The American Commodus
Apologies to Wikipedia:
Whereas the reign of
Marcus AureliusGeorge W. Bush had been marked by almost continuous warfare, that of CommodusObama was comparatively peaceful in the military sense but was marked by political strife and the increasingly arbitrary and capricious behaviour of the emperorpresident himself. In the view of Dio CassiusMark Steyn, a contemporary observer, his accession marked the descent “from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron”—a famous comment which has led some historians, notably Edward Gibbonanyone familiar with the Constitution, to take Commodus’ reignObama’s presidency as the beginning of the decline of the Roman EmpireAmerican republic….
Unlike the preceding
Emperors Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aureliuspresidents Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan, he seems to have had little interest in the business of administration and tended throughout his reignpresidency to leave the practical running of the state to a succession of favourites, beginning at this time with SaoterusAxelrod, a freedmanspinmeister from NicomediaChicago who had become his chamberlainhenchman.
Dissatisfaction with this state of affairs would lead to a series of
conspiraciesTea Party protests and attempted coupselections, which in turn eventually provoked CommodusObama to take charge of affairs, which he did in an increasingly dictatorial manner. Nevertheless, though the senatorial orderhis political foes came to hatedislike and fear him, the evidence suggests that he remained popular with the army47 percent of citizens who paid no income taxes and the common peoplethose who believe in free lunches for much of his reign, not least because of his lavish shows of largesse (recorded on his coinagerepeatedly in his own boastful speeches) and because he staged and took part in spectacular gladiatorial combatsfundraisers and softball interviews.”
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The long winded description of feckless and incompetent.
Hmmmm….”In November 192, Commodus held Plebian Games in which he shot hundreds of animals with arrows and javelins every morning, and fought as a gladiator every afternoon, naturally winning all the bouts. In December he announced his intention to inaugurate the year 193 as both consul and gladiator on 1 January.
At this point, the prefect Laetus formed a conspiracy with Eclectus to supplant Commodus with Pertinax, taking Marcia into their confidence. On 31 December Marcia poisoned his food but he vomited up the poison; so the conspirators sent his wrestling partner Narcissus to strangle him in his bath.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodus#The_end_of_the_reign_.28192.29]
So, his wrestling partner strangled his ugly ass, eh? Who is the wrestling partner of America’s first ghey prezzy? Axlerod? Valerie Jarrett?
Joel: This post is excellent! I read the Wikipedia page you linked, and the parallels with Obama are simply stunning. Thank you for giving us this delicious comparison. I hope it starts a meme, with readers adapting more extracts from Commodus’ biography for our very own psychotic leader. Here are two contributions from me (left unedited, but Joel has already shown us how to do it).
Here’s an apt paragraph about legendary athletic feats:
“Disdaining the more philosophic inclinations of his father, Commodus was extremely proud of his physical prowess. He was generally acknowledged to be extremely handsome. As mentioned above, he ordered many statues to be made showing him dressed as Hercules with a lion’s hide and a club. He thought of himself as the reincarnation of Hercules, frequently emulating the legendary hero’s feats by appearing in the arena to fight a variety of wild animals. He was left-handed, and very proud of the fact. Cassius Dio and the writers of the Augustan History say that Commodus was a skilled archer, who could shoot the heads off ostriches in full gallop, and kill a panther as it attacked a victim in the arena.”
I don’t know who wrote the Wikipedia entry, but their gift for wry understatement is admirable:
“Commodus raised the ire of many military officials in Rome for his Hercules persona in the arena. Often, wounded soldiers and amputees would be placed in the arena for Commodus to slay with a sword. Commodus’ eccentric behaviour would not stop there. Citizens of Rome missing their feet through accident or illness were taken to the arena, where they were tethered together for Commodus to club to death while pretending they were giants. These acts may have contributed to his assassination.”
