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Old 03-17-2021, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Iowa
3,181 posts, read 3,730,151 times
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Pertaining to the tapes, I think it was very unfair to release anything on those tapes that did not directly relate to Watergate. Really, the prosecutors only needed a few hours of conversation with John Dean about payouts to the break in team to prove their case. All the off the cuff remarks he made to his aids, conversations with Billy Graham, any racial comments or trash talk about the Jews, the enemies list and all that stuff was made public to gain political points for the democrats.

In reality, Nixon supported affirmative action, free determination for Indian Tribes, sided with and supported Israel in the 1973 war which got us in hot water with the Arab OPEC countries, and he turned that around quick, without throwing Israel under the bus. He worked well with Henry Kissinger, Ben Stein, his press secretary was Ron Ziegler, he wanted Mike Wallace for that job but Mike declined, but also said about Nixon "he educated me" and from his private chats with Nixon, became a much better journalist than his associates whom kept straying further and further to the left, such as what happened to Dan Rather.

I am certain that other presidents, democratic ones too, have those types of conversations while they sit around with close confidants and discuss the issues of the day. Dems have enemies too, which they discuss in an unfavorable light sometimes, in private conversations which we are all entitled to have, but (if made public) would destroy their careers. Even if they did not plan to implement any of those things as a matter of policy, if the press was unbiased by party affiliation, they would report it and that president would be smeared. But the American press does have a bias, as Spiro Agnew reveals in his 4th estate speech, and Nixon was keenly aware of this bias, but he did not know how to counter it. The press covers for democrats, and persecutes republicans with anything they may find, and sometimes they just make up stuff hoping it will be believed. Our press is broken and not serving the pubic interest anymore.

Last edited by mofford; 03-17-2021 at 09:39 PM..
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Old 03-17-2021, 09:31 PM
 
Location: az
7,395 posts, read 4,327,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milo Wolf View Post
Nixon would often blow off steam giving outrageous orders in the heat of the moment. He appears to have meant them at the time, but most of the time his subordinates had the wisdom to disregard his more problematic demands. But Nixon's circle included some dubious characters, and sometimes they didn't have their president's back. Colson and Liddy come to mind. None of this absolves Nixon of anything. No professional should be so out of control that he needs aides to ignore his unhinged and sometimes illegals directives.

It was all quite a tragedy. Nixon was paranoid, particularly about intellectuals and Jews. The former is a curious fixation, for he was one of the most intelligent men to occupy the Oval Office in the 20th century. The latter was just an ancient trope of a prejudice, fodder for fools that aside from its immorality should have been far beneath a man as capable of critical thinking as was Richard Nixon.

His life was Shakespearean, save for the ending. He didn't learn much and stuck to his excuses and rationalizations to the lingering end.



It should be noted that at the time of the break-in (June 17, 1972) it was not at all clear that George McGovern would be the Democratic nominee. Muskie and then Humphrey had led the polls up until June, with McGovern steadily rising. Muskie withdrew in late April, and it was then a dead heat between Humphrey, McGovern and Wallace - and though Wallace stayed in the race after being shot in May, he was no longer a serious candidate.

However, by June Nixon's approval rating was hovering near the 60% mark, having gradually improved from around 50%, where it had been since early 1971. It appears that regardless of who the Democrats nominated, the data strongly indicated a successful Nixon reelection. So in that respect, it was indeed foolish of Nixon to risk everything with the 'dirty tricks'.

He was, as you say a man consumed by his demons.

In a nutshell that was his biggest problem... the man was paranoid.
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Old 03-18-2021, 12:06 PM
Status: "Puddle Brain for Re-elecion '24" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
28,023 posts, read 11,783,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
I always think of Gerald Ford as having an asterisk by his name in a list of Presidents because he was never elected as President or Vice President -- our only unelected President. He was selected and appointed to the Vice Presidency when Spiro Agnew resigned. He then was elevated to President due to Nixon's resignation. There was some sense of Ford being too sympathetic and even in cahoots with Nixon with regard to the pardon. He fended off those criticisms but the pardon was not popular. Nixon never admitted guilt other than that some decisions that he made were wrong (but he insisted to be in the country's best interests).
You need to remember how things were at that time, September 1974. And to me, as I will show, Watergate was far from his worst offense. Even though I am a liberal extremist, I favored the pardon then and I do so now.

