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Author Topic: Former President Gerald Ford dies at 93
Sara at home
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Like it or not, no one was considering charging Nixon with war crimes. Wasn't gonna happen no matter what. That was a pipe dream of the extreme antiwar crowd.

The question you say hasn't been answered...would that be
quote:
How can anyone have closure knowing a criminal got away without punishment?
The answer is that those of us who have closure believe Nixon, that proud, vain, self-centered man, was punished when he had to resign in disgrace and have his name tarnished forever. For those who don't believe he was punished, I guess there is no closure. **shrug** You might not like the answer, but that's the answer.

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educatedindian
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
quote:
Originally posted by educatedindian:
Actually I thought the cardinal rule of snopes is you provide evidence for what you say. All you've done is get more and more evasive (and sometimes a little insulting) when you can't answer someone's points with evidence.

You know, if someone wants to talk about USA foreign policy during the Cold War, they ought to know something about USA foreign policy during the Cold War. Anyone who doesn't know about it should be asking questions, not making statements. But what is it that you want evidence for?? I haven't said anything that isn't common knowledge....or should be.
That's a perfect example of what I'm talking about, your tossing out childish insults and assuming anyone who disagrees with you must be ignorant.

Whether you intend to or not, it makes you come off pompous and condescending. Either discuss with us or don't, but kindly knock off the insults.

I haven't see even the slightest sign that any of us who disagree with you know any less. Just the opposite, I've seen a lot of kneejerk and false assumptions about the Cold War from you:

1. The idea that everyone can and should accept "defeating Communism" as a rationale for any atrocities done, such as E Timor or Chile.

Are you kidding? Not even the architect of Containment, George Kennan, ever claimed that. Generally only McCarthyists did, or people on the fringe who later climbed into positions of power, like Jeanne Kirkpatrick or Patrick Buchanan.

I don't see any sign your beliefs are generally the same as Buchanan and co, but find it strange you take their POV for this issue.

2. The idea that "any president would've done the same" about E Timor or Chile, supporting brutality as long as they paid lip servide to anti Communism. Fact is, Jimmy Carter did not do the same over Iran or Nicaragua or many other regimes, although not always consistently (as in E Timor's case.)

There are other possible presidents who would've done differently, for example Henry Wallace, had he been VP when FDR died. I'd also argue Ford's own VP, Rockefeller, would've done far differently had he been Pres.

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educatedindian
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Like it or not, no one was considering charging Nixon with war crimes. Wasn't gonna happen no matter what. That was a pipe dream of the extreme antiwar crowd.

I guess maybe your POV is closer to a neo-conservative one, judging by how you define being not only antiwar but even being anti- mass murder of civilians of a neutral country as "extreme."

Among those "extremists".
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,879405-7,00.html
"Republican Henry Smith, considered wholly against impeachment, indicated that the Cambodia bombing was the one Nixon offense that he might consider impeachable."

And the woman who drafted the article calling for his impeachment for Cambodia says it didn't pass for different reasons.

http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/interviews/045
"During Nixon’s impeachment proceedings, I drafted the resolution of impeachment to hold President Nixon accountable for concealing from Congress the bombing of Cambodia he initiated. But the committee did not approve it, probably because it might appear political -- in other words, stemming from opposition to the war instead of to the President’s abuse of his war-making powers."

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Dragging the thread back to Ford for a moment:

REMEMBERING A FORMER PRESIDENT

quote:
While the nation mourns a lost president, Charles Ernst of Menlo Park mourns a lost friend.

This month, decades after sharing an aircraft carrier with Gerald Ford in the Pacific seas, Ernst opened his mail to find a personalized Christmas card from the former president.

Ford was that kind of guy, Ernst said.

``He was very down-to-earth -- such a warm personality. He was so accessible, just one of the guys,'' Ernst, 90, said. ``He never, at any time, wore his accomplishments on his sleeve.''



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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by educatedindian:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Like it or not, no one was considering charging Nixon with war crimes. Wasn't gonna happen no matter what. That was a pipe dream of the extreme antiwar crowd.

I guess maybe your POV is closer to a neo-conservative one, judging by how you define being not only antiwar but even being anti- mass murder of civilians of a neutral country as "extreme."

