Ben Stein Loses His Shit
June 4, 2005 8:37 PM   Subscribe

Former Nixon speechwriter (and Ferris Bueller's economics teacher) Ben Stein loses his mind over Mark Felt: "There is a lot of debate about whether or not Mark Felt was a hero. Obviously, I don't think so. I think the hero was Richard Nixon, fighting for peace even as he was being horribly mistreated and crucified just for his fight for peace." And that's not nearly the worst of it.
posted by Ty Webb (107 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I like Stein as an actor. I like Stein as a comedian. I heard hear and there that his political views were a little . . . off, but never tried verifying it because I didn't want to be disillusioned.

So much for that. Wow, is he nutters.
posted by schroedinger at 8:46 PM on June 4, 2005


He's an ass. My girlfriend was a contestant on his "Win Ben Stein's money" show. During the break, off-camera, he hit on her in the most creepy way. She left the whole experience feeling dirty about it. Relevant? It goes to his character.
posted by vacapinta at 8:49 PM on June 4, 2005


My dad and I had a nearly two hour long argument about Watergate the other day. He thought it was absolutely wrong for individuals to make choices like this instead of relying on the system. He felt it wasn't up to Felt or that he should have gone public with it. I don't think Felt is a hero per se, but I don't think there is any possible excuse to justify hiding crap like the Plumbers.

He also said that what Nixon was doing was a 'muddy' area of the law and pointed out that LBJ and Kennedy did the same sort of thing. He doesn't like the Bush administration, but he listens Limbaugh and absolutely fucking hates liberals.

Sp, yeah, conservatives just look at Felt and think liberals = evil. And that's all they need. Even when I pointed out Robert Novak's leak, he said that was a 'grey' area of the law and that no real confidential information was leaked.
posted by clockworkjoe at 9:00 PM on June 4, 2005


Yeah, of course, telling on Nixon was a horrible, semitic act!

Wow. Speechless. Doesn't matter whether the guy has his own game show. His views are ....

I have no adjectives.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:02 PM on June 4, 2005


I just threw up a little, in my mouth.
posted by mosch at 9:04 PM on June 4, 2005


(Have you noticed how Mark Felt looks like one of those old Nazi war criminals they find in Bolivia or Paraguay? That same, haunted, hunted look combined with a glee at what he has managed to get away with so far?)

Holy crap.

Nazi card in the second paragraph!?

Also, wtf is he talking about? We were totaly out of Vietnam before Nixon left office, were we not? So how could watergate have affected that. Or does stein think that if not for watergate we would have have left vietnam and in fact would have 'won'?

Weak.

John Stewart stewart paraphrasing G. Gordon Liddy: "Because of Mark Felt's unethical behavior, I went to jail for crimes... I committed!"

---

Also, dosn't Stein feel that felt is equaly evil because he worked to investigate watergate?
posted by delmoi at 9:06 PM on June 4, 2005


STEIN: "Have you noticed how Mark Felt looks like one of those old Nazi war criminals they find in Bolivia or Paraguay?"

Wow. Just ... wow. I almost took Ben Stein seriously once. Glad I caught myself.
posted by RavinDave at 9:07 PM on June 4, 2005


When you don't have a real argument to make just go for the cheep emotional kneecapping. godwin off the top then say that to talk about Felt is a slap to the face of the soldiers overseas and their families? Wow I had no idea Benny was such a reactionary tool.
posted by arse_hat at 9:09 PM on June 4, 2005


It made me throw up in my mouth just a little when he invoked "karma". Sorry, I couldn't read much more after that.

Well, okay, I did. And threw up a way lot more.
posted by trip and a half at 9:14 PM on June 4, 2005


The OP missed his first article
posted by bevets at 9:16 PM on June 4, 2005


Plus, didn't nixon hate jews? He was always bitching about them on his tapes. And yet somehow tattletelling on him is now "anti-semetic".
posted by delmoi at 9:19 PM on June 4, 2005


He may be an idiot, but he's no Peggy Noonan.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:23 PM on June 4, 2005


His first article is even worse. Much less crazed, and yet somehow worse:

That is his legacy. He was a peacemaker. He was a lying, conniving, covering up peacemaker. He was not a lying, conniving drug addict like JFK, a lying, conniving war starter like LBJ, a lying, conniving seducer like Clinton -- a lying, conniving peacemaker.

