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Old 01-05-2019, 12:21 PM
 
9,710 posts, read 3,270,455 times
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Originally Posted by dazzleman View Post



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.
exactly! Nixon's "crimes" were not any worse than previous Presidents who got away with it. The whole Kennedy family was the real crime family. They were the untouchables. They can actually let a woman drown in a car and not report it to the police to save her life and fix it and get away with to still have a Senate career and be called Lion of the Senate and served for 5 decades and run for President.


then they paint Camelot boy like a saint that he tried to get us out of Vietnam and paid with his life for it when that was an Oliver Stone lie and Hollywood fantasy while Nixon Hollywood paints as paranoid and very corrupt and in a very dark way, just like they did Reagan, W Bush now Cheney with the movie Vice and you know what they will do with Trump.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellion1999 View Post
exactly! Nixon's "crimes" were not any worse than previous Presidents who got away with it. The whole Kennedy family was the real crime family. They were the untouchables. They can actually let a woman drown in a car and not report it to the police to save her life and fix it and get away with to still have a Senate career and be called Lion of the Senate and served for 5 decades and run for President.


then they paint Camelot boy like a saint that he tried to get us out of Vietnam and paid with his life for it when that was an Oliver Stone lie and Hollywood fantasy while Nixon Hollywood paints as paranoid and very corrupt and in a very dark way, just like they did Reagan, W Bush now Cheney with the movie Vice and you know what they will do with Trump.
Oh good Lord. You can't compare Chappaquidick with Watergate for one critical reason. Ted Kennedy was never POTUS. Nixon's crimes affected an entire nation. What Ted Kennedy did affected the state of Massachusetts and the Kopechne family. He was drunk. He drove off a bridge. Mary Jo died. He left the scene of the accident and didn't summon help. Is that bad? Yes. Its not a political scandal that involved a whole country.

Blah blah blah....".the whole Kennedy family is a crime family". Where are the indictments? Where are the jury trials? Where are the logs of the wiretapped conversations that prove it? Where are the prison sentences? Its just right wing political speculation. And, aside from Chappaquidick has no place on the History Forum.

Other presidents may have committed crimes. The difference is that Nixon's crimes need not be speculated on. They could easily have been proven in a court of law and would have been, but for Nixon's pardon. In fact, his underlings went to prison for those very crimes. Any prosecutor knows that you start with those things you can actually prove.
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:36 AM
 
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I think charisma, looks, and good PR goes a long way in enhancing or diminishing the general perception a President; JFK benefitted from this while “Tricky Dicky” did not.

He certainly was a complex man, with an interesting life story. I wonder if his well-known tendency for paranoia stemmed from some innate personality trait linked to his high intelligence and poor social skills. I’d be interested in reading this book.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Iowa
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Well, Nixon was paranoid of the press, and he knew the press favored the democrats, as they had since the days of FDR, and he knew the medium of television will usually favor the better looking candidate. I'm sure the press did not forget the critical remarks he made about the press, in his 1962 concession speech for governor of California. From this point on, the press was not going to cut him any slack.

Ellsberg leaked sensitive documents which revealed the fallback positions of our troops in Vietnam, and this is where the press hating Nixon comes into play, they support Ellsberg even tho he has committed treason, they print his stuff in the newspapers and start ripping on Nixon for the bombing of Cambodia, which was the best shot we had at destroying the safe haven bases the Viet Cong were using, and get them to negotiate a peace treaty. Nixon's actions in Cambodia were at the request of the new Cambodian president, to drive the communists out of the country. How could Nixon not be enraged about how the press was handling this?

With Watergate, yes it was a stupid thing to do, and impossible to cover up without a cooperative press. Certain media elites and prosecutors worked very hard to bring him down. It was not an easy task. We found out who Deep Throat was, whom worked with Bob Woodward to crack open the case, but not about the other secret informers in Miami who were never exposed. Who tipped off Gerstein and Dardis in Florida, about the check deposited in the Watergate burglar's bank account (Barker & Stugis) and who told them they were using a local camera shop in Miami to develop their film? Gerstein was tipped off about that, and he raided the camera shop and found the pictures they had taken at the Watergate, which also proved they had been in there twice.

Not to say Gerstein was a bad guy, his record shows him to be one hell of a sharp prosecutor for the state of Florida, whom took down many kingpins and racketeers, and prevented Miami from becoming what it turned into in the 80's after he was gone. But still, the effort exerted by the Washington Post to tie this to Nixon's men was exhaustive and continuous. Nixon's worst fears about the press had became true, so was he not right to be paranoid of them? Consider if this had been done by a democrat president spying on the republicans, would any of this be investigated and reported?

