The following was originally posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 at 11:26 PM.
The Roman Analog of Dubya
Responding to an attack by barbarians nobody had even heard of before, professionalizing previously amateur government services, changing a foreign policy based on reacting to preceived threats to one based on preventive war, launching numerous initiatives not all of which make sense, using dubious interpretations of election laws, …
In other words, it's Marius.
Of course, in the days of Marius, Rome could flatten any other nation within reach with a small fraction of its might.
There was even a revolt by Rome's allies, which was stopped by giving in on a few token issues.
I suppose this means it will be five hundred years before Washington is sacked … so things could be worse.