The Political Class Murders Itself

The point at which the Roman Republic moved from republic to empire is generally placed at the point when the Senate granted Octavian almost unlimited power and he adopted the title Augustus. Some historians argue it was when Caesar crossed the Rubicon or when Octavian defeated Antony at Actium. The implication is that once the transition was started, there was no turning back. The more useful analysis is to think of it as a process, with roots in the Republic, that evolved to the point where dictatorship was inevitable.

The die was most likely cast when the Republic began to compromise its own rules for limiting and distributing power. The system they had created was a reflection of the tribal realities of the early republic. In order to keep any one family from gaining too much power, they systematically limited the time anyone served in office. The system also forced an apprenticeship on those who went into public life. This had the benefit of making public men buy into the system. Therefore they were willing to defend it.

That meant the system had a policing mechanism to sort out enemies before they could cause trouble. An ambitious young man could not skip any steps on his way up the ladder, so once he got up the ladder, he was not agreeing to any changes in the process. Defending the system was a way to defend one’s prerogatives, but also a way to defend the system from lunatics. Verpus Maximus may be smart and talented, but he was not only going to wait his turn, he was going to do all the jobs necessary to prove his worth.

This system started to break down with the rivalry of Sulla and Marius. Sulla was the first man to hold the office of consul twice. He also got away with marching an army on Rome itself, in order to defeat his rival, Marius. Both of these acts were supposed to be disqualifying, but exceptions were made for expediency. Sulla sided with the Senate so the Senate bent the rules to serve themselves. A good case can be made that this is the point when it was all over for the Republic.

It was just a matter of time before someone used Sulla as a precedent.

It is a good lesson to keep in mind as the politicians in the Imperial Capital wrangle over what could be a very dangerous scandal for them.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes declared Wednesday that members of Donald Trump’s transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under inadvertent surveillance following November’s presidential election.

The White House and Trump’s allies immediately seized on the statement as vindication of the president’s much-maligned claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower phones — even though Nunes himself said that’s not what his new information shows.

Democrats, meanwhile, cried foul.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the intelligence panel, cast doubt on Nunes’ claims in a fiery statement and blasted the chairman for not first sharing the information with him or other committee members.

Schiff also slammed Nunes for briefing the White House on Wednesday afternoon given that the Intelligence Committee is in the middle of an investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, including possible collusion with the Trump team.

The political class chased Nixon out of town for talking about the use of the FBI and CIA as weapons against political opponents. The rule in politics has been that the use of the IRS or the intelligence agencies was expressly prohibited. There could be no exceptions for obvious reasons, as it would give these bureaucracies dangerous power. That was the lesson of Hoover. If the CIA or IRS are allowed to use their powers to gather dirt on elected officials, then they can control elected officials. That’s the end of democracy.

Of course, there’s another reason to take certain weapons off the table in politics. That’s self preservation. In prior ages, where the winners had the losers killed, the challengers would always have as their goal, the death of the current ruler. That prompted the ruler to get ahead of the curve and have any potential challengers killed, before they could be any trouble. This was Stalin’s game and he just about gutted the the intellectual and political elite of Russia in the process. They still have not recovered from it.

That’s what makes this so dangerous. It’s now clear what happened. The Obama people started spying on Trump once he had the nomination or perhaps even earlier. They may have started earlier with an eye on helping the Republicans knock him off in the primary, but that’s not clear. They figured that Clinton was a lock so they were not careful about covering their tracks. The Clinton people are as dirty as it gets so they were not going to be ratting on anyone over it. If anything, they would expand on it.

This is where the Russian hacking story comes into the picture. Once disaster struck and Team Obama realized they had a problem, they needed cover, so they started with the Russian hacking nonsense. They would then claim that it was all an accident and they were just trying to prevent Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale from attacking our democracy! It’s also why Obama signed a retroactive Executive Order giving cover to the intel agencies for their domestic spying activities. They were creating a cover story.

The complication is that it appears that at least one person has perjured himself over this and that one person is FBI Director Comey. There’s no way to square his testimony with these new revelations. The best he can do is split hairs and claim he was not part of the spying effort. Of course, there’s no way to touch him as he runs the FBI. In fact, there’s no way to investigate any of the intelligence organizations. This is the point where many of the robot historians of the future will say the American political class murdered itself.