He was a lot of things, (and LBJ didn't start the war, Kennedy did, but whatever).

Nixon's toxic attitude was eating away at our democracy.
posted by delmoi at 9:25 PM on June 4, 2005


He should've stuck to pretending to be smart on TV, not in print.
posted by wakko at 9:26 PM on June 4, 2005


Mind you, Nixon's paranoid attitude about liberals and (really) anyone who didn't agree with him provides the US with a sort of political ancestor to Rove & Cheney.
posted by clevershark at 9:29 PM on June 4, 2005


I think Ben Stein is an absolute hypocrite considering he was a Nixon speechwriter. . .
Kinda like Gordon Liddy's b.s. about saying how Felt is a bad,bad man when Liddy was caught and *convicted* for breaking an entering in this case. Hypocritical nutters that never should have been allowed access to expression in the media considering their collusion in past, provable *treasonous* crimes.
I should add that the TV and print press in those days were mulling over the possibilities that persons who commited treason against their own country, such as as Liddy, Nixon, Haldeman, et al might face the ultimate resolution, which was death. Perhaps in dropping the ball on executing traitors we sacrificed any means of keeping these assholes in check. Think of how the U.S. might have turned out if persons and institutions back then saw or read about Nixon and his staff and persons involved executed for treason against their own country for acts commited in influencing an election. Look at how things are now . . .
posted by mk1gti at 9:30 PM on June 4, 2005


The best thing so far on all the unindicted co-conspirators has been this, from Tom Burka: Paul Revere A Despicable Tattletale, Says GOP

Republicans today criticized Paul Revere for his famous ride, saying that he had violated professional colonial ethics by divulging military secrets in violation of his duty to his lord, the King of England. ...

posted by amberglow at 9:31 PM on June 4, 2005


Hypocritical nutters that never should have been allowed access to expression in the media considering their collusion in past, provable *treasonous* crimes.

I know you lose certain rights when you're a covicted felon, but I didn't know freedom of speech was one of them.
posted by Cyrano at 9:34 PM on June 4, 2005


So, he condemned a whole subcontinent to genocide and slavery and poverty to please his own wounded vanity.

Stein should rot. Why did not one of the people spouting this line--Noonan, Buchanan, Stein...--say one word about that back then? Or at any time in the last 30 years? And calling Nixon a hero? There's a limit to how much rehabilitation any crook gets--they passed that limit with these appalling talking points.
posted by amberglow at 9:40 PM on June 4, 2005


So, he condemned a whole subcontinent to genocide and slavery and poverty to please his own wounded vanity.

Stein should rot. Why did not one of the people spouting this line--Noonan, Buchanan, Stein...--say one word about that back then? Or at any time in the last 30 years? And calling Nixon a hero? There's a limit to how much rehabilitation any crook gets--they passed that limit with these appalling talking points.
posted by amberglow at 9:41 PM on June 4, 2005


oops--sorry.
posted by amberglow at 9:42 PM on June 4, 2005


"We were totaly out of Vietnam before Nixon left office, were we not?"

Basically, yes, because troops were withdrawn in 1973, but the treaty that the US signed with the ARVN promised the return of forces in case the South needed reinforcement. Conservatives contend that if Nixon hadn't been concerned with saving his political career, he would have been able to pay more attention to the crisis in Vietnam and honor the treaty. Given the inevitable public backlash that would have followed a redeployment of troops, it is arguable as to whether this is true or not.

