Skip to comments.Not a Crook—Yet: The Obama administration seems more Nixonian by the day.
Posted on 05/15/2013 8:44:57 PM PDT by neverdem
The comparisons of the Obama and Nixon White Houses are suddenly coming—pardon the expression—fast and furious, and why not? The IRS investigations; the administrations fixation on leaks and leakers and its obsession with enemies; the cover-ups, the blame-shifting to subordinates, the defiant chief executive, even the sweating, pathetically dissembling press secretary; it all has the odor of that earlier time. Again, its all happening early in the second term, following a triumphant reelection. Again, the operative terms are arrogance, contempt for law, and thuggery.
The growing awareness of administration malfeasance is evident in the numbers on Google: more than 59 million hits for Obama and Nixon and 24 millionplus for Obama and Watergate. For those interested, the 44th presidents face can already be found morphing into the 37ths. Then theres the rising tide of commentary. Obama knee-deep in Nixon-esque scandal runs the headline of columnist Joe Battenfields piece in the Boston Herald, which notes that Obamas campaign slogan would have been more appropriate if it were not Forward but Backward—All the way to, say, 1972. Benghazi, IRS—Son of Watergate? asks Cal Thomas. In IRS Scandal, Echoes of Watergate, observes the Washington Posts George Will.
Such talk is mostly confined to the Right so far, but a handful of principled liberals have also weighed in. Theres no way in the world Im going to defend that, said U.S. Representative Michael Capuano of Massachusetts of the IRSs going after the Tea Party. Hell, I spent my youth vilifying the Nixon administration for doing the same thing. Former Michigan Democratic congresswoman Lynn Rivers echoed him: For anyone over 50, this news couldnt help but stir memories of Richard Nixons Political Enemies Project. . . . To use Dan Rathers duck test, the IRS probe of hostile ideological groups looks like, swims like, and quacks like government dirty tricks. One of the heroes of Watergate weighed in, too. This is outrageous, and it is totally inexcusable, Carl Bernstein raged about the revelation that the Department of Justice had secretly seized the phone records of Associated Press journalists. There is no reason that a presidency that is interested in a truly free press and its functioning should permit this to happen.
Thus it is that questions that once seemed unfathomable take on unexpected plausibility. Where and how far will it all go? Is it remotely conceivable that where Richard Nixon led, Barack Obama might follow? The answer, of course, depends primarily on the nature and severity of the crimes committed—if, indeed, they are crimes—and whether presidential culpability can be established.
But such an observation instantly gives rise to two other considerations. Lest we forget, while Democrats led the congressional inquiries into the Nixonites misdeeds—Sam Ervins committee in the Senate, Peter Rodinos in the House—in the end, it was principled Republicans, led by Barry Goldwater (who told Nixon he could count on no more than 15 Republican votes in the Senate), who forced the presidents resignation. Can we expect such nation-above-party behavior on the part of todays Democrats? Can you imagine Patrick Leahy ever deserting Obama? Or Al Franken? Or Barbara Boxer?
Then theres the role of the press. Unsurprisingly, the media on the far left have circled the wagons in defense of the president. Desperate for a Scandal, Foxs Dobbs Attacks Obamas Inner Nixon, read a dismissive headline on Media Matters for America, while DailyKos has harped on previous GOP-Fabricated Non-Scandals that went nowhere. And its true that, whether it was the presidents associations with his racist pastor or the Fast and Furious boondoggle, such allegations have gone nowhere—but primarily because the press has protected Obama. So it is a given that the media will again play a key role in determining whether the current scandals are pursued to their logical conclusion or are allowed to fizzle out.
Recent history suggests which outcome is more likely.
Benghazi? With a few notable exceptions, such as CBSs Sharyl Attkisson and CNNs Jake Tapper, reporters shrugged off the administrations cover-up in the immediate aftermath of the attack, when it might have harmed Obamas presidential fortunes. They have at last been forced by whistleblowers to start asking obvious questions, but their impulse to protect Obama is presumably undiminished. The IRS scandal? Reporters have as little sympathy for the Tea Party as other liberals do, but this story cant be ignored, at least for the moment. Even administration apologist Joe Klein opines: I dont think Obama ever wanted to be on the same page as Richard Nixon. In this specific case, he now is. But the specific case wording is telling; Kleins piece is generally tepid, arguing that the IRS matter is an exception to what has been a generally scandal-free administration. It is a line that many in the media are apt to adopt.
As Bernsteins outburst makes clear, the media generally saves its greatest outrage for government attacks on . . . the media. Thus, the DOJ/AP episode may be the most dangerous to the administration of the mushrooming scandals. Its likely that a prominent head or two will roll, perhaps even Attorney General Eric Holders. Reporters are nothing if not creatures of the pack, and the pack has been dissed here, big-time. How hard will they go after the president? Probably not very. Think battered-woman syndrome: he may be an abuser, but hes still their man—the one they covered for when he was caught with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, the one they played along with on the faux war on women and the anti-Islam video as the cause for the Benghazi attack. With Nixon, by contrast, once the media picked up the faintest scent of blood, they were relentless and increasingly joyous in pursuit.
As George Will writes: Episodes like this separate the meritorious liberals from the meretricious. The day after the IRS story broke, The Post led the paper with it, and, with an institutional memory of Watergate, published a blistering editorial demanding an Obama apology. The New York Times consigned the story to page 10. So its also the case that, amid all the stunning events of the past few days, the story that will likely prove the most relevant is this one, courtesy of hotair.com: Top CBS, ABC, CNN execs all have relatives working as advisors for White House.
nixon didn’t kill anyopen because of incompetence- Dear leader has on several occassions
Obama makes Nixon look like a Puritan!
Just so long as O doesn’t start channeling his buddy Putin.
Impeachment File for B. Hussein Obama, aka Barry Soetoro, a legal citizen of the sovereign Nation of Indonesia.
The conclusion sounds spot-on. If the press gets the sense that they’re putting Obama’s presidency at risk, they’ll end their temper tantrum and get back in line.
Obama makes Nixon look like a Puritan!
Actually, Nixon was a Quaker if my memory serves me correctly!
Reminds me of the lyrics to the song “Wide, Wide River” by the Fugs.
Great pic bump
Not if the press decides to focus on and circle the wagons around H!. she is next in line.
Benghazi still is the most important story here.
Nixon was a Quaker, actually...
Nixon was hated by many influential people in the Establishment and especially the MSM. I recall TV evening news that had nothing but Watergate stories the entire half-hour. The MSM was in a frenzy to get him. Started with that Alger Hiss thing.
I've oft-asked for anyone to name one thing that Nixon did that JFK and LBJ did not do.
I remember those days. And here is something from back then that I am sure is true.
"In Power to Destroy: The Political Uses of the IRS from Kennedy to Nixon, author John A. Andrew III presents new evidence for what he calls 'the utilization of the Internal Revenue Service in what became a covert effort to discredit the right and undercut its sources of support' as part of 'a broad assault on the right wing by the Kennedy administration.'"
These kinds of shenanigans -- and much worse -- were suspected; in fact, the only thing that kept LBJ from going to prision was the assassination of JFK. LBJ's main man from his Senate Majority Leader days was already headed to prison and we knew that LBJ would soon follow.
I am still livid over the attacks on the emerging modern conservative movement. I am still furious over the attacks on Barry Goldwater in the 1964 campaign.
BTW the articles of impeachment stated that Nixon endeavored to use the IRS -- my recollection is that the IRS did not do it.
He’s a criminal and an a-hole to boot. The media will remain his teflon, the battered woman analogy was perfect and one I will use often.
Mister Obama, one suspects by observation, has no such feeling for our fine Nation. One worries about what an Obama might consider if cornered by impeachable charges. (And, one hopes to be completely wrong in one's suspicions.)
Mark Levin exposing more DC BS:
It won’t be the race card—it will be the race *deck*. He’ll try to get all of our cities burning.
Not that I’ll shed a tear over it.
