Posts Tagged Richard Nixon
Republican Presidents And Political Scandals–The Five Greatest Scandals, Unmatched By ANY Democratic Presidential Administration!
As we witness the accusations of “scandal” in the Obama Administration, it is easy to forget that in historical terms, it is Republican Presidents who have presided over the most significant and numerous scandals.
Any objective historian would know that the five top scandalous Presidential administrations are all Republican Presidents!
In chronological order, they are:
Ulysses S. Grant—1869-1877–best known for the Credit Mobilier Scandal.
Warren G. Harding—1921-1923,–best known for the Teapot Dome Scandal.
Richard Nixon–1969-1974–best known for the Watergate Scandal.
Ronald Reagan–1981-1989–best known for the Iran-Contra Scandal.
George W. Bush–2001-2009–best known for the Scooter Libby Scandal.
Realize there are MULTIPLE scandals under each of these Republican Presidents, and by analysis, the “scandals” under Democratic Presidents pale by comparison, although no claim is made here that Democratic Presidential administrations are “holier than thou”!
The Republican Party and conservatives are having a field day on the supposed Obama scandals over the Benghazi, Libya terror attack that killed the ambassador and three others; over the improper investigation of right wing groups by the Internal Revenue Service; and the investigation of Associated Press journalists on the basis of a national security investigation.
We are being told that Barack Obama is another Richard Nixon, when it is more appropriate to say that Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush are examples of another Richard Nixon, to a much greater level!
Nixon was involved in the promotion of break ins; internal revenue service investigations of political opponents, including Ted Kennedy; had an “enemies list”; had his aides do “dirty tricks”; blocked investigations by the Congress and the FBI. He undermined the Presidency in massive ways, and abused power in ways that have harmed the image of the Presidency ever since.
Ronald Reagan may have had a more pleasant persona, but he authorized illegal activities against Nicaragua, backed arms sales to Iran, feigned ignorance of Iran Contra, and promoted secrecy and suspicion of his opponents.
George W. Bush promoted deception and lies to get American into Iraq; engaged in the exposure of a CIA agent who opposed what he was doing; gave his Vice President Dick Cheney unprecedented power to abuse his position; had the IRS investigate liberal groups; engaged in lies and deception not seen seen Richard Nixon.
Barack Obama is NOT engaged in corruption of any kind, but his enemies are pursuing him as if he was the abuser that Nixon, Reagan and Bush II were, but it is all theater, and just like the pursuit of Bill Clinton for his personal behavior, it will fail, and the GOP will suffer as a result!
The sad part of this hot pursuit of Obama is that even liberal media are jumping on the bandwagon of attack, and they should be ashamed of themselves, as they demonstrate no knowledge of history, and are just pursuing a story to build up circulation and readership and make money, a sad moment for the media, when they allow the right wing propaganda to control them!
President Barack Obama has been President for more than four years, and is in the crucial first year of his second and last term in the White House.
The time for applause over his second term victory is over, and he must face the facts that his administration is in crisis, caused by his own lack of outfront leadership over what goes on during his watch in the Oval Office!
The Benghazi matter is being politicized, but more needs to be revealed about that tragedy, and no coverup is going to work, although it seems clear there is no “smoking gun” on that issue.
The confusion over the IRS checking out conservative and Tea Party groups is reprehensible, and it must be made clear who was involved, people appointed by the President, or civil service bureaucrats who have gone way beyond their authority, and abused their positions. Heads must roll, and if it is the bureaucracy, then the whole agency must be cleaned up of those who have broken the law, and prosecutions must follow quickly!
The Associated Press matter, if related to national security matters, must also be revealed in total, as media should never be interfered with by the Justice Department, and a full investigation must be pursued, with Attorney General Eric Holder properly recusing himself in this matter.
The point is, that despite Republicans gleefully jumping on these controversies, it is yet possible that nothing that Obama could have done would have been able to prevent these controversies, but he MUST be proactive, not laid back and withdrawn, which has too often been his mode of operation in his first term.
Obama is in danger of ending up like other second term Presidencies, in the midst of scandals which undermine their legacy, no matter how good those legacies might be.
Progressives do not want Obama to end up in the troubled historical legacy of such predecessors as:
Ulysses S. Grant–Credit Mobilier Scandals
Harry Truman–several minor scandals
Dwight D. Eisenhower—Sherman Adams Scandal
Richard Nixon–Watergate Scandal
Ronald Reagan–Iran Contra Scandal
Bill Clinton–Monica Lewinksy–Paul Jones Scandals
George W. Bush—Scooter Libby Scandal
The only way to avoid this fate is PROMPT, ASSERTIVE, PROACTIVE leadership by our 44th President, who has done so much good, and should not allow his enemies to destroy him by a policy of passivity, and leading from behind!
The Republican Party and the conservative movement have been out to get President Barack Obama from the day he took office, just as they were with President Bill Clinton.
The right wing was able to impeach Bill Clinton over his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky, but was unable to remove him from office, even with a majority Republican Senate in 1999.
