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Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Collection of Terrible People Celebrate a Terrible Man

Posted by on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM

When Pat Buchanan and Henry Kissinger give speeches about how you were wronged, you were probably an awful man.

A gripping sense of grievance helped animate a gala in Washington on Wednesday night to celebrate what would have been Richard Nixon’s 100th birthday.

Four decades after he resigned in disgrace, the dead-enders continue to believe that the 37th president was wronged by his elitist enemies.

Eager to rehabilitate his still-shattered image, aging loyalists sought to portray Nixon as a perseverant patriot and peacemaker.

In less than four decades, a bunch of elderly people will be gathering to try to rehabilitate George W. Bush's legacy, too. They'll be about as successful as Buchanan and Kissinger were last night.


Comments (13) RSS

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Phoebe in Wallingford 13
@12: What country has Obama invaded?
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on January 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 12
He will always be "Tricky Dick" to me. Oh yeah, and the guy who illegally invaded Cambodia and Laos. Which (ahem) doesn't make him any worse than our current president.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on January 10, 2013 at 1:54 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 11
@5 Well put. Instead of the old "Power corrupts" stuff, I like to say that "Power amplifies a person's worst qualities." Nixon was a pathological liar. He had several admirable qualities, but magnifying that bad one was nasty business that cost a lot of lives.
Posted by Sir Vic on January 10, 2013 at 1:49 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 10

Historians have turned around on other Republican presidents over time.

In my day, it was Eisenhower. Although he was significant in proposing an agenda of arms controls, and warned against the military-industrial complex, after his Presidency he was portrayed as ignorant and backward and a kind of do-nothing presiding over Happy Days. While Kennedy gets credit for space exploration, for instance, it was during Eisenhower that the main apparatus was put in place for the development of space planes and rocketry ("The Right Stuff" even suggests that we may have taken a giant leap backward during the Apollo era from the X-15 space planes.)

Modern analysis paint Ike as quite intelligent, and having great foresight as a President.

It took decades of revisionism and more scholarly research to set the record straight.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on January 10, 2013 at 1:41 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 9
1. Caligutard
2. Raygun
3. Dicksin
4. Profit??
Posted by Original Andrew on January 10, 2013 at 1:37 PM · Report this
eclexia 8
There is absolutely no comparison between Nixon And George W.

One was brilliant and implemented some good policies, but was brought down by his own personality flaws.

W. was just a dumb guy who got run over by powers he didn't understand and never will.
Posted by eclexia on January 10, 2013 at 1:27 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 7
Always, always relevant: He Was A Crook.
Posted by Doctor Memory on January 10, 2013 at 1:24 PM · Report this
Fnarf 6
@3, but they ended up with access to Harvard, Yale, and Oxford. Nixon never did. Right now is an unusual time; it's the first time in American history we've had four consecutive Ivy League presidents. Quite a few presidents never went to college at all, even as recently as Harry Truman (Washington and Lincoln among them).
Posted by Fnarf on January 10, 2013 at 1:24 PM · Report this
Fnarf 5
Nixon was a catastrophic mess of a president, but he was a fascinating mess all the same. Compared to the wingnuts and insubstantial gerbils who have led the Republican Party since, he was a giant. I'm not going to give him any points for "peacemaker", which is ludicrous, but I will give him credit for the EPA and OSHA, which he created, and for visiting China -- if you weren't around then you really have no idea how breathtaking a move that was. Oh, yeah, and Food Stamps, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, NOAA, SSI...

Nixon also proposed national health care and a guaranteed minimum national income, which is far to the left of our current Democratic president.

Unfortunately, he was crazy. Watergate and the attendant coverup scandal was a wholly self-inflicted wound, but the paranoia and skulking wound-nursing were well-noted long
before he ever won the presidency. The politics of resentment never had a more perfect statesman.

I often wonder that the two smartest but most peculiar presidents we've ever had were right in a row -- Johnson and Nixon. And, in this era of double-degreed Ivy Leaguers, it's fascinating to think of these two men of genuinely humble origins, who went to Southwest Texas State Teachers College and Whittier College. Both were defeated by Vietnam, too -- though in retrospect that misadventure looks more and more like an early showing of an endemic national affliction than a specific policy failure (though it certainly was that too). Stupid, hopeless, endless wars are as American as apple pie these days.

In short, was Nixon a good man? No; he was awful. But in so many riveting ways.Those were interesting times.
Posted by Fnarf on January 10, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this
4 decades? They're doing it now! I have ties to right-wingers who yearn for the days of GWB and talk about how great he was.
Posted by TJ on January 10, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
@1 - Agreed. Each successive Republican president seems to make their predecessors look good.
@2 - What do you mean? Obama, Clinton, Carter, and Ford came from fairly modest backgrounds.
Posted by Don't you think he looks tired? on January 10, 2013 at 12:52 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 2
Nixon was one of the few middle class Presidents.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on January 10, 2013 at 12:26 PM · Report this
The sad thing is, compared to G.W., even a paranoid, Machiavellian creep like Nixon comes out looking pretty statesmanlike.
Posted by Proteus on January 10, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Report this

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