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Old 01-04-2019, 05:23 PM
 
8,571 posts, read 8,791,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellion1999 View Post
Nixon wasn't power hungry like the Clintons.....he could have contested LEGALLY the 1960 Presidential election when JFK narrowly won by 0.17% of the votes and plenty of evidence of voter fraud in several states and Nixon refused because it would have divided the nation and call in question our "democratic" process. Al Gore and the Democrats would have contested the election.


one more time, Nixon's "crimes" weren't any worse than other Presidents. Nixon got nailed for it while other Presidents didn't.
Oh boy, I am going to parse this rather uninformed comment.

First, with respect to voter fraud. When Nixon conceded the Presidential race to Kennedy he waived the right to contest the popular vote in each state. One has to ask if there was a basis to this accusation of voter fraud than "Why did Nixon waive his rights?". I think the answer is actually quite simple. Even if he had gotten the results overturned in Illinois (which was supposedly the epicenter of the election fraud) he would still have lost. Kennedy won with 303 electoral votes and he could have afforded to lose Illinois.

In any event, no reputable historian talks about voting fraud in 1960 for that reason. The person who had the right to make that claim chose not too.

Second, making a simplistic statement saying that "Nixon's crimes weren't any worse than any other Presidents" portrays a deep lack of knowledge. We speculate about other presidents. We don't speculate about Nixon because the record is very clear exactly what he did. Nixon conspired to obstruct justice when he sat around in the White House with his subordinates and discussed paying a $1,000,000 to the White House burglars so that they would testify falsely and not implicate anyone in the White House. Its there in black and white on Nixon's own tapes. He did other things too. He authorized the burglary of Daniel Ellsburg's psychiatrist office. He illegally wiretapped people simply because they were his political opponents as a form of harassment.

Other presidents did things that were wrong, but the record is much less clear because they weren't caught on a taping system in the middle of their conspiracy. We have to speculate exactly what laws they may have broken. LBJ wiretapped a number of people during his presidency and that was wrong. However, there were some key differences. He order wiretapping of the Nixon campaign because there some national security matters that pertained to the Paris talks with North Vietnam that were aimed at ending the Vietnam War. His FBI Director, Hoover, wiretapped civil rights workers because of the FBI Directors unfounded fears that the civil rights workers were part of some conspiracy of sedition against the United States.

I can't stop you from saying that other presidents were no better than Nixon, but the difference is that I have evidence of what Nixon did and all you can do is speculate. Legally, there is a great difference.
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Old 01-04-2019, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Iowa
2,680 posts, read 2,950,434 times
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His longest lasting legacy is the petrodollar system and Big China. I doubt he had any idea when he planted those seeds, what was going to happen. It wouldn't be fair to blame him for future handlers, who misused his tools. He also has a legacy of being the most environmental friendly president of modern times, with the EPA, he was the one who took the first big step in cleaning up our air and water. He saved thousands of workplace accidents from happening, many lives saved, by starting OSHA. He tried to pass a healthcare plan, which might have went forward if not for Watergate.

I really think the mistrust of government began with the minority rule policies of LBJ, which the media carries forward to this day, and the awful blunder of the Vietnam War. LBJ's new immigration and welfare policy also helped facilitate minority rule, along with the media who from that point on, set about to craft public opinion to their liking, by giving the minority a megaphone, and silencing and ridiculing the majority, especially conservative Christians who could not keep TV/movies and liberal public school teachers from brainwashing their kids. This is when the right stopped trusting government, and Watergate was when the radical left decided to make war with all future republican presidents, and their social engineering accelerated after the fall of communism, but was also very strong in the 80's.

Moderator cut: Deleting 2 paragraphs of anti-Jew remarks. This isn't an appropriate place for such things.

Last edited by mensaguy; 01-04-2019 at 06:07 PM.. Reason: Anti-Jew remarks removed.
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Old 01-04-2019, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
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OTOH, an awful lot of what Nixon did was "motorboating because it was time to motorboat" - i.e., China, OSHA, vehicle safety and fuel standards, etc. all would have come about with almost any President of the era. It's hard to resist historical pressure, either way.
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Old 01-04-2019, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,273 posts, read 3,504,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
So I recently stumbled across a copy of Richard Nixon: The Life, by John A. Farrell at my local library. I heard an interview with the author maybe a year or so ago so it was on my radar, and I've been waiting for years for a Nixon bio of this caliber to be produced. These things tend to take some time after a Presidency. It takes decades for primary sources to emerge, and key witnesses are often reluctant to talk when they're still active in politics, for obvious reasons. It helps if the subject has long since died. Such is the case here. Nixon has been dead for nearly a quarter century, his wife preceding him. The principal political actors from early in Nixon's career are almost all long gone, as are many of them from his presidency. And sources have emerged. The White House tapes are now almost entirely public, and the Nixon library has released those documents that it tried for decades to keep private. The book makes exhaustive use of these sources, and others such as Pat Nixon's private thoughts from her personal correspondences with friends. Even an interview with brother Edward Nixon, regarding Richard's formative years and his dynamics with his family. I had no idea that any of Nixon's siblings still lived, and was surprised.