I was at the end of my Freshman year of high school on June 17, 1972, the night of the Watergate burglary. I was starting my senior year in September 1974, when Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon. Far more than Watergate ailed the country at that time. Nixon took a variety of actions that were expedient in ensuring his re-election but quite harmful to the nation's interests.

Manipulation of the Economy Worthy of Latin America

Through no fault of Nixon's, the 1969-70 recession was one of the first where we had the worst of both worlds, inflation and rising unemployment To recreate the "Goldilocks economy" of the mid1950's and the early 1960's in time for the upcoming 1972 election, Nixon imposed wage and price controls in August 1971,while at the same time leaning on the Fed to gun the money supply. This was in order to create the illusion of prosperity with low inflation. Policies worthy of Honduras and Guatemala. Inflation surged when controls were taking off precipitously on January 11, 1973, with the election safely past. Inflation rocketed from 3.6% in 1972 well over 12% in 1974. There were extensive gas lines at the end of 1973 in the first quarter of 1974. Even before the legendary lines, from May through July 1973, certain areas were plagued by spot shortages of gasoline. The winters of 1971-72 and 1972-73 had spot shortages of heating oil. In short, the government was not in the position to ensure delivery of necessities to the people. As a result, Things were in great disarray. I was about the only high school senior in my school to support the Nixon pardon. And was not because I liked Nixon. I didn't. We as a nation had to "change the topic."

Surrenders of U.S. Interests in Peking, Moscow and the Paris Peace Talks

Among other Nixon offenses verging of crimes, Nixon was figuratively on his hands and knees summitteering in Peking, as it was then called, and Moscow to create an illusion of accomplishment. SALT I had nothing good for the U.S. in it, and Taiwan was thrown under the bus.

Supposedly, Nixon had had a "secret plan” to end the Vietnam War. that "secret plan” turned out to be a phased surrender to the Vietcong.

Quid Pro Quo for Pardon

In addition I do believe there was a "deal" or "understanding" to pardon Nixon in exchange for his resignation. Getting him out of office, by any legal means possible, was crucial at that point, including a quid pro quo for a pardon. Quite simply, the U.S. was at risk of a depression, and Nixon would not have been a reassuring or effective presence.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mofford View Post

The thing to remember with Nixon, he did eventually turn over the tapes. Any other president in hot water would have destroyed the evidence against them (if possible) before the subpoena for such evidence was issued. The tapes were his, I think he falsely believed the courts would let him keep possession, but he ultimately decided to turn everything over, but for one 20 minute segment, one of the remaining mysteries of Watergate....
Nixon was an attorney. Any attorney recognizes the consequences of destruction, or spoliation, of evidence. While the law in that matter has become more sophisticated since the development of electronically stored evidence ("ESS") it has always been the case that evidence destroyed is presumed to be extremely harmful. Unlimited matters can be "proven" by the adverse inference drawn from destruction of evidence that are far worse than what really happened. In those simple days before ESS, with Watergate, the expression was "the coverup was worse than the burglary." The burglary itself was an act that might have yielded a two to four year sentence, with maybe a year served, for the burglars themselves. With the coverup and destruction of evidence, we have no idea what crimes might have been committed. Thus, we have no choice but to assume the worst.

Nixon was well aware that spoliating the tapes would have been digging himself in deeper, particularly when lower-level functionaries such as Alexander Butterfield knew of the taping system. People of that variety don't have enough at stake to commit perjury. In fact, on July 13, 1973 (link, newspaper says July 16, 1973, link to N.Y. Times article) he testified truthfully about the taping system. Had those tapes been destroyed, Nixon would have have lasted the one year and 22 days after that testimony.
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Old 03-18-2021, 12:54 PM
Status: "Puddle Brain for Re-elecion '24" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
28,023 posts, read 11,783,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Whether Carter would have pardoned Nixon is an unanswerable question. I do think Ford and Carter had many similarities in that both men (despite their faults) were motivated to act for the good of their country and both were bright enough to see what continuing Watergate would do to the fabric of the country. I think Carter would likely have reached the same conclusion that Ford did.
My bet is that Carter would have mixed it in with the "draft-dodger" amnesty, days into his Presidency. That would have defanged mot of the virulent critics of both acts of executive discretion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Sigh.....Agnew was bribe-taking scum. No other way to put it. He was taking bribes from contractors that did business with the state of Maryland. Essentially, in order to get a contract, the contractor had to "kick back" about five percent of the sum of the contract to Agnew personally. The argument that "other people have done it too" doesn't fly with me. Taxpayers shouldn't have to tolerate crooked bribe-taking politicians. When this is discovered it needs to be rooted out.
In a sense, Agnew was worse than Nixon. As much as I disdain Nixon's breaking of the law, money or greed was not his motivation. Nixon had an idea that he had to protect his administration and reputation. Its still a wrong motive and does not justify crimes like obstruction of justice, but its not as bad a motive as taking money simply to become wealthier than you are.
I have written on this before, in Blagojevich (former IL governor) Sentencing Raises Issue of Public Service Pay.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
However, my position is slightly different. While the current gubernatorial salary of $177,412 seems high, it really isn't in a state with a high cost of living, in the densely populated area from which he hails, Chicago. Add to that the expense of residing both at home and in distant Springfield, the capital. Government salaries are artificially low for several reasons. There is the obvious cosmetic problem of paying government officials high sums. And to some extent incumbents over the years don't want to attract challengers.