Unless there is some will to address it, and that’s highly unlikely, we now have a new normal where highly politicized intelligence agencies are used by both sides to discredit one another and discredit any attempts to reform the system. It’s no longer a game of rules. It is a zero sum  game of power and that cycle only ends one way, with someone marching their army on the capital and taking control. As with Rome, whoever emerges as the dictator will not have murdered the system. The system will have murdered itself.

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95 Comments on "The Political Class Murders Itself"

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karl hungus
Guest

I am an optimist. There is every chance that these revelations lead to widespread support for de-funding the spy agencies. And that will return the system at least part-ways to normalcy. That is, if Trump wants them taken apart.

Member

Not a chance. The Government Party loyalists (e.g. McCain and Feingold as alleged “security hawks”) won’t allow it.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Hok; In case you missed it in the general excitement of 8 November, Feingold be gone_! Got hisself rolled over by Ron Johnson (Tea Party Oshkosh industrialist) and da Trump Train. Yeeeh Hah_! McCain, he be too fahr away ta git to like Mr. Precious Metal Name. BTW, Re Mr. (So Far) Walking-Argument-for-Term-Limits: Every serving officer in McCain’s (and my) era had to sign what was then quaintly known as The Code of Conduct of the US Fighting MAN. In which, among other things, we certified that if we became a POW we knew we were forbidden to accept special… Read more »
alzaebo
Guest

The extraction team that pulled him out explained his nickname, “Songbird”.

As their most valuable prisoner, he was untouched, yet sang like a bird.

Worse yet- he wears a harness.
It amplifies his injuries from the crash, but the Viets ‘never laid a hand on him’.

So I heard, and trust.
I’ve not seen what his fellow prisoners have said, but I consider the possibility that his “heroic torture” story may be faked.

alzaebo
Guest

“He wears a harness”- anecdote by the extraction guys, solid joes.

Dan Kurt
Member

What does “He wears a harness” mean in standard English?

Dan Kurt

Member

What’s heroic about dropping bombs on peasants from 20,000 feet?

Ron Unz looked at Songbird McCain at his site here:
http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-when-tokyo-rose-ran-for-president/
Somewhere on the same site, he has a transcript (and I think the audio) of the treasonous radio broadcast.

If the bastard had been hanged in the 70’s the world would be a much better place.

Member

You are deranged.
If there’s any real movement for reform of the spooks, there will be a rash of false flags.
The recent unpleasantness in the UK was entirely a result of increasing criticism about May’s murder by drone program in Syria and as always the terrorist was known to the “Security Forces” .
We are now being told that “Evil will not prevail”, which means of course, that it will.

Senator Blutarsky
Guest

There are so many potential paths from here to dictatorship that it no longer requires much imagination to envision it. The judiciary has thrown kerosene on the fire by practically inviting a repudiation of judicial review through its rulings on Trump’s immigration orders. It is hard not to conclude that the design margin in this regime is exhausted.

George Orwell
Guest

If Trump pulled an Andrew Jackson, one could hardly blame him. However, his own exec branch is stuffed with Cloud People, and his own party plots to overthrow him. Even “respectable” cons like John Yoo and Richard Epstein blithely speculated on how soon Trump would prematurely leave office. This was, ironically, on the Ricochet “Law Talk” podcast lately. The glee at the prospect was palpable.

ambiguousfrog
Guest

Interesting you mention this. I had a premonition the other day that Mike Pence is the ace (rhino) in the hole for the deep state status quo. De-legitimize Trump from the get go and all that he does is illegitimate. Thereby keeping all as is. The system is rotten to the core and becomes more evident with each passing day.

alzaebo
Guest

Flynn was fired because he had a copy of the Pizzagate list, and holy roller Pence’s best friend’s name was on it.
That’s why he didn’t tell Pence- because of the Strings Attached.

Doug
Guest

I got a cure for it:
comment image?w=442&h=408

Tax Slave
Guest

But where? LA? NYC? Mecca? London? Berlin?

