President Bush's June 29th speech at Fort Bragg, North Carolina reminded me of how the general population of Rome suffered through thirteen years of Caesar Claudius' reign; a reign which amounted to nothing less than a traveling freak show.
Every speech from President Bush seems to confirm his relationship to Claudius by means of Empirical Roman atavism.
Claudius was not only thought a fool but "instead of keeping quiet about his stupidity, Claudius explained in a number of short speeches, that it had been a mere mask assumed for the benefit of Gaius (Caligula), and that he owed both life and throne to it." No one, however, believed him and soon a book was published entitled Fools' Rise to Power; the thesis being that no one would act the fool unless he was a fool already.
Claudius had ascended the Roman throne following one of history's greatest maniacs. Officially, Caligula's name was Gaius and he reigned from 37 AD until 41 AD. Reading the adventures of Caligula is quite accurately a trip into depths of megalomania. Among the titles he bestowed upon himself were "Pious," "Son of the Camp," "Father of the Army," along with "Best and Greatest of Caesars." He also "insisted on being treated as a god - sending for the most revered or artistically famous statues of the Greek deities (including that of Jupiter at Olympia), and having their heads replaced by his own."