A great many movement conservatives weren’t fans of Richard Nixon’s presidency, to the point that some of them, including William F. Buckley Jr., William Rusher, and M. Stanton Evans, backed a 1972 primary challenge to Nixon by Rep. John Ashbrook of Ohio.
But has Nixon, despite his ideological squishiness, greatly influenced today’s Republican party? New Yorker blogger Jeff Shesol says he has. In a Wednesday post, Shesol, a former speechwriter for President Clinton, essentially asserted that modern conservatism consists of Ronald Reagan’s principles but Nixon’s attitude, specifically his “sour brand of politics: the politics of resentment.” Parading one’s resentments, Shesol remarked, “has become a kind of reflex on the right, to the point of self-parody.” From Shesol’s post (emphasis added):
One liberal journalist praised another liberal journalist on Monday's CNN Tonight. Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein appeared along with Dan Rather to discuss the 40th anniversary of Watergate. Host Alisyn Camerota played a 1974 clip of the ex-CBS anchor sparring with Richard Nixon.
After the then-president jokingly asked Rather at a news conference, "Are you running for something," the reporter retorted, "No, sir, Mr. President. Are you?" Sitting with Rather, Bernstein marveled, "How did you come up with that? Do you have any idea what clicked in your mind?" The Post journalist continued, enthusing, "It was so brilliant, such a great comment." An irony-free Rather, who left CBS in disgrace for using fake documents, said with of the Nixon question: "And I have no -- plenty of regrets, but not about that." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Earlier this year, former New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote a trash-talking article in New York magazine begging conservatives to dig back into the Clinton scandals of the 1990s. Hillary is preparing to run for president again, and he thinks it will help. Rich delighted in “how inexorably the Clintons will seduce the GOP into another orgy of self-destruction” by focusing on Whitewater or Bill Clinton’s sexual harassments, making Hillary look again like “a victim of drive-by character assassination.”
While every Clinton scandal is automatically “old news,” even when it's fresh news, somehow Watergate never fades as a liberal-media fascination center. It’s erupting again with the fortieth anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation over Watergate.
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is picking up on the impending trend of Nixon-Watergate anniversaries in media coverage. On her Facebook page, Palin accused The Washington Post of being “a bunch of wusses” compared to their allegedly legendary Watergate days.
Palin threw around the “impeachment” word, which the Post loves in the present days as a sign of Republican extremism. They think the mere mention of the “I word” will lead the Democrats' reliable minority voters back to the polls in the midterms. Here’s the statement in full:
In the early 1970s, the press obsessed about President Nixon's alleged "isolation," especially as the Watergate scandal, which in an objective lookback has to be seen as relative child's play compared to what we're seeing now, unfolded. Proof that Nixon's "isolation" had been a constant media theme in previous months is found in an NBC Nightly News report on May 10, 1973, when a White House staff reorganization was characterized by reporter Richard Valeriani as "Nixon moving to end President('s) isolation."
On Fox News's "The Five" on Friday, Democrat Bob Beckel relayed what he said was an anonymous comment by a person in a position to know about how cut off from external advice President Barack Obama is. It seems arguably creepier than any degree of isolation Nixon may have ever had, for reasons which I will explain below. Let's see what Beckel had to say following co-host Andrea Tantaros's comment that Obama has a "Stepford staff just sort of nodding at whatever he says," and Greg Gutfeld's assertion that Obama "doesn't have anybody in his circle" with the nerve or access to intervene (bolds are mine):
According to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, "in July of 1971, President Richard Nixon signed the 26th Amendment into law, making 18 the [minimum] age to vote." The Hardball host made this pronouncement as he introduced a segment attacking new legislation in North Carolina which liberal activists charge violates that Amendment.
But of course, it's patently false that Nixon signed the amendment "into law." Indeed, no president signs any ratified amendment into law. Ratified amendments take effect immediately either "when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof," depending on which manner the Congress proposed when introducing the amendment. What Nixon did on July 5, 1971 was witness the certification by the administration of the General Services Administration that the requisite three-fourths of the nation's state legislatures had ratified the Amendment. From Nixon's remarks that day, via the American Presidency Project (emphasis mine; YouTube video below page break):
During the Pentagon Papers controversy over the release of Vietnam-related military and other documents in 1971, if a columnist had written that "the private companies that own newspapers, and their employees, should not have the final say over the release of government secrets, and a free pass to make them public with no legal consequences," and that "that decision must ultimately be made by the government," he or she would have been tagged in the press as a "(Richard) Nixon defender" and "an enemy of press freedom."