Doug
Guest

(This just in): Exclusive Dirt People Network News Break!

DC Metropolitan Potomac River Sewage Treatment Facility, already running at max capacity with ex Obama regime holdovers, agent provocateurs, infiltrating most regulatory and judicial departments after the dirt peoples BFYTW color revolution in November 2016.
Plant operators stated publicly by phone Tuesday, Quote,”we can not handle additional outflow from President Trump’s Make America Great Again program… the noxious stench of treason is overpowering”, said plant managers, requiring plant workers to wear full environmental suits.
“Swamp draining by rapid evaporation may be only course” according to un-mamed sources.

Dutch
Guest

If the central government had maintained its designed role as a much smaller part of a truly federal government, they could crap all over themselves and DC as much as they want, and it wouldn’t affect the rest of us much. Because DC has insinuated itself into every nook and cranny of everyone’s lives, the burning down of their house puts us all in danger.

Member

This path to dictatorship was paved during the past eight years by the continuous practice of rule by executive decree, never seriously challenged either judicially or legislatively, despite strong popular opposition. As Sulla’s deeds served as precedent for later actions, so too eight years of rule by proclamation serve a precedent for more of the same.

Member

Don’t be unnecessarily stupid, it’s been on its way for decades. It was Bush the lesser who signed the Patriot Act which was written under the Clinton Regime.

El Eff
Guest
Z Man: You end with, “The system will have murdered itself.” John Adams to John Taylor, December 17, 1814, “Remember Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy Yet, that did not commit suicide.” This was but one letter in a series that Adams wrote to Taylor in 1814 and into 1815 on the general subject of governments, forms of. He (Adams) did this to “educate” Taylor and defend his previously written ““Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America (1787)” The whole series is worth a read.
tdurden
Guest

I always had a soft spot for Sulla. At least as far of Roman dictators go. Just think of how cleansing a Sulla style proscription would be for Mordor on the Potomac. One can say lots of things about him, but he never half-did anything.

With all the new shit that has come to light just in the past few weeks I’m beginning to be of the opinion that at some point, someone is going to have to get their Sulla on and march a division into that fever swamp.

John the River
Member

Soon. Some of us aren’t getting any younger.

Drake
Guest
It’s kind of fun to imagine something like Sulla’s proscriptions in today’s world. Simply post a name on a wall (on internet page) and that person is now outside the law. He can be legally killed and all his assets seized – the loot split between the state and the killer. True enemies of the state like the Clintons and Soros would go down quickly. Then, like in Sulla’s time, people will get greedy and carried away and it turn into a chaotic reign of terror. It would be cleansing. It would also truly be the end of the Republic,… Read more »
Member

No, the proscriptions were not fun at all. If you can murder your enemies, then eventually they’ll be in a position to murder you. And to a large extent, the end of the Roman Republic was welcomed by pretty much everybody ca. 27 BC because they were all sick and tired of all the bloodshed.

Drake
Guest

That’s kind of what I was getting at. That sort of power doesn’t remain contained and focused.

John the River
Member

There is an old cartoon, captioned “Democracy 1.0 has halted with a fatal error. Download Democracy 2.0 and reboot?”

Question is, who gets to write Democracy 2.0?

Do we grant Octavian full power or do we chop off the head of the king? Empire or Republic? All I know is that there are a hell of a lot of independent people with guns in this country who are not going to raise their arm and shout “Ave!”.

Member

But after you overthrow the king, what or whim do you set in his place? Had it not been Octavian, then who? Antony? Sometimes the best a former citizen can hope for is a a dictator “who looks and smells like me”

Nori
Guest

Those bags under Comey’s eyes have gotten more pronounced lately. Schiff’s hysterical attack on Nunes yesterday indicates panic. Nunes himself looked like he was trying to pass a kidney stone while briefing the press. Possible a little hobbit slipped under the Mordor-on-the-Potomac gate with 47 hard drives and 600 million pages of truth? Perhaps. Expect a diversion,something like Westminster Bridge,or worse. The Beltway Orcs wear may wear pussyhats,but their entire Kingdom is at stake.

