Over at Sullivan’s blog, they are asking when the moment was that we realized we were a decadent Imperial Rome. Most of them are saying the Impeachment, which is insane. Rome did not decline because its people stopped tolerating lying, perjury, obstruction of justice and its leaders assuming they were above the law. Moreover, their points strike a stunning note of historical ignorance. Presidents have been mocked, jeered and pilloried far worse than Clinton ever was. Check out Cracked on this one — yes, a fucking humor website is more historically up-to-date than the typical Democrat.
It’s true that things got very badly partisan after the impeachment and we have two parties that have, apparently, no interest in governing. But that’s been a long time in coming. And I would say the 2000 election played as great a role, if not greater. It’s easy to forget — after all, it was almost a decade ago — that the Democrats spent several years as the party of obstruction and bullshit.
If you want to mark a beginning of an Imperial era, you might go to Woodrow Wilson’s loathsome presidency or maybe FDR. Blaming impeachment is simply blaming Republicans. And it’s not Republicans who have gone more than two years without proposing a budget. It’s not Republicans who stuck their head in the sand on Social Security. It’s not Republicans who are already undermining the cost controls in Obamacare.
As for comparisons to Rome, I have read Gibbon. And my opinion is that the reason Rome fell is because its leaders and its people stopped defending it. Considering that we’re currently in three wars, I don’t think that’s our problem just yet.