The Political Uses of the Past Project is back from a midsummer break

In addition, the project’s history scraper/sniffer is now pulling political uses of the past from five Sunday morning talk shows (CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox). More sources will be added soon.

Trump: “Fight for the West” akin to Warsaw Uprising

The memories of those who perished in the Warsaw Uprising cry out across the decades, and few are clearer than the memories of those who died to build and defend the Jerusalem Avenue crossing. Those heroes remind us that the West was saved with the blood of patriots; that each generation must rise up and play their part in its defense — (applause) — and that every foot of ground, and every last inch of civilization, is worth defending with your life.

Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield — it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls. Today, the ties that unite our civilization are no less vital, and demand no less defense, than that bare shred of land on which the hope of Poland once totally rested. Our freedom, our civilization, and our survival depend on these bonds of history, culture, and memory.

— President Donald Trump

Remarks by President Trump to the People of Poland, July 6, 2017

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Sen. Mike Lee: We’ve lost sight of founder’s vision of federalism

Mike LeeSenator Lee made the comments below while discussing his new book, Written out of History. Historians Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg reviewed Lee’s book here.

What has been lost are the stories of our early forgotten founders, those who taught us about things like federalism, about separation of powers.

One of the things that we have lost today is the understanding that not all power is supposed to be vested in the federal government. Continue reading Sen. Mike Lee: We’ve lost sight of founder’s vision of federalism

Sen. Ben Sasse: Kids today are more “insulated from work” than any time in history

Ben SasseHow do we raise our kids better in an era of perpetual adolescence? Because that’s the new thing, right?

Adolescence is a gift, the idea that you have a kind of greenhouse stage as you transition from the dependency of early childhood to the independence of adulthood.

But perpetual adolescence is a danger. We should be able to distinguish between 10- and 15- and 20- and 25-year-olds. And it’s increasingly difficult to do that. It’s a very new thing. Continue reading Sen. Ben Sasse: Kids today are more “insulated from work” than any time in history

Trump: Claims of energy scarcity were “fake” and a “big, beautiful myth”

For over 40 years, America was vulnerable to foreign regimes that used energy as an economic weapon. Americans’ quality of life was diminished by the idea that energy resources were too scarce to support our people.

We always thought that, and actually at the time it was right to think. We didn’t think we had this tremendous wealth under our feet. Many of us remember the long gas lines and the constant claims that the world was running out of oil and natural gas.

Americans were told that our nation could only solve this energy crisis by imposing draconian restrictions on energy production. But we now know that was all a big, beautiful myth. It was fake.

—President Donald Trump

Remarks at the Unleashing American Energy Event, June 29, 2017

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Rep. Luis Gutiérrez: FAIR and allies “want to take our immigration policies back to the 1920s”

Luis GutiérrezIt is like DW Griffith might rise up from his grave to film “Rebirth of a Nation–the Sequel” because FAIR [Federation Against American Immigration Reform] and its allies want to take our immigration policies back to the 1920s when the Klan marched openly in Washington and legal immigration was reduced to almost zero.

—Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D–IL)

Immigrant Heritage Month, House Floor, June 28, 2017

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Rep. Matt Cartwright: Health care tort reform runs afoul of the Magna Carta

Matt CartwrightMr. Chairman, here we are dealing with some amount of irony with HR 1215. The year 1215 was the year the Magna Carta was signed, something that created the seeds of the American right to jury trial, for Heaven’s sake.

You know, we were pleased to hear Representative Duncan from Tennessee say: “Conservatives believe strongly in the jury system.”

And I do, too, and Americans do, too.

Our Founding Fathers believed in it.

Here in America, where we trust juries to decide life and death for criminal defendants, why wouldn’t we trust them to set a proper and fair dollar amount on a malpractice case?

—Rep. Matt Cartwright (D–PA)

Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017, House Floor, June 28, 2017

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Rep. Steve King: Magna Carta wasn’t concerned with medical malpractice claims

Steve KingI thought the gentleman from Pennsylvania’s look at HR 1215 was a really deft way to focus on this and speak about the Magna Carta, but there wasn’t anybody back in old England in that time that had any shot at filing a liability claim, let alone receiving a frivolous claim that would make one individual vastly wealthy at the expense of a lot of other folks.

So this is something that has accumulated over the last 502 years since the Magna Carta was signed.

—Rep. Steve King (R–IA)

Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017, House Floor, June 28, 2017

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Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay: Evoking MLK, Philando Castile’s shooter “did not act alone”

William ClayI will close with this: a brief teaching from the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the occasion of another needless tragedy, the police killing of civil rights worker Jimmie Lee Jackson by an Alabama State trooper in 1965. In his eulogy, King said: “A State trooper pointed the gun, but he did not act alone. He was murdered by the brutality of every sheriff who practices lawlessness in the name of the law.”

—Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D–MO)

On Philando Castile and the Police Training and Independent Review Act of 2017, House Floor, June 27, 2017

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Sen. Patrick Leahy: Cold War Cuba restrictions treated people “as pawns in a political game”

Patrick Leahy

How well did restricting travel by Americans to Cuba work from 1961 until 2014, when President Obama relaxed those Cold War restrictions, decades after the Russians had abandoned the island and Cuba no longer posed any threat to us? It failed miserably. At the same time, it treated the Cuban and American people as pawns in a political game.

Throughout those many years, the Castro government had a ready excuse for its own failings and repressive policies. They could blame it on the United States, and for many years, the Cuban people believed it because we, with our embargo, wouldn’t let Americans travel to Cuba or do business there.

—Sen. Patrick Leahy (D–VT)

Trump Administration Cuba Policy,  Senate Floor, June 26, 2017

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