Well, he won't have his head chopped off, but the parallels are interesting. A reader writes:
Of course, historical analogies can be very treacherous and they never hold at every point. That said, like you and Horton I have been struck by the many resemblances between George W. Bush and Charles I. Neither man was stupid in the ordinary sense of the word, but neither had the intellectual capacity required by the position in which fate placed him. Both were genuinely devoted to, and determined to protect, their respective countries and both inflicted frightful harm on the principles that made their countries worthy of that devotion. Both were menaced by actual danger from malevolent enemies. Both had wise advisers whom they ignored or marginalized. Both clung doggedly to policies that everyone else could see had failed. And neither was capable of even the mildest self-criticism. "It would be unjust to deny," says Macaulay,
"that Charles had some of the qualities of a good and even of a great prince ... Faithlessness was the cause of his disasters, and is the chief stain on his memory. He was, in truth, impelled by an incurable propensity to dark and crooked ways. It may seem strange that his conscience, which, on occasions of little moment, was sufficiently sensitive, should never have reproached him with this great vice. But there is reason to believe that he was perfidious, not only from constitution and from habit, but also on principle. He seems to have learned from the theologians he most esteemed ... that he could not, even if he would, divest himself of his despotic authority; and that, in every promise which he made, there was an implied reservation that such promise might be broken in case of necessity, and that of the necessity he was the sole judge."
Add "lawyers" to "theologians" and much of what we have seen over the past six years is right there - signing statements, illegal surveillance, dismissal of the insufficiently servile, the rule of law displaced by his naked will, and all of this accompanied by the willingness to tar those opposed to his designs as traitors. And unlike England in the 1640's, we have no Hampdens and Pyms in our parliament.
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