Abuse Of Power

45 Years Since The Watergate Scandal, And My Visit To The Richard Nixon Presidential Museum And Library, As Trump Scandal Metastasizes!

I finally have made it to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California, while on my week long vacation in Los Angeles, California.

This blogger has spent his entire teaching career, beginning in 1972 when he started teaching his first class just eleven days before the Watergate break-in on June 17, 1972, surrounded by Nixon, who I despised at the time, and analyzing and evaluating Nixon over the rest of his life, and in the 23 years since his death in 1994. I also had a sabbatical period where I did a lot of reading and reflection on the 37th President.

It can be said that the half century from Nixon’s first election to Congress in 1946 to his death in 1994, is the Age of Nixon. One cannot fully understand American history since 1945 without addressing the positive and negative legacy of Richard Nixon.

Many would say that Nixon was the most significant and influential President of the years since World War II, and still has a role in our lives in 2017, with all of the accomplishments he had, often forgotten in the cloud of the Watergate Scandal.

And with Donald Trump facing likely removal from office due to scandal and abuse of power, it makes it incumbent upon us to compare Trump to Nixon, as I did before the election in an article on History News Network, found on the right side of my blog. Nixon shines in so many ways, as he was a very intelligent, perceptive, experienced political leader, unlike Donald Trump. But Nixon also had demons which undermined his ability to be successful, so he ranks in the mid 20s among our Presidents, and is seen by many as a failure, due to the fact that he faced certain impeachment and removal from the Presidency, if he had not resigned in disgrace in August 1974.

My impressions of the Nixon Library and Museum are that after much work to change the tone and exhibits of the museum, originally not accepted as legitimate, now the ability to recognize the truth of Richard Nixon’s life is possible, and I would highly recommend everyone visiting Southern California to visit and reflect on the Nixon historical role in our history. I would say that the Nixon Library has succeeded in presenting the complex aspects of Richard Nixon, both good and evil.

Donald Trump After One Week: Totally Unstable, Incomprehensible, Unpredictable, And Danger To The Reputation Of The Presidency

Donald Trump has been in office just one week, and it has been a week of horrors!

A case could be made that he has taken extreme actions with his executive orders, and that he should be subjected to impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors.

How is this so?

He has endangered the health and well being of 20 million people, who are in danger of losing their health care.

He has set out to destroy all environmental advancements of previous administrations, and to take away the rights of native Americans for a safe water supply, and seems ready to prevent any action on the imminent threat of climate change on the American future.

He is undermining US-Mexican relations with his promotion of immediate action on a Mexican Wall, and threatening action against Mexico to pay for a wall that they do not support or want.

He has issued a blanket ban on seven nations’ nationals entering the United States, including people with green cards and proper vetting on their way to the US, in airports and prevented from entering the nation, even when many endangered their own lives to help the US effort against Al Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS). Innocent people are being mistreated, and religious persecution against Muslims is being promoted, and yet from Islamic nations, including Saudi Arabia, are allowed in. Realize it was Saudi nationals who caused September 11, but Trump has business interests in those nations, so bribery is going on.

He has consorted with Vladimir Putin of Russia, who clearly interfered in the US Presidential election, and Trump is ready to end US Sanctions placed on Russia for seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, endangering NATO, the European Union, and military security of all of Europe.

He has broken the Immigration Law of 1965 which bans discrimination against immigrants of any national origin, or of picking on any religion and victimizing them.

He has threatened basic civil liberties and civil rights of all Americans, violating the First Amendment.

He is promoting a war of one religion against another, and white supremacy.

He is moving toward massive deportation, unprecedented in numbers, in American history.

He has engaged in behavior that marks him as totally unstable, incomprehensible, unpredictable, and a danger to the reputation of the Presidency.

He can be seen as a Fascist demagogue who is setting out to destroy historical tradition and accomplishments, and he must be stopped!

He has engaged in abuse of power, bribery, treason, obstruction of justice, and perjury for his endless statements that are lies and deceitful, and should face impeachment.

Civil Liberties And The Presidency: From John Adams To Barack Obama

When it comes to the issue of the Presidency and the Bill of Rights, many Presidents have scored at an alarmingly low rate, often despite many other virtues that these Presidents have possessed.

John Adams set a terrible standard when he signed into law the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.

Andrew Jackson forcibly decreed the removal of five Native American tribes (The Trail Of Tears) from their ancestral lands and relocation in Oklahoma, supposedly forever, but with the discovery of oil in Tulsa, the territory was opened to whites in 1889, and reservation life became the norm.

John Tyler, through negotiation to add Texas to the Union, and accepting its institution of slavery, helped to create the slavery expansion issue as one which would divide the nation and lead to Civil War, and Tyler was part of the Confederate government and gave up his American citizenship.

James K. Polk further promoted the expansion of slavery through war with Mexico, and had no issue with slavery anywhere and everywhere.

Millard Fillmore, signing the Compromise of 1850, allowed the South to pursue fugitive slaves in the North.

Franklin Pierce, signing the Kansas Nebraska Act in 1854, made the expansion of slavery develop into the Kansas Civil War, which led to the Civil War.