It's all in here. His semi-hardscrabble youth, the early deaths of two brothers. Nixon's talents playing poker in the Navy and his almost overhwelming shyness around women. The early political victories, the red-baiting, Checkers, the difficult relationship with Eisenhower. I knew about all of these things, but not in such depth. For example, I had no idea that Jerry Voorhis, the incumbent Congressman Nixon defeated by painting him as a red dupe, was in fact despised by the communists for the Voorhis Act and as a member of HUAC. Nor did I know that the Los Angeles Times was a conservative political kingmaker in the 1950s, and that Nixon's path to the Senate required wooing the Times in order to become their chosen candidate. He did so, he became such, and the Times duly shepherded his candidacy through both primary and general election. Nixon's position on the GOP ticket is fascinating, how Ike twice tried - in both 1952 and 1956 - to bump him off of it and Nixon outmaneuvered the candidate (and then President) to make it less politically costly just to stick with Nixon.

Most fascinating of all is the deep pathos:
*Nixon's rage at 'east cost elites', in part because he wanted to badly to be one pf them, and lost his chance when he had to turn down a partial scholarship to attend Harvard because his family could not afford to pay the balance or to lose him work at the family store.
*His loathing of the intelligentsia, despite the fact that he was one of the most intelligent and well-read Presidents of the 20th century.
*His unbridled hatred of the media (despite happily using them when convenient, as mentioned above regarding the Los Angeles Times).
*Above all, the paranoia.

Nixon's life plays out almost in two acts. First, everything through the 1960 election. Then the debacle of California in 1962 and the subsequent wilderness years serve as a sort of bridge leading to Act Two, the ascent to the White House, his presidency, and the scandal that consumed it.

There's the Chennault Affair, which the Nixon library was most keen to keep under wraps (along with detailed plans for what became known as the Southern Strategy), wherein in 1968 private citizen Nixon was covertly meeting with the South Vietnamese ambassador and using intermediaries to urge President Thieu to refuse to participate in peace talks, fearful that success for the Johnson administration along these lines might help the Humphrey campaign. LBJ knew what was going on but was unable to reveal this dubious and almost certainly criminal act, because doing so would have necessarily revealed that the knowledge was acquired through his own (dubious and unlawful) surveillance of Americans. There's Watergate, of course, with all its various details, including Nixon's increasing drinking as the scandal progressed. One thing I had known about was the Nixon was prone to make outrageous demands - he endlessly demanded that various crimes be committed, and most of his aids knew enough not to undertake them. But Nixon himself had cautioned his advisors that he frequently would demand things that were not to take seriously. You can see a strange duality of self-awareness yet angry lack of self-restraint therein. At the same time, often he was very clear in his demands for extralegal activities and held to them even after he'd reached the lucid 'cooled down' stage of temperament. There's the relatively liberal domestic policy, largely borne of the fact that Nixon was ideological in foreign affairs but much more pragmatic on the home front. He once told a supporter (this was around 1970), who was also an accomplished attorney, that her support for same-sex marriage cost her a potential judicial appointment from him. But he was far-seeing enough to understand that such a thing would probably come around one day - "maybe by the year 2000," he presciently mused in a moment caught on tape.

I found myself looking for some sort of redemption, wishing - though I knew it was not to be found - that at some point after 1974 Richard Nixon would acknowledge what he had done. But he never did. He blamed everyone - the Kennedys, Woodward and Bernstein, the Democrats - but Richard Nixon. He genuinely believed that as President he was above the law, and that in the pursuit of power all was fair (except, of course, when it was done by one of his opponents). He disliked all of his successors. Ford and Bush were dismissed as dumb, Carter as incompetent, Reagan resented for superseding Nixon as the national leader of conservatism, and he had the reactionary's loathing for Clinton. Only occasionally could he approach introspection. Once he observed (I'm paraphrasing from memory here): "If you're a nice guy you can make a mistake and they'll forgive you, but if you're a prick they'll stick the sword in and twist it". But he didn't acknowledge that he himself stabbed and twisted whether or not the other man (or woman) was nice or a prick. But for all his flirtations with understanding his own complicity in his demise, in the end Richard Nixon was always to himself the victim unjustly attacked.

