Retreading Teddy: Obama in Osawatomie
Whacked from so many gigs in States he can’t remember the names of, Barack Obama’s
running low on original material.
Then again, Teddy Roosevelt is a tough act to follow.
Nowadays, Obama infers Lincolnesque-style passion into his empty, collective agenda. Or,
the other day in Osawatomie, Kansas, Obama retreaded the modus operandi and static from Roosevelt’s New Nationalism speech; one given 101 years ago in Osawatomie that laid the foundation for TR’s unsuccessful 1912 run to retake the White House.
Stumping in Osawatomie, Obama modernized the 20th century icon, contrasting TR’s call for social justice by a powerful federal government regulating the economy. Obama will be remembered for believing in an even stronger ‑- as TR penned, “National Government.” Up until Obama, it was TR who prided himself in taking great license with executive power.
Comparing the political divide in America, Obama said TR was labeled a Marxian for many of the same political proposals he too has put forward. If Obama is taking cues from TR’s ghost, maybe he prepped for Osawatomie by reading historian George E. Mowrys, Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement, calling TR’s speech there, “the most radical speech ever given by an ex-President.”
The “collective amnesia” Obama spoke of in Osawatomie, reminding Kansans this is the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression; one he bears no culpability for, is for many, the collective amnesia so many Americans threw caution to the wind in voting for someone so skilled in the artful guise of sanguinity.
Kansans though, are not so easily led. The state hasn’t gone Democrat in a presidential race since 1964. Being a non-battleground state, they won’t likely go blue when the unemployment rate there sits at 6.7% compared to the national average of 8.6.
Channeling the raw verve of TR can’t shroud Obama’s abysmal record of failed initiatives, appointing czars with no accountability to the American people, super committees created to flop, and, as so definitively put by Allen West, “a progressive mantra of equal achievement.”
The Cheshire Cat is out of the bag. Even adopting TR’s, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there,” as a 2012 campaign slogan wouldn’t be enough to veil Obama’s stark inadequacies.
It might at the very least, break the long fall down the Rabbit Hole of hope and change.