Some observers express concern about high reelection rates for incumbent members of Congress and have advocated for term limits as a way to formally remove longtime members of Congress. Why do you think these proposals for term limits are being advanced? Are there advantages to having long-serving members of Congress in office (e.g., when dealing with an entrenched bureaucracy)? What do recent election cycles say about the need for term limits? Are there other ideas for systemic reform such that challengers are placed on a more equal footing with incumbents?
Given that most presidential powers are delegated and informal, the president’s ability to shape American politics is largely contingent on public support. To what extent do flagging political support or declining poll numbers hamper the president’s ability to lead Congress and the nation? Are there areas where this fact will be of little consequence? Discuss the suitability of public opinion polls for conferring a mandate on the president.
Consider the positive and negative effects of profit in the context of several different areas of public bureaucracy. What is gained and what is lost by privatizing functions such as education policy, trash removal, criminal incarceration, and national defense? How might privatization affect the constitutional rights of citizens who deal with the private companies?