In announcing his pending retirement from the U.S. Senate yesterday, Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma Republican, said this: “Our Founders saw public service and politics as a calling rather than a career.”
What nonsense! More than a few of our Founding Fathers saw politics as both a calling and a career.
Take Thomas Jefferson, for example. For 40 years, beginning when he was 26 years of age, Jefferson held one public office after another — state legislator, member of Congress, governor of Virginia, secretary of state, minister to France, vice president and president.
Even during the brief intervals when Jefferson wasn’t ...