Now, the tragedy of the death of the ambassador and three support staff in Benghazi, Libya, is being conjured up to be a scandal on the level of Watergate under Richard Nixon, Iran Contra under Ronald Reagan, and the sex scandal under Clinton.
And Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, now a right wing talk show host gone mad, are suggesting that impeachment of Barack Obama is possible, a totally lunatic concept!
NOTHING about Benghazi is worthy of impeachment, and it would simply be another “lynch mob” as occurred with Bill Clinton, making a mockery of the impeachment provision of the Constitution, by utilizing it for the third time in 40 years, when only the Richard Nixon case was worthy of impeachment!
It would undermine the ability of the government to deal with the many domestic and foreign policy issues this nation faces, and be a waste of time and money, as even with an impeachment, which would stain the reputation of Obama permanently, as it did with Clinton, the reality is that NO WAY would a two thirds vote of the Senate be possible to remove the President from office, any more than it was with Bill Clinton!
It is an exercise in futility, unjustified, and clearly is just a political ploy that would reverberate on the Republican Party and the conservative movement, leading to just more political confrontation, and cause disgust among the American people!
For those of us who are Presidential junkies, the only time we see a group of Presidents and First Ladies together in public is at openings of Presidential libraries, and at funerals of Presidents and First Ladies.
Since these do not happen very often in either regard, today’s gathering of five Presidents and five First Ladies at the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library at the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, was an exciting moment, no matter how one feels about the Presidency of George W. Bush.
Seeing Jimmy Carter looking hale and hearty; George H. W. Bush in a wheelchair in obviously poor health although only being less than four months older than Carter; Bill Clinton his usual talkative, charismatic self; George W. Bush being very positive, despite the clear cut failures of his time in office; and Barack Obama, always good with saying the right things, was fascinating!
Seeing Rosalynn Carter and Barbara Bush looking good, considering their advanced age; Hillary Clinton looking ready to run for President any time now; Laura Bush being her usual sweet self; and Michelle Obama looking always as an elegant lady, was also very inspiring!
Of course, Nancy Reagan, while not mentioned, was absent, as she is in her early 90s and not in good health.
And we saw the two daughters of Lyndon Johnson and of Richard Nixon, along with the daughter of Gerald Ford, but no other Presidential children, other than the two daughters of George W. Bush, of course! But only Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Reagan and his first wife, Jane Wyman, was present, not the son and daughter of Nancy Reagan, Ron Jr. and Patti. And neither was Caroline Kennedy, or the other children of Gerald Ford, and none of the children of Jimmy Carter, or the Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea!
In any case, for those who are into photographs of a group of Presidents or First Ladies, today was a very good day!
Today is the 44th Earth Day, first promoted by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, and endorsed by President Richard Nixon.
The environmental movement has had its successes under Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
At the same time, the environmentalists have had major setbacks under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, particularly under Reagan and the second Bush, the two worst environmental Presidents of the last century, while Carter and Nixon stand out as the best environmental Presidents after Theodore Roosevelt.
The corporate world has been responsible for much of the damage to our environment since the Industrial Age, with their mad dash for profits and lack of concern for the health and safety of the people in the areas they produced steel, mined coal, drilled oil, and the myriad of other industrial activities that produced a massive wealth ending up in the hands of a small oligarchy. They exploited their workers and took advantage of consumers, along with destruction of the environment, and without any apologies. And they still have massive influence with both parties, and any ability to deal with the issue of environmental damage is always counteracted by the financial resources of corporations out to prevent any major changes in policy and regulation.
So while progress has been made over these years since 1970, there is still a massive battle for the future of the nation’s environmental health over the long term. Environmentalists cannot let up their battles on Capitol Hill and in the courts!
45 years ago on this day, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, ending his brief but eventful life at the age of 39.
Since his death, the vicious attacks on his nonviolent disobedience tactic in the civil rights movement has been rejected, except by the extreme right wing, which still contends that King and his followers were “communists”, the automatic accusation used whenever anyone challenges the establishment in any form.
King is now memorialized by the national holiday, and the King Memorial in Washington DC makes him also a national figure of massive proportions, as he was in life.
One has to wonder what King would have been like, had he survived until today at the age of 84.
Would his contributions have been greater, and would civil rights have advanced further than it has since his death?
Would he have become a factor in future elections in a way that might have changed the course of history?
What would have been his effect on the prosecution of the Vietnam War under Richard Nixon?
How would he have reacted to Jimmy Carter as the first Southern President since Zachary Taylor in 1848?
How would the Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II Presidencies have interacted with him, assuming everything politically would have been the same?
And finally, how would King have reacted to Barack Obama and his leadership in the Presidency?
Would American foreign policy and domestic policy have been influenced much by a live Martin Luther King, Jr?
All of this is speculative, but it is clear the nation lost a great deal with King’s untimely death in 1968!
The month of April is a particularly historic month in America’s past in so many ways, with 20 significant events listed below.