It's an excellent and compelling read, one I highly recommended.
Thanks for your review of the book! We should have more of this kind of thing on this forum. I like to know what people are reading & their thoughts on it.

Do you have a sense of what was "new" about the book as compared to older biographies? About half of what you wrote was already well-known about Nixon. I suspect the "Chennault Affair" and some of the off-hand remarks caught on tape like the same sex marriage one were the new "gets" that came out of Farrell's research.
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Old 01-04-2019, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,273 posts, read 3,504,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
OTOH, an awful lot of what Nixon did was "motorboating because it was time to motorboat" - i.e., China, OSHA, vehicle safety and fuel standards, etc. all would have come about with almost any President of the era. It's hard to resist historical pressure, either way.
Eh... maybe. Let's look at who the potential presidents were:

Democrats:
LBJ
Hubert Humphrey
Robert Kennedy
Eugene McCarthy

Yeah, they all would probably have done those things, probably gone further on the domestic program. LBJ or RFK a lot further.

Republicans:
George Romney - probably same as Nixon
Nelson Rockefeller - same as Nixon
Ronald Reagan - probably would have resisted
Jim Rhodes - ?? probably resisted

Independent:
George Wallace - probably would have resisted?; would have depended

Opening China is an interesting question. Henry Kissinger was behind that more than anyone else, so the question is, would any of those other potential presidents have hired Kissinger as NSC chairman? I would argue only Rockefeller (Kissinger was his campaign foreign policy advisor). I doubt Romney or Rhodes would have brought Rockefeller into the administration, and definitely not Reagan. Without Rockefeller, you don't have Kissinger. Without Kissinger I think the China rapprochement could not have happened until the 80s.

The Democrats would probably have not had the political maneuvering room to reach out that much to a communist state. Had the Democrats maintained power in 1968, the Vietnam War would have dominated their administration, regardless of who won.

Last edited by redguard57; 01-04-2019 at 06:36 PM..
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:01 PM
 
4,331 posts, read 1,785,194 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
Eh... maybe. Let's look at who the potential presidents were:

Democrats:
LBJ
Hubert Humphrey
Robert Kennedy
Eugene McCarthy

Yeah, they all would probably have done those things, probably gone further on the domestic program. LBJ or RFK a lot further.

Republicans:
George Romney - probably same as Nixon
Nelson Rockefeller - same as Nixon
Ronald Reagan - probably would have resisted
Jim Rhodes - ?? probably resisted

Independent:
George Wallace - probably would have resisted?; would have depended

Opening China is an interesting question. Henry Kissinger was behind that more than anyone else, so the question is, would any of those other potential presidents have hired Kissinger as NSC chairman? I would argue only Rockefeller (Kissinger was his campaign foreign policy advisor). I doubt Romney or Rhodes would have brought Rockefeller into the administration, and definitely not Reagan. Without Rockefeller, you don't have Kissinger. Without Kissinger I think the China rapprochement could not have happened until the 80s.

The Democrats would probably have not had the political maneuvering room to reach out that much to a communist state. Had the Democrats maintained power in 1968, the Vietnam War would have dominated their administration, regardless of who won.

I think this is quite an understatement. Had the Democrats reached out to the Soviets or China or negotiated the US troop withdrawal from Vietnam, they would have been eviscerated. But because Nixon did it, it met with general approval.
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:11 PM
 
9,697 posts, read 3,270,455 times
Reputation: 4572
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Oh boy, I am going to parse this rather uninformed comment.

First, with respect to voter fraud. When Nixon conceded the Presidential race to Kennedy he waived the right to contest the popular vote in each state. One has to ask if there was a basis to this accusation of voter fraud than "Why did Nixon waive his rights?". I think the answer is actually quite simple. Even if he had gotten the results overturned in Illinois (which was supposedly the epicenter of the election fraud) he would still have lost. Kennedy won with 303 electoral votes and he could have afforded to lose Illinois.

In any event, no reputable historian talks about voting fraud in 1960 for that reason. The person who had the right to make that claim chose not too.

