Friday, September 30, 2011

America's Cold Civil War 2 (Or the Return of Catiline)

Motivational Poster Maker

Sequels suck.

Unless you count Empire Strikes back, G-dfather 2 and the Dark Knight

Among the partisans, something is going on.  I noted it back on the Crack on the Washington Monument post, I see it even more as we get closer to Election 2012.

Cicero Denounces Catiline by Cesare Maccari
It seems the Democrats and their Media Praetorian Guards are playing the role of Catiline, ready to destroy the Republic if their Champion does not win.

Who is Catiline and what was his role in the Roman Republic?

And his conspiracy?

Depending on such accomplices and adherents, and knowing that the load of debt was everywhere great, and that the veterans of Sylla, having spent their money too liberally, and remembering their spoils and former victory, were longing for a civil war, Catiline formed the design of overthrowing the government. There was no army in Italy; Pompey was fighting in a distant part of the world; he himself had great hopes of obtaining the consulship; the senate was wholly off its guard; everything was quiet and tranquil, and all these circumstances were exceedingly favorable for Catiline. 


But most of the young men, and especially the sons of the nobility, favored the schemes of Catiline; they who had abundant means of living at ease, either splendidly or voluptuously, preferred uncertainties to certainties, war to peace. There were some, also, at that time, who believed that Marcus Licinius Crassus was not unacquainted with the conspiracy; because Cneius Pompey, whom he hated, was at the head of a large army, and he was willing that the power of anyone whomsoever should raise itself against Pompey’s influence; trusting, at the same time, that if the plot should succeed, he would easily place himself at the head of the conspirators. 

Catiline and Autronius, having concerted measures with this Piso, prepared to assassinate the consuls, Lucius Cotta and Lucius Torquatus, in the Capitol, on the first of February, when they, having seized on the fasces, were to send Piso with an army to take possession of the two Spains. But their design being discovered, they postponed the assassination to the fifth of February; when they meditated the destruction, not of the consuls only, but of most of the senate. And had not Catiline, who was in front of the senate-house, been too hasty to give the signal to his associates, there would that day have been perpetrated the most atrocious outrage since the city of Rome was founded. But as the armed conspirators had not yet assembled in sufficient numbers, the want of force frustrated the design.


Of the first conspiracy enough has been said. 
-- Sallust, the Conspiracy of Catiline, Chapter 16 -19 

Let's start with President Obama's Praetorian Guard, Fareed Zakaria:

So, to defend President Obama and the Democrats, the cry went forth on June 20th, 2011: Change the Rules.

To keep going with the same trend (Change the Rules so Democrats can win!!!), we now have Peter Orzag, President Obama's  former OMB Chair (and shares the same birthday with yours truly by two years. Unlike him, I did not go to private school) wrote this:
"What we need, then, are ways around our politicians. The first would be to expand automatic stabilizers—those tax and spending provisions that automatically expand when the economy weakens, thereby cushioning the blow, and automatically contract as the economy recovers, thereby helping to reduce the deficit. A progressive tax code is one such automatic stabilizer ...

-- Peter Orzag, The New Republic, "Too Much of a Good Thing,"

Read the words I highlighted.  Just because President Obama is losing does not mean the American Polity is.

And one final shot in the Coming Cold War from Cataline sympathisers:

The comment — which came during a discussion of the economy — perked more than a few ears. It’s unclear whether Perdue, a Democrat, is serious — but her tone was level and she asked others to support her on the idea.

Please read those bolded words.  How different are these Democrats from the words of Catiline on the verge of his second conspiracy?


Will you not, then awake to action? Behold that liberty, that liberty for which you have so often wished, with wealth, honor, and glory, are set before your eves. All these prizes fortune offers to the victorious. Let the enterprise itself, then, let the opportunity, let your poverty, your dangers, and the glorious spoils of war, animate you far more than my words. Use me either as your leader or your fellow-soldier; neither my heart nor my hand shall be wanting to you. These objects I hope to effect, in concert with you, in the character of consul; unless, indeed, my expectation deceives me, and you prefer to be slaves rather than masters-- Sallust, Conspiracy of Catiline, Chapter 20

How different was Catiline from the Occupy Wall Street mobs?  Not very.

And here is Cicero's words, standing up for the Republic, speaking to the people of Rome:

Wherefore, O citizens, since a supplication has been decreed at all the altars, celebrate those days with your wives and children; for many just and deserved honours have been often paid to the immortal gods, but juster ones never. For you have been snatched from a most cruel and miserable destruction, and you have been snatched from it without slaughter, without bloodshed, without an army, without a battle. You have conquered in the garb of peace, with me in the garb of peace for your only general and commander. 

