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A Pub’s Eye View of Washington Politics

A century of political warfare, as viewed through a pint glass, darkly.

by
Donald Rodgers

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February 8, 2014 - 12:14 am
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I guess you could call it a sports bar, but their regulars called it a pub and they had an ancient sign that said PUBLIC HOUSE to prove it. Their sport was politics — not a sissy game — where “argument” was considered a mild term. They had their elders but their guru was old Matt. He usually settled debates citing the rules of the house, which he wrote. When evaluating history, only two things were considered — basic facts and basic suppositions, which he listed under the headings, BF and BS. Matt always said, “Basic facts are scored big and basic suppositions are just guesses. They aren’t worth much unless that’s all you have. Some suppositions are necessary to achieve ‘spin’ or, maybe, only to write your own version.”

All the regulars understood the rules and it did tend to hold down the BS.

Then one night, the big discussion about a bit of history called “the Hundred Years War” was getting heated. The debate was over whether any war could last that long with people putting up with it. Old Matt took over. He said the answer is right here — they were living it. He called his story, the view from out here — away from Washington — “A Pub’s Eye View.” Here’s how he told it:

A series of conflicts between the royal houses of England and France began in the year 1337 and ended about the year 1450. The English gave up their claim to the throne of France and ended the dispute. The issue was settled but the rivalry was to continue. Years later, historians called these events “the Hundred Years War.” The people of the time probably didn’t refer to it as one long war but they knew there were a lot of battles.  England, though on the losing end, retreated to their island, and survived.

That hundred years war is of little interest today. Also of little interest, oddly enough, is the current hundred years war that may well be ending. It was just about 100 years ago that a new political philosophy began to achieve standing as a wing of our old Democrat Party. The Progressive movement came into sight with the election of Woodrow Wilson as president of the United States in 1912. Academia found political credentials with the election of this college president and quietly began to reshape all education down to the level of preschool. Many of the elitist intellectual class signed on. Matt reminded the lads “elitist means, the powers that be.” They are the leaders of any group who exercise the power and call the shots.

Progressives, under Wilson, had a setback when the Senate failed to ratify the peace treaty of World War I, which he championed, establishing the League of Nations. He did establish the federal income tax and Federal Reserve.

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Progressive-Democrats often disparage the principles found in our Declaration of Independence and the system of government found in our U.S. Constitution as musty and old documents that are outdated. “Living constitutionalism” is today’s flavor. But what isn’t well understood is that these documents were written with human nature in mind and because human nature doesn’t significantly change, these timeless documents are as relevant today as when they were written some 200-plus years ago. Our founders studied the great books of political philosophers such as Cicero, Locke, Montesquieu and Polybius; as well as the great civilizations of the past and using this wisdom, singularly put together a system of government rivaled by no other nation, past or present.

Isn’t it ironic, then, that what really is “musty and old” isn’t our relatively youthful 200-plus year old founding documents but the 2,000-plus year old writings of Plato’s Republic and the approximately 500 year old writings of Thomas More’s Utopia and Hobbes’s Leviathan? For it is in these writings that better reflect the intent of today's Progressive-Democrats. And it is in these writings that demonstrate the coercive tragedies of such government social-engineering agendas as those pursued by the likes of ObamaCare.

Progressivism relies on gradualism to achieve their evolutionary revolution. Government-controlled health care systematically confiscates the property of doctors found in their labor and seizes control of citizens’ lives, derived in liberty.

Our Constitutional Republic derives from the birth of everlasting principles. Rooted in the philosophy of Natural Rights, our founding principles believe each individual soul has a right to one’s life, liberty and property and government is constituted to secure these rights.

Progressivism rejects Nature for History’s evolution. Instead of securing rights it creates them. It replaces the individual with the group and through a kind of Constitutional Eugenics seeks coercive redistribution. In short, Progressivism seeks to remake society through social and economic control.

At Gettysburg, it was the re-birth of Nature's everlasting principles that Lincoln called for when he said: “That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.”

Nature's freedom is at risk, as Progressivism and Constitutional Republicanism are irreconcilable: And herein lies our nation’s greatest challenge since Lincoln’s Civil War.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (21)
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my buddy's sister-in-law makes $84 hourly on the internet . She has been laid off for 6 months but last month her pay was $18923 just working on the internet for a few hours. why not look here.....www.Gawkjob.com
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Progressives won. We live in the society they created. Unless we are committed to deconstructing what they built, we will continue to lose our freedoms bit by bit. The basis of their success was in creating groups for differing treatment by government via various forms of recognition, the main focus of my interest being that of licensing. The way out: regaining our focus on the source of our freedoms in the rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence, and a realization that you cannot maintain freedom and equality in a state where the government sees people as anything other than simply as citizens.
"...no man, or set of men, are entitled to any exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community."--Virginia Declaration of Rights
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sorry, I didn't pay attention to the meat of your argument, because you introduced it with a total mischaracterization of and misunderstanding of the Hundred Years War. It "ended" in 1453, as these things are measured, not 1450, and the English royal claim to the French crown continued for centuries. Calais continued in English hands, as a marker of this claim, until its loss in 1558. English monarchs continued to be crowned as kings (or queens) of England, Ireland, (and later, Scotland) and France until a treaty with the post-monarchial French in 1801 required the end of this practice.

