On politics and humanity, Clemens Samuel

Mark Twain’s Letters
Letters Of 1905: Part I – To Twichell, Mr. Duneka And Others.

Title: Mark Twain’s Letters
Topic: Letters Of 1905: Part I – To Twichell, Mr. Duneka And Others.
Author: Twain, Mark; Paine, Albert Bigelow (ed.)
Date: 1853-1883; Published 1917

To Twichell, Mr. Duneka And Others. Politics And Humanity. A Summer At
Dublin. Mark Twain At 70.

(In 1884 Mark Twain had abandoned the Republican Party to vote for
Cleveland. He believed the party had become corrupt, and to his last day it
was hard for him to see anything good in Republican policies or performance.
He was a personal friend of Theodore Roosevelt’s but, as we have seen in a
former letter, Roosevelt the politician rarely found favor in his eyes. With
or without justification, most of the President’s political acts invited his
caustic sarcasm and unsparing condemnation. Another letter to Twichell of
this time affords a fair example. )

To Rev. J. H. Twichell, In Hartford:

Feb. 16, ’05.

Dear Joe, – I knew I had in me somewhere a definite feeling about the
President if I could only find the words to define it with. Here they are, to
a hair – from Leonard Jerome: “For twenty years I have loved Roosevelt the man
and hated Roosevelt the statesman and politician.”

It’s mighty good. Every time, in 25 years, that I have met Roosevelt the
man, a wave of welcome has streaked through me with the hand-grip; but
whenever (as a rule) I meet Roosevelt the statesman and politician, I find him
destitute of morals and not respectworthy. It is plain that where his
political self and his party self are concerned he has nothing resembling a
conscience; that under those inspirations he is naively indifferent to the
restraints of duty and even unaware of them; ready to kick the Constitution
into the back yard whenever it gets in the way; and whenever he smells a vote,
not only willing but eager to buy it, give extravagant rates for it and pay
the bill – not out of his own pocket or the party’s, but out of the nation’s,
by cold pillage. As per Order 78 and the appropriation of the Indian trust

But Roosevelt is excusable – I recognize it and (ought to) concede it. We are
all insane, each in his own way, and with insanity goes irresponsibility.
Theodore the man is sane; in fairness we ought to keep in mind that Theodore,
as statesman and politician, is insane and irresponsible.

(Where else could a man rise to power by attacking the ethics of
others, then once he got elected speaker, immediately try to cash in
to the tune of $4 million on a questionable book deal, shut down the
government in a pique, get caught in the same kind of ethics scandal
he once railed against, admit he misled the ethics committee, then
corrupt the ethics committee and bully and beg enough Republicans to
still be returned as speaker? God bless America.)

Newt Gingrich’s thoughts,
as channelled by Maureen Dowd
From [email protected] Fri Jan 10 15:00:53 PST 1997
Article: 92060 of alt.revisionism
Path: nizkor.almanac.bc.ca!news.island.net!news.bctel.net!noc.van.hookup.net!
From: [email protected] (Joel Rosenberg)
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Mark Twain on Duck Tavish’s hero, Teddy Roosevelt
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 11:07:07
Organization: Ellegon, Inc.
Lines: 65
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