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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I knew Richard Nixon, Richard Nixon was a friend of mine, and you, Barack are no Richard Nixon.

Bill Kristol:

I protest. Will no one stand up for Richard Nixon? Richard Nixon was a combat veteran, a staunch and brave anti-Communist, a man who took on the liberal establishment and at times his own party's as well, a leader who often thought for himself and had the courage of his convictions, a president who assembled a first-rate Cabinet and one who—while flawed both in character and in policy judgment—usually tried to confront the real problems and deal with challenges of his times. Richard Nixon led neither the country nor his own administration from behind.

I worked for Richard Nixon (well, I worked for two months in the Nixon White House in 1970 as a summer intern). I voted for Richard Nixon (in 1972, my first vote, against George McGovern—and one about which I have no regrets). I knew Richard Nixon (very slightly—I met him on a few occasions in groups in the late 1970s and the 1980s, and then a couple of times when I worked for Vice President Quayle). And so I feel obliged to rise to Richard Nixon's defense, and to say, with all due respect, to our current president: Barack Obama, you're no Richard Nixon.
Keep in mind that on the international front, Richard Nixon single-handedly pried the Communist alliance between the USSR and China apart. The Nixon IRS never actually went after Nixon's enemies. And Nixon didn't plot the Watergate break-in. Barack Obama is not fit to tie Richard Nixon's shoes.

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Anonymous said...

I voted for Nixon too. It was the first time I voted also. Although flawed, I still think he was a great president. He loved this country. All that he did, right or misguided, he did because he loved America and its Constitution. You can not say that about Obama. What BamBam has done makes Nixon look like a choir boy.

class of 73 said...

Absolutely agree. The trip to China was a stroke of genius. In one move, he pried the Chicoms and the Soviets apart. He made the Chinese more reticent about providing direct aid to the North Vietnamese. The result was when we bombed Hanoi at Christmas in 1972, the Chinese did not intervene as they did in Korea. The north Vietnamese were forced to the table and we were out by the spring of 1973. I cannot even fathom the team of Obama and Clinton to even imagine this type of hard knuckled diplomacy, much less have the courage to carry it out.

Reliapundit said...

nixon a deeply flawed man did the following in 4 years:
-ended the vietnam war
-ended the draft
-started atrms talks with the ussr
-signed the first clean air/clean water act establishing the epa
-opened china
-got us off the gold standard
-re-established law and order
-integrated the officers clubs in the military
-began the usa's support for the dissidents inside the ussr
-saved israel during the yom kipper war
-got egypt to switch from the ussr and expel to the soviet military
-appointed rehnquist
-ensured nasa could land a man on the moon
--- and met elvis in the oval office!

not bad for 4 years.

Anonymous said...

I voted in my 1st election 1972 for McGovern. I have my regrets even though McGovern was the best Dem candidate since 1972!

Erik said...

If only for Paul Johnson's description of Watergate — which he likens, persuasively, to a …witch hunt (!) — you must read A History of the American People.

"By all historical standards, Nixon should have been an American media hero" writes Paul Johnson in his monumental History of the American People.

"He was a natural candidate for laurels in the grand old tradition of self-help, of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. He came from nowhere.

… "Yet, from start to finish, the media, especially the 'quality' press, distrusted [Nixon], consistently denigrated him, and sought to destroy him, indeed in a sense did destroy him. At every crisis in his career — except the last — he had to appeal above the heads of the media to the great mass of the ordinary American people, the 'silent majority' as he called them."

When I first read Paul Johnson's book, incidentally, I remember thinking, But of course! What has always been described as an unsavory character trait in Richard Mulhouse Nixon — his alleged paranoia — turns out perhaps not to have been so paranoid at all and to have been provoked by those who claimed to be innocent bystanders, if not the actual entirely-innocent victims of "Tricky Dick"…

"By contrast, the media did everything in its power to build up and sustain the beatific myth of John F. Kennedy, throughout his life and long after his death, until it finally collapsed in ruins under the weight of incontrovertible evidence. The media protected him, suppressed what it knew to be the truth about him, and if necessary lied about him, on a scale which it had never done even for Franklin Roosevelt."