George Orwell
Guest
This post put me in mind of this from William S. Burroughs: “We have a new type of rule now. Not one-man rule, or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures, and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision. They are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of the past. There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers. The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident,… Read more »
Member

Outstanding reference.

Guest
Guest
I’m not sure what you mean in stating that there’s no way to touch Comey, but if you are implying that he can’t be fired that is not correct. The FBI Director serves a 10 year term, but the Director is an Executive Branch Officer and serves at the pleasure of the President. The President can fire the Director with or without cause. Clinton fired FBI Director William Sessions in 1993 without cause. Here’s a good article on the topic by Lyle Denniston: https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/how-independent-is-the-fbis-director/ I wrote in the comments on this blog last fall that Comey is hopelessly corrupt and… Read more »
Member
I think what Z might mean is that while the “Russia” investigation is alive, Comey is untouchable, because if Trump were to fire him the Cult would scream that he fired him because he had the goods on Trump. This would prolong things ad nauseam. McCain and Graham and other fake high-profile Republicans would side with the Cult. Trump has to neutralize Comey, de-ball him if you will. Insinuating that Comey knew about the Intel surveillance of Trump, or that Comey is covering up for leakers would be a start. This would have to be done through intermediaries. Trump can’t… Read more »
Dutch
Guest

Everything Trump does not do is tactical, just as everything he does do is tactical. He is a master at giving people the rope to hang themselves with. I wish him much success in these matters.

Member

Good points James, but the cult will scream regardless. They’ll make stuff up and lie. So might as well take the medicine and start cleaning up. The Dems have the press as their ally and the GOPe have their donor class and globalists. It’s going to be a mess regardless. All Trump has is the people who elected him and his family.

Guest
Guest
The “Russia” investigation will never end. That was kind of the point of my comments in a previous post on Jeff Sessions’ idiotic decision to recuse himself. Sessions completely screwed the Administration. He needs to go, but there’s no way Trump could get a new AG confirmed in this environment. Hell, Trump can’t even get his nominee for Deputy AG out of the Committee. It’s perfectly clear that the Democrats set this trap last fall, and idiot Sessions jumped right into it with both feet. In addition to the Executive Order referenced in Z-man’s post, the Obama Administration issued an… Read more »
alzaebo
Guest

Sessions, another Trey Gowdy or Ted Cruz. Saying all the right things to stay in place and keep providing the cover of investigations that go nowhere.

All of them are dirty.
So dirty that Sulla cannot come soon enough.
And yes, so dirty we’ll have executioners on the lists, being executed by new executioners.

Nori
Guest

Z-man’s “Ghosts of Robespierre” has an eerie prescience today.

Member

Andrew McCabe, Comey’s Deputy is thought to be an even bigger threat.

alzaebo
Guest
Comey has been covering for Hillary since Whitewater. He and Loretta Lynch both served at HSBC bank, after Lynch granted them ‘deferred prosecution’ and a much smaller fine on charges of drug money laundering. (Historical note: HongKong Shanghai Banking Cooperative was founded to handle the post-Opium War profits.) Interestingly, a speedboat called the Lady Michelle was interdicted by the Coast Guard with 4.2 tons of cocaine on it. The captain couldn’t answer his phone in handcuffs. The call was from a “vacationing” Barack Hussein Obama, on his way to Hawaii. Once there, he had a pleasant little visit with a… Read more »
Dutch
Guest
Trying to square some circles here, the bios I have seen of Comey show he never worked in the private sector, always for the government from right out of law school. He was the lead government investigator for the (non)prosecution of the Marc Rich pardon, so there is that. Also, I can’t imagine BO calling the boat captain directly, he would have someone else do it. He, of all people, would know that every phone call is logged and recorded into archives. Just trying to keep the brain cells working over here, rolling things around in my thick skull. Along… Read more »
Guest
Guest

I won’t address the drug dealing aspect of your post, but the first portion is spot on.

Fire Comey now.

Alex
Guest
I am not so sure that the casual comparisons between what Nixon called for and what the Feds may have done leading up to the election (and possibly beyond) stands up to scrutiny. Nixon wanted targeted persons (journalists, political and social movement leaders, etc) wiretapped. What we have here now is EVERYONE is collected on, and if there is interest identified by the Intel Community (IC) in a specific person they dial up the Wayback Machine and review all the previously collected information on that target. This is different than a wiretap. Wiretaps are still in use, and they require… Read more »
Doug
Guest

No doubt about it Zman. All of us with a lick of sense knew already the fix was in.
Here’s Larry Klaymen’s, Freedom Watch, statement of facts to the Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence.
Read it and slow burn. To listen to Nune and Comey and all the bullshit fake Media, Trump was right again.
http://www.freedomwatchusa.org/pdf/170321-Final%20Whistleblower%20Letter.pdf

Dutch
Guest
Interesting how there is so much noise in the system now, big deal things like this are not even on anyone’s radar screen. I have been polling friends this morning, who closely follow this stuff, “who is Dennis Montgomery?”. No one recognizes the name. Now, what Montgomery is telling us is well understood to have been true all along, it doesn’t take Trump’s intuition to figure it out. But the fact of it, and hard evidence of it, that’s new. Notice how Obama is waay out of the country, halfway around the world in a place with no extradition treaty.… Read more »
Dan Kurt
Member

re: “Things are happening, the ground is shifting.” Dutch

Why not give a reference to Denis Montgomery, something solid, and back up that “things are happening.”

Dan Kurt

Doug
Guest

comment image?w=696

Dutch
Guest
There are supposedly multiple sources on the wiretap thing, from what Nunez is saying. Montgomery and Klayman seem to be out front on this stuff, and while they have been pretty flaky, they do represent a specific claim on what is going on. Everything else seems to be hush-hush on Nepolitano’s sources and other iterations of this stuff. While Fox seemed to pull back on Nepolitano’s claims initially, they are now running with claims of soon-to-be-revealed NSA evidence. With the news of the last few hours, I would argue that things continue to shift. An interesting possibility is that there… Read more »
Doug
Guest
Been thinking the same as you Dutch. The law of unintended consequences begins to take over at some point. Assange is releasing another batch of whistle blower supplied US intelligence documents tomorrow. Did you read the PDF? 45 hard drives and 600,000 documents? It reads like Oklahoma City, Waco, Fast & Furious, Benghazi, Ruby Ridge, Burns, Bundy Ranch, Panama money laundering, so many missing or dead people, there’s a thread thru all of them. The same actors show up repeatedly, from Holder to HRC, as main figures behind the window dressing. And there’s levels within levels too. I always figured… Read more »
Member
Reading the history books one notes that every crisis that is met by an increase in centralization of power is lauded by the academic historian as the proper solution to the problem at hand, despite the fact that conditions inevitably worsen and another “dark age” is entered into, whereupon another flowering of civilization takes place during which the inevitable descent into centralization is repeated. One of the chief mechanisms enabling this centralization of power is war, whether internal or external. It has become obvious that those who love centralized power have come to realize this and so we see any… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest
Doc; Yes, we very much need to avoid war, particularly domestically. Read between the lines of the various Sulla bio sketches. It’s a confusing whirl of armies and battles with mass casualties. Translate those events to our time. So when you see X ‘raises a new army’ you should translate that as, ‘A roving press gang just grabbed your son and there’s a very good chance you won’t ever see him again’, all to feed some remote figure’s political ambition. Likewise when you see ‘Y’s new legions marched to a new place to confront X’s legions’, you should translate this… Read more »
Dutch
Guest

All of which supports Uncle Remus’ constantly reiterated recommendation at the Woodpile Report: “Stay away from crowds”.

alzaebo
Guest

So then a recent example would be John Negroponte’s specialty, paramilitary death squads in Latin America and Iraq.

Who prevailed? Who is still in a government career, who is still in business making money?
Might they provide a useful example of how things will shake out?

