Anyone watching the inaugural ceremony has to be impressed by all the pomp and circumstance, though I’m one of those curmudgeons who is less enamored with the presidency’s ever-expanding roster of privileges and responsibilities. If anything, the presentation emphasizes the fragility of our constitutional arrangement. We need ceremony and traditions to mask this. The beautifully-choreographed scene in Washington suggests continuity, permanence, and power. The reality is that no matter how many flags are draped across the Capitol, the Republic remains extremely fragile.


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