My view is that government officials should be paid amounts commensurate with what private executives of major corporations make, certainly, in a large state with a high living cost no less than $500,000. We want to attract the best and the brightest. Also corruption is virtually inevitable if large amounts of discretion is vested in relatively low-paid officials. I suspect that Blagojevich didn't have larceny in his hear(t) when he started as a representative in Washington. I suspect that he and many others are driven by financial pressures and the relative lack of opportunities for extra income if that person is in public service.
The bottom line is that unless the elected officials are serving after they've made their fortune, think Mayor Bloomberg, there are ample incentives for graft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Nixon really had no choice, but to turn the tapes over after the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that he had to do so. Refusal to turn the tapes over would have lead to the same outcome: Impeachment. In those days, both parties had certain bottom line standards of ethics. Arizona's Barry Goldwater was the one finally told Nixon he had to resign and leave the presidency. I developed an admiration for Goldwater that day that transcended politics. He did much to free the presidency of a dishonest, crooked, and unethical president.
We, as lawyers, understand this well.
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Old 03-18-2021, 01:13 PM
Status: "Puddle Brain for Re-elecion '24" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
28,023 posts, read 11,783,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mofford View Post
I agree that Agnew had go, and yes, his crime of bribe taking was more serious than Nixon's cover up crimes. However, I don't think Nixon should have been removed from office, because he was so effective at shaping American policy around the world to our favor, and his domestic policy was on the right track, clean air, strong farm economy, free determination for Indian tribes, OSHA, a universal healthcare plan that Ted Kennedy would have collaborated on and passed, had it not been for Watergate. Nixon had something for everybody, we never had it so good.
I don't agree.

Surrenders of U.S. Interests in Peking, Moscow and the Paris Peace Talks

Among other Nixon offenses verging of crimes, Nixon was figuratively on his hands and knees summitteering in Peking, as it was then called, and Moscow to create an illusion of accomplishment. SALT I had nothing good for the U.S. in it, and Taiwan was thrown under the bus.

Supposedly, Nixon had had a "secret plan” to end the Vietnam War. that "secret plan” turned out to be a phased surrender to the Vietcong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mofford View Post
The best long term policy achievement was turning around the Arab oil embargo in 1973, and turning a bitter enemy into an ally and trading partner, Saudi Arabia, which paid off in the long term, while at the same time, we still maintained a good relationship with Israel, and Iran until the Shah died. That was very tricky, only Richard Nixon could do something like that. I would be wholly proud and satisfied to have Richard Nixon as king of America from 1960 to 1994. We would be so much better off under his divine rule than what we ended up with. I can't imagine how bad things would have become, had he never been president.
Not really.

Nixon did nothing for us on oil supply


The abortion of a wage-price control system squarely bears responsibility for the damage created by the oil embargo. In March 1973, Nixon reinstated Phase II wage and price controls on the oil industry. It took about 45 days for spot shortages of gasoline to pop up. Those lasted for May, June and a small part of July, where every supplier was allocating sales to a percentage of 1972 figures. While those abated from about July 1973 to October 1973, when Exxon and perhaps a few others resumed normal sales to retailers, the market was very tight, balanced on the teeter-totter between barely sufficient supply and shortage. All that it took was announcement of supply cuts and an embargo to the U.S. and the Netherlands to create panic, chaos and surging world prices. I will acknowledge his military resupply of Israel, but it would have done far more good if the U.S. had not restrained a preemptive attack of the June 1967 variety.

