- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 8, 2011

President Obama’s speech in Osawatomie, Kan., this week was calculated to clothe him in the robes of Teddy Roosevelt, who had spoken at Osawatomie 101 years earlier, calling for a “New Nationalism” (“Obama invokes TR to push payroll-tax cuts,” Politics, Wednesday).

Mr. Obama’s theme was that he, like Roosevelt before him, wants social fairness. It’s true that Roosevelt was a progressive who championed graduated federal income and estate taxes, woman’s suffrage, and social insurance for the elderly and disabled. But Roosevelt was not a radical liberal hellbent on redistributing wealth at the cost of crippling the economy.

Mr. Obama should reflect on Roosevelt’s speech in Dallas on April 5, 1905: “When I say I believe in a square deal I do not mean to give every man the best hand. If the cards do not come to any man, or if they do come and he has not the power to play them, that’s his affair. All I mean is there shall be no crookedness in the dealing.”

CARL H. MIDDLETON

Arlington