President Bush has proposed limiting the terms of members of Congress (Part A, Dec. 12 and 13). This would be a very good idea if such limits were applied to everyone in Washington. This would mean, for example, a 16-year limit on service in the Executive Branch, including both presidential appointments and elective office, and 12-year limits on anyone who testifies before congressional committees or lobbies Congress or the Executive Branch on more than an occasional basis.
Without such limits applying to everyone in Washington, the proposal is simply a move against representative democracy. Citizens must have the right to elect or remove members of the House and Senate, but the term-limit proposal will eliminate this fundamental privilege of a democratic society.