Sorry, but beyond my saying that I loathed Nixon for years and wanted him in jail but then came to agree that Ford did the right thing in pardoning him, I haven't stated my POV, as you call it, at all.

quote:
Among those "extremists".
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,879405-7,00.html
"Republican Henry Smith, considered wholly against impeachment, indicated that the Cambodia bombing was the one Nixon offense that he might consider impeachable."


Charges brought for impeachment are one thing, criminal charges for war crimes are quite another. We are talking criminal charges for war crimes, not impeachment. What Henry Smith said is totally irrelevant.

quote:
And the woman who drafted the article calling for his impeachment for Cambodia says it didn't pass for different reasons.

http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/interviews/045
"During Nixon’s impeachment proceedings, I drafted the resolution of impeachment to hold President Nixon accountable for concealing from Congress the bombing of Cambodia he initiated. But the committee did not approve it, probably because it might appear political -- in other words, stemming from opposition to the war instead of to the President’s abuse of his war-making powers."

Same thing. Totally irrelevant.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
The answer is that those of us who have closure believe Nixon, that proud, vain, self-centered man, was punished when he had to resign in disgrace and have his name tarnished forever.

Read up on the rest of his life. That assessment is as wrong as could be.

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Yeah, there was that push to accept him as the elder statesman, but I hope history will ignore it.

However, I doubt that would have changed had he been convicted in a criminal court and gone to prison.

He resign the presidency in disgrace, a fact which is cut in stone.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Yeah that was what I was alluding to a little earlier when I mentioned that there are people out there reading carefully selected books and deciding that Nixon was a mighty fine man. Oh please [Roll Eyes] .

I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that Nixon always managed to retain a high opinion of himself. Regardless though, he paid a pretty big price for his actions -- some of which seem less serious in light of GWB's presidency but still...

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Yeah, there was that push to accept him as the elder statesman, but I hope history will ignore it.

However, I doubt that would have changed had he been convicted in a criminal court and gone to prison.

He resign the presidency in disgrace, a fact which is cut in stone.

And he never admitted that he did anythign wrong. And he never apologized. And he always defended his conduct.

And when he died, he was remembered as a dignified elder statemen who made a single mistake in Watergate, but whose life was otherwise distinguished as a great American.

Poo. He never paid the price for his actions in nearly bringing down American democracy. His henchman continue the effort today.

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Who the hell cares what he thought of himself? The very fact that he always defended his actions and never apologized or admitted wrong doing is exactly why he won't be remembered as that great statesman he hoped to be. He will be remembered for his arrogance along with all the other negatives.

I don't remember him as a great stateman who mande a single mistake because that simply isn't true. Hell, I don't even remember that being said when he died. And history won't remember him that way either.

His henchmen are dead. It's the sons of those henchmen who have gotten us where we are today. You want to blame anyone, blame the voters who continue to be so easily duped.

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Steve
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:

I don't remember him as a great stateman who mande a single mistake because that simply isn't true. Hell, I don't even remember that being said when he died.

True. But only because Bob Dole forgot to admit that Nixon had made a mistake.
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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:

I don't remember him as a great stateman who mande a single mistake because that simply isn't true. Hell, I don't even remember that being said when he died.

True. But only because Bob Dole forgot to admit that Nixon had made a mistake.
That a few camp followers seem determined to revere Nixon is hardly surprising. It's also pretty meaningless.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Who the hell cares what he thought of himself? The very fact that he always defended his actions and never apologized or admitted wrong doing is exactly why he won't be remembered as that great statesman he hoped to be.

Did you miss all the fawning tributes when he died? In many, many, places, Nixon is remembered as a great statesman and foreign policy expert -- the same way Ford is being recalled as a decent man.


quote:
I don't remember him as a great stateman who mande a single mistake because that simply isn't true. Hell, I don't even remember that being said when he died. And history won't remember him that way either.
If you think that, you need to read more history.

quote:
His henchmen are dead. It's the sons of those henchmen who have gotten us where we are today. You want to blame anyone, blame the voters who continue to be so easily duped. [/QB]
And those who believe Ford did a great thing when he pardoned Nixon, because it was best to put Watergate behind us. Like we should forget the stolen election fo 2000 because that's in the past.