April 2, 1917—President Woodrow Wilson asks the Congress for a declaration of war against Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Turks.
April 4, 1968—The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
April 6, 1917—Congress votes for entrance into World War I against Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Turks.
April 9, 1865—General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, marking the official end of the Civil War.
April 12, 1861—The Civil War begins, with the South Carolina attack on the federal military fort, Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.
April 12, 1945—President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia, and Harry Truman becomes President.
April 13, 1743—President Thomas Jefferson is born in Virginia.
April 14, 1865—President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC, dying the next morning at 722 AM
April 17, 1961—A failed attempt to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro failed, coming to be known as the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and helped to lead to the later Cuban Missile Crisis, the greatest challenge faced by President John F. Kennedy.
April 18, 1775—The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, inspiring the first armed uprising against British oppression, occurred.
April 18, 1906—The highly destructive San Francisco Earthquake occurred, destroying much of the city, and killing 4,000 people.
April 19, 1775—The American Revolution began, with the Battle of Lexington and Concord outside Boston, Massachusetts.
April 19, 1993—The Waco, Texas tragedy of the death of 82 people in the Branch Davidian religious compound, consumed by fire, after an intervention by armored vehicles and federal agents occurred, inspiring conspiracy theories which led to the event below.
April 19, 1995—The worst domestic terrorist act in American history occurred, when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building, killing 168 people and wounding about a thousand others.
April 20, 1914—The Ludlow Massacre of miners by company hired National Guardsmen, killing 19 people, occurred in Colorado over a desire for recognition of the United Mine Workers for the coal miners.
April 20, 1999—The Columbine Massacre in Littleton, Colorado, led to the worst mass shooting of students and teachers in public schools until the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.
April 21, 1836— The Battle of San Jacinto near Houston, Texas, led to the victory of Texans led by Sam Houston over the Mexican army of General Santa Anna, leading to Texas Independence.
April 22, 1994—President Richard Nixon dies at the age of 81.
April 24, 1800—The national library of America, the Library of Congress, is established in Washington, DC.
April 30, 1789—George Washington is inaugurated as the first American President at Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan.
Lyndon Johnson’s Withdrawal From Presidential Race 45 Years Ago Today Led To Five More Years Of Vietnam War, Tragically!
On this day, 45 years ago, the nation was stunned by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s announcement that he was withdrawing from the Presidential race of 1968 to devote attention to an attempt to end US involvement in the Vietnam War.
Sadly, the action led to no such thing, as Richard Nixon was elected, and continued the war until 1973, gaining nothing permanently, as Vietnam would be unified under Communist North Vietnam in 1975.
Meanwhile, the number of American troops killed more than doubled to 58,000, with many more wounded, some permanently, and massive damage done by US bombing of South Vietnam, North Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, and we are still paying for the cost of that war with aging veterans of the war who need medical and psychological care that is never ending.
It seems clear that had Vice President Hubert Humphrey been elected to succeed Johnson, US involvement in the war would have ended sooner than the beginning of the second term of Nixon.
And the Great Society of LBJ would have been continued and expanded on a massive scale with Humphrey, the premier liberal of his time, in the Presidency.
And had Robert Kennedy not been assassinated, and somehow became the Democratic nominee, instead of Humphrey, there would also have been a quicker end of the war, and an expansion of the Great Society.
America went from a nation at its peak in the 1960s, to a deterioration of the middle class after 1973, due to the investment in war spending that continued, leading to three major wars in the 1990s and 2000s, and eating up funding that could have been used for more social and economic change and reform.
The conservative counter revolution did great damage, and we are paying heavily now in our national debt which multiplied under Republicans Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, mostly in foreign policy and defense spending, while the top two percent became ever more massively wealthy due to major tax cuts on them, which did not promote stimulation of the economy!
Barack Obama is trying to reverse the course that has been endemic since 1968, but is being challenged and obstructed at every turn, but even with that, already he has become the major Presidential reformer in domestic affairs since the retirement of Lyndon B. Johnson!
40 years ago today, after what was then the longest war in American history, the United States finally withdrew its armed forces from South Vietnam, after the Paris Peace Accords signed in January of 1973.
58,000 Americans had been killed in a war propping up a corrupt regime under different Vietnamese generals, a war that could have been ended in the first year of the Richard Nixon Presidency, but he was not going to be the President under whom we lost a war.
Instead, sadly, it was lost two years later, during the administration of Gerald Ford, when North Vietnam broke the agreement, and attacked and took over South Vietnam at the end of April 1975, unifying the nation under the Communist government that would now be known as the “People’s Republic” of Vietnam, with Saigon, the old South Vietnamese capital, being renamed Ho Chi Minh City.
America would normalize relations with Vietnam in 1995, and we have trade and normal diplomatic relations with our former adversary now, but the memory of the loss of those 58,000 still haunts survivors of that conflict, and the families who still mourn their sacrifice, and the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, is our monument of respect to their commitment to our nation!