Stein's argument that Felt is essentially responsible for the rise of the Khmer Rouge is despicably wrong, however, because there is no way that the US would have seen fit to divert resouces into Cambodia. The countries in Southeast Asia were ultimately not that important to the US on their own, and our focus was certainly not, given the Cold War, liberation of an oppressed people suffering under what had become a Stone Age, agrarian and largely insignificant Socialist state. That position is all the more ironic because it is very possible that the Khmer Rouge would not have come to power were it not for the bombing runs in Cambodia that had been authorized by Nixon.
posted by invitapriore at 9:44 PM on June 4, 2005


"Can anyone even remember now what Nixon did that was so terrible?" Good god Benny THE FUCKING ENEMIES LIST IS JUST ONE!
(Oh, and amberglow didn't you do that just a day or two ago. No wonder your post numbers are so high!)

posted by arse_hat at 9:48 PM on June 4, 2005


Freedom of speech does not have anything to do with being on the top of the guest speaker list for cable network news shows.
posted by odinsdream at 9:49 PM on June 4, 2005


(Oh, and amberglow didn't you do that just a day or two ago. No wonder your post numbers are so high!)
I know...i have a stutter lately, or something.

posted by amberglow at 10:23 PM on June 4, 2005


Freedom of speech does not have anything to do with being on the top of the guest speaker list for cable network news shows.

If they want to give him a venue to speak, so be it. That's their prerogative as well. Hearing the opinions of dipshits is one of those things you just have to deal with if you want to be able to say your own thing when it comes to it.
posted by Cyrano at 10:36 PM on June 4, 2005


As far as the 'Freedom of Speech' argument goes, if someone does everything they can to twist and bend that argument, twist and bend the truth, deny or distort the truth, they have pretty much blown any right to freedom of speech and should be denied it.
Forgive me for being so blunt, but I have lived in a time when freedom of speech and truth actually meant something, not in a time that we live in now when 'the truth' is something to be endlessly debated until it no longer exists.
Choke off those who would suppress it or repent when it's too late.
"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."
posted by mk1gti at 10:41 PM on June 4, 2005


After seeing G. Gordon Liddy's, Ben Stein's and Oliver North's screeds against The Real U.S., they make a really good argument for life imprisonment in solitary confinement for such traitors.
Royalist Scum . . .
posted by mk1gti at 10:46 PM on June 4, 2005


Well, let's remember that the people layin' the hate on Felt are pretty much the same group that's lining up to give everyone in the current Administration a nice sloppy blowjob. And no, that's not a coincidence.
posted by clevershark at 10:48 PM on June 4, 2005


Man, and I thought this country was fucking crazy when they practically nominated Reagan for sainthood after his death (watching that funeral procession was like semen in the eyes).

Now Nixon is some kind of hero that was horribly wronged? This country is gone, man. Gone.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:51 PM on June 4, 2005


As far as the 'Freedom of Speech' argument goes, if someone does everything they can to twist and bend that argument, twist and bend the truth, deny or distort the truth, they have pretty much blown any right to freedom of speech and should be denied it.

And, you'd want the Bush administration administrating these restrictions? I don’t think that’s practical in the real world at all. The ruling party could just claim the opposition is telling 'lies' to shut them up.

On the other hand, I don’t see why it's a good idea to put these guys up on TV. Other then for the ratings (Ohh, let’s see what the guys who Felt help put behind bars think of him!!)
posted by delmoi at 10:53 PM on June 4, 2005


they have pretty much blown any right to freedom of speech and should be denied it.

If you've given up any hope of the U.S. being a nation of laws, then I'll grant you that. But I would expect to never hear you complaining about the actions of Bush Co. being against the law if that's the case. You know, if it doesn't matter and all.

I have lived in a time when freedom of speech and truth actually meant something...

You're 229 years old?!?

This country is gone, man. Gone.

No, it isn't. We're on a staggering seven count.

*Rocky!* *Rocky!* *Rocky!*
posted by Cyrano at 10:59 PM on June 4, 2005


On the other hand, I don’t see why it's a good idea to put these guys up on TV.

Man, it wouldn't suprise me if someone was holding a microphone to Nixon's grave, you know, just in case.
posted by Cyrano at 11:01 PM on June 4, 2005


I don't see why these people shouldn't be allowed on TV. Then again I also think that those who admire that sort of people (Liddy, North, etc.) are sad, sad individuals in sore need of a moral compass readjustment.
posted by clevershark at 11:01 PM on June 4, 2005


that's what I'm afraid of Cyrano, being on that final count *shudder*. No, I'm not 229 years old. 228 . . .
posted by mk1gti at 11:02 PM on June 4, 2005


I agree that what I say seems extreme, but think of how this administration and those who support them act now: Suppress all liberals, even though they might not even be 'liberals' or even 'god damned commies'. Or minorities. Or women. Or atheists. Or. . . (insert relevant group or persons here).
posted by mk1gti at 11:06 PM on June 4, 2005


Me too, mk1gti my man, me too. But those of us who are still willing to stand up against Apollo/Mr.T/Ivan Drago/That One Guy, You Know, The One From Rocky V, can't be willing to give up what America should be in order to win the fight.
posted by Cyrano at 11:13 PM on June 4, 2005


Stein may be a bit extreme on this particular topic, but his politics and ideology are superb. He is a true American classic.
posted by davidmsc at 11:16 PM on June 4, 2005


Now Nixon is some kind of hero that was horribly wronged? This country is gone, man. Gone.

Because a dude who WORKED for Nixon considers him a hero?
posted by Doug at 11:34 PM on June 4, 2005


Ben Stein apparently thinks that politicians should have the right to be corrupt, lawbreaking criminals, so long as they do a few good things to justify it ...nevermind if they bring dishonor to our country, violate their oaths of office, perjure themselves, try to steal elections, and destroy people's careers in the process.

I'm sorry, but nobody is supposed to be above the law, this being America and all, and our presidents being citizens... not kings and all that. If you are caught breaking the law, you should be charged, tried, and arrested, period. If you're a criminal, you should lose your right to rule us.
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:35 PM on June 4, 2005


You know, I think the death penalty for election rigging would be resonable, if treason is also a capital crime.

just throwing that out there.
posted by delmoi at 11:53 PM on June 4, 2005


invitapriore has it right. The Khmer Rouge came to power in the wake of American bombers *annihilating* thousands of dirt farmers. Stein is just utterly batshit insane to make claims for Nixon's sainthood--I mean, I give him credit for establishing some fairly capital-D Democratic things like the EPA and maintaining aspects of LBJ's Great Society, but to claim he was a friend of the Jews? Great Yahweh. And LBJ started Vietnam? WTF? I wasn't even alive then and I know more history than he does.

I always thought his gameshow was crap anyways. Loved him in Ferris Bueller though.

Just before the last election C-SPAN played a speech he gave at a university. As in this article, he just couldn't say enough good about the sacrifices American solders, the "real heroes" were making. Makes you wonder why he never served in that great "peacemaking" affair. And I'd be willing to bet a fair amount that his kids aren't eating MRE's in Mosul these days. Fucking hypocrites--wrap themselves in the flag and point fingers. These guys really are human scum.
posted by bardic at 12:10 AM on June 5, 2005


LBJ didn't start the war, Kennedy did

Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, and Ford all inherited pretty crappy situations in turn. Kennedy had to deal with the ruling Diem brothers Eisenhower's admin had brought in to run the country, LBJ had to face musical chairs with the generals in Saigon, and backing down from our commitments and looking like a pussy in the runup to the 1964 elections, then from '65-'68 going along with Westmoreland's attrition strategy.

The peace-with-honor terms Kissinger got from Hanoi in 1973 could have been arrived at in 1969, since they were more accurately an in-place armistice with repatriation of US POW.

What followed in 1975 was fully expected, regardless of Nixon's secret agreement with Thieu to bring the B-52s back if Hanoi restarted the war.

(Even our once formidable airpower had become something of a paper tiger in the mid-1970s; the B-52 pilots were near-mutinous at their losses in the Christmas bombing to NVN's modern Russian-built air defense system, and NVA had just started using the SA-7 to take out slow-flying transport and helicopters, making SVN's logistics situation even more dicey. Plus, having US pilots go back on offensive operations would be asking quite a lot, since any USAF POW captured by the NVA would be in for a very long, very brutal interment).

What is important to note about us losing the war was that we really lost in 1968-69 when Westmoreland's attrition strategy broke the nation's tolerance of US casualties.

One statistic that I found on my own, that I think is key to understanding that evolution, is that for 1968, 4 out of 5 basic infantrymen (MOS 11B10) KIA had been drafted! Going in, LBJ publically promised that American boys wouldn't be fighting where asian boys should, yet nearly 5 years later in mid-1969 the nation simply recoiled in horror at the continuing slaughter of america's youth at Hamburger Hill in mid-1969.

