I was inspired to write this by The Creepy Similarities Between George W. Bush and Vlad the Impaler, by Marc McDonald. This piece of writing made some interesting points, but there's a fundamental problem with this comparison: although Vlad the Impaler had many serious faults as a human being, nobody ever accused him of being a coward.

It says elsewhere in this blog that George W. Bush is the Caligula of the 21st century. I didn't come up with this idea on my own; I got it from the Goddess of Talk Radio, Randi Rhodes. Randi made this accusation while discussing the subject of torture. The similarities go a lot further, and here's the list I came up with. (Disclaimer: I'm not a hard-core student of ancient Roman history; most of the information presented here about Caligula came from Wikipedia.)

Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (a.k.a. Caligula)

George W. Bush

Believed that he was a god.

Convinced the Religious Right that he would represent their interests, an even greater stretch.

Tried to make his horse, Incitatus, a consul.

Appointed Michael Brown, Judges and Stewards Commissioner of the Arabian Horse Association, as Director of FEMA.

Ordered arbitrary arrests and confinement.

Suspended habeas corpus.

Sent troops on illogical military exercises.

Sent troops on illogical military exercises.

Used mercenaries for foreign wars as well as personal bodyguards.

Used mercenaries for foreign wars.

Exhausted the treasury with political payments for support, generosity and extravagance.

Increased the national debt by three trillion dollars.

An eager witness of torture and executions.

Violated international treaties on torture, approved executions of juvenile offenders and mentally retarded people.

Made his palace into a brothel, committed incest with and prostituted his sisters.

Barney Frank, Mark Foley, Larry Craig...

Randi Rhodes' Bush/Caligula comparison was made on her program on Nov. 15, 2005. If you can send me a transcript or a link to a recording of this program, I will be very grateful.