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McCain and Cochran: The best argument for term limits

Posted by on | December 24, 2017 | No Comments

POLITICO leans too far left for our tastes, but we have to give credit where it’s due.  Reporter John Bresnahan has done an outstanding job of zoning in on over-the-hill, long-in-the-tooth members of congress, though severely impacted by illness and advanced age, remain unable to relinquish the reins of power.

Cochran’s future in the Senate in doubt,details the downhill slide of  Sen. Thad Cochran, (R-MS), chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, who hasn’t presided over a hearing since early September, has not given a speech on the Senate floor all year, and has introduced only two minor bills during that time. His staffers appear to be doing what they can to conceal his inabilities.

Arizona’s Senior Senator John McCain, undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer, is mentioned in the same report. He recently missed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act vote, which passed despite his absence. Unreliable when his vote is needed, he could have turned on a dime had he shown up — which is exactly what he did on the vote to repeal and replace Obamacare. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed the balloting, until McCain was able to return to D.C. Instead, he used the occasion for a dramatic performance, extending his outstretched arm and thrusting a thumb’s down” signal (video) to the shock of those in the chamber.

This list shows the ages of U.S. Senators. Sixteen are 75 or older. Quorum reveals that the 115th Congress is among the oldest in history.

Arizona has been down this ancient road before. Five days after attaining statehood on February 14, 1912, a former territorial sheriff named Carl Hayden became Arizona’s first U.S. Representative, eventually moving on to the senate. On February 19, 1962, Democrat Hayden became the first person to reach 50 years in Congress. That record grew to 56 years, 10 months, and 15 days by the time he retired on January 3, 1969, at age 91.

The McCain-worshipping Arizona Republic has been writing “legacy” stories about the increasingly frail McCain, as though he has already met his maker.  Today’s front page article is titled, “Will Salt River be McCain’s legacy?” It would be incomprehensible for the newspaper to suggest he step aside, spend his remaining time with his family and allow the citizens of Arizona to be represented.

Good or vile, Republican or Democrat, no elected official is indispensable. Our Founders envisioned citizen legislators, who took time to serve their county, and then returned home to live under the laws they helped enact. The concept of professional politicians who stay in office for decades is unseemly on many levels. They ultimately work for special interests represented by lobbyists who keep their campaign coffers filled, rather than the citizens who elected them in the first place.

No one should be rolled out of their office on a gurney on the way to the embalmer. They deserve better and so do we.

 McCain and Cochran: The best argument for term limits  McCain and Cochran: The best argument for term limits

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