While the Democratic congress severely cutting back continuing military aid to Saigon in 1974 was the proximate cause to its eventual fall, it needs to be said that these votes were largely bipartisan, and I think crossed party lines (plenty of 'Scoop Jackson' democrats and the Boll Weevil Dems were still supporting the war, while plenty of Rockefeller Repubs had come out against it. At any rate there was a very large majority vote to cut our losses and basically abandon the Saigon regime to its fate.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:13 AM on June 5, 2005 [1 favorite]


You're all thinking too small. Just outlaw politics and politicians.

If we can just manage to ban politics and politicians, there won't be anyone left to collect taxes, raid the treasury - and above all - declare war.

Tell them that our planet is doomed. We can put them on this great honking ship aimed for a catastrophic crash landing on a faraway and quite doomed planet. We'll tell them that it's the first ship out of three, but we just want them to arrive there first and make sure everything is all worked out and ready for us in the new world. Just don't send the telephone sanitizers.

But then, would there be anyone left? Sure seems like humans in general just can't get over the idea of simply not joining the mad Caucaus race. Ho-hum.
posted by loquacious at 12:22 AM on June 5, 2005


while plenty of Rockefeller Repubs

I realize what that term means, but arn't the Rockefellers democrats?

Actually I was just reading a book about the Yakuza. After the fall of Nixon there was a major scandal involving airplane sales to Japan. Just before Watergate Lockheed bribed their way into a contract that McDonald Douglass had been going to get.

Once Nixon was out of power, the whole thing blew apart, and major Japanese leaders were linked to mobsters and bribes and whatnot. The main Japanese leader indicted claimed that the Rockefellers were responsible.
posted by delmoi at 12:26 AM on June 5, 2005


Wow. Conservative America really does seem to be loosing its collective mind. This is just so out there I can't believe it.

Bottom line... Nixon broke the law to hold onto power, and this asshole is justifying it. He has basically claimed that Nixon had not just a right, but a sacred duty to violate democratic princials. Not only that, he seems to forget that it was Nixon who's bombing helped to destabilize Cambodia, and so serving as a catalyst for the genocide that followed.

Truly this is horrific. I hate this guy. I hope he gets the nastiest case of hemroids ever.
posted by Rusty Iron at 1:22 AM on June 5, 2005


Stein's obituary appreciation for Nixon actually moved me, but this is ridiculous.
posted by orthogonality at 1:24 AM on June 5, 2005


Seriously folks... when does the shooting start? I'm not sure you can reason with people like this. That this sort of horseshit can even be said is amazing. It's like being able to walk around saying it's alright to fuck kids. This is how powerful Conservatives have become. They can walk around talking total shit, and people pay money to hear it.

America is doomed. Doomed I tells ya.
posted by Rusty Iron at 1:27 AM on June 5, 2005


a lying, conniving peacemaker.

2MM Dead Cambodians cannot disagree.

Beyond the horrlble shit that went down in Cambodia and Laos in the Nixon Administration, why is it that these brainwashed morons can never seem to be remember that Nixon used the apparatus of the state for his own miserable personal use?

I mostly thought Ben Stein was an annoying Republican sycophant that had an amusing perspective on personal financial tactics, but when I read his endorsement of GWB on the eve of the 2004 election, I came to realize that he's every bit the liar that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Michael Savage is.
posted by psmealey at 1:52 AM on June 5, 2005


This is actually kind of funny if you go through it while imagining Ben Stein's voice reading all the words. Fryyyye? Fryyyye?
posted by sellout at 2:09 AM on June 5, 2005


I can't bring myself to take a former presidential speech writer seriously who now sells clear eyes... really.

"For dry, blurry eyes, Richard Nixon is awesome!"
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:09 AM on June 5, 2005


Because a dude who WORKED for Nixon considers him a hero?

Isn't there some theory in psychology that explains this one? I'm frantically googling for it. Something about how, once someone associates themselves with a movement/person/idea, they have to keep defending it even when it turns out to be a flawed one because they have to defend their own decision to associate with it in the first place. Otherwise, their own self-image takes a crushing blow.

