Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Hubris of the candidate


Just in time for Good Friday and Easter, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett outdoes President Barack Obama and likens himself to Christ. I’m curious what Sacred Heart of Jesus alumnus and Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski thinks of Barrett’s hubris.

Barrett, who lost to Walker in November 2010, said he thinks he can now win over people who voted for Walker less than two years ago.

“I think there’s a lot of buyer’s remorse out there,” he said.

Barrett, who won reelection as Milwaukee’s mayor on Tuesday, said that people have come up to him and apologized for not voting for him the last time he ran for governor.

“My response is, ‘Go and sin no more,'” Barrett joked.

Barrett’s remarks reminded me of this passage from Claudius the God by Robert Graves:

The leader of the Tyrians pleaded in tones of the profoundest humility: “Be merciful to us, Great King, we repent of our ingratitude.”

And the leader of the Sidonians: “Hitherto we have reverenced you as a man, but we must now acknowledge that you are superior to mortal nature.”

Herod answered: “You are forgiven, Sidon.”

The Tyrian exclaimed: “It is the voice of a God, not of a man.”

Herod answered: “Tyre, you are forgiven.”

He raised his hand to give the signal for the rams’ horns to blow, but suddenly let it drop again. For a bird had flown in from the gate by which he himself had entered and was fluttering here and there about the arena. The people watched it and shouts of surprise arose: “Look, an owl! An owl blinded by daylight.”

The owl perched on a guy-rope above Herod’s left shoulder. He turned and gazed up at it. And not until then did he remember the oath he had sworn at Alexandria thirteen years before in the presence of Alexander the Alabarch and Cypros and his children, the oath to honour the living God and keep His laws so far as in him lay, and the curse that he had called upon himself if he ever wittingly blasphemed from hardness of heart, the first and greatest commandment of God, as spoken through Moses, was: “THOU SHALT HAVE NONE OTHER GODS BUT ME,” but when the Tyrian called him a God, had Herod torn his clothes and fallen on his face to avert Heaven’s jealous anger? No, he had smiled at the blasphemer and said, “Tyre, you are forgiven,” and the people standing about him had taken up the cry, “A God, not a man.” The owl was gazing down in his face. Herod turned pale. The owl hooted five times, then flapped his wings, flew up over the tiers of seats and disappeared beyond.

Herod said to Cypros: “The owl that visited me in the prison yard at Misenum – the same owl,” and then a fearful groan burst from his lips and he cried weakly to Helcias, his Master of Horse, successor to Silas: “Carry me out. I am ill. Let my brother the King of Chalcis take over from me the Presidency of the Games.”

Cypros clasped Herod to her: “Herod, my king and sweetheart, why do you groan? What ails you?”

Herod replied in a dreadful whisper: “The maggots are already in my flesh.”


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