Second, making a simplistic statement saying that "Nixon's crimes weren't any worse than any other Presidents" portrays a deep lack of knowledge. We speculate about other presidents. We don't speculate about Nixon because the record is very clear exactly what he did. Nixon conspired to obstruct justice when he sat around in the White House with his subordinates and discussed paying a $1,000,000 to the White House burglars so that they would testify falsely and not implicate anyone in the White House. Its there in black and white on Nixon's own tapes. He did other things too. He authorized the burglary of Daniel Ellsburg's psychiatrist office. He illegally wiretapped people simply because they were his political opponents as a form of harassment.

Other presidents did things that were wrong, but the record is much less clear because they weren't caught on a taping system in the middle of their conspiracy. We have to speculate exactly what laws they may have broken. LBJ wiretapped a number of people during his presidency and that was wrong. However, there were some key differences. He order wiretapping of the Nixon campaign because there some national security matters that pertained to the Paris talks with North Vietnam that were aimed at ending the Vietnam War. His FBI Director, Hoover, wiretapped civil rights workers because of the FBI Directors unfounded fears that the civil rights workers were part of some conspiracy of sedition against the United States.

I can't stop you from saying that other presidents were no better than Nixon, but the difference is that I have evidence of what Nixon did and all you can do is speculate. Legally, there is a great difference.
this is what I call selective history about our Presidents. All historians accept that Vote Fraud happened in Texas, Illinois, and West Virginia. The only argument was just how massive it really was. Democrat historian Robert Caro admitted (and went into great detail on how) 1948 LBJ won his first US Senate primary in TX thru massive voter fraud. Tens of thousands of votes were fraudulent.

wiretapping people simply because they were political opponents as a form of harassment or using the IRS to punish your political opponents? where did we hear that before?

paying people to lie under oath and get money or government jobs? where did we hear that before? didn't Clinton do that?



Presidents have used the FBI to spy on people. JFK and RFK authorized Hoover to wiretapped MLK and others in the civil rights movement or anybody suspected of communism or calling out the government on abuses and crimes.

You mean to tell me that Nixon's "crimes" were worse than Reagan and HW Bush in the Iran Contra of selling arms to Iran to fund an illegal war in Central America? Nixon's crimes never resulted in 1 death compare to the thousands of civilian deaths in the Iran Contra Affair.

you don't need a tape recorder to know the crimes of many Presidents that nothing happened to them. It's all public record.

Last edited by Hellion1999; 01-04-2019 at 07:27 PM..
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:01 PM
 
8,571 posts, read 8,791,135 times
Reputation: 26654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellion1999 View Post
this is what I call selective history about our Presidents. All historians accept that Vote Fraud happened in Texas, Illinois, and West Virginia. The only argument was just how massive it really was. Democrat historian Robert Caro admitted (and went into great detail on how) 1948 LBJ won his first US Senate primary in TX thru massive voter fraud. Tens of thousands of votes were fraudulent.

You say 'tens of thousands of votes were fraudulent" you have no proof other than generalized statements by a couple of historians. Did you purposefully omit Ohio from your list? Nixon carried that state. The same accusations were made about Ohio. But, its all irrelevant. That argument ended the minute Nixon conceded the race and chose not to challenge election results.

wiretapping people simply because they were political opponents as a form of harassment or using the IRS to punish your political opponents? where did we hear that before?

paying people to lie under oath and get money or government jobs? where did we hear that before? didn't Clinton do that?

Clinton did not pay anyone to lie under oath. Show me the proof and it better not be from some right wing publication.



Presidents have used the FBI to spy on people. JFK and RFK authorized Hoover to wiretapped MLK and others in the civil rights movement or anybody suspected of communism or calling out the government on abuses and crimes.

And the difference here is there may have been a national security issue. Sure it was wrong, but Hoover told RFK that was the reason this wire tapping was necessary.

You mean to tell me that Nixon's "crimes" were worse than Reagan and HW Bush in the Iran Contra of selling arms to Iran to fund an illegal war in Central America? Nixon's crimes never resulted in 1 death compare to the thousands of civilian deaths in the Iran Contra Affair.

I meant to tell you that the crimes that could be proven against Nixon fit within the parameters of federal criminal statutes. Selling arms to a foreign country by a president is not similarly illegal even if it is wrong on some moral ground. That is a difference and one that has to be acknowledged.

you don't need a tape recorder to know the crimes of many Presidents that nothing happened to them. It's all public record.
The difference is in one situation the perpetrator admitted the crimes in his own words. In the situation you describe there is much that is not known and much that is simply speculation by people with all kinds of motives.