The point here being that "The past is never dead. It's not even past." It winds through our assumptions, our beliefs, and our actions, and ignorant men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any historical influence, are often the unwitting puppets of some buried grudge of their half-forgotten forefathers.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree that 2014 might be our last chance. But it might not be enough. Because we need to admit to ourselves that the leadership of that party which is the putative final bulwark in the war against a state grown beyond the people's power to control or recall it, is actively working to give the game away, either before or after this November's election.

I'm talking of the move by the GOP establishment, in heed to the wishes of the massive corporate donors, to, with one stroke of the pen, give permanent, unbreakable electoral control of all three branches of the federal government to the Democrat Party. Because that's what "amnesty" is, and what it will do, regardless of how it is euphemized and whatever false "safeguards" we're told exist.

The GOP elite is dead set to sell the country to the Democrats. And all for a mess of pottage. It is the GOP elite and the RINOs who must be expelled along with Democrats in 2014. If the current GOP leadership in both houses remains the same after the election, any result, no matter how seemingly victorious, will have been a false dawn. Because that same GOP leadership WILL do everything in its corrupt power to betray America, regardless of the election.

That is why I have vowed to withhold my ballot, or vote for an opponent, if the GOP move for or acquiescence to amnesty continues. I will do the same in the 2016 election should the GOP leadership be craven enough to revive the "amnesty" move after the 2014 election, when they think the pressure is off. It's the only way t save the party, and save the country.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
FWIW?
The 100 years War consisted mostly of English victories, until the advent of Joan of Arc. So, despite three generations of setbacks at the hands of the English, the French "prevailed" in the end.

Will real America prevail in our 100 years war despite a century or Progressive advances?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's apparent the founding fathers put in a lot of safeguards, designed to prevent us from getting to this place. How the progressives have dismantled them is amazing to see. I can remember when COngress, Democrat and Republican, would rise up against an administration infringing on their turf. No more. Not even the Republicans are willing to stand up to the Obama Administration. It may be up to the states to save the country. By that I mean that they can tell their Senators to stop voting against the best interests of the citizens and, if they don't start doing recall elections. Start writing constitutional amendments and passing them by putting pressure on Congress to allow them to go through.

THey can also refuse to carry out the policies progressives have passed for the school systems. Congress usually attaches money to these policies so, the best each state can do is to find a way to do without any federal funding. The fed has a bad habit of using it to blackmail the states into doing its will, don't take the money and you can't be blackmailed. Tell your representatives that they should pass any legislation that has an unfunded mandate. If need be, put it on the ballot in each state and force the representatives to actually represent the people and not the party.

I'm not sure how we can be saved. The Democrats have already proven they are willing to steal elections to force through their policies, can they steal 2014 too? Obama and company are trying their best to keep the policies in place to continue what they did in 2012. The IRS is still not approving conservative groups for tax exempt status. THe DOJ is still out there fighting voter i.d. laws. Many states still have Democrats in charge of polling stations. As Stalin or Lenin once said, it's not who votes that counts it's who counts the votes. The Democrats have way too many people counting votes. I used to believe no political party would steal an election. I no longer believe that.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sure it's a transcription error and not the fault of poor Old Matt, but the term is usually written as "blind-sided" not "blind-sighted". Although our esteemed President can certainly be described as "blind-sighted" given all that he has had to overlook and ignore going on around him.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Article completely ignores Progressivism's greatest victory, and the real reason for the growth of the welfare state and the government as provider.....the 19th Amendment.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our best hope for halting (maybe reversing?) the advance of progressivism is the shock that is O'Care to our system. We need conservatives that are teachers and not just politicians - maybe a Newt type of politician will emerge. Using the O'Care debacle as example overlay it onto those other things that are happening - EPA would be a great place to start. Certainly anyone with half a brain can understand the ills perpetrated on We The People at DOJ and the egregious deeds of Holder et al.

Like I said - this is our best hope. Which is why I am so discouraged - The LIV doesn't take to education so much.

I think Ole Matt would have offered up a pint as consolation in recognition of having lost so much to so few - without so much as a shot being fired.

23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
It baffles me as to how Americans can ignore the examples of history that show where "socialist radicalism" leads. I'm re-reading books that I read over forty years ago about the disaster of Germany and the fall of the Weimar Republic and rise of the National Socialists. It is glaring and telling that the Nazi saw their movement as a revolution for progress and hope, when people in the know, on the ground in Berlin, really knew what and who Hitler was (and did nothing).
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't be so baffled - it isn't that most Americans ignore those examples you site - they ignore everything that isn't an ipod/ipad/iphone - you know - the center of life as they know it. And the progressives know that too - which is why they hand out free ipods/ipads/iphones at every opportunity.

23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment

"If a Nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization,
it expects what never was and never will be....
If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free,
it is the responsibility of every American to be informed." TJ
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
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