Member
I was thinking along these lines while reading Z’s post. I would add the part where, having defeated all rivals and consolidated control over the legions, ruler X then dispatches the legions to the frontiers to confront the [barbarians/Parthians/tributary king], who having sensed opportunity during the time of troubles have invaded or rebelled. There will be another levy of young men and a special tax before they depart. Lather, rinse, and repeat for the next four centuries. Your scenario should be what’s keeping Putin and Hu awake at night. They and their successors would not last long in a world… Read more »
Giovanni Dannato
Guest
I think you mean Octavian defeated Antony at Actium. The problem with a republic is all the safety rails designed to keep one person or group from getting too much power also make it hard to respond effectively to crisis situations. Marius got his big exceptions to the rules so he could go fight German barbarian armies invading Italy. Marius then changed the system so that soldiers owed their fortunes and therefore their loyalties to generals. Sulla made it big when he took on Mithridates of Pontus after his revolt and huge massacre of Roman citizens. As with Marius his… Read more »
Dutch
Guest

My limited understanding of things tells me that the whole “executive order” thing was a way for the President to seize the reins in times of national emergency. Instead EOs are used to direct and facilitate the daily doings of the bureaucratic class. Perhaps those who know more can school me on this idea.

Doug
Guest
I think you have to take it in a holistic perspective. It’s not the executive order, or judicial legislating, regulatory fiat, or the system is now illegitimate. I think it is because the US Constitution has worked exactly how it was crafted. It is an instrument of administrative centralism, or administrative tyranny, pick either, they are inseparable in essence. It never stopped or held in check, power. It has not once created an erg of liberty. We have as dirt people have never enjoyed a republican form of government. I honestly believe if us dirt people were not armed as… Read more »
Severian
Guest
This is why Trump is such fun – at least now we have measurable benchmarks for things. E.g. if Comey doesn’t do a real stretch in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison, it’s pretty much over for the rule of law. E.g. if “shocking personal revelations” start coming out about the judges who have stalled Trump’s exec orders, we’ll know politicized spying is the new bipartisan norm. E.g. failing that, those judges or other potential troublemakers find themselves having mysterious boating accidents, firearms mishaps, car accidents…. Should be a hoot. I personally love Vince Foster conspiracy theories, and those sound pretty tame right… Read more »
Dutch
Guest

If these people were only sent home, reduced to banging their highchair trays in the pages of the NYT and WP, that would be good enough for me. The trouble with using their tactics against them, is that those tactics should probably not be in play at all. We are all worse off for them.

On the other hand, it may take a bit of such work to break the back of all this. Lesser of evils and all. Should be an entertaining trip, in a “driving by the car crash” sort of way.

Doug
Guest
Bet you a right arm Dutch, there are a few key people, that you take out of the equation, the entire deep state collapses. Figuring out who, is what I’ll bet Trump and Bannon are doing. They are bird dogging these clowns, like Comey, and Nune. Trump is letting out the rope, they put the noose around their necks, they are dirty D.I.R.T.Y., they are caught up in a web of lies they created. Somebody is going to crack, make an existential mistake, decide like the rats they are, to sing to save their arse. They know the jug is… Read more »
Anonymous White Male
Guest

Unfortunately, nothing will change. The political process, along with the media conspiracy, will accomplish nothing. Trump has already started betraying his base (Obamacare, backing off on immigration, not attacking judges and agencies when he should, etc.) No, the only route left is revolution. Wasting time with anything less than that is only prolonging the inevitable. I don’t believe the West has the balls to do it unless all their toys are taken from them. If the grid goes down and a major attack takes place, all bets are off.

Denny
Guest

Actually it was Marius who was the first to become consul twice. In fact he was consul 6 times.

Clinton’s crimes were far worse than Nixon’s but Dimocrats protect their own and the people didn’t care because the economy was doing great. Both Clintons should be in jail. In a sane world they would. I fear our republic is doomed.

Giovanni Dannato
Guest

Yep, there was a term limit on consulships that they broke with Marius over and over again as crises arose they needed dealt with quickly.
Marius also consolidated the power of the military so he could get around bureaucrats and get done what he needed to. The price, though, was undermining the system.

Marius opened the wound, Sulla made the wound fatal, Caesar dealt the killing blow.

Denny
Guest

BTW, a good series on the end of the Roman Republic as historical fiction is Colleen McCullough’s series which starts with The First Man in Rome.