I do assert what Nixon did and what could be proven about it was qualitatively different from other presidents.


*My replies in bold
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:59 PM
 
9,697 posts, read 3,270,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
The difference is in one situation the perpetrator admitted the crimes in his own words. In the situation you describe there is much that is not known and much that is simply speculation by people with all kinds of motives.

I do assert what Nixon did and what could be proven about it was qualitatively different from other presidents.


*My replies in bold



Article I charged that Clinton lied to the grand jury concerning:
  1. the nature and details of his relationship with Lewinsky
  2. prior false statements he made in the Jones deposition
  3. prior false statements he allowed his lawyer to make characterizing Lewinsky's affidavit
  4. his attempts to tamper with witnesses




Article III charged Clinton with attempting to obstruct justice in the Jones case by:
  1. encouraging Lewinsky to file a false affidavit
  2. encouraging Lewinsky to give false testimony if and when she was called to testify
  3. concealing gifts he had given to Lewinsky that had been subpoenaed
  4. attempting to secure a job for Lewinsky to influence her testimony
  5. permitting his lawyer to make false statements characterizing Lewinsky's affidavit
  6. attempting to tamper with the possible testimony of his secretary Betty Curie
  7. making false and misleading statements to potential grand jury witnesses


Unless that federal job he offered her to lie under oath didn't pay any salary and no benefits that falls under paying someone off to lie under oath in court. Paying someone off could be with money, job, gifts or a house, car or boat.

Then you are wrong about the Iran Contra affair. Selling arms to a country is not against the law unless there is an Arms Embargo with that country and using those funds to run an illegal war in Central America and covering it up which Congress made illegal is. The Boland Amendment prohibited the federal government from providing military support for the purpose of overthrowing the Government of Nicaragua. That's more heavy of a crime than a 3rd-degree burglary of Watergate and covering it up that resulted in 0 deaths compared to Reagan and HW Bush crimes.

To still believe that Reagan and HW Bush (former Director of the CIA) didn't know anything about it and didn't give the ok for it shows you are really naive and are really selective in crimes committed by Presidents.


Quote:
And the difference here is there may have been a national security issue. Sure it was wrong, but Hoover told RFK that was the reason this wire tapping was necessary.
it was illegal and JFK and RFK ok it and they were above Hoover......your excuse "that it was wrong but"....doesn't cut it.....then you are using 2 standards one for the Kennedy's and another one for Nixon.

Last edited by Hellion1999; 01-04-2019 at 10:28 PM..
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,591 posts, read 8,309,616 times
Reputation: 5890
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
So I recently stumbled across a copy of Richard Nixon: The Life, by John A. Farrell at my local library. I heard an interview with the author maybe a year or so ago so it was on my radar, and I've been waiting for years for a Nixon bio of this caliber to be produced. These things tend to take some time after a Presidency. It takes decades for primary sources to emerge, and key witnesses are often reluctant to talk when they're still active in politics, for obvious reasons. It helps if the subject has long since died. Such is the case here. Nixon has been dead for nearly a quarter century, his wife preceding him. The principal political actors from early in Nixon's career are almost all long gone, as are many of them from his presidency. And sources have emerged. The White House tapes are now almost entirely public, and the Nixon library has released those documents that it tried for decades to keep private. The book makes exhaustive use of these sources, and others such as Pat Nixon's private thoughts from her personal correspondences with friends. Even an interview with brother Edward Nixon, regarding Richard's formative years and his dynamics with his family. I had no idea that any of Nixon's siblings still lived, and was surprised.

It's all in here. His semi-hardscrabble youth, the early deaths of two brothers. Nixon's talents playing poker in the Navy and his almost overhwelming shyness around women. The early political victories, the red-baiting, Checkers, the difficult relationship with Eisenhower. I knew about all of these things, but not in such depth. For example, I had no idea that Jerry Voorhis, the incumbent Congressman Nixon defeated by painting him as a red dupe, was in fact despised by the communists for the Voorhis Act and as a member of HUAC. Nor did I know that the Los Angeles Times was a conservative political kingmaker in the 1950s, and that Nixon's path to the Senate required wooing the Times in order to become their chosen candidate. He did so, he became such, and the Times duly shepherded his candidacy through both primary and general election. Nixon's position on the GOP ticket is fascinating, how Ike twice tried - in both 1952 and 1956 - to bump him off of it and Nixon outmaneuvered the candidate (and then President) to make it less politically costly just to stick with Nixon.

