November 21, 2014

Obama Thinks He's in Rome

One of Rome's most famous orators, M. Tullis Cicero, delivered a speech against Lucius Sergius Catilina a mere 2,078 years ago - on November 8, 64 BC.

Yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz resurrected Cicero's speech.
From Breitbart's Big Government:
On the floor of the Senate this morning, Sen. Ted Cruz read aloud the text of Cicero’s First Oration Against Catiline, subbing in President Obama’s name in the context.

“When, President Obama, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end to that unbridled audacity of yours swaggering about as it does now?” Cruz asked.

Cruz continued reading the Cicero selection, citing Obama for dictating “by his pen and his phone.”
“He won't even come into the Senate,” Cruz continued. “He will not take part in the public deliberations. He ignores every individual among us.”
I had to memorize the first section of this oration in my Latin III class in high school. I still remember (kinda) the first few sentences in Latin.

Catiline was a corrupt politician from a wealthy noble Roman family. Considered by his contemporaries as immoral and ruthless, he murdered his own brother and was suspected of killing his wife and son. Due to his family's powerful political connections, he enjoyed several government positions and in 67 BC was made the propraetor (governor) of Africa.

In 66 BC he returned to Rome and was prohibited from being considered for the consulship because of his ongoing prosecution for corrupt government practices in Africa.

Standing trial in 65 BC, Catiline escaped judgement by bribing the judges and prosecutor. He again ran for consul in 64 BC (in the Roman Republic, there was no higher political office than that of consul; it was a one year term - two were elected every year).

M. Tullius Cicero was one of seven candidates for consul that year. This, his first oration against Catiline, was an indictment of Catiline's corruption and a warning to the Roman Senate of the danger to the State posed by this despicable man.

What makes Cruz's use of this Oration so interesting is that Cicero sincerely believed that Catiline was a serious threat to the Roman Constitution. And indeed he was. Catiline and his accomplice, Antonius, conspired to overthrow the Roman Republic by bribes and mob violence not once, but twice.

As a high school student I never appreciated the significance of Cicero's concern for Rome. Memorizing his words was an unwelcome assignment.

In high school I never appreciated how men of ill intent could pose such a clear and present danger to life and liberty. I do now. And so does Sen. Ted Cruz.

More here.

"Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?"

As Cicero sayeth:
When, O Catiline, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end of that unbridled audacity of yours, swaggering about as it does now?Do not the nightly guards placed on the Palatine Hill—do not the watches posted throughout the city—does not the alarm of the people, and the union of all good men—does not the precaution taken of assembling the senate in this most defensible place—do not the looks and countenances of this venerable body here present, have any effect upon you? Do you not feel that your plans are detected? Do you not see that your conspiracy is already arrested and rendered powerless by the knowledge which every one here possesses of it? What is there that you did last night, what the night before— where is it that you were—who was there that you summoned to meet you—what design was there which was adopted by you, with which you think that any one of us is unacquainted?

Shame on the age and on its principles! The senate is aware of these things; the consul sees them; and yet this man lives. Lives! aye, he comes even into the senate. He takes a part in the public deliberations; he is watching and marking down and checking off for slaughter every individual among us. And we, gallant men that we are, think that we are doing our duty to the republic if we keep out of the way of his frenzied attacks.

You ought, O Catiline, long ago to have been led to execution by command of the consul. That destruction which you have been long plotting against us ought to have already fallen on your own head.

The rest of the oration here.


WoFat said...

obama would look cute in a robe.

LL said...

WoFat, he wore those Muslim bedsheet things when he was a kid. A lot of photos of that on the net.

Sig, I'm tired of Obama.

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

History does repeat itself.

Fredd said...

I'm deathly sick of Obama, too.

Much like "Clinton-fatigue," only worse. Much worse.

sig94 said...

Two. More. Years.

Kid said...

Maybe he'll demand sex from all the senators wives by then.