September 5, 2009

Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Spoils System

Charles Johnson quotes Hawthorne:
I do detest all offices — all, at least, that are held on a political tenure. And I want nothing to do with politicians. Their hearts wither away, and die out of their bodies. Their consciences are turned to india-rubber, or to some substance as black as that, and which will stretch as much.
Nathaniel Hawthorne lost a couple of jobs to the spoils system; today those positions would be protected by civil-service protocols. Otoh, he was not above accepting a cushy consular appointment from his friend Franklin Pierce after campaign services rendered.

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