Thursday, December 28, 2006

Some thoughts...


This relaxing whilst vacating is hard ass work. A bitch has been getting my hermit on big time, so my ass has not been feeding off of the news the way I usually do. However, I have followed the news of the death of former President Gerald Ford at the age of 93.

A bitch is a Watergate addict. I was born in February in the fantabulously frozen city of Minneapolis (shiver). I have long suspected that my mother watched a lot of Watergate-based news while hibernating that winter, because I have forever been fascinated by that moment in history.


For all the drama and disgust surrounding the Nixon administration's willful disregard of the Constitution...the breaking and entering, illegal wiretapping, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, conspiracy upon crazy assed conspiracy and a dash of violating patient doctor privacy law for taste...cough...for all that Nixon was shady President Ford appeared all the more decent.

But Shark-fu! What about that pardon?

Hush, a bitch is getting to that.


I have long pondered the pardon of Richard M. Nixon. On one hand, it shut the door on Watergate and allowed the nation to move forward in a time when it greatly needed to move the fuck forward. One can not look at that pardon without looking at the muck it emerged from.


On the other hand, the pardon cut off a proper if painful exploration of the depth and complexity of the river of shit that was Watergate. Is it any wonder folks keep testing those uncharted waters? I have often thought Nixon needed to be dragged before the very legal system he attempted to subvert and tried and punished like the common criminal he was.


Now, more than ever (wink for all y'all who get that one), a bitch has to wonder if the Executive didn't need to be checked hard in 1974...drained of some serious power...all windows thrown open and lights turned on in every single room.

What I do know is that former President Ford served this nation in a time of great need. He stepped up to take on the Vice Presidency after the resignation of a certain corrupt as hell Agnew and then the Presidency after the resignation of a disgraced Nixon.

Somehow, he provided a bridge between the reality of boorish corruption in practice and the unlimited potential that is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Now, more than ever, this child born in the winter of Watergate finds comfort in that.


MAWG said...

I heard Bob Woodward talk about the pardon last fall at a book fair in DC, and he surprised me by saying he had come around to believing the pardon was the best thing Ford did, in spite of his initial outrage. In fact he called it an heroic executive act because Ford went against all popular opinion and did it knowing that people would misunderstand it and accuse him of double-dealing. Woodward said he came to realize that the nation really was a risk and that the pardon was essential to moving on.

Anonymous said...

Hey bitch! lol Your blog is real cool. Be sure to also check out one of your "brothas:" Podcasts available too! But keep up the good work here, and I'll give you a shout-out on my next 'cast.

Anonymous said...

Compared to the antics of this current administration the Nixon crimes almost seem like grade school playground shit.

Camera Obscura said...

For somebody born 11 years earlier, I have to say that Watergate was just more noise in the morass that was the politics of the 60s. (The 60s started w/ JFK's assassination and ended w/ Nixon's resignation, y'all know that, right?)

People my age have grown up expecting the government to be lyin', cheatin', self-servin' SOBs.

Courtney said...

Hell, yes, JO. ABB, I'm so pleased you took this one on. I've been ruminating over it myself. As a historian, I find I have shockingly little to say about it. And I'm divided (esp. given my feelings toward recent "executive privilege.")

And isn't the whole Watergate thing like getting gangsters for mail fraud? I mean, Cambodia, people!

Dragon Lady said...

Have you ever seen that movie "Dick"? I think that movie is probably one of the better, if not ridiculous and hilarious, speculations on Deep Throat.

Ted McLaughlin said...

Just wanted to wish Shark-Fu [and C-Money of course] a very happy and successful 2007!

A.B.A. helped me keep my sanity this last year. Thanks.

blogspot said...

have only been reading your blog for a short time. bu i wanna tell you, it cracks me up.
i luv the way you write.

this post is great.
keep being a bitch. 's a nasty job but someone's gotta do it.

Anonymous said...

I'm coming to this discussion late since I've been on the road.

My mother made my brother and I plunk our butts down in front of the TV to watch the various Watergate hearings. Yes, at age 10, I watched the entire bloody spectacle if I wasn't at school.

So, when Ford pardoned Nixon, I was appalled. I had spent the last year or so up to my eyeballs listening to discussions of "rule of law," and whether "any man" was above the law.

When Ford pardoned Nixon, he short circuited the legal process. Nixon SHOULD have been tried in criminal court--and let a jury determine guilt or innocence. I think our country would have been far stronger for it--and it would have made susequently presidential pardons far harder to grant (to Cap WIneburger, Elliot Abrams--who is BACK in government).

Ford pardoned NIxon for the absolute WORST reason: Nixon was his friend. Since the Nixon era forward, we can see what great *respect* various GOP presidents have had for the law.

I'll quitely go back to my barf bag.

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