"Sed fortuna, quae plurimum potest cum in reliquis rebus tum praecipue in bello, parvis momentis magnas rerum commutationes efficit; ut tum accidit."

C. Iulius Caesar - Commentarii de Bello Civili Bk III.68

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Asinutaur Alliance - ass of Nova Roma

It has become apparent that this year in Nova Roma will be significantly different. In some of the previous years consuls and praetors just stumbled into one “crisis” after another. Sometimes they could have done nothing to avoid it, though it has to be said the number of these occasions were few and far between. Mostly they ended up in a bog of their own making due to a singular inability to plan and follow a strategy.

Knowing how many times the Constitution had proved to be the undoing of many a magistrate, it is still a source of amazement that a few of them still blundered wildly on, seemingly with not a care in the world in defiance of all warnings, only to appear utterly stupefied, aghast, hurt and offended when the deluge of criticism rained upon their heads. Such was the way of Nova Roman in the past, our very own mos maiorum of incompetence.

Now however we see something different, in the form of deliberate and ignorant abandonment of any pretense at acting in the interests of Nova Roma, which as a community necessarily encompasses those whose views magistrates are in conflict with.

Our senior magistrates have embarked on a course of legalized persecution and proscription that is rash, ill considered, unconstitutional, illegal, unnecessary, vindictive and partisan. It is also asinine.

This time they have actually planned the route they have taken. They cannot even claim to have wandered off the path into the deep dark forest of unconstitutionality. They mapped the route and set off, with all the arrogance of a Quinctilius Varus.

Knowing that the political trials of Lucius Equitius Cincinnatus Augur would be unpopular and disregarding the likely opposition as the irrelevant dying gasps of their old opponents, this gaggle of political geniuses pressed on. The “trials” resembled a farce, not much above the level of a Punch and Judy show.

The blatant bias and outrageous conduct of the Praetor, who deserves so little mention that I shall simply refer to him as Praetor Nemo, was unrestrained and unashamedly arrogant. Nemo though, much like his cinema namesake, is a little fish in a small tank. His relevance is transitory and this political non-entity whose only crowning glory was the secession of his own province right under his nose, will fade away to become probably Consul and Censor in due course, for every good dog that has performed well deserves a bone.

The level of judgment exercised in these series of shabby events is no greater than in the past. The difference lies in the level of arrogance, law breaking, political incompetence, and the mens rea of this latest political faction to break upon the Nova Roman stage of politics, the Asinutaur Alliance.

The Asinutaur has the temperament of a donkey and the frailness and arrogance of a human, and has survived only this long by wildly kicking its political hind legs out at any target. It doggedly has deliberately trotted along this path of political trials, trampling all before it. It may think it is a stallion, but it is seen for what it is. Doggedly stupid, mulish and short sighted to boot.

The Asinutaur cannot walk politically with a natural flowing motion. It lurches, gets its legs crossed, stumbles and falls. It is just a raddled pantomime donkey suit containing the same old collection of malcontents, failures and vindictive characters, with a few new recruits for company, who have been seduced to climb inside.

It was bad enough when Nova Roman magistrates did not think and blundered into the quicksand. It is far worse now when this latest gaggle does think, for they not only see the quicksand and know that it is quicksand, but they still forge on regardless. They seem gripped by some messianic conviction that they won’t be sucked in, no doubt because they intend to kick a number of people into the pit and step over their bodies to safety.

The Asinutaur Alliance may feel that it has achieved its objective, but the swathe of damage that it has caused in pursuit of vindictive revenge has not been lost on many who were no friend to Cincinnatus and that number is growing.