Thursday, November 21, 2019

Terrific Read: Conrad Black Goes To Bat For Richard Nixon

As he has done before, Conrad Black comes to the defense of Richard Nixon. One of the core Dem myths is the claim that Richard Nixon was a bad man who got what he deserved and that the progressive jihad against him somehow saved the country. The exact reverse is something like the truth. Nixon's impeachment had a devestating impact on our country, the deleterious effects of which are still with us--more manifest than ever. The truth is that Nixon was impeached for being an outsider, for being a patriot, and for being anti-communist. All faults for which progressives could never and will never forgive him. Oh, and there was another major fault for which Nixon could never be forgiven--he twice defeated progressive standard bearers, the second time by the greatest plurality in US history. Remind you of anyone?

But we can know better. Black's Nixon’s Lessons for the Would-Be Impeachers offers serious lessons for us today, coming from a Canadian:

Only extremely grave offenses should deprive Americans’ right to choose their president. Nixon didn’t meet the impeachment bar. Neither does Trump.

I will simply offer some excerpts from this fine article, and urge you to read it in its entirety.

One thing that will quite possibly be achieved by the nonsensical impeachment investigation being conducted in the House of Representatives is the end of the extreme criminalization of policy differences.

I'm not nearly as sanguine as Black in this regard. In a country that is oblivious to its own history, in which forces that seek to erase our historical memory gain ground every day, prospects are not good.

One of the many galling aspects of the contemptible farce being conducted by the House Democratic leadership is the historical myth-making they glibly inflict on the country. ... 
One of the nauseating permutations of public recollection that has arisen out of the attempts to destroy Trump is that Richard Nixon was treated fairly. This fraud is buttressed by the frequent appearances on our screens of the chief trigger-men in that bloodless assassination: the unspeakable turncoat White House lawyer John Dean and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, still padding around on the imperishable fuel of the Watergate putsch, festooned with the awards the media give themselves.
For those who do not remember or have not studied him, Richard Nixon was twice elected vice president (with General Dwight D. Eisenhower, having helped secure the nomination for him over Republican Senate leader Robert Taft in 1952). He was likely cheated out of the 1960 presidential election by the supporters of John F. Kennedy in Chicago, Texas, and elsewhere, causing JFK to remark, “Thank God for a few honest crooks.” When the votes in Alabama cast for Dixiecrat candidate Senator Harry F. Byrd are deducted from the Democratic total, Nixon won the popular vote. Though encouraged by Eisenhower to contest the election, Nixon chose not to do so, for the benefit of the country. 
He was narrowly elected in 1968 in a country wracked by constant racial and anti-war rioting, after the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, and with 545,000 draftees in Vietnam, 200 to 400 coming home in body bags every week, with no concept of an exit strategy and all for an uncertain objective. ... 
Though his opponents controlled both houses of the Congress, Nixon had one of the most successful presidential terms in the country’s history. He ended the Vietnam War while conserving a non-Communist government in Saigon; opened relations with China; signed the greatest arms-control agreement in history, with the USSR, and started the de-escalation of the Cold War; ended school segregation without the court-ordered busing of millions of children out of their neighborhoods; began the Middle East peace process; ended the draft; and reduced the crime rate and founded the EPA. The riots and assassinations stopped, and he was reelected by the greatest plurality in U.S. history, 18 million votes (in an electorate barely half the size of the present one). The only presidents who accomplished more in that office are Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Reagan, and perhaps Truman. 
The Watergate affair was the forced entry — with no damage, theft, or injury — by some Republican campaign workers into the Democratic-party headquarters. A number of insalubrious campaign activities came to light, though nothing remotely as odious as the Steele dossier — and Nixon had no prior personal knowledge of any of them. He authorized substantial payments to defendants, to deal with their legal bills. The allegation has been that he also incentivized the alteration of testimony and effectively obstructed justice, but this has never been adjudicated, and there has never been conclusive evidence that, when cant and emotionalism subside, meets a criminal standard of proof. 
As he admitted, Nixon badly mismanaged the investigation and squandered his political capital ... 
The articles of impeachment that were adopted in committee against him, examined today, are ridiculous. The first was that Nixon “made it his policy . . . directly and through his close subordinates and agents . . . to delay, impede, obstruct, cover up, conceal . . . illegal activities.” He had a national-security argument, and he was trying to prevent false plea bargains — his guilt on this charge has never been clear. Article 2 was that Nixon had “endeavored to misuse the IRS,” an utterly outrageous charge, especially when many Democratic presidents including FDR, JFK, LBJ, and Obama really have used the IRS in this way. Article 3 was delayed compliance with subpoenas, hardly an indictable offense. This was the feeble case against a very considerable and indefectibly patriotic president. 
The despicable frivolity of the present onslaught against president Trump was highlighted when Congressman Jerry Nadler of the House Judiciary Committee called John Dean to testify on the Mueller report. ... 
Richard Nixon’s enemies toil on, trading off their contributions to a monstrous injustice that was fashioned from the vehemence of American politics and the psychological susceptibilities of a complicated president. ... 
... John Dean, the lowest squealer in the history of cooperating witnesses, gave his evidence against Nixon in congressional committee hearings, thereby getting round the immunity that prevents a person from being convicted by his own counsel. 
But Nixon has made the greatest of all his comebacks. He remains the president Americans are most interested in, after Lincoln, ... ever since, he and his memory have raised and teased that same conscience with the thought that Nixon was wronged. He was wronged. ... 
Richard Nixon’s accusers were and remain unrelievedly odious, and so are most of Donald Trump’s, and the survivors of the first mob are huffing and puffing to keep up with the present mob. This will be their last lap, and this time they will lose.