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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[Confused] Is anyone here arguing that Ford "did a great thing"? I think there is a big difference between doing what was probably the best thing and doing a great thing.

Anyway...

Nixon's Shadow: The History of an Image

This sounds fascinating. We have a copy in our library and this thread has inspired me to give it a read.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Ma-humbug:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Who the hell cares what he thought of himself? The very fact that he always defended his actions and never apologized or admitted wrong doing is exactly why he won't be remembered as that great statesman he hoped to be.

Did you miss all the fawning tributes when he died? In many, many, places, Nixon is remembered as a great statesman and foreign policy expert -- the same way Ford is being recalled as a decent man.

Well, I expect fawning when someone dies, even Nixon. While I know there is a certain segment of the population who were always Nixon apologists, I'm living in denial if it his alleged statemanship and foreign policy decisions have outweighed or wiped out his corruption and self serving acts. In fact, I believe that as time goes on, as historians look closer at Nixon, they will write off his great move in opening the door to China could only be done by a Republican with the anticommunist aura that Nixon had. (Like everything else about Nixon, I believe his anticommunism was more politics than substance.) As we all know, if a Democrat had tried to do it, he would have been labeled not a pinko communist sympathizer by the right, but full Reds.


quote:
quote:
I don't remember him as a great stateman who mande a single mistake because that simply isn't true. Hell, I don't even remember that being said when he died. And history won't remember him that way either.
If you think that, you need to read more history.

I simply don't believe that history will overlook that Nixon resigned and why. I don't believe that history won't see the petty, weak, self serving, manipulative man he was.

quote:
quote:
His henchmen are dead. It's the sons of those henchmen who have gotten us where we are today. You want to blame anyone, blame the voters who continue to be so easily duped.
And those who believe Ford did a great thing when he pardoned Nixon, because it was best to put Watergate behind us. Like we should forget the stolen election fo 2000 because that's in the past.

Like Christie said, it wasn't a "great thing". It wasn't a great thing any more than taking out the garbage is a great thing. It's a necessary thing if you want to stop it from stinking up the house.

Bad analogy to the stolen 2000 election. The stolen election didn't follow a decades long war that divided the country; the stolen election hadn't consumned the country, the news, the Congress for the better part of two years; the stolen election didn't involve criminal prosecution of a former president. We still talk about the stolen election, we haven't forgotten it and we won't. We still talk about Watergate, we haven't forgotten it and we won't. But we've moved on from both; that's the one thing they do have in common.

ETA: And, btw, history shouldn't erase any good Nixon may have done because of the evil he did. What's right is right, what's wrong is wrong. Revisionist history is wrong regardless of which way it flows.

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Bad analogy to the stolen 2000 election.

When there is an extremely close election in the US, there is a recount, and judges get to have the final say in how it will play out. The judiciary thus constitute the official election referees. This is the American system. not a stolen election.

Besides that, the press in this country informally acts as the backup election referee, and the leading relevant referees (Miami Herald and New York Times) found that George W. Bush would have widened his 537-vote victory to a 1,665-vote margin if the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court would have been allowed to continue, using standards that would have allowed even faintly dimpled "undervotes" -- ballots the voter has noticeably indented but had not punched all the way through -- to be counted. The only way Vice-President Gore would have won is with a pure intent-of-the-voter standard, which is so far from the election law that even Democratic-appointed judges didn't advocate it.

This has all been said before, of course, but I reply thinking that if blatant misstatements are allowed to remain unchallenged, people will actually start believing them. Sara, you are acting like the football fan who blames the officials when his team loses.

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Julius Lester

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
Sara, you are acting like the football fan who blames the officials when his team loses.

I have no interest in discussing the "stolen election" but the analogy. My opinion of that "stolen election" is totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand. If you want to harp on the "stolen election" thing, take it up with Pogue because he's the one first used the term and made the anaology.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
[Confused] Is anyone here arguing that Ford "did a great thing"?

Re-read this thread. Re-read the stories and bradocast reports of the past few days,

Yes, that is precisely what people are arguing.

Pogue

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Ma-humbug:
quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
[Confused] Is anyone here arguing that Ford "did a great thing"?

Re-read this thread. Re-read the stories and bradocast reports of the past few days,

Yes, that is precisely what people are arguing.