How ironic it thus is that Thursday, in his New York Times review of Glenn Greenwald's new book ("No Place to Hide"), current liberal Vanity Fair columnist and former CNN "Crossfire" host Michael Kinsley used that very language as he went after Greenwald, who has been NSA eavesdropping leaker Edward Snowden's go-between for the past year, with a vengeance. And yes, he did it at the Times, the very newspaper which was at the heart of the Pentagon Papers litigation that was ultimately decided in its favor.
Ask a conservative to name the American leader who comes to mind when they think of the Vietnam War, he or she will almost surely cite Lyndon Baines Johnson. Ask a liberal and you may also hear LBJ in response -- but more likely you'll hear Richard Milhous Nixon instead. Long before the left began blaming George W. Bush for everything, Nixon filled that role.
Nearly four decades since it ended, the Vietnam War still has the power to polarize, especially when a major network looks back at a specific event from that tumultuous era. (Video after the jump)
The Obama administration's most recent abuse of the English language late last week involved its reluctance bordering on refusal to call Russia's military move into Crimea an "invasion." The press, unlike in 1970 when Richard Nixon sent U.S. troops into Cambodia for under three months, is largely following suit.
CNN (HT Hot Air) began the Team Obama-driven festivities on Friday by reporting that "According to the latest U.S. assessment, there has been an uncontested arrival of Russian military forces by air at a Russian base in Crimea. They are believed to be Russian land forces, CNN was told."
Never thought I'd see the day that a prominent member of the liberal media establishment praised the Prince of Darkness himself, aka Richard Milhous Nixon, and one of his liberal media cohorts agreed.
Moreover, Nixon was described favorably while being compared to the erstwhile would-be Messiah occupying the Oval Office, Barack Hussein Obama. Strange days indeed, to borrow from John Lennon, the high priest of hippies. (Audio after the jump)
Just when you think you've seen it all, along comes an interview during the 30-minute Politicking With Larry King program on Thursday night in which the long-time interviewer asked his guest, Dan Rather: “Do you ever think the thought that Fox News Channel is an actual part of the Republican Party?”
The veteran newsman paused for a moment before responding that the claim “goes too far” even though network founder Roger Ailes has used the channel to benefit the GOP. However, “is it a sole operative and propaganda machine for the party? I'd have to stop short of that.”
Chris Matthews, always eager for hyperbolic predictions of Republican doom, on Wednesday insisted that Chris Christie's bridge scandal in New Jersey is pretty much like Richard Nixon's Watergate. Comparing a severe traffic jam to a scandal that paralyzed the United States government and brought down a President, Matthews suggested, "Well, this is not yet a Watergate, but the more we learn about Chris Christie, the more he does look like Richard Nixon." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
To make the comparison simple, Matthews played a clip of the New Jersey Republican claiming he wasn't "a bully" and then showed a clip of Nixon famously defending, "I am not a crook." Matthews offered, "Not a crook, not a bully." The host allowed that there is "no direct evidence that ties Christie directly," but added that "the entire scandal has an eerily familiar ring, doesn't it?" The graphic for the story wondered, "Tricky Christie?"
While NBC, ABC, and CBS have censored coverage of the ongoing IRS scandal for weeks – even as new revelations have moved it higher up the rungs of the Obama administration – on Wednesday and Thursday, the networks all eagerly hyped 40-year-old tapes of President Richard Nixon discussing the Watergate scandal. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Perhaps the most infuriating was NBC, which hasn't touched the IRS story in 56 days, sending correspondent Peter Alexander to the lawn of the Obama White House to report on the decades-old Nixon recordings for Thursday's Today: "39 years have now passed since President Nixon abruptly resigned. Still, his life fuels our fascination. And these tapes, more than 340 hours worth, give us an unparalleled window into an unprecedented time of presidential turmoil." If only there was some current "presidential turmoil" Alexander could cover.
Not surprisingly, conservative columnist Pat Buchanan is not pleased with Republicans talking about agreeing to an immigration reform bill that ends up being another amnesty without closing the border.
On the Laura Ingraham Show Tuesday, Buchanan equated it to Neville Chamberlain giving Sudetenland to Adolf Hitler.
Woody Harrelson, during an interview with Details magazine, admitted to being "an absolute moron" during his carefree Cheers days; this came after telling his questioner that Barack Obama is like Richard Nixon because Nixon escalated the Vietnam War:
How worried should President Obama be when he loses the likes of Al Hunt?
On today's Morning Joe, discussing the James Rosen outrage, Hunt called President Obama "no better than Richard Nixon" when it comes to the press. He then strongly suggested that Attorney General Eric Holder should go. View the video after the jump.
Sometimes it's what they neglect to mention that's more revealing than that was.
Disgraced former CBS anchorman Dan Rather, now broadcasting from obscure AXS TV on the high triple-digit end of the cable dial, told Rachel Maddow of an incident back when he was a reporter devoted to hounding Richard Nixon. (Video after page break).
