Gary Hart Falls Off The Deep End
If I were to tell you that I know someone who thinks that George Bush is assuming imperial powers in the same manner as Augustus Caesar in ancient Rome, you would figure the person to be a kook left member of the Democratic Underground aka DUmmies. In addition, if I were to add that this same person also believes that our social and foreign policy must first be submitted to religious fundamentalists then you could also conclude that if not a DUmmie, then this same person could also be a Koo-Koo Daily Kos type. Well, what if I told you that this person was a United States Senator, former presidential candidate and supposedly a respected thinker by the name of Gary Hart? I kid you not. Apparently Gary Hart has gone completely fallen off the deep end of rational thought and posted these sentiments in his Huffington post BLOG imperiously titled, "Twenty-first Century Rome." Supposedly this is Hart's chronicle of the downfall of the American Republic. Instead it represents the complete collapse of Gary Hart's rational abilities. So let us now join Gary Hart fantasizing about an American Empire in Bolshevik Red while the commentary of your humble correspondent, wanting a ride aboard the Monkey Business, is in the [brackets]:
Twenty-first Century Rome
[Twenty-first Century Democrats---A Laff Riot!]
For those of us who believe history holds valuable lessons, there is instruction to be had from the experience of other great powers. In the particular case of the American Republic it is important to consider the history of other republics. Not the least of these examples is the demise of the ancient Roman Republic and its transition to the Roman Empire.
[I remember the more recent history of a presidential candidate who invited the press to follow him around to see if he was cheating. Well, the press did follow him around just like he asked and they caught him cheating.]
That history is well known. The civil wars of the mid-first century BC led to the acquisition of dictatorial power by Julius Caesar lasting from about 49 BC until his assassination on the Ides of March 44 BC. Further unrest if not chaos ensued until, in 27 BC, Caesar’s adopted son Octavianus became the first Roman emperor as the first Augustus.
[Professor Gary delivering a history lesson from the deck of the Monkey Business.[
So much for the dates and names. The question is how Augustus became emperor. How did he go about finally ending a republic founded in 510 BC?
[If I give the right answer, do I win a date with Donna?]
First, “he took steps to neutralize the army as a political force.” Of course, in a republic that would be a good thing, because in republican Rome the armies as political forces had helped bring about the demise of the Republic. But in Augustus’s case he achieved his objective by making the army his instrument. Control of the army was control of state power.
[Stand by. Professor Gary is about to lead his history lesson towards his real target.]
Second, he took control of the system of laws and justice. Little could happen with the magistrates and judges that did not meet his approval and conform to his policies. To control the legal system was to control the entire nation.
[Did he appoint a certain Judge Alitus to help him control the legal system?]
And, third, like his adoptive father Caesar, Augustus was “imaginative and innovative in his exploitation of religious sentiments.” Augustus understood that the integration of the state with religion was the key to control of the nation’s culture.
[Golly gee! I wonder where this is all leading? Hmmmm.]
The army, the courts, and religion. The keys to the creation of the Roman Empire.
[Get ready with the life preservers! Professor Gary is about to jump overboard from the Monkey Business.]
In 21st century America the current government (the presidency and Congress of one party) has taken control not only of defense and military policy, but also military operations. No other administration, including that of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War or Franklin Roosevelt in World War II, has ever done that. The unprecedented imposition of neoconservative ideology on military operations has led directly and inevitably to the debacle in Iraq.
[DING! DING! DING! Professor Gary has locked on target. The REAL target.]
In the last five years we have seen an effort by the current government to control the American judicial system by the appointment of ideologically selected judges. The unprecedented attempt to make the administration of justice the instrument of ideology is incompatible with the Constitution of the Republic whose flag we salute.
[Appointing judges compatible with the political philosophy of the sitting president. Who ever heard of such a bizarre notion? Perhaps Bush should appoint judges who believe that international law takes precedent over American law like that Supreme Court justice whose name is the same as an ice cream brand.]
And, of course, the Republican party has been imaginative and innovative in its exploitation of religious sentiments. The unprecedented submission of social policy, and foreign policy in the Middle East, to religious fundamentalists violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and has weakened America in the world.
[Yes, Professor Gary. It is a well known fact that President Bush submits all social and foreign policy to Pat Robertson for his approval. Oh, and Pat Robertson must also first approve of all meds prescribed for you.]
The army, the courts, and religion. The keys to the creation of the American Empire.
[And where is the key to your padded cell, Professor Gary? And now on to the Huffington Post HUffie peanut gallery comments chanting their approval for their new mentor...]
Nero reportedly played his fiddle while Rome burned.
George Bush takes yet another vacation.
Nero blamed the Christians.
George Bush blames everyone else.
Nero had a strange relationship with his manipulative, ambitious mother. Nero is blamed for her murder. Nero was deranged.
[Don't forget to also compare Bush to Caligula.]
And so, with a dry alcoholic uber-privileged frat boy at the helm, the country rots from the top through massive corruption in all three branches of the government and media and from financial ruin brought by their pillaging of the treasury.
[All hail our emperor! The mighty Chimpus Khan!]
And those in this government's administration would not deny any of it. Yet, by hook and certainly crook, it's been allowed to happen. Our country is selling it's soul. IMPEACH NOW.
