“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Monday, February 14, 2011

Jon Kyl's Retirement

Many will probably express regret that conservative GOP Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona has announced that he won't stand for re-election in 2012.

In contrast, I am rather pleased that he's not waiting to be carried out feet first, or until he's nearly senile. Moreover, I appreciated his sentiment that it's time someone else had a turn in his seat.

Yes, the Senate is rather narrowly balanced now. Conservatives and Republicans can easily complain that every seat needs to be protected Democratic contenders.

But I feel it's more important for members of both parties to stop viewing Congress and, in fact, politics in general, as a lifetime career. According to one source, Kyl served in the House from 1986, then for the Senate in 1994. That makes 8 years in the lower chamber, and 18 years in the upper one. Long enough, indeed.

It's high time that citizens came to expect Representatives and Senators to make such service a temporary interlude in their lives. As such, Kyl's retirement sets a good example, regardless that he's been sensible, intelligent and, by most accounts, a good Senator.

Hopefully, Arizona's Republican party has a worthy successor ready to replace Kyl. If not, well, they should. And maybe there would be, were Congressional members not expected as lifetime office-holders.

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