Now I’m gonna try my best to give this argument elements that Republicans and Democrats alike can identify with. So if you don’t like what I’m saying at first, just bear with me and hear me out.
For awhile now, I’ve argued that strict term limits are necessary to ensure that representatives remain representative of the people. If we are continually selecting new representatives from the pool of the people, then we can ensure that our government will continue to be representative of our will, rather than having career politicians continually reelected through name-recognition and corrupt deal-making.
One argument against this that I frequently hear is that freshman politicians aren’t as good at getting things done. It takes someone with political experience to know how to make compromises, rally their base, and do all the politicking necessary to get bills passed.
Enter Nancy Pelosi. She is figurative poster-boy of “political experience.” Well-known for her ability to rally her base and do all the politicking necessary to push controversial legislation through, she is seeking another term as the House Democratic Caucus leader, which would make her the Minority Leader. However, because of her demotion from House Majority Leader to House Minority Leader, everyone in her chain of command is forced to take a demotion, and not everyone is happy about it. This presents Pelosi with a problem, because it means some of her fellow party leaders may set their eyes on the prize of a higher office- specifically, Pelosi’s position of Minority Leader.
However, doing what Pelosi does best, she found a compromise which all contenders for party leadership can be happy with: create a new office so that everyone can be in charge. By creating a new office, she makes sure that all leaders in her party maintain positions of party leadership, preventing a power struggle which would’ve had the potential to unseat her.
So, with Pelosi’s vast experience at politicking, she has benefited herself and her fellow party leaders, but is this solution good for everyone? It’s certainly not good for the Democrats to have someone with a 21% favorable rating among independents (29% overall) to continue leading their party in the House after the massive shellacking they received. I mean, with such a massive election loss, which she completely did not predict, she must be doing something very wrong for her party. Keeping her on as Minority Leader is like Christmas for the Republican Party, because they can continue to paint the Democrats as “the Party of Pelosi.”
Another problem with this is that it indicates she’s willing to create new bureaucracy out of nothing, for no purpose, except to benefit herself and her friends. This demonstrates a capacity for corruption which needs to not be playing a part in the process of crafting legislation.
Pelosi’s political skill has been harmful to both her party and the people she represents. So, if giving incumbents the opportunity to be reelected selects for experience at politicking, then I think we should be doing everything we can to keep incumbents out of the election process entirely, enforcing strict term limits.
The goal of a representative democracy is not to “get things done.” It is to represent the will of the people as best as possible without making every single citizen take the time to read and vote on every single bill.