After Obama throws his his staffers under the bus, they can get jobs working for the Chinese media. One former Democratic Party operative has his own talk radio show in Beijing where he defends Obama and trashes Republicans daily, but don’t worry he has no more than 3 listeners. Check this guy out: http://english.cri.cn/7146/2011/07/20/2361s649528.htm
Neither the press nor the democrats went after President Nixon because of the Watergate break-in. Watergate and his so called dirty tricks was just politics as had been practiced for years by both parties. McGovern was not well liked by the old line democrat leadership but when Nixon defeated him by such a large majority, they were embarrassed and humiliated. Taking Nixon out was more to unite their party and save their power than to restore good government. Watergate was just a handy excuse used by a hostile press and a few powerful and ruthless committee chairmen to take down a popular president. I am still convinced that had he adopted the same scorched earth defense as President Clinton, he could have survived. In the end, he cared more for his country than for himself.
Obama and Nixon...hmmm. Ones a Muslim, the other was a Quaker...couldn’t be any more different
Nixon wasn't tanywhere this bad. In fact, he was a pretty decent man and a reasonably good President. He was a political partisan, but he was an American first. I never had any doubt he was doing the best he could for this country.
The media and the Left never forgave him because he successfully went after that Communist spy in the State Department, Alger Hiss, and got him convicted. They were supporters of Hiss even after it was proven he was a Soviet spy and guilty of treason.
Im sure Im missing other MAJOR seditious events by ObaMao. Feel free to fill in the major issues (but adding the medium and low levels problems would fill a library)
The STASI have come across the pond.
The reality was a total failure and Nixon was lying to get elected.
Excellent points and I would like to add, I am still convinced that had he contested the 1960 election as many urged he could have won. But the cost was too great for the country. In the end, he cared more for his country than for himself.
we need a simllar list for shillary for 2016. Starting with her college thesis going through the watergate committee and on and on
While "not as bad" (how can it be worse than a bunch of ACORN/CPUSA flunkies?) - the Nixon I knew was a typical statist and atypical tyrant. Price, wage, and market controls (Phase I, II, III), EPA, OSHA, expanding Vietnam while dictating Rules of Engagement that lost the war... and so on.
LOL! That needs a Like button!
I am glad to find someone else who has a good word for President Nixon. I find it sad that his memory is so often brought forth to exemplify evil or corruption. I don't remember him that way. I will never forget his impromptu speech as he was leaving the White House after resigning. The following quotation from that speech has stayed with me these many years.
"Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself."
With that sentence, he summed up his downfall. For the remainder of his life, he worked to rehabilitate his reputation but never complained about unfair treatment.
"Nixon's plan [to get North Vietnamese Communists back to negotiate an end to the war] worked and in early January 1973, the Americans and North Vietnamese ironed out the last details of the settlement." Here
Yes I remember election November 1972 and those charges.. those charges likewise were election rhetoric. Didn't work. Nixon won 49 of the 50 states IIRC.
Neither did the peace settlement work except to pull our troops out; meanwhile
"The American commitment to defend South Vietnam, described as unequivocal by Nixon and Kissinger, had been vitiated by the Watergate scandal and Nixon's subsequent resignation. By that time, the Paris Accords seemed memorable only as the vehicle on which the United States rode out of Southeast Asia."
So Watergate became a Communist super weapon it appears to me.
All those military assistance (except for troops) commitments we made to South Viet Nam that were associated with the peace agreement -- in the event that the Communists broke the agreement -- became null and void not only by Watergate but by the Congress; and I am not 100 percent sure how the public would have reacted if we started supplying South VN with war materiel but no troops.
Maybe even a Quaker... :^)
I really grow weary of hearing everyone compared to Nixon.
Clinton was an out and out criminal. His uncle was a mob operator in Hot Spring. This is the same uncle Bill named his dog after, Buddy. And his uncle Buddy was who Bill Clinton thought of as his father.
Now we have a guy who was raised to hate the United States.
Both these men bent the rules so far they mutilated them.
Nixon was a shady character. There’s no doubt about it. But seriously folks, his actions came nowhere near the Clintons or Obama.
Jerry Parks and Vince Foster alone, are cause enough for the Clinton’s to be strung up.
Benghazi is enough alone to get Obama strung up.
These are just tips of the iceberg in both administrations. The lists are long, sordid, and demeaning not only to the office of the POTUS, but to the nation as a whole.
Nixon, guy..., you got the shaft fella. Schools across this nation teach kids to loathe Richard Nixon. And they teach kids to love Bill and Barack.
I will never forget what one famous writer said when stating why he went after Nixon. I did it for the good of the nation. Then when asked about Clinton crimes, he actually stated that Clinton’s crimes didn’t come anywhere near Nixon’s.
I’d suggest that just to claim a Secret Plan is perfidy.
How many journalists are old enough to remember Watergate, even as young adults? A janitor with a flashlight didn’t get anyone killed.
This statement by his son Gary is sad.
Myself, I think I might forgive Hillary her connection to these events. They were so long ago, she was hitched to Bill's horse. She's done a lot on her own since. She's been gutsy and strong on her own two feet. She has great presence. But I don't think we know all the facts about this case, and people are going to bring it up and ask about it. Real baggage.
Hillary never accomplished anything on her own. She was hired on at the Rose law firm after her husband became attorney general, then governor. She parlayed that into seats on boards all over, and shooting her mouth off when she had no business even commenting on things. Her work at the Rose law firm was extremely light. She wasn't gifted. She was gifted things, but she was a vile manipulator.
Hillary was chin deep in Foster's death and the subsequent cover-up. She is as evil as it gets. Gary should know. Sadly, he doesn't.
Hillary was the one pushing for the file Jerry stashed. Once he had been knocked off, his home was broken into and those files were the only things taken.
Hillary was on the way back from Hawaii when she heard Vince was dead. She was in constant contact with Maggie Williams in D. C., and stopped off at the Rose law firm, some say to do some shredding to calm her nerves.
Maggie Williams talked to Hillary, then spirited a box of papers out of the Foster office. Williams was so damaged that she took off after appearing at some hearing, fled to Europe and stayed over there for a number of years until the coast was clear.
Bill and Hillary were swingers, among other things. I still say Web Hubbel is the father of someone Hillary knows quite well.
Same facial structure. Same lips. Same eyes...
OK. I would just say that that is politics and let it go. But I discovered that I had 1968 confused with 1972 so I had to respond.
Wow I had forgotten. That was the 1968 election. There the Communists' super weapon was the likes of Walter "North Viet Nam Communists Most Trusted Man in America" Cronkite; or as North VN General Giap said his most important guerrilla was the American press.
"The Twenty-Five-Year Century" by Lieutenant-General Lam Quang Thi, has the quote. To wit,
"General Thi believes that the media played a major role in the final downfall of South Vietnam. He quotes North Vietnam General Vo Nguyen Giap as stating in a French TV broadcast that Giaps 'most important guerrilla during the Vietnam War was the American press.'"
Now back to the International Herald Tribune
"Even though Richard Nixon didn't have one, the notion that he had a secret plan to end the Vietnam war helped him win the presidency in 1968.
"Actually, 'secret plan' wasn't Nixon's term; a reporter on deadline used it as he covered Nixon's speech promising quick victory in that vastly unpopular war. But recognizing the power of those deceiving words, and politics being politics, Nixon never corrected the journalistic shortcut."
Nixon didn't even thank the guy. Hey! It's politics. Election 1968 had Nixon with 301 Electoral votes (almost 56 percent), Humphrey 191, and Wallace 46.
I still remember the issue but I had the year wrong. I didn't know anyone who really thought that a secret plan was needed. We were not quite aware in those days what Washington was doing to our troops. Then after the Communist Tet offensive General Giap's most important guerrillas did most of the fighting 24/7 here and helped end all promises of a quick U.S. victory.
The parallels are amazing - down to and including Bob Woodward taking on the Establishment. Almost 40 years to the day...
Oh, you mean reporters ‘falling’ out of windows?
“Just so long as O doesnt start channeling his buddy Putin”
It’s happening already. Political prisoners like the video maker who was “responsible” for Benghaz to start with. And Christians who are being targeted for being “hostile” to the government of the US.
"Miss me, yet?!!!"