The Nation: Resisting the 'State and Pomp'

Jimmy Carter thinks it has all gone too far. As early as 1789, John Adams delivered an apologia for the imperial presidency to which some Americans might subscribe even today. Wrote Adams in a letter to President George Washington: "If the state and pomp essential to this great [office] are not, in good degree, preserved, it will be in vain for America to hope for consideration with foreign powers." Now, 37 Presidents later, the "state and pomp" of the presidency have come to include everything from the elegant Air Force One to the presidential...

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