Bush Equals Nero

After 8 years of awful stewardship, the economy is toppling. Like a fifty car pile-up, industries are slamming on the brakes trying to avoid the housing / financial / manufacturing crisis. For nearly every member of Obama’s cabinet, there will be a mammoth all-consuming problem to overcome. The state department has the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, and Russia to contend with. The Treasury Department has the financial crisis. Homeland Security has to deal with the war on terror. The Defense Secretary has Iraq and Afghanistan. The Justice Department has, well, justice itself. The EPA has global warming, and Commerce has to deal with the fact that the US doesn’t make anything any more.

Unfortunately, we only have one president at a time. And this is what he’s doing.

This administration is actually setting a record for number of portraits painted. Nearly everyone in the White House is getting one! And check out what CNN reports Bush is devoting his time to:

… [P]lanning for his post-presidential year began more than two years ago. In many ways, the process is in full swing.

Fundraising and planning for his presidential library, to be built on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, is well under way. The president has started interviews with high-profile journalists, by all accounts already trying to define his legacy.

You’re worried about your legacy? Mr. President, let me tell your legacy is: Nero!. That’s right, the emperor who fiddled while Rome burned—or at least that’s what he’s rumored to have done. Aside from that, though, he wasn’t half bad as emperor. Actually, as far as Roman Emperors go, W. is way closer to Commodus.

Commodus was the first Emperor in a while to succeed his father, Marcus Aurelius. He had little interest in the administration of Rome and instead let a series of cronies run most of it. This was punctuated by failed coups, which would renew his interest in governance—specifically tyrannical governance. By most historians’ accounts, his reign was the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire.

And this president has the audacity to compare himself to Lincoln. Lincoln was hated by the South because he overturned their way of life, but in the North he was hailed as a genius in his own time. His stump speeches were hailed as brillliant at the time. The Gettysburg Address was instantly canonized. Upon his death, his secretary of war Edwin Stanton remarked: “Now he belongs to the ages.” Make no mistake, true genius is appreciated in its own time. And so is idiocy.

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