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The Presidency As A Perquisite

The Presidency As A Perquisite image
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Yv hen the motive in soeking and acceping office is to gat moncy out of it and out of its opportunities, the mode of per'orrning its lui . ü ;;enerally that whicb. vül iusuro tho luost inoney. Thcre is a ircjuilicoin the rninds of tho masses oftho American psople against men who carry aa "itohing palm" into the highor offices of the (iovermnent. Sttitesiiiauship, patiotistn, md impartial judgmentcanrarcy bc looked for from ono whose cstiuiato )f the duties at hia ofBoe nkakeshit salary ;s ciiiof inducenicut to accept it. When, ■vü, Colonel Korney exhibits himself bei'ore the country as dickering with. President Grant aa to wbéther the latter cüuM affoid to resigri a iiw offioo of (ighteeo thousnnd i year in consideraron of ono t'iiüi of the Presidency at tw.nty-üvc thonsand a year, and when we fiad tha President aocepting tho ürst :onn only on an implied condition that ie should have a second on tho sanie sal - iry, we are compclLcd to ask, In what e.i■.imate doos tho President bold hjs office? [f it ia valuuble only for its perquisites, certiin railroads and sevenil ife insur mee eompanies which woul.l pay as liih a salary as the Presidency. 1'he position of Collector of the Port of New York, which tho Presidont has so ealously kept wiüiin tliolimited circle of confidential friends, would pay at least ;vic3 as muoh. Truc it has loss dignity and iftbrdsfower opportunities for . ng the policy of the nation. It is not so sublime a íield wherein to exercise tha jowers and display tho acquiromonts of a deep, powerful and divorsilied mind, in a nanner to quicken tho march of progresa, or enhance the welfare of the coun:ry or the world. But for all this, a man whose thoughts are upon money does not jare. He necessarily despises theni as visionary and meauingloss plirases. This conversation with Forney harmonzes in spirit with the general drift of the President' personal an.l oilicial course since hiseleotion. His Cabinet appointaa oriqjinally made, wtsre purceled out arnong a very few rich men, who had Led the way in making him valuabla pvesents of house?, &o., while a general. Two of them wero given to his two personal advisers while a general. Gratitudo for fvors or services to hiraself indi vidually. diotated the appointment of Rawlins, Stewart, Borio, Fis'i, and Hoar, no one of whom, except, perhaps, Mr. A. T. Stewart, would have been, at tli it time, sejectoii by any other person for a Cabinet poiiiion. Tho Cabinet appointmenta soemed to be valuel as rewuisites for paying private debts, not as a means oï placing Btatesmen ia cliargo of tho Government. Messrs. Fish, Borie, and Hoar were appointed for the pleasing mannor ia which they had entertftined tho President. Oí' course, suoh a modo of appointing invitod tho whola country to competo for office by making prc-seuts and rendering other pecuniary and personal services. In those or any other appointments, no Republioan leaders wero consultad. No irapression gnined entrance into the Presvuind that tho Hopublican party, and itJ leaders in the Sonato and IIouso or country at largo, were to have voiee in his counsels. The Vice President and the leading Republiean members of Congrese might as well havo been Democrats for all the sharo thoy were invited to tako in the counsels of their Chief. It was uot a Republiean victory, but a victory of the General and his fainily, that had lifted hira to power. We have not often alluded to tho appointments of relativos, because, however, nmnerous or worthless thcy might be, we do not regard thom as publicly so demonUizing as the appointment of patrons - of men who havo ouly earned their positions by subserviency to any individual whether by entertaining him, jrivinghim . or otherwise pughing his privateinterests. AVhere this system of polito corrupticn contaminates the fountain of offieial dignity and power, the lower streani cannot run elear. The favoritLdentfoT Murphy, ccrowing out of the social festivities at Long Brnnch, may seem to bemere goodfellowship so long as it is confincd to he itmusetnents of 1he watering-place. But when Ivlurphy receives instruOtions to pack tho New York State Convention, in 1871, with delegatea who bolieve that Grnnt ougbt to bo ic-nominated in 1872, and when lic procoeds to do thiebyfraud, force, and bullying, we pwoeive relation between tho watering-place featívitics and t! !'ul and tyramiioiil in the Primary Couventions which is n 5t attractive. Vc(.auuot assoni. to the low esilmite which regards tlu Presidenoy, with all ïtsgroat powerd - cxccejiiig lor the tiuio tlios-'u of any other human potentate - as the mere meaos of cnriching one's self md celatives. and rewarding those who a'il in tho s'imo work. Yet this bas been rant's estímate of tho position, and its oonsequences have led to most of the compluints ugainst him. It is not so rauch that he is not a statesman, as that lic does not conceive that he ouglit to bo. He assumes that any oiher person in his place would lmvu t'io samo picayuno iilual of tho objectá t'or which ho was placed [thero, viz. : 1o get money, and to iii'lp those who help him. Thii, in legislatiou, is nono as log-rolling, and tho courts of Iaw have called it by some sevove name. WhetUcr it is botter in Executive administratioBi tho peoplo are begluning to inquiro. - 'Chicago Tribune. Durinc; the Cl:iy Bn(J Polk campaign the adm.iiuion of tho Hon. Waltcr Brooke, asippi, i'ur tho grcat Kentuckian led him io bet a pair ot' niatchod horscs, all tiio stook ho ad, on the result ; and, Üiis, though a strict inembcr of tho Pivsbyirii.m Churoh. ' Ot' couisn ho lost, aml ■ so he was " ohuiched " for gumiag. " AH wo ask of you, Mr. Brooko," said tho minister dwing the trial, "is to ar-kuowledge that you aro sorry, and promise to sin no more." "SoiiyP" aske Ir. Brooko, rising from his soat with an air ofinjured innocence, "Sorry 'f 3Jy dear brother, whon I think of those bcautiful ie from iuy sig;ht forevor, I can nily iy, with my hand upon my heart, no transaotion of my lifo givus ma inoro gonuine sorroAV than this."


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Michigan Argus