Boehner being Boehner

Berlusconi being Berlusconi

Those of you in the U.S.A. will wake up this morning with all ‘non-essential’ functions of the government shut down, thanks to the knuckleheads in Congress who have convinced themselves that squabbling and doing nothing is more important and more idealistically noble than the difficult and compromising task of governing. Chief knucklehead is John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Italy also had an exciting weekend in politics, as three-time ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi withdrew his ministers from cabinet and scuttled the ‘grand coalition’ government which was trying to edge Europe’s third-largest economy out of a four-year recesssion. One would have trouble imagining two more different personal and political characters being responsible for such similar folly.

Great states are first undone from within. Perhaps these two characters deserve a short entry in the canon of Plutarchian parallel biographies? Hmm…

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