Limbaugh: Nixon Fell on the Sword for His Country - Twice

Leave it to Rush Limbaugh to rain on one of liberals' most sacred observances -- the anniversary of Richard Nixon's resignation from the presidency.

Since this year's anniversary ends in a zero, four decades having passed from that somber day in August 1974, liberals are more choked up than usual. (Audio after the jump)

Lest they get carried away as they're inclined when waxing nostalgic about the good ol' days known as the Watergate scandal, Limbaugh pointed out on his radio show out that Nixon not once but twice put patriotism before his personal interests (audio) --

Look at Nixon -- now, people talk about Richard Nixon and they seethe when they talk about Nixon. And they speak of Nixon with vile disgust and hatred. But Richard Nixon didn't have to resign. Richard Nixon coulda hung in and he coulda caused hell and problems. He could have put the country through all kinds of trouble if they ever had gotten to the impeachment of Richard Nixon. I mean, folks, back then we had just come out of the Vietnam War, the Democrats were fit to be, nothing they were doing was working, they had landslide losses and the Democrats back then, like the Democrats today, who knows what would have happened during impeachment. It could have been forever, who knows what they would have done.

The point I'm making is that Nixon, for the betterment of the country, threw himself on the sword. Now, I know a lot of you people are saying, what do you mean?, he quit because he knew he didn't have a chance, he quit because he was gonna, he was gonna be found guilty and he was going to be living in exile. Maybe -- but Richard Nixon, nevertheless, is an example of somebody who deferred ultimately to the Constitution, rather than put the country through the kind of chaos that would have ensued. It's a small example but it's one of the first that comes to mind.

Well ... you could argue he did it again by stepping aside in 1960 because in 1960, the case could have been made at the time that that election was fraudulent, in both West Virginia and Chicago, Cook County. Nixon could have fought  it and probably could have won it. He decided to defer to the election process in order to not put the country through something like that. We don't have people like that, the people in charge right now want to put the country through that crap! They delight in doing it.

To Bill Clinton's eternal chagrin, he and Nixon will always be linked by impeachment -- Nixon resigned before this could happen, Clinton fought against it in 1998 and lost, followed by his acquittal in a party-line vote in the Senate.

An important difference between the two -- Democrats held the majority in both chambers of Congress during Nixon's second term, and he may have concluded that impeachment in the House would have been followed by conviction in the Senate (followed by Ted Kennedy getting elected in '76).

Clinton, on the other hand, presided during a divided Congress in his second term -- Republicans controlled the House while Democrats ran the Senate. Surviving impeachment is easier when most of the jurors come from your own party.

Even if the case can be made that Republicans overreached in pursuing Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal, it is beyond dispute that Clinton committed perjury -- during the Paula Jones lawsuit and before the grand jury in the Starr investigation. Perjury is a felony -- and Clinton lied under oath, twice, while president. Had he pleaded the Fifth while testifying, Clinton likely would have avoided impeachment altogether.

Clinton could have followed Nixon's example and resigned before the impeachment vote was taken. This would have been tantamount to an admission of guilt -- a sacrifice Nixon was willing to make for his country, but not Clinton.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts