What don't we know about the president and when will we know if what we don't know was worth knowing?

I'd rather not beat the horse of questioned timing as it lay dying (it's taken us a long way lately and has long deserved a decent burial) but I couldn't help noticing that within the final five minutes of PBS's awkardly-titled "Watergate plus 30: Shadow of History" (re-aired last night) there were repeated reminders that someone in the White House today could very well be keeping secrets, that Watergate didn't scrub the walls clean, and sad as it is to say, the only lesson may have been, "don't get caught."

One of the rather stately looking gents in a tie seated in front of a fireplace or a flag (or a shelf of leather bound books or something) said that this is not an attack on George Bush, I mean, other Presidents have done the same things.

But what has he done, honestly? Ah ... but what we don't know!

You can't add all that up and fail to see it as an effort at subtly placing Bush in Nixon's shadow, or rather at making Bush the shadow of Nixon's history. The way the piece closed was like a quiet lament; it seemed to say "we know they're up to no good, but they learned from Nixon and they hide their sins better these days."

Jeb McGruder's claim (prefaced with the caution that only he knows whether his claim is true) that Nixon ordered the break-in came just before the final flourish of doubts on lessons learned.

(I leaned toward the Artie Lange approach to the Mike Walker game on the Stern show: When McGruder hinted at his Nixon impression I smelled a fake, but that's neither here nor there.)

Perhaps this is paranoia from overexposure to the left (I am an academic afterall) but the lesson here seemed to be that -- save Jeb McGruder and three decades -- the sins of Presidents tend toward the grave. If Bush has sinned we won't have the evidence for quite some time.

So learn the lesson of history! Don't let the work of those brave men go unheeded! You can effect change by voting out Nixon's shadow!

posted by Dennis on 08.10.04 at 02:33 PM










Comments

...and voting in McGovern's shadow. Ohh, how they wish...

Richard Nixon was one of the most liberal Presidents in American history. A proposal for a guaranteed income, affirmative action, wage and price controls, detente with the Communists. But the Left still hates him and will always hate him for one reason:

It has been 52 years since Whittaker Chambers wrote his "Witness". The Left can never forgive Richard Nixon for helping Whittaker Chambers expose Alger Hiss. The Left cannot bear to breathe the name of Whittaker Chambers, they hate him so much, so they curse Richard Nixon instead and curse him forever, as the shadow of Whittaker Chambers.

Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss still symbolize the great fissure in the West. Chambers named it: "God or Man? Soul or Mind? Freedom or Communism?" He predicted that the 20th century would be known either as the century of "the Great Social Wars" (as the Communists would call it) or as the century of "the Great Wars of Faith". He knew that the War he was fighting was a spiritual War, and we are still fighting it today. It is a crisis of the soul.

Steven you are absolutely right. This Chambers/Hiss stuff was the primary motivation behind the Watergate hearings and show trials, which turned a prostitution ring into a domestic coup.

The problem is, people have to read two out-of-print books as well as review trial transcripts and deposition testimony to begin to understand how this happened.

Our history is fraudulent. I tried to challenge it, and while the experience changed my life, the bogus history stands, and the victors who wrote it will defend it to the death.

In ten or twenty years the truth MAY come out. (If we still have the First Amendment, that is...)

Eric Scheie   ·  August 11, 2004 2:28 PM

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