ADDENDUM: A matter of no importance. When I was in the NYO I sued to see Nixon at times in the basement parking garage of the Javits Bldg. He came down to his office most days, arriving at the same early hour that we did.


  1. There’s so much corruption within the Democrat party and deep state (redundant, I know), with more bubbling to the surface almost daily, I can't keep up with it. So, I’m beginning to think impeachment could be a good thing.

    Assuming that the articles of impeachment come to a floor vote in the House, I think the Republicans should make certain that it passes. Let the Senate trial begin.
    President Trump should then exploit every opportunity to force the appearance of witnesses from the opposing camp, grill them mercilessly, spread out all the dirty laundry for everyone to see, and have his Attorney General prosecute without mercy. The objective should be to destroy the left, which means the Democrats and their media and deep state friends.

    From one perspective, this would be bad for the nation, as impeachments tend to be. In the short term, it would seem to be extremely divisive, and that seems to play right into the left’s hands. But from another perspective, it could be our last great opportunity to clean house, to move our nation and its institutions back toward where our founders intended us to be, and to give our children and grandchildren a chance to have the kind of nation we’ve had and loved all our lives.

    My only hesitation is that this can be successful only if senate Republicans support it, and that can hardly be seen as a sure thing.

    I’m willing to accept a significant amount of sort-term pain in the hope that the longer term will be much better.

    1. Two points in response:

      1) It's wrong to think that the Dem party and the Deep State are coterminous. There are plenty of GOPer DSers, too.

      2) I still tend to question whether the Senate should dignify what's going on in the House by recognizing its issue--articles of impeachment--as rising to a constitutional level.

    2. I agree, Mark. McConnell has given the strong impression, without hearing all the testimony before the House committee (!), that he will have to put impeachment before the Senate. That appears to be a huge mistake, starting with his premature timing.

      Agreeing with your point on the Deep State, it is not just Democrats. Case in point: Mitt Romney. And there are many more examples, some embedded in the administration - some who have been carried along through numerous administrations and others who managed to fool their way in under President Trump. He is not the White House human resources director. And he has obviously trusted some in that sort of position who have not served him well.

      As for Black, he may have the most amazing command of the very rich English language that I have ever read. Far from stuffy, he is able to write descriptive material that is perfect and not difficult to understand. Thus, he should be read by everyone who sees his name.

      I am in awe of him. I’m also glad that he seems to be on our side...

    3. In defense of McConnell, I saw a blog yesterday that agreed with my previously expressed opinion--that McConnell's stance (which he can change any time he wants) is actually a threat.

  2. While Conrad Black is entitled to his opinion--and there's little I disagree with, I think raising Nixon's history is problematic, no matter that Black's is an honorable defense.

    Too many see Nixon's resignation--his hounding from office--as the template for the current era. "Nixon was a bad man, so is Orange Man" is the knee-jerk emotion of a mob. It is not the reasoning of a rational and coherent mind.

    We've entered a very silly period--dangerous even--where lies, fabrications, con men, omissions, malfeasance, perversions of justice, etc., are regularly accepted as part of the fabric of the culture, and the nation--and no penalty, as yet, has been extracted for this dysfunctional, aberrant (and illegal) conduct.

    What civilizational norms can be said to exist when the ruling establishment faction (our very own oligarchy) operates under the premise that "the ends justify the means" and "by any means necessary"?

    The French Revolution was, in fact, a civil war.

    1. But that's the point. The American republic has been engaged in a slow motion civil war that can be traced back to the Cold War (at least). Black is correct that the same players are involved--even including Hillary Clinton.