Tag Archives: Richard Nixon

Suppose Obama Wins Pennsylvania

According to Acel Moore writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday, Barack Obama might not only come close to Hillary, he just might win.  Moore bases his opinion on two things, anecdotes he has gathered in and around philly, and the recognition that Obama need win only 14 of 67 counties to capture the state, and his campaign is working this strategy to the bone.

Moore suggests that Pa. voters are more independent minded than were the voters in Ohio. He cites Greg Naylor, field operations director for Rep. Chaka Fattah, an early Obama supporter in Philly, as saying there is no doubt Obama will win Philly and thus upset the old dem. machine.

So, here’s the question: what will Hillary do is she loses Pennsylvania. Common sense and reasonable thinking suggests she drop out.  The alternative creates a specter of Richard Nixon, who, after the Supreme Court ordered he give over the tapes, still contemplated ignoring the Court, and staging a coup. Come to think of it, we have one of these folks in the White House right now.  This is Hillary’s choice: go out with the little class she has left, or go into the flames of infamy, and become the first documented Nixonian/ Bushian presidential candidate.  Indeed she is finally behaving like a president, just not the sort of president the country needs.

Hillary Clinton’s Barry Goldwater Moment Has Arrived

It may soon be time for Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the race, according to Barney Frank, Ed Rendell and Joe Biden. Barney and Ed are Hillary supporters. Joe never endorsed, but was quite generous to Hillary during his bid.

These folks are suggesting that the time has come for the robust competition between Clinton and Obama to end. Biden has said that Hillary should fold her tent unless she wins PA. by 20 points. Rendell suggests that the Clinton inspired “bitter-gate” has failed to turn the tide in Pa. for Hillary, and might spell, at most, a couple more points for Hillary in Pennsylvania. He also said that Obama still would win Pennsylvania in November. Barney Frank suggests the loser (Hillary) should drop out of the race on or before June 3, the final day of primary voting.

So here it is: the ghosts of Barry Goldwater, Hugh Scott and James Rhodes making their way down Pennsylvania Avenue to advise the president to resign. Only now its Barney, Ed and Joe, three vocal and respected elected leaders, coalescing around the idea that the end game is here for Hillary; they are telling her that her dream of becoming president is over and she must now board that plane for san clamente, where she belongs. Hey, Nixon listened; will she?

The Nixon in Dick Cheney

When Dick Cheney analogized the Iraq War the other day to Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon, the Gordian knot unraveled around the perpetual War in Iraq.  Now Cheney was suggesting that Iraq, like the pardon, was politically unpopular, but the right thing to do. The merits of this argument notwithstanding, the statement revealed the origins of the current predicament in Iraq.

 More than anything else, the Iraq war is about power, or as Cheney once told Rolling Stone, it is about pushing that ball up the hill and not letting anyone else push it back down.  Cheney is a fan of unitary executive power because his office is in the executive branch (though when it serves his purposes, his lawyers argue the VP office is a legislative office). When he was Wyoming’s lone congressman, he authored a book about unmitigated legislative power.  As it happens, the most damning sort of power is minority tyranny, and so it is that Cheney’s consumption of personal political power is wreaking havoc on the constitution and this country’s democracy.   

 Back to the Ford analogy.  Cheney’s start came in the Nixon administration, and while there, Cheney became enraptured with the trappings of Dick’s imperial palace. Although Cheney’s personal lot rose dramatically under Ford, becoming chief of staff, he saw the trappings of power disappear.  By many accounts, the Ford Presidency was one of the weakest in history.    Dick experienced political impotence and didn’t like it. When his boss lost to Jimmy Carter, Dick vowed to mount his efforts against any force that would ever militate against the powers of the presidency.  Once again, Cheney’s stock rose after the demise of a powerful president.  

 Clinton, like Nixon, came a hair’s breath away from being removed from power by the senate.  Cheney would do everything in his personal power to make sure that Bush 43 was no Gerald Ford.  So, messy imagery aside, Dick, was Bush’s Viagra. He was there to keep the man and the office erect and potent for as long as possible. Along came 911, which for Cheney was the tragedy of a lifetime.  It would provide him cover for wish fulfillment and all virtually the executive branch resources at his disposal. In his coterie, Rumsfeld shared his Nixon/Bush experiences and his desire not to relive the humiliation of those years.

 With Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, and Cheney being given all the president’s powers by an incurious slacker of a president, the neo-con strategy became a reality faster than any of them had ever actually thought possible.  They simply never bothered to plan what would follow their assumption of power, and their commitment to turn much of it over to private business partners.  Once in Iraq, they had no plans other than turning back attempts by congress or the courts to limit their power, and then turn things over to Halliburton and Blackwater. They are still trying to figure it out, but at this point, their objectives have been achieved, and they no longer really care.