Obama channels Roosevelt but still woefully lacking in camparison

December 10, 2011

Obama's "new" nationalism. (www.asianconservatives.com)

From Lincoln, to Kennedy, to FDR, to Truman to Reagan, our current Dear Leader has been truly bi-partisan in his comparisons. (When you’re going down as one of the worst political figures in  American history you grab for anyone and everyone that might help.)

Last Tuesday President Obama channeled yet another past President in his ever more challenging “guess who I’m comparing myself to this week” Oval Office parlor game. And though Dear Leader has channeled almost every past President by now at some point in his political career, THIS time he head it nailed. This time he had a “progressive” AND a “Republican”, none other than the rugged Rough Rider himself, Theodore “Teddy Bear” Roosevelt.

And in hopes that he would finally hit on a message that would resonate with just enough of the ignorant and loyal he did what any good progressive does when the ideas fall flat and policies fail: Blame others and start a war between the classes.

The Corner could break out paragraph by paragraph where both were completely wrong in their thinking.

The Corner could also highlight how that no matter how much he wants us to make the comparison, Obama is about as far from Teddy Roosevelt as he is from Barry Goldwater. (Roosevelt never put party before country, Obama can’t put on his garter belt without party approval.)

Yes, the Corner could do those things but considering if you’re reading this column you’re of the conservative ilk and unlike our liberal brethren can’t sit in your pajamas the rest of the day in front of the computer frothing over Obama’s “genius” we’ll cut to the core of the matter.

Both Obama and T.R. believe that a bigger and more powerful federal government is good for America. Never mind those pesky Founder’s and their checks and balances to limit the power of government. (After all, if you went to public school these past thirty years ago or so you already know that those “Founders” were nothing but a bunch of rich, privileged land owners who only had their own best interests in mind.)

Both Obama and T.R. believe that government should guide each and every one of us into being the “good” American of the progressive kind.

While the White House media would have you believe Roosevelt would go along with Obama’s “new progressivism” a few excerpts from that century old speech tell a slightly different story:

I stand for the square deal. But when I say that I am for the square deal, I mean not merely that I stand for fair play under the present rules of the game, but that I stand for having those rules changed so as to work for a more substantial equality of opportunity and of reward for equally good service. One word of warning, which, I think, is hardly necessary in Kansas. When I say I want a square deal for the poor man, I do not mean that I want a square deal for the man who remains poor because he has not got the energy to work for himself. If a man who has had a chance will not make good, then he has got to quit.

Hmmmmmmm, anyone else see a bit of demand for personal responsibility in the above? Roosevelt continues:

Now, this means that our government, National and State, must be freed from the sinister influence or control of special interests………..so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit. We must drive the special interests out of politics. ……….. Every special interest is entitled to justice-full, fair, and complete-and, now, mind you, if there were any attempt by mob-violence to plunder and work harm to the special interest, whatever it may be, that I most dislike, and the wealthy man, whomsoever he may be, for whom I have the greatest contempt, I would fight for him, and you would if you were worth your salt. He should have justice. For every special interest is entitled to justice, but not one is entitled to a vote in Congress, to a voice on the bench, or to representation in any public office. The Constitution guarantees protection to property, and we must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation.

“…..so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit.”

Um, excuse me Mr. Obama, but would you mind telling the public:

where your kicking the bondholders to the curb to benefit your union buddies at GM,
funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to companies promoted by your political bundlers (Solyndra just for starters),
your buddy Jeff Immelt’s General Electric paying absolutely no U.S. taxes on billions of profits,
killing thousands of jobs by delaying the Keystone pipeline at the behest of special interest environuts,
and the $38,500 a plate private fund raisers you’re having with Wall Street “fat cats”

play into Roosevelt’s warning?

While there is no doubt of T.R’s contempt for monopolistic corporations and the barons who controlled them, there is also no doubt of his respect for the law and that all should receive justice under that law. Anyone see any “full, fair and complete” justice coming out of the Occupy filth that Obama so eagerly supports?

