The word tsar (or, alternately, czar) comes from the Latin, Caesar, pronounced KYE-zar. So do the words kaiser (German, etc.), qaysar (Persian), kayser or sezar (Turkish), and even keiser (Norwegian). In fact, several dozen languages have words that derive directly from Caesar.
In all those languages, the word signifies a guy who runs the show, no questions asked (emphasis on guy).
Caesar, of course was the family name — or cognomen — of Gaius Julius Caesar (GUY-ooss YOO-lee-oos KYE-zar) who famously grabbed the reigns of ancient Rome in October, 49BCE, following a traumatic civil war. Prior to his ascension to Dictator (yep, that was his official title) Rome was a republic. From then on, an empire ruled by a strongman. A little more than a century later, the emperors Octavian and his stepson and successor Tiberius adopted the cognomen as a title. The Roman Senate — who did what they were told — gave them their blessings, sweetening the pot by adding the title Augustus (his majesty).
So much for that republic. The average Roman, say in the year 50BCE, just before the civil war commenced, would never have guessed it could happen.
Pollyanna, In Tears
Sometimes, when I want to groove on some optimism, I foresee the Justice Dept.’s special counsel, Robert Mueller, getting so close to President Gag’s secret finances that our current tsar will find it necessary to quit.
See, I figure Li’l Duce never really wanted the job anyway, considering it’s real work, after all. His run, I’ve always surmised, was the goal all along, you know, with TV news doing daily updates on him and cheering crowds and polls that showed a significant gang of Americans loving him to pieces. That was all he wanted. The actual work of the presidency was of no interest to him whatsoever. Next thing he knew, he was winning the nomination and then, by technicality, the election itself. Now he’d actually have to roll up his sleeves. Bad, as he might say.
Couple that with the DOJ snoop nosing closer and closer to his shady ties to Russian oligarchs and mobsters and he’d be more than thrilled to look for the nearest exit door. And should Mueller subpoena his financial statements, including his tax returns, he’d naturally say, Screw it. I’m outta here.
Then it occurred to me — so what if Mueller does subpoena his money paperwork? Might P. Gag, who already thumbs his nose regularly at convention and even legalities, simply say No? Wouldn’t that be the defining move of his life? Think of it: He’s now the president, the most powerful human on Earth, possessing the capability to order the launch of thousands of nuclear missiles, sending civilization back to the Stone Age. You think he doesn’t lull himself to sleep at night (on those rarest of occasions when he does sleep) with that very thought?
We all understand at this point he’s the most mentally cracked prez this holy land has ever had. Hell, the next DSM edition will probably feature an entire page or even a chapter on him alone. Equally as important to him as his marble/glass/gilt taste in decor, his trophy wives, his billionaire status, and the delusion that every woman on Earth is just dying for him to grab her pussy, is his need to be able to say to anyone who crosses him, Fuck you, make me!
So say Mueller does serve him with a subpoena for his financial records. Wouldn’t it be just like P. Gag to rip it up and say, You’re not getting them. What’re you gonna do about it?
And what is Mueller going to do about it? If it’s you or me giving the finger to his process servers, the cops’d be at our door within hours, slapping the bracelets on us. You think Robert Mueller wants to be the first person in history to jail the president? Or even try to?
Or what if P. Gag holes himself up in the White House and tells security not to let anyone in? They’d have to follow his orders, no? Then what? A shootout?
Mueller surely doesn’t want that.
Mueller doesn’t even want a constitutional crisis with the opposing parties facing off in the Supreme Court. We had that during Watergate and while all the lawyers were bickering the work of the White House essentially came to a standstill.
But let’s take this craziness a step further. Say the contretemps extends into the year 2020 and P. Gag says the presidency is under siege, therefore we must postpone the election. Surely you seen that poll wherein a majority of Republican voters are in favor of putting off the election if need be. (This link is behind a paywall but this one isn’t.)
At which point the United States of America would be ruled by a dictator.
Now is this scenario really going to happen? I’d like to think it’s preposterous. But what I like and what will be can be very different things.
BTW, I haven’t even gone into what P. Gag’s storm troopers might do on the streets of this great experiment in democracy should he be removed from office before his term is out. Hell, or even if he’s ousted by the 2020 vote, fair and square.
So much for optimism.