Wednesday, August 31, 2022

We All Agreed About Nixon

I wasn't around - or aware, anyway - in 1974, but I grew up with Nixon's criminality and appropriate resignation as undisputed "facts." There were some Nixon dead enders around, and Ford made himself America's Greatest Hero by pardoning him, so things weren't so different than now, but generally Nixon apologia didn't have any place in The Discourse. It wasn't an issue with two sides, at least that I can remember, though they did elevate him to Distinguished Elder Statesman eventually.

By "we" I don't mean the country as a whole, of course, I mean official Washington, the chattering class, the high priests of political journalism.

His resignation was a redemptive moment for politics and political journalism. Woodward and Bernstein were heroic icons.
Yes, a lot of what came after for Republicans was revenge for Nixon and making sure it could never happen (to one of their guys) again, but they mostly didn't say it.

I don't know whether Donnie Two Scoops will be able to wriggle out of this one (I suspect he might!) but even if he doesn't, I don't expect it to be generally agreed upon in the same way. Not entirely sure why!