Streetwise Professor

December 12, 2019

Historic Rhymes: From the Popish Plot to the Putinish Plot

Filed under: History,Politics — cpirrong @ 3:14 pm

In 1678, two religious fanatics, Titus Oates and Israel Tonge, created a long document that supposedly revealed a plot led by the Pope, and to be carried out by English Jesuits, to kill King Charles II of England. Oates and Tonge used subterfuge to bring the document to the King’s attention. Although he dismissed it, the document touched off sweeping investigations that eventually led to the execution–including by drawing and quartering–of 22 innocent individuals.

The controversy over the “Popish Plot” convulsed England for three years. It helped feed the controversy over the Exclusion Bill (designed to prevent Charles’ Catholic brother James from succeeding to the throne).

Eventually the public became convinced that Oates’ and Tonge’s charges were fabrications, and the frenzy abated. But not without political consequence: those politicians of the faction which would become to known as the Whigs who had been most ardent for the prosecution of the Plot and the Exclusion Bill were widely branded as subversives and extremists, and went into eclipse for some years (until the then James II was overthrown by William of Orange). The Popish Plot first empowered, then fatally undermined, the Whigs.

In the end, everything in the Oates-Tonge dossier was found to be a complete fabrication.

Twain said that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Substitute Putin for the Pope, and Steele for Oates, and what has transpired for the last three years in the US does rhyme with what happened in England around 340 years ago.

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  1. @SWP…Regarding the dossier, read this:
    It is a _detailed_ exposition of the creators (of concept, funding, composition, and conspiring to have it corroborated) of the dossier.
    It seems that the group knew each other from kindergarten. They laundered information, getting others to repeat and vouch for completely fictitious stories so that they could be referenced as if they were true.
    Many fascinating tangential items. One example: what did Berlusconi inadvertently have to do with an entry in the dossier?
    You will enjoy the deep dive into relationships, and the observation “one, happenstance; two, coincidence; three, conspiracy”
    As I read it, I thought of all the material (a goldmine!) any news media outlet would have to get a real scoop.
    The MSM is our enemy.

    Comment by Richard Whitney — December 12, 2019 @ 6:37 pm

  2. Go Army beat Navy.

    Comment by Joe Walker — December 14, 2019 @ 2:27 pm

  3. @Joe–Your comment went into spam, where it deserved to stay! But sweetheart that I am, I rescued it.

    I won’t gloat 😉

    Army had a good run there.

    Comment by cpirrong — December 15, 2019 @ 10:47 am

  4. HAHA Prof you are the best.

    Hats off to Navy.

    For me, Army Navy is the best game of the year.

    Comment by Joe Walker — December 15, 2019 @ 7:11 pm

  5. SWP & Joe:

    Is this in reference to soccer or hockey?

    As is often the case w/ American sport, these gentle & good-natured jabs are “over Vlad’s head.”

    VP VVP

    Comment by Vlad — December 15, 2019 @ 8:22 pm

  6. You a navy man, Craig? I had you down as army man, maybe a ranger given your obsession with pull-ups. Unless it was the marines, which in itself would explain a lot.

    I see Trump received a rapturous welcome at the match. Figures – promises of lots of new shiny kit to play with, and little or no prospect of being sent into harm’s way. What’s not to like?

    Comment by David Mercer — December 16, 2019 @ 12:55 pm

  7. Vlad, The Army Navy game is a college football game played every year, for the last 120 years between the Army Black Knights of West Point and The Navy Midshipmen of the Naval Academy.

    The best of the best go to West Point and the Naval Academy.

    Rich in tradition, the best of America is on display, I choke up at the start of every game.

    Comment by Joe Walker — December 17, 2019 @ 8:17 pm

  8. @David. USNA ’81. I respect the Marines immensely, but couldn’t be one in a million years.

    And it’s a game, not a match 😉

    Re your tweet at me. I was in London on bidness. And to present at a conference at U London.

    Your weather sucks. But I’m guessing you know that.

    Comment by cpirrong — December 23, 2019 @ 3:19 pm

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