So once again, we see that the already much too played Obama comparison card is being dealt from a stacked deck. A deck that, as is usual with this administration, doesn’t have all the cards, all the facts.

And while the dwainbwains over on The Erstwhile Conservative are working themselves into a frenzy to prove their Dear Leader is right, we in the majority, we who “make” rather than “take”, we who create the jobs and the wealth of this nation had better get prepared for the onslaught to come over these next eleven months.

The “occupy” episodes are but a preview to the spring and summer months ahead. A preview to a show that the President could easily stop but won’t. For when you can’t run on your own failed policies, fomenting hate and promoting class warfare among the “useful idiots” is all that is left.

In the end our 42nd President is nothing at all like our 26nd.

Teddy Roosevelt may have been a progressive populist, but he was not a Chicago thug, domestic terrorist sympathizing, community organizer willing to destroy America for his own personal gain.

But as long as the President wants us to compare him to Teddy Roosevelt this week, the Corner sees no reason not to. A couple of the most glaring are called out below:

Teddy Roosevelt served his country, put his own life on the line, and actually lived the “rugged” individualism that he symbolized.

Barack Obama can’t even ride a bicycle without a child’s helmet.

Teddy Roosevelt actually did “some” good in office and whether you agreed or disagreed with him you at least knew he was genuine.

Barack Obama has only sucked from one government program to another, has sacrificed nothing for this great nation that he now actively attempts to divide, and other than getting elected from one office to the next has accomplished nothing of lasting value for anyone other than himself.

And one final comparison between T.R. and B.O.:

both speeches were over six thousand words in length,

both were given in Osawatomie, Kansas, and

both were the beginning of the end for their speaker’s political careers.

SIDENOTE: Those of us living in the shadow of the Kansas City metro area who have long lamented the liberal slant of the paper’s editorial board will find a bit of solace in the fact that our ancestors as well had to endure such progressive promotion.

From the Kansas Historical Quarterly:

The Kansas City Star, Chicago Daily Tribune, Topeka Daily Capital, and a host of lesser progressive journals agreed that Roosevelt had left no doubt about where he stood. “T.R. has become a progressive Republican,” editorialized Harold Chase in the Capital. The principles are not new, said the Star’s editor, but the speech “marks the progress of the leading progressive.” It was with good judgment, he continued, that “he reserved his first formal political utterance…along the line of progressive government, for the state that has given him the most striking expression of faith in the policies that bear his name.”

And from the same Kansas City Star just his past December 7th, 2011:

The elements of Obama’s speech were not new. He decried rising income inequality, blasted Republicans for wanting to roll back regulation of the financial sector, defended his latest nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Agency and demanded an extension of the payroll tax cut set to expire later this month.

The president has said those things before. He should keep saying them – and acting on them. Tuesday’s speech was significant because it provided a coherent framework for Obama’s economic policies and a credible rebuttal to Republican opposition.

When it comes to the Star and it’s editorial slant: “the more things change the more they really do stay the same”rings as true today is it did over a century ago.

Full text of Teddy’s speech can be found here.

Full text of Dear Leader’s speech here.

Analysis and perspective from Robert S. LaForte in the Kansas Historical Quarterly with a pdf version here.

2 Responses to Obama channels Roosevelt but still woefully lacking in camparison

  1. anson burlingame on December 10, 2011 at 10:55 am


    Superb research and writing, as usual for the conservative view of matters.

    I would love to hear a reasoned liberal critique of your various points. but of course they are too “insensitive” to show up on this sit

    too bad as a good debate is what it blogs should be all about.


  2. Geoff Caldwell on December 10, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Oh it would be fun for sure, but considering all the censoring of comments we’d have to do to avoid hurting any of their widdle bitty feewings it’s really not worth it.
    Eventually I’ll get around to a Corner public exposure of Wheeler and Graham and their hypocrisy but for now there are bigger fish to fry.


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