Tax Slave
Guest

Time for Trump to order scaffolding and gallows to be erected on the National Mall, complete with hemp rope and functioning traps. No announcement, no response to media bellyaching and Leftist Democrat howling. Just do it and see what follows.

originalguest
Guest

That’s gold Jerry! GOLD! #wizdom

Jack Dobson
Guest
The key is to keep the political class frightened and holed up in Washington. Given the abject terror Trump has caused, one only can imagine how terrified they will be once the personal threat level gets knocked up a notch or two. The United States military in the end will be like its former Soviet counterpart and refuse to fire on its own people. Those who issue such an order, if they are stupid enough to do so, will die in short order. In the meantime, Nunes either can refer Comey for prosecution or not. USAG Sessions can seek a… Read more »
Chris Northern
Guest

Agree the points made, though if my memory serves Marius was Consul seven times before Sulla, breaking the ‘ten year gap’ rule by adhering to the letter rather than spirit of the law. I think Marius & Sulla may have been senior and junior Consul at the last? Sorry if I seem pedantic but slight inaccuracies damage the strength of your argument, and it is a strong and valid argument.

Harry Baldwin
Guest
In July 2016, Trump joked that the Russians had probably already hacked Hillary’s unsecured email server. He added, “Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by the press.” This was obviously a wisecrack, but Hillary and the media pretended to take it literally and went ballistic over it, accusing Trump of inviting the Russians to hack Hillary’s emails (which would have been impossible since the server had already been seized by the FBI). This accusation became a regular talking point. At… Read more »
Anonymous Guest
Guest
It might be easier to drain the swamp than you think. As head of the executive branch, Trump has the authority to reshape the Departments. Since he’s already downsizing some of these Departments, what he needs to do next is announce a reduction-in-force (RIF) of the federal civilian work force. In past RIFs, managers went through an agonizing process to identify those “less qualified” for retention — a difficult task, given that everyone gets firewalled “outstanding” performance ratings. Except in this case, Trump announces that he’s placing a premium on experienced workers. Therefore, everyone hired in the last few years… Read more »
Member

Just a minor nitpick: there was nothing new in multiple consulships, two and even three consulships was achieved in the second century BC by respectable men. Marius’ seven consecutive consulships was an innovation, but it was arguably his reform of the army that caused more trouble, as the Roman army from then on became loyal to and dependent on their general. Sulla benefited from this, as did Caesar.
Anyway, just wanted to get the record straight. ’tis a minor point, but one, I think, well worth making.

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[…] Reprinted from The Z-Man Blog. […]

Ron
Guest
One of the hazards a huge bureaucratic state faces is conflict among its alphabet soup agencies. Hitler’s government is an example of a bureaucratic polyarchy where each organization competed with one another for resources and power. Hitler benefited from this, as it kept them busy with each other instead of trying to overthrow him. Inter-agency feuds such as Admiral Wilhelm Franz Canaris, chief of the Abwehr hindered the various intel agencies from working together and polling their resources to find out when and where D-Day would occur. In the USSR, during Khrushchev reign the polyarchy was divided evenly between the… Read more »
Member

The US federal government has 17 intelligence agencies… that are known to us. Does anyone else think that’s excessive? Does anyone else think that’s a recipe for corruption?

Member

Yes! 15 too many Intel agencies, imo.
This is being suppressed in MSM, has been on Fox Business twice but “Regular” Fox plays ignorant of it.
Have you heard of this? (pdf)
http://www.freedomwatchusa.org/pdf/170321-Final%20Whistleblower%20Letter.pdf

RW
Guest
Rome makes a very poor example of “an empire that destroyed itself.” Especially if you want to use the rise of Octavius / Augustus and the implementation of the Imperial system as the point of no return. Because Rome didn’t fall in in 49 BC when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, nor during the reign of Augustus as Emperor (27 BC to 14 AD). In fact it was just getting started in 14 AD. Most standard histories give the date of 476 as the Fall of Rome. It’s the date that ends Volume 3 of Gibbons Decline and Fall, but… Read more »
JohnC
Guest

Hey thezman, why is it that historians often blame Julius Caesar for the downfall of the Republic and not Sulla or Marius? It would be like blaming Trump on the downfall of the US dollar or the National Debt would it not?

wpDiscuz