Would the Last Teddy Roosevelt Apologist Please Turn Out the Light?


This January, the Hitler Channel–er, History Channel–will air "Teddy Roosevelt—An American Lion," a two-part docu-job that will no doubt delight Weekly Standard-style conservatives who have a hankerin' for a real man in the White House. TR, noted David Brooks last year in a review of volume two of Edmund Morris' bio, was "unshaking in his courage, balanced in his tactics, and righteous in his cause."

President Bush will intro the TV specials, saying TR:

"…transformed the presidency into a modern, progressive institution. He wanted a national government that would be responsive to the needs of all its citizens, and he anticipated America's emergence as a world power."

There's something for limousine liberals, too: Richard Dreyfus is voicing TR.

Among the tidbits likely to end up on the cutting-room floor are Teddy's bullish attitudes toward imperialism, war-time torture, mandatory sterilization of those he deemed unfit to breed, and pseudo-scientific racism. The Cato Institute's Michael Chapman lays out the case against TR in brief but appalling detail.

NEXT: Pardon My French

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  1. Like Gore Vidal said of TR, “Give a sissy a gun and he will kill everything in sight.”

  2. Gee, sure ain’t nothing like retrospective morality. Sure wish I could be around to see what kind of sorry ass butchers people 100 years from now consider us, or should we all just take the gas pipe now?

  3. “Like”, Gore Vidal ought not complain about sissies. He’s helped create a whole generation of them.

    It was TR who correctly observed that the success and character of a nation is an aggregate of individual characters and behaviors. If only Vidal could grasp its meaning…

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