C'mon. Don't tell me that I really need to point out the parallels here with Barack Hussein Obama, the anointed One come to save America and Americans from their own demons.

More at the following post:

Evidence of Fraud in 2008 Election? A Surprising Number of Parallels with JFK's 1960 Campaign

Especially this:

"The gradual but cumulatively almost complete transfer of opinion-forming power from the owners and commercial managers of TV stations to the program-makers and presenters was one of the great new facts of life, unheard of before the 1950s, axiomatic by the end of the 1960s. And it was gradually paralleled by a similar shift in the newspaper world, especially on the great dailies and magazines of the East Coast, where political power, with few exceptions, passed from proprietors and major stockholders to editors and writers. Owners like Hearst and McCormick (of the Chicago Tribune), Pulitzer and Henry Luce (of Time-Life), who had once decided the political line of their publications in considerable detail, moved out of the picture and their places were taken by the working journalists. Since the latter tended to be overwhelmingly liberal in their views, this was not just a political but a cultural change of considerable importance. Indeed it is likely that nothing did more to cut America loose from its traditional moorings."

Anonymous said...


Can't figure out why this in in your list:

"- got us off the gold standard."

You prefer the Bernanke standard?

Do you recall why Nixon did that?

Diggs said...

I was no great admirer of Nixon. But I also had no desire to see him vilified in the way he was.
Obama isn't worthy enough to be compared to any American President before, and likely, after his terms. It is my fervent hope that we never again elect a president who dislikes the Constitution, America and Americans as much as Obama does.

Armed Texan said...

While Richard Nixon may not be the inhuman monster that the press and Democrats (birm) make him out to be, let us not lionize him as some conservative icon either. Remember, he brought us OSHA, the EPA, the DEA (along with the war on drugs), and the current (and most incompetent) incarnation of the ATF. Regardless of how you stand on the various underlying issues, establishing federal control over these issues in over-arching bureaucracy is hardly conservative action.

Bill Thompson said...

I was an Aussie living in the States in 1972-73. I still have my presidential campaign button that says - "McGovern can't lick our Dick"....

caseym54 said...

Nixon ran a better cover-up, too. If he'd had the press as doormats like Barack has had, we'd never have heard of Watergate.

Anonymous said...

Sure Nixon was iffy at best on many domestic issues. But you have to put him in the context of his times. Before the Reagan Revolution and after the Goldwater debacle in 1964 that was pretty much the default position for most Republicans. And abortion/social issues didn't become salient in presidential elections until the 1980s (with Roe coming down two days after Nixon's second inauguration).
But he was a solid commander-in-chief and foreign policy president (which is what was really his passion). Cambodia in 1970 and the two Operation Linebackers in 1972 were bold and highly controversial decisions, and of course the opening of China was pure genius. This was a man who loved sticking it to the press, the Democrats and the counterculturalists-- an admirable quality for sure.

Kathy K said...

@Anonymous: Iffy at best? That's a polite way of putting it. Wage and price controls too... don't forget those. And abortion had nothing to do with it - I'm talking economics and stifling business.

Yes, China was good. But Peace with Honor wasn't either.

Anonymous said...


The Goldwater "debacle" paved the way for the Reagan Revolution. AuH20 was an extraordinary man, who might well have been president if JFK had not been assassinated.

And yeah, wage and price controls. Nixon was neither conservative nor libertarian, and his character flaws completely disqualify him from favorable consideration as president.

I voted for Nixon in 1968, and still think he was a better choice than the alternative.

A good choice he was not.

Unknown said...

The top of my bucket list is to piss on Nixon's grave.

Anonymous said...

Although it had to be the most difficult thing he ever did, Nixon had the honor and courage to do what he knew was best for the country when he resigned. Obama would never do anything that would benefit anyone but himself. The American people just can't wrap their arms around the fact that we now have a president who has disdain for this country and it's founders.

Alan said...

A little something about Richard Nixon:

Verena said...

This is cool!