It is hardly a shock. A professional politician from a political family who is not only a Congress member but is married to one, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-Cape Coral) came out strongly against Congressional term limits on Monday.
He was making a campaign stop at the Republican Club of the Northern Palm Beaches and in response to a question made it clear he -- unlike his two competitors for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination -- would not be supporting Sen. Jim DeMint's term limits amendment bill if elected.
"The people who are now in control in the legislature are the staff who are not accountable to the members and not accountable to the voters," he said of Florida's experience with term limits. "I think what we need to do is hold people accountable who run for office. We term them out."
Reports are these cliches felt flat with the crowd. Indeed, the previous day Rep. Mack landed dead last in the straw poll held by the Florida Federation of Republican Women in Tallahassee.
He shares his anti-term limits position with the incumbent he is running against, Sen. Bill Nelson. Whereas both of his challengers for the nomination -- George LeMieux and Mike McCalister -- have signed the U.S. Term Limits Congressional pledge to cosponsor and vote for genuine 3/2 Congressional term limits as represented by the DeMint bill. Florida's current Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is a cosponsor.
In taking this position, Rep. Mack is putting his own self interest above that of the people, 79 percent of which tell pollsters they support term limits. It is funny that he criticizes the Florida legislature -- which enjoy competitive elections and regular rotation in office -- as unaccountable while endorsing the status quo in Washington DC where incumbents running for reelection win just under 95 percent of the time and have since 1970.
"We term them out," indeed. Between uncontested races, nominal challengers and the natural advantages of incumbency, the U.S. Congress is by no means competitive, accessible nor accountable and Rep. Mack knows it -- and likes it that way!
(Pictured: U.S. Reps Connie IV and Mary Bono Mack out on the town.)