Monday, June 11, 2012

The Godfather

Richard M. Nixon: godfather of the current Republican party. They say they revere Ronald Reagan, but in reality they ignore everything he did -- which was a lot -- that's counter to their current dogma and they lie about the rest. No, it's really Nixon whom they -- without saying it -- deify. As tribute they've adopted all of his tactics: Demonize anyone who disagrees with you; ruthlessly sabotage all perceived enemies; regard the very idea of a free and inquisitive press -- fundamental to a working democracy and recognized as such by the Founding Fathers -- as anathema. Deliberately deceive the public; use any means necessary -- lying, subverting the law, dirty tricks, secret slush funds, rewriting history -- to bring down opponents and achieve their ends.

Which brings me to the point: this new article by Woodward and Bernstein is an interesting, if nauseating, read. Other than the break-ins (far as we know) the rest of his methods, rather than disappearing, have become institutionalized. And one can only imagine how he'd applaud the current Rs focus on purging legitimate voters.

In the course of his five-and-a-half-year presidency, beginning in 1969, Nixon launched and managed five successive and overlapping wars — against the anti-Vietnam War movement, the news media, the Democrats, the justice system and, finally, against history itself. All reflected a mind-set and a pattern of behavior that were uniquely and pervasively Nixon’s: a willingness to disregard the law for political advantage, and a quest for dirt and secrets about his opponents as an organizing principle of his presidency.

Long before the Watergate break-in, gumshoeing, burglary, wiretapping and political sabotage had become a way of life in the Nixon White House.

What was Watergate? It was Nixon’s five wars.

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