The I, Claudius Theory of Modern Presidents.
It came about because I love reading Ancient Roman History (especially between the Republic and the Empire) and since I always find parallels to modern times (see the Catiline Post for example), here is one of the early hits.
Now, read on how I decided which of the Julio-Claudian's each president stood for and why. Let's time travel back to 2007:
"If you follow history, read... I, Claudius (the book or the miniseries). During this time, I re-read Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars to back up my theory of modern Presidents as representatives of the Julio-Claudian's. Here is the theory:
"The Augustus: Augustan Presidents deal with civil strife, internal threats and defer the limits of the office as Augustus limited the Empire. They are controversial in their time because they change the structure of Government in some way (i.e. Augustus had his Triumvirates, then Empire). Augustans limit outside attacks to maintain the Republic.
"The Tiberians: Tiberian Presidents maintain the Republic from their successors, yet go to war with the Political class. Tiberius almost allowed a coup by his Chief of Staff, Sejanus and allowed himself to fall into a decadent atmosphere on his island villa on Capri. The general public loves a Tiberius, but the political class knows (or is harmed) by his sins.
"The Caligula: Caligula seemed like a relief for the political class after Tiberius, they were wrong. Caligula cared about neither Empire or civility. Where Tiberius' sin was to take from the political class by force, Caligula by madness. The public is also destroyed by a Caligula's madness. There have been no Caligula Presidents since FDR.
"The Claudians: Literary and literate. Claudius expanded the Empire to Britain and kept the finances flush. A Claudian President re-builds the Republic after internal troubles and expands into the literary sphere as well. The Political Class looks down upon them as "not being good enough," These are the theoreticians of Presidents. Woodrow Wilson was one.
"The Nero: Neros enjoy the stage. If their way is not accomplished, then hell literally breaks loose. The Republic teeters from Nero Presidents.
"Now from FDR, here is how I see the theory play out:
Truman -- Claudian
Eisenhower -- Augustan
Kennedy -- Tiberian
Johnson -- Claudian
Nixon -- Claudian
Ford -- Augustan
Carter -- Nero
Reagan -- Augustan
Bush I -- Augustan
Clinton -- Tiberian
Bush II -- Claudian"
Time to look at the Reign of Obama and compare him to the above. Ready?
President Obama is not an Augustan.
Why? Civil strife has grown be it from the Occupy folks or the Cry Wolf folks. Either way, a long hot summer is upon us in this Fourth year of the Obama Reign.
President Obama is not a Tiberian
Why? He does not go to war with the Political class -- he attacks any supporters of his opponents. Or allows his partisans to attack the families of his opponents (Palin, anyone?). He is not decadent in the sense of Tiberius' Capri, but keep reading.
There are no Caligula Presidents since FDR. (No Democratic Blogger can say that)
President Obama is not a Claudian.
Why? He has shut down the space frontier and the fiscal house of the USA is not in order. For all his blame of his predecessor, President Obama was hired to fix the problem, not blame anyone. Saying "It could have been worse," does not help unless some Media figure has a window into Alternate worlds. I don't see any, do you?
President Obama is a Nero.
He parties every Wednesday while the economy of the US (and Europe) fail. Maybe the GSA and Secret Service followed the President's lead.
Does he come up with ideas? No, he sets up an "Enemy of the State," (be it the Koch brothers, Grover Norquist or whomever) and blames them Even with a full on supermajority Democratic Congress to help him, Democrats have not passed a budget since 2008. Or fixed the Unemployment rate.
The media are his Praetorians (The White House Correspondent Dinner is supposed to make fun of Presidents not their opponents) so whatever pain is going on in the hinterlands, he does not care. He is setting mobs to do his dirty work in the streets.
The question remains, how high will the fires rise this summer?
My question: Am I wrong with the comparison? Why or why not?
UPDATE 2:00PM PST: Thank you DaTechGuy for the link!