Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Bootsie, Bushie, and Brownie

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." To paraphrase Santayana, if you put an idiot in charge you're doomed.

My favorite history professor, Richard Berthold of "Anyone who can bomb the Pentagon gets my vote" fame, taught my favorite history class on Rome at the University of New Mexico several years ago. Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was the grandson of Augustus and as a small boy he was dressed in a tiny soldier's outfit and paraded in front of the Roman troops. They nicknamed him Caligula, because of the miniature version of soldier's sandal-boots he wore. Roughly translated, Caligula means Bootsie.

I've been reminded of Caligula several times over the last five years. There are lots of parallels between Bootsie and our own Little Lord Candy-ass. Both were born into powerful families; both played dress-up and paraded in front of real military troops; both came to power through questionable means. But my personal favorite: Caligula appointed a horse to the Roman senate, Bush appointed a horse's ass to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and so...