[All lefist roads lead to IMPEACHMENT.]
This essay should be printed in every newspaper in America.
[For placement in the FUnnies section.]
The separation of Church and State is not about keeping religion safe from government, but keeping the government safe from religious fanatacism.
[A "constitutional scholar" speaks his empty mind.]
Well, Gary, it was a good run. 224 years of being the most respected country on the planet is pretty good. The last 6 we can count out. It's pretty amazing when you consider that after 9/11 we had the VAST majority of the WORLD behind us supporting us. Then a cabal of truely EVIL people trashed all that good will, and WE now get to suffer for it. I suppose it's the punishment we have to pay for allowing them to steal and destroy our Republic.
[Hail Chimpus Khan.]
And there are more than a few similarities between Bush 43's mother and Augustus's wife, Livia.
[And between Jeb Bush and Tiberius.]
Does the central influence over religion mean that individual pastors are no longer in control of their flocks? Is there any chance they could rebel, or does the carrot of faith based spending and the stick of threat of removal of tax-exempt status mean pastors not subject to carrot and stick tend to get moved out, and those who are motivated in these ways tend to rise in power, kind of like what happens in the military?
[Not a chance. All those pastors are wearing secret decoder rings that emit mind control waves that keep them in total obedience.]
By the year 170 A.D., the military, not the Emperor was calling the shots. No Emperor could be chosen by The Roman Senate without the approval of the most powerful military faction. The Emperor remained Emporer as long as the military got what it wanted.
That is where we are now; not back in Caesar's time where the Emperor controlled the military. The Pentagon controls U.S. foreign policy, not the President. The Pentagon is certainly comfortable with President Bush's endless war policy.
[Yet another of the Gary Hart acolytes spewing utter nonsense into the wind.[
Very good, Senator. Now would you please give us a similar discussion of the parallels between the Nazi rise to power in Germany and the steps taken by the Bush administration? There are many and I believe with your expertise and potential to have a wide audience this would be very helpful. In fact, a book on these parallels similar to your one about God would be a very helpful contribution.
[A HUffie begging Gary Hart to sink the good ship Monkey Business.[
yes, this is happening. It is completely frightening. I am waiting for Bush to 'postpone' the elections on grounds of National Security. This is evil stuff - we have taken the election process for granted. Everyone should read 1984 by Orwell and acquaint themselves with the concept of 'doublethink'. George called it 57 years ago - he knew that the subversion a democracy is founded on the process of blurring the lines between truth and lies. Bush = Big Brother. Be very afraid - and then DO SOMETHING.
[Please report to Room 101 for a thorough rectal exam of your brain.]
Bush is a puppet of big oil and big money - the american people are being conned just like the Romans.
[Didn't you get the memo above? Bush is Big Brother. Wait, no! Bush is a puppet of big oil! I mean Bush is Big Brother. Or is he is a puppet of big oil? No, make that...]
Yes, Mr. Hart. And the little evil genius known as Karl Rove has everything to do with it.
[All hail the REAL emperor, Rovian Augustus!]
This is the model of how to build empires. However, you forget the most important thing. Using the Army against the people as a weapon of terror. The 300 Spartans that marched on Rome remember? Why? Because they were forced to by the Roman Army. They needed fear in the Roman Polulace for htem to surrender control to "protect the people".
[Thanx for the history lesson about the 300 Spartans that marched on Rome by walking across the Adriatic Sea.]
I read "The Rise and the Fall of the Roman Empire" as a teenager, and the many parallels are well documented. Here's another one...Rome ran out of Roman citizens to fight its wars and started hiring mercenaries. Maybe Blackwell can't compare with the Huns, but they're close!
[Did you also read "The DECLINE and Fall of the Roman Empire?"]
Roman invaded and humiliated Britain. So anytime you read a history about Rome in English from English translators YOU ARE READING ONE BIASED PIECE OF PULP FICTION.
[Toss away everything written by Gibbons!]
Most Americans have about as much interest in the impending crisis as cows have of their impending date with the slaughterhouse, and those who are politically motivated are fighting battles between 'right' and 'left', shadow boxing, instaed of coming together and taking on the institutions which make that shadow. It's the same in my country, and I can't see a way out of it. Every aspect of our respective societies have been corporatised, until we are only left with screaming into the vaccuum of hyperspace. How do we get out of this mess?
[The only solution is to hand out large quantities of Guy Fawkes costumes although my preference is for a Donna Rice blowup doll.]
The President's Party is in league with the usurpers and the opposition Party is non existent. It is a mix of collaborators and cowards. At least in the case of Augustus, you had a man of principle and competence. George on the other hand exhibits the wisdom of Caligula and the competence of Nero.
[Thank you, thank you, thank you for including the Caligula comparison! The Gary Hart acolyte lunacy is now complete!]
Football and baseball stadia are our modern day Coliseums. How different is celebrity or athlete worship from gladiator worship?
[The odds of the modern "gladiators" living another day are much, much higher.]
We had our run as a great country...shit happens...evil rules....down the tubes. How about a revolution?????????????
[Groovy! Lets all have a revolution as soon as we finish ingesting our meds!]
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