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Monday, December 22, 2008

Frost/Nixon and Bush

'Tis the season for another appropriate-time-of-the-year Roland Hansen Commentary.

It is wintertime in the northern hemisphere. It is also the time of year right now to hear the popular song Frosty the Snowman. It is also the season in which it is not uncommon to see a whole lot of frost in the colder regions. To top it all off, there is now a popular movie being shown in a theater near you about Frost - David Frost, that is.

You’ve most likely heard of the Broadway play based on a real-life political event that has been made into a Hollywood movie. It’s about a reporter by the name of David Frost and the events surrounding his famous interviews with a lying, deceiving, disgraceful President. No, the President in this story is not George W. Bush. The President portrayed in this theatrical production is none other than Richard Milhous Nixon.

There are a couple unique factors that set Nixon apart from other Presidents of the United States of America. One is the fact that Nixon is the only President who had served as a vice president and then later became president, but did not succeed the president under whom he had served. The second is the fact that Richard Nixon, a.k.a. Dick Nixon, a.k.a. Tricky Dick, was the only president of the United States ever to resign from the highest elective office of the land. He did the country this favor when he left office on August 9, 1974 rather than face impeachment after a committee of the United States House of Representatives had voted to issue several articles of impeachment for consideration by the full legislative chamber. If you don’t know the story behind this historic event, I’ll give you the two-cent version. Congress began to consider impeachment when it was discovered that Nixon had lied to the country when he said he knew nothing of the Watergate scandal. That was a scandal that involved a break-in at the National Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate Hotel along with other illegal activities by employees of Nixon's 1972 re-election committee and by staff members of his Presidential Executive Office.

Incidentally, it was during Richard Nixon’s presidency that the elected Vice President, Spiro Agnew, resigned from office due to corruption charges. His replacement by Presidential appointment and congressional confirmation was Gerald Rudolph Ford, a.k.a. Jerry Ford, who ascended to the Presidency upon Nixon’s resignation. Jerry Ford has the distinction of having served as President without ever being elected nationwide.

Let me see, now. Nixon was going to be impeached in his second term basically for lying. Approximately some 25 years later, another President of the United States of America by the name of William Jefferson Clinton, a.k.a. Bill Clinton, was impeached during his second term basically for lying about an extramarital sexual situation.

Flash forward, I wish to bring to your attention a couple interesting facts about the current out-going President of the United States, George Walker Bush. One fact is that the Electoral College elected George W. Bush after he lost the popular election vote in 2000. He is the fourth person ever to have been elected President without having received a majority vote of the American people. The other three were John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, and Benjamin Harrison in 1888. The election of George W. Bush was also only the second time in the history of the United States that the son of a former president was elected president. George Herbert Walker Bush, father of George W. Bush, also served as president. It had been approximately 200 years since the only other father and son Presidents, those two being John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

It is George W. Bush who lied to the American people and to Congress drawing the United States into an undeclared war in Iraq costing billions of dollars and thousands of lives. Under George W. Bush, there is another Dick of whom there have been many allegations of corruption. That Dick is none other than a guy by the name of Richard Bruce Cheney, who has been serving as Vice President to George W. Bush. If that isn’t the frosting on the cake!!! It is my opinion that the Bush-Cheney administration will go down as the worst performing and most corrupt Presidency in United States history.

I find it absolutely amazing that two Presidents in recent history, Dick Nixon and Bill Clinton, have faced removal from the Office of President by the United States Congress while another lying, deceiving, disgraceful President by the name of George W. Bush gets away scott-free. That just frosts me!!!


Judy said...

History will not be kind when it comes to the Bush era. My hope is that never again is someone like him ever elected to lead this USA down the path to hell!

dalepertcheck said...

Roland...I realize that you're not writing a book here, but you left out a vital piece of this information puzzle. Huge amounts of U.S. taxpayer money went to Halliburton in the last 7+ years, much of this under "no bid" contracts. Dick Cheney's immediate "job" before becoming Vice President was as the CEO of Halliburton. This clear conflict of interest does constitute an impeachable offense, much more clearly than anything done by Clinton. It doesn't matter that Cheney's holdings are in a "blind" trust, if Cheney knows that the holdings include Halliburton stock. The Bush/Cheney legacy includes not only economic idiocy, it includes good old-fashioned political corruption. Either of these dudes from Chicago, by any chance?

Hooda Thunkit said...

Maybe it's time we started electing business leaders to run the country instead of politicians.

Hmmmmmmm. . .

Roland Hansen said...

I agree.

I thought I covered Cheney when I wrote: "Under George W. Bush, there is another Dick of whom there have been many allegations of corruption. That Dick is none other than a guy by the name of Richard Bruce Cheney, who has been serving as Vice President to George W. Bush. If that isn’t the frosting on the cake!!! It is my opinion that the Bush-Cheney administration will go down as the worst performing and most corrupt Presidency in United States history."

Hooda Thunkit,
We do elect business leaders to run our country. "Monkey business" leaders, that is.

Brian Schwartz said...

None of us are able to judge where GWB will end up in history. It will be 20 years before we are able to examine the effects of his policies. The personal prejudices of those who lived under the Bush presidency also inhibit any rational or scholarly examination of his presidency.

I know "rational" and "scholarly" are not terms with which many of the president's critics are not acquainted, but every president eventually receives it.

Presidencies undergo syntheses as historians examine ALL of the issues and ALL of the polices and ALL of the effects - both positive and negative - those issues and policies have on the nation and the world.

Bush will probably rise in the esteem of historians. When history takes the full measure of the Bush presidency and juxtaposes it against the presidencies of John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, U.S. Grant, and Warren Harding, I think Bush will rank above all of them and probably a few others.

Just look at Nixon's rising esteem. His enemies continue throwing dirt on his grave, but the American public thought more of him as an ex-president than they do Jimmy Carter and historians are finding that he was a pretty masterful president -- at least on a global scale.

Brian Schwartz said...

Just imagine how much better things would have been had Bill Clinton been as good an American as Richard Nixon and resigned rather than put the country through an impeachment trial on crimes of which he was obviously guilty.

Imagine how much better things would have been for America had Al Gore been as good an American as Richard Nixon and conceded an election he was sure had been stolen from him. Nixon could have put the 1960 election into question and history -- if not an actual investigation -- would have born out his claims. Alas, he put the nation ahead of his own personal aspirations.

When I look at the selfishness of men like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry, I can't help but think we could use a man like Dick Nixon again.

Judy said...

You stated: "I can't help but think we could use a man like Dick Nixon again." With a comment like this, it's clear to me that you aren't thinking clearly at all!

Brian said...

Geez Judy, after watching election after election being fought in the courts and Democrats calling President Bush "his illegitimacy" and the litigation that calls on the courts to settle elections, I can't help but think how much better off we would be if we had a few more Dick Nixons who were willing to put aside personal ambition and need to be proven right in the interest of the country.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: John Kerry and Al Gore would like to be half the American Richard Nixon was.

Judy said...

Brian, Brian, isn't it time to get your head out of the sand, oh that's right, Bush wants to make sure we stay IN the sand! As for Nixon, can we say "Watergate", and not want to vomit! I'll take Al Gore at his word over your picks any day! Given your right to think as you do is yours, but give me the same respect!