Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Via Holden at First Draft, I find this from the Washington Post:
"I don't think we're there yet," [Comptroller General David M.] Walker said. "The American people have to understand where we are and where we're headed."Now, of course, there are no "expiration dates" on republics, no "self-destruct" mechanisms that keep them from lasting beyond a date certain. But Benjamin Franklin famously said we had "A Republic; if you can keep it." There is no guarantee we can keep it forever; or not lose it within a generation. It is too early to proclaim the end of life as we know it; but not too early to pay a bit more attention to what is being done in Washington in the name of morality, "compassionate conservatism," and "changing the tone."
And where is that? "No republic in the history of the world lasted more than 300 years," Walker said. "Eventually, the crunch comes."
He wasn't talking about filibusters.