Thursday, February 21, 2013
Here Comes the Judge!
I probably should avoid mentioning books like this, but here is "Judge" Napolitano weighing in on Roosevelt and Wilson, who he dismissively refers to as Theodore and Woodrow in his new book on how they "destroyed" constitutional freedom. What on earth he means by this is anyone's guess, but it is all part and parcel of the ongoing conservative assault on what it regards as America's liberal past, published in large part by Thomas Nelson. The same guys who brought us David Barton's Jefferson's Lies.
Judging by the "reviews" it is the progressive streak in Roosevelt and Wilson that Napolitano takes exception to, ushering in a new era of regulation he says was previously unseen in "Federalist" America. I don't imagine he digs too deep into the past, preferring to take the legislation that was passed during this time at face value. If he did, he might have noted that Federalism died in 1800 with the election of Jefferson, and that Roosevelt modeled himself on Lincoln. One could consider Roosevelt a reluctant progressive at best, as the new labor and anti-trust laws were not the srongest, as was the new tax code passed under Wilson, so it was hardly a big pinch on big business. However, this new legislation did establish a precedent for stronger laws during FDR's administration, which conservatives like Napolitano so much abhor.
I suppose TR is an easy target for conservatives, since they pretty much disowned him from the start, which is why he created the Bull Moose Party. Roosevelt became much more of a reactionary after he stepped down from the White House than he was while in the WH. I don't imagine Napolitano is interested in how popular "Theodore" was at the time, and that he probably could have run for a third term and won, but TR deferred to his VP Taft, which he came to regret. Roosevelt didn't think too favorably of Wilson either. In many ways Wilson was an opportunist moreso than the radical visionary Napolitano presents him as.
You can hear these views spewed on Freedom Watch, his syndicated show with Faux News, where the former judge makes his home. But, having his own show doesn't seem to be enough for Napolitano, who has quite a number of books to his credit.