Friday, June 03, 2005

Quick! Blame the Messenger!

The outrage from the Nixon apologists this week has been hilarious, hasn’t it? My favorite is this one from Ben Stein.

[Nixon] lied. He was a politician who lied. How remarkable. He lied to protect his subordinates who were covering up a ridiculous burglary that no one to this date has any clue about its purpose. He lied so he could stay in office and keep his agenda of peace going. That was his crime. He was a peacemaker and he wanted to make a world where there was a generation of peace. And he succeeded.

That is his legacy. He was a peacemaker. He was a lying, conniving, covering up peacemaker. He was not a lying, conniving drug addict like JFK, a lying, conniving war starter like LBJ, a lying, conniving seducer like Clinton -- a lying, conniving peacemaker. That is Nixon's kharma.
”Anyone? Anyone?”

I remember the purpose of the burglary, and I didn’t even work for Nixon like you did, Ben. They broke into the Watergate Hotel to fix the wiretap they had placed in the DNC headquarters so they could dig up dirt on Nixon’s political opponents.
When his enemies brought him down, and they had been laying for him since he proved that Alger Hiss was a traitor, since Alger Hiss was their fair-haired boy, this is what they bought for themselves in the Kharma Supermarket that is life:

1.) The defeat of the South Vietnamese government with decades of death and hardship for the people of Vietnam.

2.) The assumption of power in Cambodia by the bloodiest government of all time, the Khmer Rouge, who killed a third of their own people, often by making children beat their own parents to death. No one doubts RN would never have let this happen.
Uh… would “peacemaking” entail the ordering of the secret bombing of Cambodia which then escalated the war against the specific orders of Congress? And while we’re rewriting history, I wonder if you could explain exactly how Nixon was planning on bringing all that peace and prosperity to Vietnam. Because he had a few years to work on it, and other than the aforementioned escalating, he didn’t really seem to have much of a plan. Was it that secret plan he was on about during the campaign?
So, this is the great boast of the enemies of Richard Nixon, including Mark Felt: they made the conditions necessary for the Cambodian genocide. If there is such a thing as kharma, if there is such a thing as justice in this life of the next, Mark Felt has bought himself the worst future of any man on this earth. And Bob Woodward is right behind him, with Ben Bradlee bringing up the rear. Out of their smug arrogance and contempt, they hatched the worst nightmare imaginable: genocide.
One more time, Ben. Nixon brought himself down with the “plumbers” and the paranoia and the whole violating people’s civil rights thing. The head of the FBI was in on the crimes, as was the attorney general. Mark Felt had nowhere else to turn. And it doesn’t do anyone any good to blame the people who brought the truth to light. Nixon swallowed his medicine. Maybe, Ben, it’s time to swallow yours.

In the meantime everybody’s favorite, Joe Conason tells me something I didn’t know:
But the cannier figures on the right no longer seek to expunge Nixon's crimes. Consider a certain politician who got his start back then as a young activist running the College Republicans.

That budding pol spent the summer of 1974 in Washington, according to historian David Greenberg, circulating pro-Nixon memos from a phony grass-roots group called Americans for the Presidency, and fighting what he thought of as "the lynch-mob atmosphere created in this city by the Washington Post and other parts of the Nixon-hating media." He had worked so closely with the Nixon campaign's dirty tricksters, and become so immersed in their style of politics, that he briefly drew the attention of the Watergate prosecutors. Indeed, his reputation was so grimy that George Herbert Walker Bush, then the chairman of the Republican National Committee, had him investigated -- and then dismissed the accusations despite strong taped evidence against him.

That man is named Karl Rove, and he is now the White House deputy chief of staff, the unofficial boss of the Republican Party and the most powerful political figure in the nation aside from the president himself. He may well agree with Liddy and Buchanan, but such stale polemics cannot engage his attention. He is too busy wreaking Nixon's revenge on the rest of us.
I learned it from watching you, ok?! I learned it from watching you!

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