Another betrayal, to get John Dean to talk at the hearings, they led him to believe he would get immunity. After he testified, he was disbarred for life from practicing law, and got a 4 month stretch in prison, for his cooperation. I doubt he would have said a damn thing or revealed any hint of a taping system, had he known they were going to throw his immunity deal out the window.

The big mystery is why Nixon did not destroy the tapes. He should have, but did not. He thought the tapes were his own personal property, which they were, and thought the courts would uphold his personal privacy/executive privilege argument. Hard to imagine in this case which involved wire tapping and spying, that he would think think the privacy laws would protect him from the very thing he was doing to others. I probably don't want to know what was on that missing 20 minutes of tape, lol. He let the prosecutors have everything they needed to destroy him, but for this little 20 minute segment.
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Old 01-06-2019, 03:43 PM
 
124 posts, read 23,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
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.
The most relevant of the newer sources seem to be various White House files that the Nixon library had managed to keep secret until 2007. The Chennault Affair, as we've mentioned, which was generally understood but the various details were unconfirmed. And the details of the Southern Strategy, explicitly laid out (though not under that name).

Therein another dichotomy of Nixon emerges. His record on civil rights had many high points, but as the 1960s developed it became politically expedient for him to take advantage of white resentment that emerged from the erosion of white privilege due to Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act, and so forth. And above all else, Nixon won no matter the cost. An example of this comes very early in his career, after he won his first election by painting incumbent Congressman Jerry Voorhis as a useful idiot for the communists despite a Congressional career that, in fact, infuriated American communists and their sympathizers. After the election, an acquaintance said "Dick, you know Jerry was never a red dupe, right?" and Nixon just waived him off with a comment that depicting Voorhis as such was necessary in order to win. That was always the bottom line. And despite Nixon's instinctual support for equality, he was also deeply racist. On the tapes, he is musing about abortion, which concerns him only because he thinks is 'encourages permissiveness' and he goes on note than sometimes abortion is necessary and lists as his first example "when you've got a white and a black". To Nixon, a baby born to a mixed-race couple was beyond the pale.

The interviews with his brother, Edward, and Pat's personal letters also serve to detail Nixon's relationships and first-hand views of his from those that knew him.
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Richard Nixon was an amazing mixture of good and bad qualities. I have difficulty thinking of a historical figure who had two such violently different sides.

The good side included an astonishing intellect that allowed him to understand politics better than almost anyone around him. It included a willingness to bend and compromise to achieve larger goals. It included an ability to abandon ideology and use methods that the democrats would have used. He used government imposed wage and price controls to subdue inflation. He sponsored two government regulatory agencies to deal with problems that existed. I speak of the EPA and OSHA. He was a master of foreign policy issues and he realized that by making overtures to China he could: Make a more peaceful world; cause consternation among the leaders of the USSR; and help achieve some semblance of a peace deal in Vietnam. He went from barely winning election with 43% of the vote in 1968 to defeating his opponent in a landslide with over 61% of the vote in 1972.

Unfortunately, the bad side probably outweighed all of this. He was an excessively paranoid person. He believed that if he gave an interview on t.v. that someone would deliberately shut the sound off on him to make him look bad. He was very antisemitic and the White House tapes are full of nasty comments about Jews and other groups he disliked. His lack of tethering to any ideology made him a rather amoral man. He knew the Watergate burglars and their families were being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash in "hush money" so they would not tell the truth to the federal grand jury. He openly conspired on tape in the White House about bribery and obstruction of justice to deliberately impede the Watergate investigation. He authorized the burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsburg's psychiatrist. Other presidents wiretapped people and used the IRS against their opponents. Nixon took it to a new level where it was being done to hundreds of people. He compiled an enemies list. These were people Nixon fully intended to use the offices of government to punish when he had the opportunity.

In the end, I have many regrets about Nixon. I think if he had been a somewhat different person he could have been one of our greatest presidents. The reality is though we have yet to survive him. Other politicians and presidents probably got some ideas for misbehavior from him. We may see these played out in the future.

I think that if Nixon had been a better person, he would have never been President.

But then, if he had been even worse, he would have never been a President either.
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Iowa
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Just remembering a clip from the Ken Burns Vietnam documentary, when they showed Nixon campaigning for the '68 election. They showed Nixon riding around all over NYC in an open top car, waving and feeling quite giddy, with a big smile on his face. This does not fit the profile of a paranoid skitzo. Kennedy had just been shot 5 years before this, I'm sure Nixon's security detail was livid about his disregard for his own personal safety, and gave him ample warning not to do it. When you figure the number of radical nut cases had mutiplied exponentially since 1963, and him riding around NYC in a convertable with no protection, damn, what a trooper.

