Tuesday, January 2

Final thoughts on Ford

I just keep thinking about what if there had been a left-wing blogosphere in 1974? Would Ford have been able to pardon Nixon?

Of course, Ford could do whatever he wanted, he was the President. Those who feel this was the beginning of an imperial presidency? Maybe it began with Nixon, no, Johnson. What about FDR, for Pete's sake? Oh, man, don't forget Wilson. Lincoln. That Emancipation thing was, from a Constitutional perspective, an amazing executive power grab. I could go on.

I was thinking about this question, and this post, discussing with Mr. Blue Gal our agreed opinion that Nixon was more hated at the point of his resignation than Bush is now. Approval ratings don't show this, both men in the 20's give or take.

If We The Blogosphere had been where we are now in 1974, can you imagine the sonic boom on the day of the pardon? Would we have been wrong, too polarized, to see the "healing" that many of us praise Ford for today?

7 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:15 PM

    Why do many praise Ford for the "healing" he provided us? I was only 11 at the time, but I faintly recall wondering why Nixon didn't have to go to jail. Doesn't justice provide a degree of healing too? And if not, isn't justice more important, on a national level, than healing?

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  2. I prefer the attitude espoused by one of the Kos diarists . . . and I wish I could give proper attribution, of course. But here's the thing: what the country needed back then was not a quick sweep under the rug, but a full exposure of every last blemish of the Nixon Administration -- which (the diarist argued, and I would agree) may have forever wrecked our willingness to cut our presidents the kind of slack which has placed W where he is today.

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  3. colleen4:24 AM

    I don't care too much about the pardon of Nixon. That was pretty much a given. But this picture of Ford as a benign president galls me. Ask the families of the 200,000 who died in East Timor what they think of that.

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  4. Nixon vs Bush, huh. I'd pay to see that match. One thing I could offer in Nixon's favor is that he actually has some positive accomplishments, such as opening the door to China, indexing Social Security for inflation, helping to speed integration, and creating the EPA.

    I know in balance it doesn't amount to much, but I don't see anything at all in Bush's plus column.

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  5. Anonymous10:36 AM

    A personal anecdote to share with you, if you may.

    My father and my late grandfather got into a serious argument only once that I can recall.

    The argument in question was regarding the matter of Ford pardoning Nixon.

    My Grandfather (mother's father) wanted Nixon to go to prison.

    My father agreed wholeheartedly with Ford's decision.

    And in his own defense, Dad says, Son, you just had to be there. I was afraid that Nixon was a psychopath and would have spilled secrets to the Soviets if he had been in any danger of going to prison.

    And that's why he wanted the pardon.

    P.S. Of course you must understand that my father voted for Nixon both times. He hated George Wallace, so he gets brownie points.

    My father still thinks Nixon was misunderstood. Makes for a pleasant Christmas and Thanksgiving.

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  6. Anonymous3:40 PM

    One of the single most disturbing memories of my early adolescence was watching the television the day that war criminal (and other things) Richard Nixon climbed on that helicopter and waved goodbye. THAT didn't disturb me. What bothered me was watching my mother cry while we watched it together. She wasn't crying for Nixon. She was crying for the country.

    Richard Nixon was a criminal. He betrayed this country and he broke the law. Repeatedly, and on many levels. He should have been impeached, and he should have gone to prison. And he made my mother cry.

    I will never forgive Gerald Ford for letting him walk away from all that.

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  7. bookboy8:53 AM

    Ford's send off Much to do about nothing. Nixon should of went to jail like our buddy Sadam. I was 21 at the time and I thought it was the lowest point in our history, Nixon it turned out was above the law. Thanks Gerry for nothing.

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