GOP response to terrorism: say “terrorism” more

Jon Chait, long one of my favorite political writers, has finally started his own blog.  Nobody eviscerates non-sense conservative arguments like Chait.  Or as one of the commenters on the annoucement of the new blog put it:

I'm fine with Chait having his own blog as long as he continues to
perform necropsies on his ideological opponents while they are still
alive. Few are better at the art of bloodless evisceration, the
offering up of still-steaming, throbbing bowel. Were Chait an insect he
would likely be a parasitoid wasp, posting critiques like laying an egg
inside a caterpillar. In time, the hatchling dines on the living victim
from within. Argumentation gnaws on. (Say what you like about the
tenets of liberalism, Dude–at least it's an ethos.)

Anyway, back to the point of the title to this post.  Chait points out a quote from the GOP's point man on terrorism during an interview on GMA today:

Ben Smith flags this exchange on Good Morning America with Republican terrorism point man Peter King:

"You are saying someone should be held
accountable. Name one other specific recommendation the president could
implement right now to fix this," host George Stephanopolous said to

"I think one main thing would be to — just himself to
use the word terrorism more often," said King, the ranking Republican
on the Homeland Security Committee.

That's right, when asked to name a meaningful proposal to address terrorism, this is what King comes up with.  Pathetic.  And this is a guy we should be listening to?


The Folly of Term Limits

Fortunately, calls for term limits have largely died away as they are a generally inane solution to the problem of entrenched incumbency and ineffective legislatures (the real solution: publicly-financed campaigns).  After a recent column on the problems with California, Ezra Klein writes that he received a bunch of emails calling for term limits in CA.  But, of course, they already have them and they've been a disaster.  Klein explains:   

Virtually everyone I interviewed for that piece named term limits as
a contributor to California's fiscal crisis. Imagine, for instance,
that you elect a well-liked local physician's assistant to the state
Assembly. Doesn't matter the party. Our hypothetical legislator might
know a lot about medical care. But she probably knows nothing about the
budget. This stuff takes awhile to learn, after all. And remember,
she's not studying budget politics full time: She's raising money and
dealing with constituent service and reading up on other bills and
traveling back-and-forth from her district.

So how long till our doctor-legislator really gets the budget,
understands the legislative process, and matures into the sort of
seasoned assemblywoman we'd want responding to a devastating fiscal
crisis? Eight years? Twelve years? More?

Too bad. Six years and she's out.

When it comes to legislation, knowledge is power.  If the legislators don't have the knowledge, who does?  Why, the unelected staff who have no term limits.  If you think our legislators are unaccountable, what do you think about the staff. 

Oddly enough, a reporter for a right-wing website called me a couple months ago (perhaps she had me confused with a different Steve Green).  It was quite funny to me as she clearly was expecting some quotes about how great term limits are and when I explained the problems with them, she was clearly astonished (and seemingly persuaded).  I don't actually know of a single political scientist who supports them (my thinking is because we actually understand them).

%d bloggers like this: