To the editor:
Nick McNulty's Oct. 6 letter to the editor should be required reading for legislators and voters alike. Term limits are absolutely necessary for the U.S. Congress.
Power-mad career politicians are clearly unwilling to release their grip on the instruments of government and the staggering advantages of incumbency. They have used such power, as journalist Peter Schweizer and others have demonstrated, wantonly and in many cases illegally, and to their curious self enrichment during their dishonorable tenures as "public servants."
Such as these will never actively work to begin or advance the process to amend the Constitution to force themselves to do something else with their lives. They refuse to reestablish the concept of the citizen legislator envisioned by the founders and observed until the misnamed Progressive Era.
Voters could work to elect candidates who pledge to self-impose term limits. But such candidates are rare and often disingenuous.
“Potomac Fever” is easily contracted among the newly elected in tandem with a sudden onset of indispensability, both of which metastasize with time. Former Congressman Marty Meehan is a prime example of such empty posturing and unearned self-regard.
There is recourse. Article V of the Constitution permits the state legislatures to apply for a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to address issues such as term limits and the seemingly endless expansion of power of the D.C. leviathan.
Grassroots efforts are underway throughout the country aimed at persuading the several state legislatures to make such application, and 15 states of the necessary two-thirds have passed such resolutions.
In Massachusetts, House Bill 3213, which directs the secretary of state to make application under Article V, is currently before the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. The panel recently heard testimony for and against the resolution, and it will soon decide whether to vote it out of committee for votes on the state House and Senate floors.
Convincing two-thirds of the legislatures to make application for a convention of states is a daunting task indeed. But citizens and legislators of all stripes can and should work together to restore constitutional balance and return Congress to the sovereign.
Article V provides for just that, and it's a conversation worth having.
I encourage Massachusetts citizens to review H. 3213 and voice support for a convention of states to the committee and your representatives in the General Court.