Well, if they are then they're wrong. Probably just over hyping because the guy died.

As for in this thread, the first person to use the word "great" to define what Ford did was you, a few posts up on this page. I'm not going to reread the thread, but I don't recall anyone here even implying that pardoning Nixon was a "great thing". The "right thing for the country" but, as I said, equivilant to taking the garbage out.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
I'm not going to reread the thread, but I don't recall anyone here even implying that pardoning Nixon was a "great thing". The "right thing for the country" but, as I said, equivilant to taking the garbage out.

Fine then. Argue that doing the right thing for the country at your own political expense is not a great thing, but equivalent to taking out the garbage. [Roll Eyes]

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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He didn't think it would hurt him politically the way it did. Had he known that, it may have not changed anything, but that was his thinking. Besides, he had planned to retire from Congress in 1977 when he was picked to be vice president. What did he care?

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Did Ford have any aspirations to the Presidency prior to replacing Agnew and then Nixon? Even if he had I'm not sure why his decision to pardon Nixon would have been any worse for him than the alternative. Talk about being between the proverbial rock and a hard place. It would not have been Democrats or the Rest of America deciding his (Ford's) immediate fate, it would have been fellow Republicans.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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From what I have read, Christie, his ultimate goal was to be Speaker of the House; I do not think Ford had any presidential aspirations.

This past week there had been talk that there was some attempt from some quarters unknown to have him be Reagan's running mate, but others who were actually there at the time would have to speak about that.

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Sara at home
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From this article published in July:

quote:
He especially regrets not having fulfilled his ambition of becoming Speaker of the House of Representatives. "I lost five times," he lamented. "There were not, then, enough Republicans in the House. I wanted to be Speaker because the legislative process interested me, and was the kind of challenge I enjoyed. I was never as enthusiastic about being in the executive branch. I even turned down the chance to run for governor of Michigan."

In fact, he had planned to retire from Congress in l977. But in October l973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew's legal and campaign finance problems surfaced and he was forced to resign.



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educatedindian
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
Bad analogy to the stolen 2000 election.

When there is an extremely close election in the US, there is a recount, and judges get to have the final say in how it will play out. The judiciary thus constitute the official election referees. This is the American system. not a stolen election.

Besides that, the press in this country informally acts as the backup election referee, and the leading relevant referees (Miami Herald and New York Times) found that George W. Bush would have widened his 537-vote victory to a 1,665-vote margin if the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court would have been allowed to continue, using standards that would have allowed even faintly dimpled "undervotes" -- ballots the voter has noticeably indented but had not punched all the way through -- to be counted. The only way Vice-President Gore would have won is with a pure intent-of-the-voter standard, which is so far from the election law that even Democratic-appointed judges didn't advocate it.

This has all been said before, of course, but I reply thinking that if blatant misstatements are allowed to remain unchallenged, people will actually start believing them. Sara, you are acting like the football fan who blames the officials when his team loses.

Ironic that you challenge what you erroneously believe to be a false statement with a term made infamous by Nixon and co, saying "mistatement" as a euphemism for lie or falsehood.

The overwhelming weight of the evidence says ghe 2000 presidential election was hijacked, and done so by judges who made their decision based on who they wanted in office, with no legal precedents to back them. Most of the evidence also points to a similar hijacking of the 2004 election by groups of local GOP election officials. See the Rolling Stone article by Kennedy.

And that's not even taking into account the purging of hundreds of thousands of Black and American Indian voters, intimidation, use of felony convictions to disenfranchise minorities at unequal rates, and not least of all, outright intimidation of immigrant voters.

Like you say, Steve, lies cannot be allowed to stand.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by educatedindian:
....The overwhelming weight of the evidence says ghe 2000 presidential election was hijacked, and done so by judges who made their decision based on who they wanted in office, with no legal precedents to back them. Most of the evidence also points to a similar hijacking of the 2004 election by groups of local GOP election officials. See the Rolling Stone article by Kennedy....

Aside from a single rolling stone article, the height of political analysis I expect, go ahead and start piling up that overwhelming weight of evidence...