Most fascinating of all is the deep pathos:
*Nixon's rage at 'east cost elites', in part because he wanted to badly to be one pf them, and lost his chance when he had to turn down a partial scholarship to attend Harvard because his family could not afford to pay the balance or to lose him work at the family store.
*His loathing of the intelligentsia, despite the fact that he was one of the most intelligent and well-read Presidents of the 20th century.
*His unbridled hatred of the media (despite happily using them when convenient, as mentioned above regarding the Los Angeles Times).
*Above all, the paranoia.

Nixon's life plays out almost in two acts. First, everything through the 1960 election. Then the debacle of California in 1962 and the subsequent wilderness years serve as a sort of bridge leading to Act Two, the ascent to the White House, his presidency, and the scandal that consumed it.

There's the Chennault Affair, which the Nixon library was most keen to keep under wraps (along with detailed plans for what became known as the Southern Strategy), wherein in 1968 private citizen Nixon was covertly meeting with the South Vietnamese ambassador and using intermediaries to urge President Thieu to refuse to participate in peace talks, fearful that success for the Johnson administration along these lines might help the Humphrey campaign. LBJ knew what was going on but was unable to reveal this dubious and almost certainly criminal act, because doing so would have necessarily revealed that the knowledge was acquired through his own (dubious and unlawful) surveillance of Americans. There's Watergate, of course, with all its various details, including Nixon's increasing drinking as the scandal progressed. One thing I had known about was the Nixon was prone to make outrageous demands - he endlessly demanded that various crimes be committed, and most of his aids knew enough not to undertake them. But Nixon himself had cautioned his advisors that he frequently would demand things that were not to take seriously. You can see a strange duality of self-awareness yet angry lack of self-restraint therein. At the same time, often he was very clear in his demands for extralegal activities and held to them even after he'd reached the lucid 'cooled down' stage of temperament. There's the relatively liberal domestic policy, largely borne of the fact that Nixon was ideological in foreign affairs but much more pragmatic on the home front. He once told a supporter (this was around 1970), who was also an accomplished attorney, that her support for same-sex marriage cost her a potential judicial appointment from him. But he was far-seeing enough to understand that such a thing would probably come around one day - "maybe by the year 2000," he presciently mused in a moment caught on tape.

I found myself looking for some sort of redemption, wishing - though I knew it was not to be found - that at some point after 1974 Richard Nixon would acknowledge what he had done. But he never did. He blamed everyone - the Kennedys, Woodward and Bernstein, the Democrats - but Richard Nixon. He genuinely believed that as President he was above the law, and that in the pursuit of power all was fair (except, of course, when it was done by one of his opponents). He disliked all of his successors. Ford and Bush were dismissed as dumb, Carter as incompetent, Reagan resented for superseding Nixon as the national leader of conservatism, and he had the reactionary's loathing for Clinton. Only occasionally could he approach introspection. Once he observed (I'm paraphrasing from memory here): "If you're a nice guy you can make a mistake and they'll forgive you, but if you're a prick they'll stick the sword in and twist it". But he didn't acknowledge that he himself stabbed and twisted whether or not the other man (or woman) was nice or a prick. But for all his flirtations with understanding his own complicity in his demise, in the end Richard Nixon was always to himself the victim unjustly attacked.

It's an excellent and compelling read, one I highly recommended.
Thanks for your review. I always found Richard Nixon a very interesting topic.

Nixon was a great paradox - an introvert in an extrovert's profession. And much of what he did was at variance with his less attractive private statements.

I'm surprised to hear that anybody was talking about same sex marriage at all in 1970. I never heard anybody express support for it until the late 1990s. Interesting.

It's not surprising that he didn't like his successors. Leaders rarely think that others do as good a job as they would have done under the circumstances.

I don't happen to believe that Nixon's crimes were all that unique. I think he conducted the office by what was standard operating procedure, to one degree or another, since Roosevelt. Certainly he wasn't worse than LBJ, who was involved in all kinds of skulduggery. And the sainted JFK had plenty of bad stuff going on too, though unlike Nixon, the media covered for him. What really ruined Nixon was Vietnam, and the ugliness and bitterness it caused. I think anybody who was president during those years would have been destroyed by the war. The genius of the Democrats was to somehow convince many people that Nixon took us into Vietnam while Kennedy got us out, when the exact reverse was true.
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