Finally, finally, a bill proposed by the Republican Congress makes sense.

The bill, titled “The Beautifying Federal Civil Architecture,” seeks to make D.C. over into Old Rome. The only thing missing is a Praetorian Guard to push it through.

America, the beautiful

Mind you, the GOP doesn’t specify Old Rome, but it’s a good bet that’s what they mean. The style is the logical choice for those intent on absolute rule – you know, like telling gynecologists how to practice medicine.

When the style held sway in the 6th century B.C.E., it was even called the Republican Period.

Clearly, if you have a yen for imperialism, Old Rome is the style of choice.

That certainly was Donald Trump’s desire as president when he signed an executive order mandating that new federal buildings be “beautiful.” Translation: no modernism allowed.

I imagine that if Trump wins the presidency again, he’d celebrate by erecting something on the order of The Arch of Titus, the triumphal monument erected in the first century A.D., honoring the Roman siege of Jerusalem.

Trump’s architecture order didn’t take because Joe Biden overturned it when he was elected. But that isn’t the end of the story.

This month the Republicans in both the House and the Senate proposed Trump’s idea of beauty again. With Biden in office the bill won’t succeed.

But that isn’t the end of the story, either.

A watchdog report by the Government Accountability Office faults the way that the federal government selects architects for major projects.

If you’re wondering why this push for the Old Rome look keeps rearing its magisterial head, the answer is undisguised: The architecture of emperors is the pick of the litter for autocrats.

The grandeur of the style, also known as Imperial architecture, is meant to impress the rank and file with its air of authority.

Nero didn’t only fiddle while Rome burned, he was bent on the palatial look, complete with colonnades and fountains to emphasize his position of power.

So, it was no surprise that Trump shared Nero’s taste.

The only surprise is that he didn’t order eagles mounted over every front door.

Baronial building

Dictators love all things imposing. You may remember that Albert Speer, the Fuhrer’s architect, designed structures on the order of the palatial Reich Chancellery, once the city palace of a prince - Antoni Radziwell.

It's no wonder that while still a prince, King Charles of England favored the ancient style over Modernism. He went on and on about it in a 75-minute presentation on BBC. Plainly, it’s a lordly thing to want.

As Walter Gropius, a pioneer of modern architecture, once pointed out, despots like Mussolini and Hitler purposely chose to do their official business in giant rooms – to intimidate.

Architecture critics like John Ruskin complained bitterly about latter-day adaptations of Old Rome buildings, known as neoclassical architecture. He called it "utterly devoid of all life, virtue, honorableness, or power of doing good."

I wouldn’t go that far. But here’s the thing. Despite my mocking neoclassical architecture for D.C. , I’m not against it. I’m against politicians who want to dictate taste.