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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Freshman
We Three Blings


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Are we still discussing whether Ford pardoning Nixon was "The Evbil!"? Does it matter? Most people remember Nixon for Watergate and that's enough of a punishment. Nixon and Ford are dead, we can't go back in time and stop them from their flaws so let's get over it

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"High-Five!" - Borat

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Steve
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Freshman:
Are we still discussing whether Ford pardoning Nixon was "The Evbil!"? Does it matter? Most people remember Nixon for Watergate and that's enough of a punishment. Nixon and Ford are dead, we can't go back in time and stop them from their flaws so let's get over it

I'm not sure what you mean here. You've criticised Ford on this thread as well. Now you say that since he's dead, we should just get over it? Could you clarify?
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Freshman
We Three Blings


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I can have odd mood swings, I suppose. Sarah's made a pretty good argument for Ford pardoning Nixon and all and now it seems to me that everyone's getting a little worked up about something they can't change

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"High-Five!" - Borat

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Freshman, he discussion is whether people today should indicate their acceptance or rejection of Mr Ford's pardon of Mr Nixon. What makes this a live topic thirty-two years later is that the abuse of presidential power remains a concern. So while the debate is nominally about long-ago events, it is really about the soul of America today. Well worth debating, I would say.
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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by educatedindian:
Ironic that you challenge what you erroneously believe to be a false statement with a term made infamous by Nixon and co, saying "mistatement" as a euphemism for lie or falsehood.

In my book, a lie is intentional, whereas a misstatement could be, and probably is, an innocent error or an honest disagreement over the facts. So really we are making similar accusation s regarding each other ("you erroneously believe to be a false statement"), except that I backed mine up with one of the actual studies of what would have happened if the Florida Supreme Court recount had been allowed to continue, whereas you looked at factors such as "use of felony convictions to disenfranchise minorities at unequal rates." It probably comes down to the question of whether we do or do not accept the American judicial system as legitimating close elections. Since the evidence is strong that both the Florida Supreme Court and US Supreme Court approaches give the same 2000 outcome, I think that election was legitimate.

quote:
Like you say, Steve, lies cannot be allowed to stand.

Like I say? You have every right to unintentionally put words in my mouth, and I to clarify when you do.

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"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Steve
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Freshman:
I can have odd mood swings, I suppose. Sarah's made a pretty good argument for Ford pardoning Nixon and all and now it seems to me that everyone's getting a little worked up about something they can't change

Thank you for the clarification.

But I'm afraid I disagree with many people above about the nature of the pardon. Other counries have faced far worse than the US and they've had their own trials.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
But I'm afraid I disagree with many people above about the nature of the pardon. Other counries have faced far worse than the US and they've had their own trials.

I really don't understand what you've just said, specifically the "nature of the pardon" part, and the relevance of other countries facing far worse than the US but have had their own trials. But really, explain to me what would have been accomplished by putting Nixon on trial for obstruction justice and conspiracy to commit burglary (or whatever he would have been charges with) and sentencing him to 18 months in prison? Where' the upside to going through all that? What's the point?

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Steve
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
But I'm afraid I disagree with many people above about the nature of the pardon. Other counries have faced far worse than the US and they've had their own trials.

I really don't understand what you've just said, specifically the "nature of the pardon" part, and the relevance of other countries facing far worse than the US but have had their own trials. But really, explain to me what would have been accomplished by putting Nixon on trial for obstruction justice and conspiracy to commit burglary (or whatever he would have been charges with) and sentencing him to 18 months in prison? Where' the upside to going through all that? What's the point?
I just meant the pardon. I disgree with you and everyone else who thinks it the correct thing for Ford to have done.

Either presidents face the law, or they don't. In Nixon's case, he didn't. The upside? Future presidents might have thought twice before breaking the law.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
Either presidents face the law, or they don't. In Nixon's case, he didn't. The upside? Future presidents might have thought twice before breaking the law.

Oh, please. Sending much of his adminstration and election committee to jail didn't deter anyone. Why do you think it would have been a deterrent for presidents to send a former president to jail, more, that is, than having to resign in disgrace? You don't think resigning in disgrace is a strong enough deterrent if, indeed, deterrence works? If it isn't, we sure are electing some low lifes to the presidency.

I can imagine the thought process of the presidents after Nixon...."No problem obstuction justice or setting up burglaries. I'll just have to quit the presidence if I'm caught, not go to jail. No problem." Right.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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