I found the former Dictator-in-Perpetuity of Rome glued to a computer screen. Watching You Tube.
“Hail, Caesar. Are you watching a report of today’s arguments at the Supreme Court?” I figured that a politician like Caesar would find the Obamacare case riveting.
“No. I’m watching a tape of Tim Tebow’s first press conference as a New York Jet.”
“Tebow? The football player?”
“But he’s just an athlete, and a mediocre one at that. Tebow’s all media hype. He’s just the second-string quarterback for the Jets.”
“My boy,” said Caesar, “you have understood nothing.”
“Oh? Do tell.”
“When I put on great gladiatorial games, as I often did, I paid careful attention to detail. I didn’t leave novice gladiators to be trained by run-of-the-mill instructors in the schools. I actually got Roman Senators who were skilled at arms to teach them the art of fighting one-on-one, in their own homes. I went to the trouble of writing individual letters to the Senators to get them on board.”
“Wow,” I said. “All for gladiators.”
“Politics is entertainment, my boy, and entertainment is politics.”
“So, Senator Tebow?” I asked.
The dictator smiled.
Barry Strauss’s new book, Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership, will be published in May (Simon & Schuster).