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"Indeed, the rage of theorists to make constitutions a vehicle for the conveyance of their own crude, and visionary aphorisms of government, requires to be guarded against with the most unceasing vigilance."
     -- Joseph Story
     Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States
     Book III, § 1857.
 

Saturday, October 04, 2003

This thought comes to mind, for some reason, every election cycle. Years ago, I came across a short essay by Mark Twain that I've never been able to find again. It set out his response to those who had asked him, "Why don't you run for public office?" in the form of a hilarious account of what had happened the one time he had supposedly tried it. As I recall, the essay had a repeating four-paragraph structure to it: one paragraph on what Twain had said, the next on his opponent's response, the third on the press coverage, the last on the popular reaction, and then back for more. This sentence stands out in my memory, and will give a taste of the whole thing: "From then on I was known in the press as 'that axe-murderer Twain.' "

-- posted by Clayton 10/04/2003 04:39:00 AM


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