The Fool-Me-Once Principle of Democracy

“I believe that the president has learned from this case. The president has been impeached. That’s a pretty big lesson.” –Senator Susan Collins of Maine speaking after President Trump’s first impeachment trial. 1 year later, she’s a juror in his second impeachment trial.

Solon Fr.10

If you’ve suffered through your destructive wickedness,
Don’t blame the gods for any of it.
For you gave protection to your enemies,
Strengthening them in the very process.
And so you brought evil subjugation to the city.
Each of you walks with the steps of a fox,
Yet each of you have got a mind altogether shallow:
You look at the tongue and at the speech of shifty men,
Yet never do you see their words become action.

εἰ δὲ πεπόνθατε λυγρὰ δί᾽ ὑμετέρην κακότητα,
μή τι θεοῖς τούτων μόμφον ἐπαμφέρετε:
αὐτοὶ γὰρ τούτοις ηὐξήσατε ῥύματα δόντες
καὶ διὰ ταῦτα κακὴν ἔσχετε δουλοσύνην:
5ὑμέων δ᾽ εἷς μὲν ἕκαστος ἀλώπεκος ἴχνεσι βαίνει
σύμπασιν δ᾽ ὑμῖν χαῦνος ἔνεστι νόος:
εἰς γὰρ γλῶσσαν ὁρᾶτε καὶ εἰς ἔπος αἰόλον ἀνδρός,
εἰς ἔργον δ᾽ οὐδὲν γιγνόμενον βλέπετε.

Larry Benn has a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard College, an M.Phil in English Literature from Oxford University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Making amends for a working life misspent in finance, he’s now a hobbyist in ancient languages and blogs at

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