Obama and Gingrich Embrace the Insane Theodore Roosevelt

by Eric T. Phillips

A few days back, Newt Gingrich told Glenn Beck:

I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican. In fact, if I were going to characterize my–on health where I come from, I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican and I believe government can lean in the regulatory leaning is okay.

Ironically, the same day President Obama gave a speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s notorious “New Nationalism” speech, wherein he extolled TR’s efforts to increase government regulation and to expand the welfare state.

Roosevelt is the perfect historical role model for both parties as they’re currently constituted. He was an aggressive state-loving progressive, set on using the power of the federal government to increase the efficiency of the economy, to protect the environment, and to save the world from tyranny. He despised federalism, constitutional restraints on his power, and Congress, which he saw as basically an obstructionist body (if only).  As H.L. Mencken explained, “the America that Roosevelt dreamed of was always a sort of swollen Prussia, truculent without and regimented within.”

He was also a blood thirsty and deranged megalomaniac. According to Thomas Woods, Mark Twain, who met Roosevelt twice, declared him “clearly insane.” And, after reading through some of the more colorful events in Roosevelt’s life, it would be hard to disagree with the writer’s assessment. When Teddy was 20, he became so enraged by an argument with his girlfriend that, on his way home, he shot his neighbor’s dog. Such behavior was not abnormal for the future president. According to Edmund Morris, when he shot his first buffalo he “abandoned himself to complete hysteria, whooping and shrieking while his guide watched in stolid amazement.” His reacted similarly after killing his first Spaniard in the Spanish-American War.

To say that Roosevelt liked to be the center of attention would be an understatement. One of his sons explained that “Father always wanted to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.”

Like I said, the perfect role model for both modern day parties.


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