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 Rated FDR 

February 15, 2007 
paragraph indentAs I write, Anna Nicole’s remarkable corpse is still in a Florida morgue and closure appears to be a long way off. The cremation compromise is not an option. This is a case which, as the judge himself has suggested, even Solomon couldn’t resolve. Today's column is "Rated FDR" -- Read Joe's columns the day he writes them.Nobody even thinks of putting Anna Nicole behind us.

paragraph indentFox News reports that the remains are “decomposing,” presumably except for the implants, which, to today’s American male, appear to be the really crucial feature of the female anatomy. The legal battle will apparently continue until nothing else is left. And Hugh Hefner has stood out for chivalry in not claiming paternity for little Daniellyn. Not that anyone would believe him anyway.

paragraph indentClosure? Don’t make me laugh. There’s no such thing anymore. Think of John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, O.J. Simpson, and Princess Di, not to mention the Holocaust. (Soon I suppose we’ll be calling it the “alleged” Holocaust.)

paragraph indentNothing ever really gets settled nowadays, even when the evidence seems decisive and all the experts agree. The fighting doesn’t really start until the jury is in. The 2000 presidential election remains in dispute, as does the authorship of “Shakespeare.”

paragraph indentEverything you once were sure of is now in doubt. Change confuses people, but not animals. My dog never seems to notice how different the world is from the days, not so long ago, when she was a puppy. I wish I could adjust the way she does.

paragraph indentI keep watching the Animal Planet channel and learning that some notorious predator has been unjustly maligned. It’s embarrassing to discover that I’ve been avoiding piranha-infested waters all these years for no reason. Next we’ll be told by some chipper Aussie bloke that the gentle piranha is man’s best friend, now an endangered species.

paragraph indentAnd that’s not the end of it. Revisionism is in the air. Every slam-dunk turns out to be a fraud.

paragraph indentMost historians agree that Franklin Roosevelt was one of our greatest presidents. His face is on the dime and we have a great memorial to him in Washington. However, he smoked cigarettes (his pals Churchill and Stalin smoked cigars and pipes); you’ve seen the famous photos of him with his jaunty cigarette holder in his teeth. This now brings him afoul of the same liberals who have always adored him.

[Breaker quote for Rated FDR: Anna Nicole and history]paragraph indentThey have a point. Think of the way this man dealt death to those around him, filling the White House with second-hand smoke and inspiring young people to follow his example. And since there is now a movement afoot to give R ratings to movies showing people smoking, soon our kids may not be able to see a biopic of FDR unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. So much for the Greatest Generation, not to mention Humphrey Bogart. (In one of his films, Bogey puffs cigarettes in a hospital bed. It seems prehistoric.) Within a few years, the Western powers may be at war, undeclared of course, with the Axis of Tobacco.

paragraph indentIt should be said in his defense that Roosevelt ordered the development of the atomic bomb, which does not produce much second-hand smoke, and he was handicapped long before it became really fashionable. True, he preferred Stalin to Churchill, but that only shows his basic humanity. Roosevelt had a special appeal to immigrants, and as one congressman put it this week, “Immigrants are the lifeblood on which this country is built.” Well said!

paragraph indentWhatever his faults, FDR never tried to bring democracy to the Middle East. He may have been evil, depraved, mendacious, cynical, murderous, and adulterous, but at least he wasn’t George W. Bush. Today he would be a hero of white supremacists.

paragraph indentThen again, no president has had a goofier wife than Eleanor Roosevelt, who had buck teeth that could eat an apple through a tennis racket, and Roosevelt couldn’t control her. Even second-hand smoke couldn’t finish Mrs. Roosevelt off. Long after her death (there was no protracted legal struggle over her body, and closure was swiftly achieved, perhaps because it had no implants), her ghost continued to haunt the White House, giving Hillary Clinton progressive ideas. This must certainly be taken into account if Hillary gets back in there.

paragraph indentLet the lawyers keep wrangling if they want to. Meanwhile, Congress can act now, setting aside a few billion and a few acres along the Potomac for the Smith Memorial.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2007 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
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