Monday, July 9, 2012

Has Anyone Ever Loved England's King John?

In a peculiar piece in @wsj 's 7-8 July 2012 weekend edition, "No, King John Did Not Write 'Rocket Man", Joe Queenan bemoans King John's low Q-ratings. Perhaps I'm reading the article like a pedantic, humorless Media Matters drone, but I was unaware that K.J. ever was beloved by anyone, anywhere, at any time. As Queenan points out, John was the inspiration for Disney's evil, feckless lion king in "Robin Hood":

Queenan further asserts that KJ's alleged evilness eventually sparked democratic reforms both in the UK & eventually the USA, namely, the signing of England's Magna Carta, that most Americans

We are approaching the 800th anniversary of one of the “grandparents” of our Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, Magna Carta.

 (& a few Brits) view as a precursor to our Declaration of Independence & Constitution:

The declaration set out a series of English ideas about the role of government, and was also a petition of right, an old English precedent 
However, crediting King John with democratic reforms seems akin to stating that Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II's autocratic militarism directly produced the Weimer Republic's liberalism.  Both of these tyrants, at best, can only indirectly be credited with latter reforms in reaction to their despotism.

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