Nixon breathed new life into America, he was a breath of fresh air, he set the bar for how high a president can jump, and no president since him, even Ronald Reagan, has come close to matching his achievement. The farmers got paid, Elvis got a badge, the communists got bombed, the black people got affirmative action, the children got head start and school lunch, and Sesame Street. Women got his beautiful victory pose to hang up on the wall and admire. Indians got free determination and the resulting casino wealth. LA gradually got rid of their smog, the pollution of the Great Lakes region was drastically reduced and cleanup began, the failed socialist government of Chili was lifted to first world status because of Nixon's effort. The US was able to borrow 20 trillion dollars and build it's military power, and ease the pain of what could have been worse than the great depression, in 2008, because Nixon gave us the power and the ability to remove Saddam and preserve our lucrative petrodollar system. We would all be on skid row by now, if not for what Nixon did.

We would have won Vietnam had Nixon been the man in 1960 instead of Kennedy. Foreign leaders fought like cats and dogs to get a seat for Nixon's funeral. Why, because he was a thoughtful man who listened to them, and found a way to make deals that benefited both sides. Any leader he wanted to meet, he also wanted to know every detail about them before the meeting. Often he would provide a thoughtful gift or gesture that would impress them. He knew how to break the ice, how to cut thru the fog and find the common ground. What a leader we had in Richard Nixon. How sad for us, on what we missed out on by having his term of office cut short. There was so much more he could have given to America and the world.
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mofford View Post
Elvis got a badge,.
I'll always remember that picture because he is so obviously stoned.




....and Elvis looks wasted too.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Iowa
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Yeah, Elvis looks pretty wasted in that picture, but to be fair, I found this quote from Wiki which might give plausible explanation why he looks so trashed,

"Due to an allergic reaction Presley experienced from a medication for an eye infection, aggravated by chocolate that he ate on the plane, a rash had developed on his face and neck."

Elvis wanted a bureau of narcotics badge and it was suggested to him to go see Nixon. He delivered a hand written letter to the white house at 6AM to request a visit with the president. Bud Krogh took the initiative (he liked Elvis) and set up a meeting that afternoon. Elvis tried to get a badge from the Bureau Chief of the BNDD, John Finiator, that morning but failed. Later he met Nixon and convinced him he was against the radical left and wanted a BNDD badge to show his support and blah blah blah, Elvis scored himself a badge. I'm happy for Elvis that Nixon gave it to him, he gave Nixon a nice handgun in a display case, I think it was a luger.

Everybody got something from Nixon. The hard hats in NYC got to beat up some hippies and wall street bankers after the Kent State Riots, and not get in trouble for it. The liberal hippie lawyers and reporters got something too, Nixon's scalp, it took a long time but it was like the grand prize for them, must have been fun when that got that trophy kill in 1974.

If Nixon had won in 1960, you know there would be no 40 years of Fidel Castro, he would be living out the rest of his life in sunny Yalta, if Mother Green and her killing machine did not get him first. Eisenhower was a puke for not helping Nixon in that election, and publicly insulting him the way he did. He could have won, and LBJ would have been nothing but a fart in the wind.

Last edited by mofford; 01-07-2019 at 12:02 AM..
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:14 PM
 
9,710 posts, read 3,270,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Oh good Lord. You can't compare Chappaquidick with Watergate for one critical reason. Ted Kennedy was never POTUS. Nixon's crimes affected an entire nation. What Ted Kennedy did affected the state of Massachusetts and the Kopechne family. He was drunk. He drove off a bridge. Mary Jo died. He left the scene of the accident and didn't summon help. Is that bad? Yes. Its not a political scandal that involved a whole country.

Blah blah blah....".the whole Kennedy family is a crime family". Where are the indictments? Where are the jury trials? Where are the logs of the wiretapped conversations that prove it? Where are the prison sentences? Its just right-wing political speculation. And, aside from Chappaquiddick has no place on the History Forum.

Other presidents may have committed crimes. The difference is that Nixon's crimes need not be speculated on. They could easily have been proven in a court of law and would have been, but for Nixon's pardon. In fact, his underlings went to prison for those very crimes. Any prosecutor knows that you start with those things you can actually prove.



you got 1 thing right, Watergate falls short to Chappaquidick. A person died and there was a huge cover up because he was the son of a powerful family and the brother of a President and former attorney general. Not only there was an obvious crime that a person actually died and a cover-up and favors done but he got to keep his political career and be the leader of the Democrats in the Senate until his death in 2009 and run for President in 1980?



It does affect the whole nation because laws only apply to the common folks, not the ruling class.....how did a 3rd rate burglary in Watergate affect the nation? was there top secret information stolen and given to our sworn enemies? did billions of dollars were taken from the treasury to start illegal wars in 3rd world countries?



Nixon "crimes" were no different the other Presidents.
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