Mel Brooks proclaimed "it's good to be the king" as he pranced around as Louis XVI in "History of the World Part I," oblivious to the fate that awaited him.
The Revolution was about to separate his head from his torso, but there he was, in full divine right glory, denying reality.
Benedict XVI, on the other hand, must have no illusions that it's any fun being the religious counterpart, the supreme pontiff, both because he isn't a sinister hedonist and no doubt understands fairly well that the natives are plenty restless.
Still, he or his support staff persist in portraying the papacy in medieval, royalist privileges that alienate it further from the egalitarian ideologies that undergird, at least in theory, the modern world.
I refer to the pope's insistence that he alone is entitled to rap the knuckles of cardinals. Another cardinal may not. Let's be clear, as President Obama might say, I'm the pope and, in case you forgot the rules, I'm the critic in chief. The rest of you keep your sniping to yourselves, or at least within the college of cardinals dining hall.