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August 11, 2008


The Reticulator

I've read the Morris bio but not the Dalton one. I admire the man, Theodore Roosevelt, but not the president. If McCain thinks he's following in the footsteps of TR, that's yet another reason not to vote for him (as if I need another). But TR is an interesting enough character that I'm always willing to read another biography of him. Thanks for the mention of Dalton's book.

I do think TR should be taken off of Mount Rushmore, to be replaced with the likeness of St Ronald.


Mr. Reticulator,

Yes, a TR style president would bother me -- I won't disagree with you on that point. And yet...I think there might be something to a type of conservative reformism that, while ceding to much to the questions and problems that concern liberals, is nonetheless preferable to what a full-blown left-wing progressive would give us. And in this election, McCain as a TR-style reformer might be the best we can hope for.

The Editor

Military force is how McCain beat skin cancer, fights earmarks, and pleasures his millionaire wife. So he does see it is the answer to a whole lot, if not quite everything.

And I think the arguments that TR was a militant come not as much from his actions as president, which, as you say, were moderate, but his actions as assistant secretary of the navy. In particular, was the way he did everything he could to start the Spanish American War.

Also, there was the time he was a New York Assemblyman in 1884, at a time when the U.S. was dangerously close to war with Britain, and he declared “Let the fight come if it must. I don’t care whether our seacoast cities are bombarded or not; we would take Canada”. That's a little warmongery....

Oh yeah, and he killed a god damned elephant.

If those aren't the marks of a belligerent, I don't know what is.

see: www.thewashingtonpugilist.com

A. MacGarr

John Lukacs on T.R.'s handling of the Russo-Japanese War:

"Theodore Roosevelt, too, was statesman enough to rise above the tides of American popular sentiment. During the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 and 1905, that sentiment, including much of the press, seemed to relish the stunning Japanese triumphs, 'the gallant little Jap' pummeling the Russian Bear. Yet when Roosevelt accepted the chairmanship of the peace conference at Portsmouth, the Japanese were disappointed to find that he was not inclined to give them all that they wanted. He struck a kind of balance; he understood that in view of the rising naval and colonial power of the Japanese in the western Pacific it was not in the American interest to see the Russian presence there reduced to nothing."

Doesn't sound much like McCain to me.

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