Thursday's CBS This Morning did its best to shift blame away from President Obama on the IRS, Justice Department, and Benghazi scandals currently surrounding his administration. Bob Schieffer shot down comparisons to the Watergate scandal that led to former President Richard Nixon's resignation: "This is not the Nixon administration, where you had burglars and people talking about blowing up the Brookings Institution. This is more of a case – is anybody home?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
Anchor Charlie Rose seconded Schieffer's assessment, asserting that the President "seems like a bystander in his own government." He later stated that "the President has to take control of his own government."
"President Barack H. Obama’s outrageous seizure of the Associated Press’s phone records, allegedly to discover sources of leaks, should surprise no one...He is fast becoming the worst national security press president ever, and it may not get any better."
So wrote James Goodale Tuesday, the attorney who defended the New York Times against President Richard Nixon in the famous Pentagon Papers trial.
When it comes to investigative reporters, how do you change a bulldog into a lapdog? Easy: change the occupant of the Oval Office from a Republican into a Democrat.
Witness Carl Bernstein's pitiful performance on today's Morning Joe. The man who teamed with Bob Woodward to bring down Richard Nixon now credulously claims that he "can't imagine" that President Obama is possibly involved in the IRS targeting of conservative groups. Bernstein instead blames the "hyper-partisanship" in Washington. Yeah, cause politics were so kumbaya in 1972, Carl. View the video after the jump.
That's right -- not just Nixon ... Nixon and Bush. Can vilification from the left get much worse than that?
Cornel West continues to demonstrate why parents might want to think better of sending their children to Princeton, where West purportedly teaches when he isn't gushing over hip-hop and engaging in arcane rants over the airwaves. (audio clips after page break)
When George McGovern died at 90 over the weekend, liberals were guaranteed to remember him as if 1972 were yesterday. Slate’s Ron Rosenbaum wrote an article titled "George McGovern was a winner: His 1972 campaign was the most lopsided loss in presidential history. But this man was no loser.”
Rosenbaum wants to run through the potentialities that could have led to a glorious McGovern victory in ’72. Rosenbaum says McGovern talked of "the role of the media, which basically took over presidential politics that year with the advent of the self-regarding 'Boys on the Bus' campaigning mode." Rosenbaum was on that press bus:
Mitt Romney recently told CBS’s Scott Pelley that a leader would “say which of those things that you should take out of the budget that are no longer essential,” and when pressed to be specific, Romney nominated "the subsidy for PBS,” and subsidies for Amtrak, the NEA, and the NEH. This raises one obvious question. In moderating tonight's first general election debate of 2012, can longtime PBS star Jim Lehrer be fair to a candidate who wants to zero out the subsidy for PBS?
In his 1992 memoir A Bus of My Own, Lehrer confesses he could sound like a “PBS superpatriot” in lauding his own newscast. For his own career at PBS, Lehrer professed he loved how Watergate “crumbled” Nixon’s plans to “crumble us” in liberal taxpayer-funded broadcasting:
Appearing as a guest on the Wednesday, June 20, Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, when asked about his political views, musician Billy Corgan - founder of the Smashing Pumpkins group - declared that he does not have a preference for either party.
When host Morgan asked if he was an "Obama man," Corgan took a jab at liberals as he explained his exposure to liberalism as a child:
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, after a report in which it was noted that the Obama administration has invoked executive privilege over the investigation into the Fast and Furious scandal, anchor Scott Pelley related the history of other Presidents taking similar measures.
After tying in George Washington, Pelley ended up informing viewers that Bill Clinton had used similar tactics 14 times - more than twice the number of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. Pelley:
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday outrageously compared Dorothy Sandusky standing by her alleged child rapist husband, Jerry, to Pat Nixon supporting Richard Nixon. The liberal cable anchor was discussing the molestation case and shockingly inserted a political comparison.
After legal guest Kendall Coffey tried to explain how Mrs. Sandusky could be a helpful witness to her disgraced husband, Matthews linked the 52 counts of sexual abuse to America's 37th president: "This is the new story of our life: The wife who stands by their man, as if they were Pat Nixon standing up there putting up with the ignominy that their husband's 100 percent responsible for and yet being loyal." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The Nixon-hating legends at The Washington Post are furious with author Jeff Himmelman for pulling the curtains back on their own machinations. You can see the damage in Pat Buchanan’s latest column on how Watergate was over-inflated in the history books.
In a taped interview in 1990, revealed now in "Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee," the former Washington Post executive editor himself dynamites the myth: "Watergate ... (has) achieved a place in history ... that it really doesn't deserve. ... The crime itself was really not a great deal. Had it not been for the Nixon resignation, it really would have been a blip in history." Buchanan enjoyed how Bob Woodward was put on the other side of the microscope: