November 20, 2017
[politics] Nixon, Trump, and How a Presidency Ends
… An interesting analysis of why Richard Nixon’s Presidency collapsed and comparisons with Trump. ‘Nixon was genuinely tough, a self-made man who’d climbed out of what may have been the most Dickensian childhood of any American president. He’d served as a Navy officer in the Pacific theater during World War II. He entered the White House at a younger age than Trump — 56, not 70 — hardened by decades of political combat as a savage knife-fighter during the McCarthy witch hunts and the explosive American divisions of the 1960s. Nixon actually knew American history, read books, and, unencumbered by ADD, played the long game in life (his courtship of his wife, Pat) as well as in politics. He was a lawyer who repeatedly (and presciently) advised his staff that the cover-up, not the crime, posed the greater legal threat, a lesson he had learned during his star-making turn on the House Un-American Activities Committee; his prey, the State Department official Alger Hiss, was convicted of perjury, not for being a Soviet spy. Nixon was also a far more strategic liar than Trump, crafting sanctimonious and legalistic falsehoods to paper over wrongdoing rather than spewing self-incriminating lies indiscriminately about everything.’
June 10, 2015
[dick] All Richard Nixon, all the time
… a tumblr about Richard Nixon … ‘I LIKE DICK’
March 17, 2010
[nixon] Great moments with Mr. Nixon.
… some great quotes from ex-President Richard Nixon …
Nixon: I do not mind the homosexuality. I understand it. (14-second beep to hide personal information) But nevertheless, the point that I make is that goddamit, I do not think that you glorify on public television homosexuality… even more than you glorify whores. Now we all know that people go to whores. …we all have weaknesses. But, goddammit, what do you think that does to kids? What do you think that does to 11 and 12 year old boys when they see that? …You know what happened to the Greeks! Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo. We all know that. So was Socrates.
Ehrlichman: But he never had the influence that television had.
April 24, 2009
[what-if] Nixon’s Undelivered Moon Disaster Speech
… What would Richard Nixon have said if disaster had trapped the Apollo 11
Astronauts on the moon? … ‘In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.’
May 27, 2004
[potus] Kissinger tells of Drunk Nixon
… ‘When I talked to the President he was loaded.’
May 19, 2003
[obit] He was a Crook
— Hunter S. Thompson’s classic obituary for Richard Nixon … ‘If the right people had been in charge of Nixon’s funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.’
June 22, 2002
[history] Deep Throat: Not the Usual Suspects
— from McSweeney’s
… ‘Richard Nixon: On a dark, rainy evening in the spring of 1973, President Richard Milhous Nixon, tormented by self-loathing, picks up the phone and places a call to the Washington Post. The rest, as they say, is history, my friend.’
June 21, 2002
[history] Richard Nixon’s Last Secret
— audio archaeologists go after 18 minutes of conversation deleted (by Nixon?!) from a Watergate Tape …
‘The fact that the tape contained as many as nine separate erasures contradicts any notion that it was caused by an accidental press of the Record button. The culprit was either very anxious to protect the president or was a mechanical klutz. Both descriptions, Watergate scholars have noted, fit Richard Nixon. The 37th president was laughably inept when it came to technology. Haldeman recounts in his now out-of-print book, The Ends of Power, that Nixon struggled with the most basic functions of cassette recorders. The Army Signal Corps supplied Nixon with the simplest recorder available so that the president could dictate memos in the evening. But even then, the various buttons had to be marked so Nixon could use the machine without mixing things up. Put a man like that in front of a reel-to-reel, and it’s easy to see how a simple erasure could turn into a clumsy mess.’
[Related: Nixon Resigns
March 1, 2002
[war] Nixon talked of nuclear bomb for Vietnam
… [via Metafilter
‘Kissinger laid out a variety of options for stepping up the war effort, such as attacking power plants and docks, in an April 25, 1972, conversation in the Executive Office Building.
“I’d rather use the nuclear bomb,” Nixon responded.
“That, I think, would just be too much,” Kissinger replied.
“The nuclear bomb. Does that bother you?” Nixon asked. “I just want you to think big.”‘
January 27, 2002
[obit] He was a Crook
— Hunter S. Thompson’s obituary for Richard Nixon from 1994 … ‘If the right people had been in charge of Nixon’s funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.’