I have always said we had Caligula in the WH with Clinton. I’ve also said we have Nero in the WH now. To be honest I didn’t know Commodus was a real Roman Emperor. I thought it was a character from the movie Gladiator. It’s amazing how history repeats itself over and over…almost as if theres a negative force that has lived on this earth from man’s beginning, doing the same things over and over… hey wait a sec! Isn’t there some biblical character who used to be called Lucifer who was said to have fallen from a high place and doesn’t it say things like he controls the systems of this world or something like that? Could it be? Could it? Naawww! That’s silly! Isn’t it?
||… hey wait a sec! Isn’t there some biblical character who used to be called Lucifer who was said to have fallen from a high place…||
Something about being called the Father of Lies also; “…He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
History: The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
Farce: more in a sense of the absurd than that of the comic, although when thinking of BO buffoonery in more than one case comes to mind.
180: Obama’s America
Our Republic began its decline long ago.
Obama may be the coup d’grace if he is re-elected. And that is putting it optimistically.
I’d say that the decline began during Reconstruction, but I’d probably be in the minority, and the group actively working for our downfall don’t have the phrase “coup d’grace” in their lexicon–just like Dear Leader wants to see us “pay” for our sins.
Certainly by the Progressive Era, which was MUCH more nightmarish than most Americans understand.
Good piece today on TR…
We do not have a President. What we do have is a tumor and that tumor has become malignant.
Thank goodness, we have something even better than Obamacare to treat that tumor! It’s called the Constitution! Let’s scrub that patient up and get him under the knife – ASAP!
After consulting with others, I truly believe the first incision should be made through the anus! That should drain most of the puss and relieve the swelling.
Agreed. There’s chemo’s we could try, just not the kind the tumor is use to.
“he seems to have had little interest in the business of administration”
Boy, isn’t that the truth. Obama seems unable to keep up with administering anything. I believe he is incapable, for one thing. So instead of exposing his incompetence, he leaves that work to others. He then plays golf and parties with celebrities, campaigns and acts as the continual rabble rouser he has always been. He just wants his way or he pouts and points his finger at others.
Obama has never been an executor.
I respectfully disagree – Obama has killed off the hopes and dreams of tens of millions. And caused or allowed hundreds or thousands to die in the Middle East (both American and others). He has only grown the debt and regulations preventing the regrowth of the economy. Executor is very apt.
ha … yeah, maybe he just misunderstood what was expected of him, putting emphasis on the wrong syllable. 🙂
[…] History repeating itself, as both tragedy and farce. […]
Joel: I, myself, went with Caligula: Congress Spinelessly Hands Over Power to the American Caligula.
And I used graphics to make my case. 🙂
However, you do make many persuasive points.
Actually, you’ve missed one key parallel: like Commodus, it’s not entirely clear who Obama’s father is.
From Wikipedia: “It was rumoured that he was actually the son, not of Marcus Aurelius, but of a gladiator whom his mother Faustina had taken as a lover at the coastal resort of Caieta.”
Replace “Axelrod” with “Valerie Jarrett” and you’ll have nailed it.
Jarrett = Obama’s Rasputin
He just reads the teleprompter, she’s the one making the decisions.
…and just think, we have bread (food stamps) and circuses (from Beyonce&Jay z’s fete last night to Prezzy appearing on Fallon’s show to…).
A well chosen analogy illuminates. Take it too far and it can seem to illuminate while doing the opposite.
Consider this the super-like button.
“Can you hear that? It’s the Gods….they’re laughing!”
—Christopher Plummer (Commodus)
—“Fall of the Roman Empire”
Actually, I put Obama down as a “Nero”
Read it here: http://valley-of-the-shadow.blogspot.com/2012/04/i-claudian-theory-of-modern-presidents.html
George W Bush as Marcus Aurelius, good choice.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
Other oldie but goodies:
Si vis pacem, para bellum – If you wish for peace, prepare for war.
Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus
Si vis pacem fac bellum – If you want peace, make war