate Appropriations Committee for a half century and is considered the King of Pork. He was the first in Congress to bring home more than $1 billion in pork barrel spending for his state. Citizens Against Government Waste reports that from 1991 to 2008 — spanning only about one-third of his Senate career — Byrd secured $3.3 billion in taxpayers’ money for West Virginia.
To see Byrd in action is to witness the most contemptible behavior one can imagine from a person who’s been entrusted to make federal policy. For those who have never had the pleasure, a video is easily found on YouTube.com. Type “Big Daddy” and “Robert Byrd” into the search window and brace yourself.
In this 2006 performance at a Marshall University building dedication, Byrd bragged that “our efforts to construct this facility and create a stronger foundation for a biotech industry here in West Virginia began — where? — with a visit to my office … by former Marshall University president Wade Gilley.”
“Man, you’re looking at Big Daddy!” he crowed. “Big Daddy!”
As the audience rollicked to his pandering, Byrd shamelessly boasted that he had added $35.6 million in federal funds for the — you guessed it — Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center.
Byrd has maintained his Senate seat through the use of Pork in monstrous proportions. Just as FDR’s four terms lead to term limits on the President and Vice-President, perhaps Byrd’s lenghtly corruption in office will lead to term limits of Representatives and Senators. Byrd is a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon whose nickname on the hill is “Sheets!”