James Buchanan endorsed the Dred Scott Decision, which allowed expansion of slavery everywhere in the nation, if a slave owner chose to move to the North with his slaves.

Abraham Lincoln suppressed press freedom; allowed preventive detention; and imposed a military draft that one could escape only by paying a fee that only wealthy people could afford.

Andrew Johnson wanted to restrict the rights of African Americans after the Civil War, and was an open racist, much more than anyone.

Grover Cleveland promoted the reservation life and adaptation to white culture for Native Americans through his signing of the Dawes Act in 1887.

Theodore Roosevelt spoke and wrote often about superior and inferior races, seeing only intellectual accomplishment and military strength as the basis to admire individuals of other races, but believing in white supremacy and the “Anglo Saxon” race.

Woodrow Wilson backed restrictions on citizens during World War I, and presided over the Red Scare under Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer after the war, as well as showing racist tendencies toward African Americans and Japan. He signed the Sedition Act of 1918, and issued an executive order segregating African Americans in Washington, DC.

Franklin D. Roosevelt interned Japanese Americans under executive order during World War II, and did little to deal with the racial problem in the South.

Richard Nixon arranged for bugging and wiretapping of his “enemies”; arranged break ins and “dirty tricks”; and became engaged in obstruction of justice and abuse of power, leading to moves toward impeachment and his eventual resignation from the Presidency, due to the Watergate Scandal.

Ronald Reagan cut back on civil rights enforcement, and showed insensitivity on the issue of apartheid in South Africa.

George W. Bush pushed through the Patriot Act, and the government engaged in constant civil liberties violations as part of the War on Terror.

Barack Obama also promoted violations of civil liberties, as part of the continued threat of international terrorism.

So 17 Presidents, at the least, have undermined our civil liberties and civil rights, often overlapping.

40th Anniversary Of Gerald Ford Becoming President: A Blessing For The Nation!

It has been 40 years since Gerald Ford became President, upon the resignation of our most dangerous President, Richard Nixon, due to his impending impeachment and trial in Congress, based on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice in the Watergate Scandal.

The 25th Amendment, only ratified and added to the Constitution in 1967, allowed Ford, who had replaced the corrupt Vice President Spiro Agnew, to become our 38th President.

Ford helped to end the great national nightmare of a corrupt President and a corrupt Vice President. He was the right man for the time, well liked and well respected, and not ambitious to be President. All Ford had wanted to do in his 25 year career in the House of Representatives was to become Speaker of the House.

Suddenly thrust into the responsibilities of the Presidency, Ford showed courage and guts in his selection of Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President; the pardoning of Richard Nixon, which probably helped to defeat him in a close race for the Presidency in 1976 with Jimmy Carter; his handling of the Mayaguez Affair with Cambodia, which save captured hostages; and his brilliant appointment of Associate Justice John Paul Stevens.

Ford knew how to cross the aisle, and make friends of rivals, including President Carter, with the two men becoming fast friends once Carter left office, and with Carter giving the eulogy at Ford’s funeral in 2006.

Ford also gave us one of the greatest First Ladies in American history in Betty Ford, and his moderate conservatism is what one would wish for now from the much further right wing Republican Party of 2014.

It is well worth a visit to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to the Ford Presidential Museum, as this author and blogger did a year ago, which caused him to gain growing respect for the 38th President of the United States, who showed up at the precisely proper time when the Presidency itself was under attack!

40 Years Since Impeachment Process Against Richard Nixon, And Now Impeachment Has Been Abused Against Bill Clinton And Barack Obama!

Forty years ago, in the waning days of the Richard Nixon Presidency, the House of Representatives began considering resolutions of impeachment against the 37th President.

That impeachment proceeding, leading to three articles of impeachment, was a bipartisan action by both Democrats and Republicans against a President out of control, and committing violations of his oath of office.

Therefore, with a bipartisan vote, the House Judiciary Committee recommended articles of impeachment against Nixon on the basis of obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and refusal to hand over evidence, in the form of tapes and other materials, to the Special Prosecutor investigating the Watergate Scandal.

Richard Nixon proceeded to resign after these resolutions passed, and with the knowledge that the Supreme Court, in an unanimous 8-0 vote a few days earlier, had demanded (US V. Richard Nixon) that the President hand over the Watergate tapes to the House of Representatives and the Special Prosecutor.

That impeachment proceeding was justifiable and necessary, but the move against Bill Clinton in 1998 was NOT justified, and neither is the impending movement, even acknowledged by the White House, against Barack Obama, that he has abused his executive powers with executive orders, even with far fewer such executive orders than previous Presidents! The first step toward impeachment of Obama is the vote of the House of Representatives, by party line vote yesterday, to sue the President for abusing his authority under the Constitution, a wholly political act with no justification!

Ironically, Obama is accused of abusing his powers, while at the same time being accused of being weak and indecisive in his conduct of foreign policy!

Both the Clinton impeachment and the pending Obama impeachment is purely partisan politics, a desire to besmirch two Presidents, who in many ways have achieved more in their terms of office than any recent Republican President, including the “knighted” and “holy” Ronald Reagan!