The rest of the record

As far as the rest of his record, it speaks volumes. He took inflation from a painful 5% to an unbearable 12%. Unemployment went from around 4% to around 6% and rapidly climbing. He is in the cellar with Buchanan, Pierce, Fillmore and FDR as among the worst.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mofford View Post
Maybe Ted wins in '80.
I think the events on a hot night in July 1969 screwed that up.

Last edited by jbgusa; 03-18-2021 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 03-18-2021, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Iowa
3,181 posts, read 3,730,151 times
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jbgusa, you fail to tell us what Humphrey would have done about all these problems in Nixon's place. You can't escape the 1973 Arab oil embargo, the Russians supported the Arabs, so we had to counter that by supporting Israel to balance the scale, as per cold war rules. Had Humphrey not cut a deal with the Saudi's and started the petrodollar system, the Arab states continue with more embargos and much increased hostility to the west over the coming years than what otherwise happened, and worldwide demand for the dollar never comes to fruition. In that case, we cannot have deficit spending in future administrations, cannot have trade deficits, cannot provide stimulus during recessions, build up the military and the list goes on and on, for how weak we would eventually be.



You can't escape an eventual loss in Vietnam without using nuclear weapons or bombing Hanoi every time they did not follow the agreement they made to the letter. We don't really know for sure just how fast or slow Humphrey would pull us out of Vietnam, but we do know the North Vietnamese were not going to honor any peace treaty without a strong and continuing show of force.

You can't escape the absolute necessity of the US going off the gold standard and letting the currency float. At least for while, the wage and price controls were protecting the consumer, some might argue that it's better to create a rationing system and keep prices reasonable for as long as possible. There were shortages of oil but if demand could be reduced, the real price might go down. I chalk this up to economic experimentation, something that had to be tried and tested. I agree, it didn't work very well, but really, we needed to cut back on oil consumption at that time, and the 55 MPH speed limit and shortages did much to get us on a better path of not wasting energy, buying smaller cars and taking a closer look at alternative energy sources.
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Old 03-18-2021, 11:02 PM
Status: "Puddle Brain for Re-elecion '24" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
28,023 posts, read 11,783,570 times
Reputation: 22434
Quote:
Originally Posted by mofford View Post
jbgusa, you fail to tell us what Humphrey would have done about all these problems in Nixon's place. You can't escape the 1973 Arab oil embargo, the Russians supported the Arabs, so we had to counter that by supporting Israel to balance the scale, as per cold war rules. Had Humphrey not cut a deal with the Saudi's and started the petrodollar system, the Arab states continue with more embargos and much increased hostility to the west over the coming years than what otherwise happened, and worldwide demand for the dollar never comes to fruition. In that case, we cannot have deficit spending in future administrations, cannot have trade deficits, cannot provide stimulus during recessions, build up the military and the list goes on and on, for how weak we would eventually be.
I don't know what you are trying to say. Petroleum producers are price takers, not price makes. If Nixon hadn't put back price controls on crude in March 1973, seven months before the embargo, gasoline would have risen to $0.50 or less and then dropped. No shortage, no lines, no embargo. All of that mufti-pufti and giving baksheesh was for naught. Maybe there would have been a 1973 war, but if Israel weren't prevented from pre-empting it would have been similar to 1967. He set the West way back by throwing Israel and Taiwan under the bus. It was a needless and self-inflicted tragedy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mofford View Post
You can't escape an eventual loss in Vietnam without using nuclear weapons or bombing Hanoi every time they did not follow the agreement they made to the letter. We don't really know for sure just how fast or slow Humphrey would pull us out of Vietnam, but we do know the North Vietnamese were not going to honor any peace treaty without a strong and continuing show of force.
You got that right. The choices were "all in" or getting out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mofford View Post
You can't escape the absolute necessity of the US going off the gold standard and letting the currency float. At least for while, the wage and price controls were protecting the consumer, some might argue that it's better to create a rationing system and keep prices reasonable for as long as possible. There were shortages of oil but if demand could be reduced, the real price might go down. I chalk this up to economic experimentation, something that had to be tried and tested. I agree, it didn't work very well, but really, we needed to cut back on oil consumption at that time, and the 55 MPH speed limit and shortages did much to get us on a better path of not wasting energy, buying smaller cars and taking a closer look at alternative energy sources.
Getting off the gold standard, probably. The rest, as I discussed above,needless self-flagellation and hairshirt wearing.
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