Richard Milhous Obama

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Richard Milhous Obama

Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.

Richard Milhous Nixon

With the IRS scandal and the revelation that the current administration has been secretly obtaining phone records of the press, the Obama administration is taking on a distinctly Nixonian flavor, as I experience a feeling of  deja vu from four decades ago.  I am not the only one seeing it.  So does a liberal Democrat Congressman from Massachusetts:

US Representative Michael E. Capuano on Monday said he was troubled by reports that the Internal Revenue Service had aggressively pursued conservative organizations, and called them reminiscient of the Nixon administration.

On the growing focus in Congress on the attacks on the US diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya last year, Capuano said the death of four Americans there raised “legitimate questions.” But he said, based on the information available, he expected the issue to end up becoming “the typical right-left type of nonsense you see on one station, but eventually falls off the others.”

He said the recent reports that IRS targeted small-government groups for extra scrutiny were  in a different category. Asked to discuss the reports, Capuano said that if the accounts were true, “There’s no way in the world, I’m going to defend that. Hell, I spent my youth vilifying the Nixon administration for doing the same thing.”

Go here to the Boston Globe to read the rest.  Sit back.  I think this is going to be quite  a ride.


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Give ‘Em a Point for Honesty

News that I missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:   MENLO PARK, CA—In a move to better filter out unapproved positions and


  1. Nixon actually got the US (me and my friends) out of the Vietnam War. Then, in early 1975, the post-Watergate VietCong-ress refused to carry out US obligations under the Paris Peace Accords.

    Nobel Peace Prize update: so far, Obama bombed six countries, two more than Bush and three more than Nixon.

    One of Nixon’s worst unleashings of unnecessary hells was going off the gold standard in 1971.

    Anyhow, aside from that, whatever Nixon did was eye-wash compared to Obama’s crimes.

  2. I have always regarded Nixon as one of our worst presidents T. Shaw. Few Presidents have had as much contempt for the Constitution as he had, or the limited role that the Founding Fathers envisioned for the Federal government. In regard to South Vietnam, I believe it would be free and independent today, and the economic power of Southeast Asia, but for Watergate and the crop of isolationist Democrats elected to Congress as a result of Nixonian paranoia and contempt for the rule of law.

  3. Mac, “isolationist Democrats” you are being “charitable.” I wasn’t in school when all that was happening.

    You’re a lot smarter than I. What were Liddy, et al looking for in the Watergate offices?

    Maybe 100 years from now, if America has recovered, they will look at Nixon in a different light.

    I can’t say where I was at the time. I wll say that Nixon could have fought it out. The resignation was as far as humanly possible the opposite of “contempt for the Constitution.”

  4. No he couldn’t have fought it out T.Shaw. He had lost Barry Goldwater and he realized that without the support of Republicans in the Senate he would have been convicted. But for that, I am sure the villian would have put the country through a Senate trial. Nixon was always about Nixon and nothing else.

  5. Someone once said of Nixon that he was five different people who never coalesced into an integral whole. He was a good family man. His circle of friends was small but intimate. He could inspire the loyalty of people who were not themselves pathological (Pat Buchanan, Rose Woods). He may have had the most vigorous intellect of anyone to hold the office in the last 80 years. (His scores on psychometric tests were a standard deviation higher than John Kennedy’s). And yet, the man was a disaster. It is difficult to discern from looking at his career what his motors were other than ambition, anxiety, and resentment. You read John Dean’s memoir and Richard Nathan’s account of the administration and some of the stray details in the WoodStein books and you realize he was an incompetent administrator who had no idea how to select for talent and commitment (and little to which to tell his subordinates to be committed). It was such a waste. Another waste was Spiro Agnew. Ironically, these two exemplars of misapplied talent and virtue – men who had quite a bit in common – disliked each other.

  6. Art – It’s not rare to find intelligent people who are bad judges of others’ character. It’s very odd to find them in politics. Or is it? I’d assume that the skill of relating to people overlaps with the skill of appraising people. I toss it out to the historians of our group – haven’t there been a few American presidents who weren’t people-persons, and proved incapable of leading and of surrounding themselves with talent?

  7. We now know that JFK had a fondness for exercising the droit du seigneur and can fairly be considered a borderline rapist today. But did fellows like Alsop or Schlesinger raise the alarm about it. No, that would be breaking the code of the omerta. Nixon’s faults were exaggerated by the same set, which should indicate the kind of people his enemies were. Just because you are paranoid, does not mean they are not out to get you.

  8. RMN would have gone down as a brilliant academic. Instead, he earned his place as a lousy politician. At the end, he wasn’t fighting for anything other than the career of Richard Nixon. He didn’t believe in the limits of power and couldn’t defend himself when that power was turned against him.

  9. Draw a blank, Mr. Dalasio. Richard Nixon never had an academic job and found law practice tedious. Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, and George McGovern were all lapsed professors, but they were strictly rank-and-file instructors who never published any scholarly work.

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