[24] Remember, O citizens, all civil dissensions, and not only those which you have heard of but these also which you yourselves remember and have seen. Lucius Sulla crushed Publius Sulpicius5; he drove from the city Caius Marius the guardian of this city; and of many other brave men some he drove from the city, and some he murdered. Cnaeus Octavius the consul drove his colleague by force of arms out of the city; all this place was crowded with heaps of carcasses and flowed with the blood of citizens; afterwards Cinna and Marius got the upper hand; and then most illustrious men were put to death, and the spirits of the state were extinguished. Afterwards Sulla avenged the cruelty of this victory; it is needless to say with what a diminution of the citizens and with what disasters to the republic Marcus Lepidus disagreed with that most eminent and brave man Quintus, Catulus. His death did not cause as much grief to the republic as that of the others

[25]And these dissensions, O Romans, were such as concerned not the destruction of the republic, but only a change in the constitution. They did not wish that there should be no republic, but that they themselves should be the chief men in that which existed; nor did they desire that the city should be burnt, but that they themselves should flourish in it. And yet all those dissensions, none of which aimed at the destruction of the republic, were such that they were to be terminated not by a reconciliation and concord, but only by internecine war among the citizens. But in this war alone, the greatest and most cruel in the memory of man,—a war such as even the countries of the barbarians have never waged with their own tribes,—a war in which this law was laid down by Lentulus, and Catiline, and Cassius and Cethegus that every one, who could live in safety as long as the city remained in safety, should be considered as an enemy, in this war I have so managed matters, O Romans that you should all be preserved in safety; and though your enemies had thought that only such a number of the citizens would be left as had held out against an interminable massacre and only so much of the city as the flames could not devour, I have preserved both the city and the citizens unhurt and undiminished. 

(Cicero's Third Oration against Catiline)

Can the Democrats in their hatred against President Bush, former Governor Palin or any of the Wisconsin Protests say the "city and the citizens [are] unhurt and undiminished," 

That's why this post is called the Cold Civil War 2 -- the slings and arrows of attacks have gone in one direction for so long (after Elections, and always needing an Emmanuel Goldstein) from Left to Right, that many people are shocked that the Blogosphere and new partisans of the Right are standing up.

Here is how the Left looks upon the Right: (the missiles are pointing in that direction. Hmmm)

USSR fighting the West
Conservatives and Republicans have dealt with losses (close and otherwise) by continuing forward.  Democrats lose, and they want to change the rules.  Don't believe me?

The Republicans were the Minority in the House for 40 years (and the Presidency from FDR until Ike) -- even then, no Republican ever thought of changing the Rules.

My question: Why are the Democrats taking their cues from Catiline?

UPDATE 8:30PM PST: Welcome Insty Readers! Enjoy the Valley and hit the Tip Jar!  Thanks for visiting!


  1. Anonymous9:18 PM PDT

    "A Republic, if you can keep it!"

  2. Anonymous10:13 PM PDT

    All very well and good....but where is OUR "cicero"?

    Robbins Mitchell

  3. Anonymous12:15 AM PDT

    TO: JSF, et al.
    RE: Well....

    ....Democrats don't seem to have changed their ways in the last century and a half.

    One hundred fifty years ago, last April, they tried to destroy the Republic when they lost the election of 1860: Abraham Lincoln—a Republican—being elected to the presidency.

    They were afraid they'd lose control of their slave population.

    Now they appear to be on the verge of doing the same sort of childishness. Can't have their own way, so they'll try to overthrow the Constitution instead.

    We've had three indications of that in the last week: Perdue on suspending the Constitution, Orszag on how bad democracy is and now Van Jones calling for rioting in the streets, a la an American Fall similar to the recent Arab Spring.

    As someone once put it....

    Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is 'enemy action'.


    [Gird up you loins....]

  4. Anonymous5:59 AM PDT

    When I took Latin in high school, we translated this text. Unless there has been a new Latin course (they come along every 300 years or so), you can't take three years of Latin without reading Sallust and Cicero.

    For those asking [spoiler alert], in the longer run Cicero's side lost. Cicero was killed. The Senate became a rubber-stamp figurehead. Wealth continued to accumulate, and men continued to decay.

  5. Anon @5:59Am -- Sulla and other Romans has been mentioned in the Valley. Check out these posts here: -- crossing of Rubicon -- the mobs of Wisconsin and Clodius.

  6. And finally, Anon @5:59 AM -- the (English) quotes were taken from a link. Click them and you'll see.

    And as long as the Democrats propose to to overturn the Republic when they lose, the American polity is walking down a dangerous path, unless the democrats choose to use 1984 as a warning, not a guidebook.


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