Congratulations on coming to the conclusion everyone else made in 1974
April 7, 2011 6:38 PM   Subscribe

The Nixon Presidential Library recently opened a new exhibit on Watergate. In previous years the museum's position was that the scandal was an attempt by Democrats to overturn the 1972 presidential election, but it is now taking an unforgiving look at the 37th president and the actions that led to his resignation.
posted by helloknitty (25 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Let's be clear here ... the old exhibit was not done by the federal government, but by the president's friends and associates.

The federal government can do good work.
posted by rpmusgra at 6:59 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


the old exhibit was not done by the federal government, but by the president's friends and associates.

...cronies and unindicted co-conspirators.
posted by orthogonality at 7:05 PM on April 7, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'll still stick with Hunter S. Thompson's eulogy , myself. But thanks, anywaze.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:23 PM on April 7, 2011 [17 favorites]


I wish the NYT piece explained a little bit more about how this came to pass. As the article notes, the fact that this honest and unvarnished exhibition is at Nixon's library is quite remarkable. But why did those Nixon loyalists finally give up his papers? And why did the library hire Timothy Naftali, a good and honest historian? (I had him for a class once many years ago - great guy.)
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 7:34 PM on April 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


http://episconixonian.blogspot.com/2011/04/hissing-and-moaning.html
posted by rpmusgra at 7:40 PM on April 7, 2011


Holy shit PareidoliaticBoy, now that is how to write an obit. Thanks for sharing Hunter's piece.
posted by boubelium at 7:42 PM on April 7, 2011


Oddly enough, they don't seem to have any books at the George W. Bush Presidential Library.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:55 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Although they are still insisting carpet bombing Lao and Cambodia was an act of self-defense.
posted by docgonzo at 8:02 PM on April 7, 2011


Although they are still insisting carpet bombing Lao and Cambodia was an act of self-defense.

Well, Dick was advised by a Nobel peace-prize winner.
posted by ovvl at 8:12 PM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'll still stick with Hunter S. Thompson's eulogy , myself. But thanks, anywaze.

Made more depressing by the fact that the most liberal politicians in America are called communists and traitors for attempting to pass what is essentially an extremely scaled-back version of Nixon's social reforms.

Maybe Nixon wasn't stealing from the DNC at Watergate...he was planting policy ideas instead.
posted by schmod at 8:40 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Y'know, if the new exhibit isn't that rat bastards corpse being exhumed and dumped into a sluice somewhere, I'm not going to be very interested.
posted by Relay at 8:56 PM on April 7, 2011


"Cambodia is the Nixon Doctorine in it's purest form..."

-Richad Nixon
posted by clavdivs at 8:58 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm almost at the point where I'm thinking Nixon wasn't so bad compared to today's GOP, so thanks for this.

VOTE GOLDWATER!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:00 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]




Someone circulated a great picture poster that showed Nixon in the middle surrounded by pictures of "friends and associates", all of which had X's through them, indicating that they'd been convicted of crimes.

"Aaaaaaaa... I am not a crook."

Amazingly enough, Dick *now* seems relatively benign.

Someone needs to put out one with Obama at the center, surrounded by X'd-out promises ... more than enough now.
posted by Twang at 12:58 AM on April 8, 2011


It is pitch black in the Watergate Hotel. You are likely to be eaten by Agnew.

>
_
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:41 AM on April 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


Oddly enough, they don't seem to have any books at the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

An old joke, but worth repeating: they're both checked out, and one has already been colored in.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:28 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


>Burn the Tapes

You can't do that yet.

>_
posted by zarq at 7:40 AM on April 8, 2011


Thanks. I was young during Nixon's term, and my memories are thus:
I "voted" for him, because I could remember his name better than McGovern, age 8.
He ended the Vietnam War. This was Good, but it interrupted Saturday cartoons. Overall, at the time, I decided it was worth it (the timing, not the end of the war).
Watergate is all the adults talked about, ever, age 9. I knew it was Bad, very bad, and had inklings why, but couldn't figure out why the talk would never end.

Everything else is learned ex post facto, and I sometimes forget how awful the fucker was.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:43 AM on April 8, 2011


I wish the NYT piece explained a little bit more about how this came to pass. As the article notes, the fact that this honest and unvarnished exhibition is at Nixon's library is quite remarkable. But why did those Nixon loyalists finally give up his papers? And why did the library hire Timothy Naftali, a good and honest historian? (I had him for a class once many years ago - great guy.)

It's a bit complicated, but basically stems from Watergate. Fearing destruction of the historical record or incriminating documents, Congress forbade Nixon from taking his papers with him and they went to the National Archives instead. The Nixon Library was begun as a private foundation initially overseen by Nixon family members, but later by a broadened board of supporters. The Nixon library and estate pursued legal action against the government for control of his papers, reaching a settlement in 2000, followed by Congressional action in 2004 to create a nationally-operated library similar to those of other modern presidents.

So it wasn't a matter of them giving up his papers; they never did control them, except for a brief time early on. The hiring of Naftali was under the National Archivist.
posted by dhartung at 9:38 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone needs to put out one with Obama at the center, surrounded by X'd-out promises ... more than enough now.

Yeah, and then maybe somebody can draw a Hitler mustache on Obama, too. That'll show 'em.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:44 PM on April 8, 2011


Geez, I had forgotten completely about Hunter S. Thompson's take on that sick, twisted sociopath.
Thanks, PareidoliaticBoy!!
posted by girdyerloins at 6:24 PM on April 8, 2011


Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act (PRMPA), which applies only to the Nixon Presidential Materials, stipulates that those materials relevant to the understanding of Abuse of Governmental Power and Watergate are to be processed and released to the public prior to the release of all other materials.

Rather half-assed, that. Do we really believe that other presidents didn't, don't, won't play fast and loose with their powers?
posted by IndigoJones at 6:55 AM on April 9, 2011


IndigoJones, the Presidential Records Act (PRA) of 1978 formally "changed the legal ownership of the official records of the President from private to public, and established a new statutory structure under which Presidents must manage their records." This supplemented the 1955 Presidential Libraries Act, under which the archivist could accept presidential records that were voluntarily handed over.
posted by dhartung at 10:19 AM on April 9, 2011


Interesting! Thank you for the follow up.
posted by IndigoJones at 8:52 AM on April 10, 2011


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