Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy Resignation Day

I admit to some small nostalgia for the 1970s, when the Constitution was preserved, when many Republicans could be and were responsible, when Democrats stood up for themselves and the nation. Richard Nixon was rightly hounded from office on this day in 1974. Then age 16, I had watched his typically bullshit-filled resignation speech the night before, but nowadays I have to give even Nixon credit for two things:

  • The country was indeed better off for his resignation, rather than the sure impeachment and conviction that would otherwise have followed.
  • He was, it turns out, not the worst the Republican Party could foist upon America with divisive and dishonest manipulation and appeals to the worst in us.
Unfortunately, the young Republicans of the time didn't learn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and the law against their own impulses and will to power. Instead, the lesson they took from White House tapes and Federal Court processes and Gerald Ford's pardon was to fight tooth and nail to keep their misdeeds in the dark.

Dick Cheney and the Bushists now claim openly the Nixonian theory that the President is above the law, as if we didn't evict George III for that exact sentiment - when he had a much better claim under the laws of the time. Darth and Duhbya claim to be above all checks and balances between elections, and the Constitution is honored in the breach if at all. Oh, and the full weight of the Republican political apparatus is doing everything it can, whether legitimate or not, to tilt those elections away from public opinion.

The young Democrats of the 1970s learned to be pussies. That one I don't understand at all.

No comments: