According to news reports, sources close to the White House predict that Obama’s 2014 State of the Union speech tonight will be all about him. No, it’s not about a speech filled with “I’s” – although there’s a great probability there will be. It’s about his failure to breach the ideological chasm in Congress to get things done his way.
You have to give the guy a lot of guts – standing up tonight before the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and telling them that he’s simply going to circumvent them if they don’t do things his way. He’ll executive-order himself around them.
Obama will have a hard time making a case for 2013 and the many disasters it held for him: a continuing recession, high unemployment, the on-going Benghazi scandal, the ghost of which still haunts him from 2012, Fast and Furious, the blight of the Arab spring, and a number of unfulfilled Progressive goals including gun control and immigration reform.
Expect him to announce, by executive order, job training, retirement security, and more assistance for the long-term unemployed. He will suggest creating a new retirement savings plan tailored for workers whose employers don’t offer such plans. He will also announce an increase in the minimum wage, again, by fiat.
He certainly can’t claim victory in Iraq or Afghanistan, at least not in the American sense. These losses are very much within his Progressive agenda of weakening America’s standing in the world, the ability to trade in the Middle East or anywhere else for that matter. For him, loss is victory. The losses don’t help him much in the polls, but polls are not particularly relevant to a lame-duck president.
His poor ratings matter to his Democrat allies in Congress, however, whose elections this coming November depend very much upon distancing themselves from Obama. Therefore, he will oblige them by governing by executive order. Executive order this, executive order that. O has nothing to lose by being criticized as a tyrant or dictator. The Democrats will have the luxury of throwing O onto his own altar and burning him in effigy, all the while allowing him to pass their legislation for them.
The blueprint for Obama’s reign can be found in its entirety in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” The first scene shows Roman soldiers chasing Roman commoners out of the public arena, the common artisans who may not travel about without a sign about their necks declaring their particular vocation (i.e., cobbler, carpenter). The cobbler and the carpenter are out in public on a “laboring day” (a work day) in order to celebrate Caesar’s triumphal entry into Rome.
Marullus, one of the tribunes, asks the commoners just what it is about Caesar that they are celebrating.
“What tributaries follow him to Rome
To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
O you hard hears, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey?
Marullus reminds them how they cheered Pompey on in his day, for greater triumphs, Caesar’s only triumph being that he came home with Pompey’s blood on his hands. Which isn’t true; it was the King Ptolemy who had Pompey murdered for Caesar’s sake. Caesar denied the charge and was said to rue his predecessor’s (and son-in-law’s) death. But Pompey’s followers don’t believe it.
The city’s idolic images are wreathed in laurel leaves for the coming of Caesar and the other tribune, Flavius, orders them removed even though, as Marullus reminds him, it is the Feat of Lupercal (the feast of purification in honor of Pan). They are later executed for this blasphemy against Caesar. The feast was marked by races around Palatine Hill, with the runners bearing whips, beating anyone who got in their way. Women who were lashed so were said to be cured of infertility.
Caesar has himself declared a god. But he is a weak god, blading, deaf in one ear and suffering from “the falling sickness” (epilepsy). Yet the crowds hail him anyway. A deft politician, he has his best general, Antony, offer him the empirical crown of Rome three times, which he refuses. Each time he turns it away, the crowds cheer more loudly. Even when he falls down in an epileptic seizure, once he recovers they hail him again.
The Roman Senate is not so fawning. They are angry, particularly Cassius (whom Caesar fears; “Yond Cassius,” he says to Antony, “has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.”) who relates personal experiences of Caesar’s many failings, in physical pursuits and illnesses.
Cassius also notes that the Romans themselves are at fault if Caesar is about to become their tyrant.
“And why should Caesar be a tyrant, then [If every bondsman has it in his power to free himself]?” Cassius asks his companion, Casca.
“Poor man, I know he would not be a wolf,
But that he sees the Romans are but sheep;
He were no lion, were not Romans hinds (female deer and also Shakespearean for menial servants).
Caesar is warned many times that he is in danger if he addresses the Senate to declare himself their emperor.
But he tells his wife, Calpurnia, “Caesar shall forth. The things that threaten’d me
Ne’ver look’d but upon my back. When they shall see
The face of Caesar, they are vanished.”
Caesar, who will that day declare himself a god, tells Calpurnia, “What can be avoided whose end is purpos’d by the mighty gods?
Yet Caesar shall go forth; for these predictions
Are to the world in general as to Caesar.
Cowards may die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.”
Yet he’s willing to abide by his wife’s pleadings. Decius, who has come to escort him to the Senate, tells him that the Senate is ready to crown him emperor. But if he doesn’t come, they will think him cowardly. Caesar accedes to Decius’ advice and goes to his fate.
Our own Caesar, Emperor Obama, goes to his political death tonight, knowing he has achieved all he can by guile and art. He must ascend to a deified status in order to continue to exert his will. He vows he will rule by fiat, by executive order. He is already dead (in the political sense) and so can act with infinite impunity. Upon his “death”, he will be succeeded by the bureaucracy which he and his forbears (Roosevelt, Johnson, Clinton) have carefully constructed.
Congress, the representatives of the people, will be rendered impotent. In Caesar’s last will, he leaves all his considerable property to the people of Rome. Having seized our property, Obama will leave it to the people whose votes he purchased and who have loyally supported him.
Those loyal followers include many RINO Republicans. As Mark Antony shook hands with his assassins over Caesar’s body did he say,
“Alas, what shall I say?
My credit now stands upon slippery ground.
That one of two bad ways you must conceit [judge] me,
Either a coward or a flatterer.
That I did love thee, Caesar, O, ‘tis true!
If then they spirit look upon us now,
Shall it not grieve thee dearer than they death
To see they Antony making his peace,
Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes –
Most noble! – in the presence of thy corpse?”
Later on in the play, Antony utters the most famous eulogy in all of theater:
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious.
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answr’d it.”
But he goes on to note all the good that Caesar did for Rome (or seemed to do, for the public). The Conspirators saw ambition; his friend, Antony saw good will. Less sophisticated than the Roman Senate, Antony brings the crowd to tears (“My heart lies there in the coffin with Caesar), showing them Caesar’s mutilated body.
The murderers are hunted down to the last. Brutus kills himself to atone for the murder. Caesar’s murder is avenged. But the damage that he set in motion carried forward. With his deification after death, his successors go on to rule as tyrants. The Roman Assembly (representing the Commoners) is abolished and the Senate is toothless. Ultimately, the Roman Empire bankrupts itself trying to conquer foreign lands beyond its means to financially support the drive. Rome itself is corrupt, drowning itself in wine, women, and song, until it is too weak and flaccid to deliver itself from the hordes at its gates, the very militias of other countries that it conquered.
Rome’s capital city is moved several times to accommodate the broader empire and its multicultural citizens, until Rome itself finally collapses sometime in the 5th Century A.D.
Some have wondered for the last 50 years, since the Johnson Administration, and some since FDR’s rule, whether we are following in the footsteps of the Roman Empire’s decline. With Obama ruling by fiat, surrounded by lackeys, protected by a Constitution-proof bureaucracy and judiciary, and supported by two classes, one, ignorant and immoral, and the other, ambitious and arrogant, and both lacking conscience and excessive in their greed, we would appear to be sliding down Palatine Hill’s slippery slope.
We are no more a republic now than Rome was after Caesar’s posthumous deification. What transformed Rome was another, greater king, born not long after Caesar’s death, who suffered a similar fate for making a similar claim.
“The poor and the deceitful man meet together; the Lord lighteneth both their eyes.”