What’s often forgotten, though — especially by the likes of Pelosi — is what comes next: the bill of particulars against King George III that justified the colonial rebellion. And it’s helpful to recall how we got here — and what we must always be on guard against.

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance,” reads one of Jefferson’s indictments against the king. Today, those words nicely cover big government, the intrusive leviathan state and its army of unelected regulators and unaccountable bureaucrats who really run the country.

Recent and still unfolding scandals involving the Internal Revenue Service (now hiring some 16,000 new agents to enforce ObamaCare’s mandate that everyone buy health insurance or pay a “tax” for noncompliance) show just how much we have to fear from politicized agents acting not on behalf of the nation but of the government.

Throw in the National Security Agency’s warrantless snooping through the metadata of millions of Americans and foreigners in the name of “national security,” and you have a potential tyranny far more dangerous than anything the Hanoverian monarchs ever dreamt of.