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March 2nd, 2010
12:46 PM ET

TR: The conservatives' new demon

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/10/09/us.nobel.presidents/art.teddy.gi.jpg caption="Glenn Beck called former President Teddy Roosevelt an enemy of human freedom at the Conservative Political Action conference."]

Michael Gerson
The Washington Post

Such is the zeal in portions of the tea party right that it is not enough to sweep out living members of the establishment such as John McCain. A brisk, ideological scrubbing must be applied to history as well.

So Glenn Beck, speaking recently at the Conservative Political Action Conference, identified a great enemy of human freedom as . . . Teddy Roosevelt. Beck highlighted this damning Roosevelt quote: "We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used."

Ah, you don't discern the scandal in this statement? Look closer. "This is not our Founders' idea of America," explained Beck. "And this is the cancer that's eating at America. It is big government - it's a socialist utopia." Evidently, real conservatives defend wealth that is dishonorably gained and then wasted.

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