Saturday, June 09, 2007

misplaced nostalgia

You know it's bad when some people (Republicans, mostly) actually express nostalgia for the presidency of Richard Nixon. You remember him -- the guy who said "if the President does it, it's not against the law" some 25 years before John Yoo and George Bush and the rest. The guy who, with Henry Kissinger, conspired to sabotage peace talks in Vietnam in 1968 to help get elected, dooming Vietnam and ourselves to 4 more years of war and who knows how many hundreds of thousands more deaths. The guy whose dirty-tricks administration made the word "Watergate" stand for more than a ritzy apartment complex in Washington DC.

Just because de facto President George W. Bush is an incompetent, lying, warmongering, science-ignoring, theocon-patronizing, buffoon of a President does not make Nixon good. Journalist Elizabeth Drew writes: So, despite the now-fashionable nostalgia, Nixon's pragmatism, his lack of core beliefs and his opportunism throughout his political lifetime offer little reason to doubt that he would be right in step with the conservative Republican politics of today.

I can think of no more damning -- and accurate -- a statement to make about Richard Nixon, nor about today's Republican Party.



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