Anyone? Anyone? Remember this?
posted by jeanmari at 4:00 AM on June 5, 2005


grapefruitmoon writes "'For dry, blurry eyes, Richard Nixon is awesome!'"

I will never forget this...lol.
posted by schyler523 at 4:08 AM on June 5, 2005


jeanmari: Cognitive dissonance?
posted by sellout at 4:10 AM on June 5, 2005


BS has always been this batshit crazy and has unnatural love for his dog.
posted by a_day_late at 4:18 AM on June 5, 2005


jeanmarie, you're thinking of the conservative's disease.

on preview: damn.
posted by Hat Maui at 4:19 AM on June 5, 2005


Is the Nixon-humping on Stein's part new? I'm a bit puzzled by this bit from his wikipedia:
Stein began his career as a speechwriter and lawyer for United States President Richard Nixon, and later for President Gerald Ford. He regularly denied being Deep Throat until W. Mark Felt confessed to being Deep Throat on May 31, 2005.
How did he defend himself against those accusations in the past? Did he deny it alongside a defense of Nixon's actions?
posted by substrate at 4:45 AM on June 5, 2005


Huh. I was expecting more, sadly.
I guess the old Nazi reference doesn't shake me to the core like it used to. Getting jaded? Isn't it tactic number 3, or some such protocol from a GOP playbook?
Actually, I thought that the whole Felt outing himself was a boon to this administration, especially when they just dumped a ton of documents to expose themselves as hypocrites when they attacked Newsweek earlier.
Nixon called Felt the 'White Rat' on some tapes, and didn't trust him (hey, he was Jewish, right?). Just because he was paranoid didn't mean they weren't out to get him save democracy.
Guess I just outed myself on that stupid hero/traitor poll.
Which I think epitomizes the level of thought that goes into American politics nowadays.
posted by Busithoth at 5:40 AM on June 5, 2005


arn't the Rockefellers democrats?

You're thinking Jay. Think Nelson.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:41 AM on June 5, 2005


What bardic and invitapriore said. Revisionist attempts to blame the U.S. left (and now, apparently, folks like Felt) for the Khmer Rouge's rise to power in Cambodia seems to have arisen largely from David Horowitz' need to feel guilty about his past as a leftist. It's one of the most pathetic and disgusting lies to come out of the neocon right, and they've been pushing it hard for years now.

Reading Stein on this makes me think of a little puppet, screaming and shaking itself to bits. What a dick.
posted by mediareport at 6:41 AM on June 5, 2005


the nation simply recoiled in horror at the continuing slaughter of america's youth

This pisses me off, and we see that current continuing today.

So we get to the point where only the other guys die. Then war will finally be ok with the masses.
posted by dreamsign at 9:20 AM on June 5, 2005


You know, I think the death penalty for election rigging would be resonable, if treason is also a capital crime.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Think about what might have happened if the past two elections were not rigged and 'the other candidate' (Gore) might have taken the office. Do you think there would have been a second Iraq war? The same reaction to 9-11 these clueless, paranoid murderous boobs inflicted on the muslim world while running around cementing relations with repressive regimes throughout central asia?
Think most of all of the lives that need not have been lost by starting this war unjustifiably on *both* sides. Think of the money that might have been saved. Think of the investigations that might have commenced into Cheney's Halliburton dealings during the time of Iraq sanctions and the dealings that are occuring now in Iran even though this is a country it's rumoured we're going to war with next.

Perhaps death for treason for rigging an election isn't such a bad thing after all . . . A'hm jus' sayin' . . .
posted by mk1gti at 9:21 AM on June 5, 2005


Stein's been an ass since day one.

This isn't all that surprising to me. There were always a bunch of apologists, and blind followers around Nixon back in the 60s & 70s, and Stein was always one of them.

Younger, like the guys that were hanging out with Dick's daughters, but still way too stuck up, un-hip, Brill Cream types.

Stein was one of them, so was Dan Quayle, and so was W.

You could see them from a mile away, and avoid them. And even if you couldn't tell, they'd invariably open their mouths and say something like Ben just said, and THEN you could tell.

It's like they all had this funny need to try to verbally convince you that Nixon was being maligned and railroaded and not given a fair shake, but it was like someone earnestly saying, "I don't understand how anyone could side with that rebel scum against Emperor Palpatine?"
posted by Relay at 10:19 AM on June 5, 2005


Heywood Morgoot: Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, and Ford all inherited pretty crappy situations in turn. Kennedy had to deal with the ruling Diem brothers Eisenhower's admin had brought in to run the country, LBJ had to face musical chairs with the generals in Saigon, and backing down from our commitments and looking like a pussy in the runup to the 1964 elections, then from '65-'68 going along with Westmoreland's attrition strategy.

And don't forget the problems of French Colonization, FDR's financial and military support of Ho Chi Minh during WWII, and Truman's rejection of the '45 revolution in favor of restoring French colonial interests.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:25 AM on June 5, 2005 [1 favorite]


The danger tho, is that for people too young or not alive back then--they may believe this shit, especially since it's everywhere--all over the airwaves and on oped pages--we're overwhelmingly getting the GOP revisionists but not any truth.
posted by amberglow at 10:49 AM on June 5, 2005


amberglow : I might be better informed than most, but I certainly don't believe this sort of shit despite not having been alive for Watergate. Shit still stinks like shit, even if you weren't around for its origin.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:11 AM on June 5, 2005


I'm horrified that Stein played the Nazi/Jew Quisling/Genocide bit. That's way, way over the top.

As to Nixon, just back off on the high dudgeon, folks, for a second.
Make a distinction between a) his personality, flouting of presidential powers and executive privilege, Alger Hiss destruction, etc., and b) what his presidency accomplished.

His rapprochement to China was visionary, and reviled by conservatives at the time who saw this as sealing Taiwan's doom. His policy of detente with the then-Soviet bloc was pure realpolitik. His wage and price controls in 1971 were bold and badly needed. And, his legacy on affirmative action is probably the least recognized accomplishment of his political career. Last good thing: he didn't prop Thieu up at the end of the day. He looked down the chasm LBJ, the Joint Chiefs and McNamara left him and methodically disengaged from Vietnam after realizing what a catastrophic failure it had been.

I could go on but I hated the guy.

Just please, lay off the gut level anti-Nixon screed which has been played like forever. He was a very fucked up man - ambitious, coldblooded yet thin-skinned, paranoid, conspiratorial - but dare I say it, we are better off for his having been president for as long as he served. Partly because the abuses he engaged in were so over the top that decades of this behavior were shut down and a new era of oversight and healthy distrust of the Executive Branch really took hold.

Now if only we could have a Mark Felt in the contemporary administration....
posted by nj_subgenius at 11:21 AM on June 5, 2005


nj_subgenious: bingo. I have issues with the knee-jerk demonization of Nixon. I also have issues with the unquestioning sainthood of FDR. I suspect that if it had not been for Nixon's unforgivable sin coming to light, that he probably would have been considered one of the great presidents of the 20th century.

However, I can still say that he managed to do some good things while in office, and still consider him scum for abusing his office.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:50 AM on June 5, 2005


Stein may have a lot of political opinions but one must remember that his main source on income (since he did refer to his two homes in Beverly Hills and Malibu after the article) has been as a media clown. I see his comments as having no more credibility than the bilge that G. Gordon Liddy has been spewing the last few days. It's simply unfortunate that we live in a political climate in which Nixon apologists can feel justified in attempting to rewrite history.
posted by gallois at 11:52 AM on June 5, 2005


Sellout and Hat Maui: Yes! Thank you. Cognitive dissonance is in there, as is a healthy dose of self-deception. The only piece I can't find is the term for the condition when someone identifies with a person/idea/movement so strongly that it becomes part of their self-identity, so to reject it is to reject one's self....or something like that. They can't admit they were wrong in their allegiances because they would become vulnerable to the collapse of their self-identity.

I wish I could remember more about this specifically because it explains my father' s political choices to a "t".
posted by jeanmari at 11:52 AM on June 5, 2005


Sure, nj_subgenius, Nixon's presidency had good points - drug policy reformers have long noted Nixon's public health emphasis was far more enlightened than, say, Clinton's approach to the issue - but it wasn't LBJ who announced the expansion of the war into Cambodia and Laos in April 1970 (leading directly to the Kent State protest, among other things). Stein's Horowitzian fury is hilarious given the distortion of the facts it starts with.

I agree that kneejerk anti-Nixon screeds are dumb. I just don't see many in this thread.
posted by mediareport at 12:00 PM on June 5, 2005


mediareport, the war expansion was an omission on my part, agreed. Yet...funding for prior CIA ops in Cambodia and Laos is fairly well documented before Nixon ever took office. Nixon went public with it at the end of April 1970, just before the Kent State shootings. And, ayuh, there's a lot of reflexive Nixon-hating here.
posted by nj_subgenius at 12:16 PM on June 5, 2005


schroedinger nailed it for me with the first comment. Damn, Ben, Iloved your damn game show, dude, why'd you have to gdisillusion me?
posted by jonmc at 12:19 PM on June 5, 2005


I commented at some length on Stein's rant over at Lawyers, Guns, and Money, where I've been guest blogging.

Regarding Stein's bizarre assertion "at the same time that Mark Felt was betraying Richard Nixon, Nixon was saving Eretz Israel," I'm not aware of Nixon doing much to help Israel during the time when Felt was "betraying" him, which was roughly from June through September 1972. The Yom Kippur War, which transformed the U.S.-Israel relationship, did not begin until October 1973, over a year later, and in any event Nixon's policy of supplying arms to Israel was clearly intended more to counterbalance the Soviets, who were supplying Egypt, than it was to "save Eretz Israel."

It's known that Nixon distinguished between American Jews (left-wing, dope-smoking, media-controlling, homosexual pornographers) and Israeli Jews (tough, plucky, preferable to darker skinned Arabs, and, most importantly, in Israel) in his bigotry, but Stein's attempt to cast such a demonstrated and enthusiastic anti-Semite as Nixon as Israel's savior is quite a bit more than stupidity on stilts, it's stupidity on stilts pedaling backwards on a unicycle, clanging great, shiny bells and wearing a birthday cake for a hat.
posted by Ty Webb at 12:25 PM on June 5, 2005


the war expansion was an omission on my part, agreed

That's a pretty damn big omission for someone asking others to be nicer to Nixon's memory. And, really, "prior CIA ops" does not equal massive bombing; there's no denying it was a major escalation on Nixon's watch that violated basic international law and caused a huge outcry, not to mention creating the conditions for Pol Pot to come to power. That's all I'm saying.

[Btw, I'm really trying to find these "screeds" you mention. Can you point me to one? Thanks.]
posted by mediareport at 1:04 PM on June 5, 2005


He looked down the chasm LBJ, the Joint Chiefs and McNamara left him and methodically disengaged from Vietnam after realizing what a catastrophic failure it had been.

Busllshit ! What kinda gas are you huffin' !? Nixon prolonged the war.

Instead, to provide himself with political cover for carrying on a longer war, Nixon promoted the POW issue. In doing so, alas, he inadvertently handed the North Vietnamese a special bargaining chip that they could play at a time best suited to win some advantage for their side. Perhaps South Vietnamese President Thieu best understood what had happened, for he questioned Kissinger closely about whether or not if Hanoi offered a simple cease fire and prisoner exchange the United States would agree to a halt in the fighting. Kissinger said that such a scenario was hardly likely, but yes, he had to confess, Nixon had said he would accept that offer. Thieu's probing, however, was not designed to turn up a response to that exact question, for he, too, believed such an offer was unlikely. What he discovered from the colloquy was that Nixon's commitment to a satisfactory political solution, from his point of view, was soft.

Alternating between despondency about the lack of backbone Americans were showing the world, as reflected in the counter-culture in all its variants, and buoyance about the supposed successes of Vietnamization, Kissinger told H.R. Haldeman that it would take only one more dry season to win the war. Haldeman was skeptical. "This is, of course, the same line he's used for the last two years, over and over, and I guess what all of Johnson's advisors used with him, to keep he thing escalating . . . . It sounds like a broken record." (p. 277.)

Kimball suggests that the climactic peace negotiations from September, 1972 through early January to the signing of an agreement, did reflect a stalemate on the ground. War weariness affected both sides; but of the engaged parties, the South Vietnamese regime had the most to lose from any settlement on those terms -- for it would (and did) reflect the inability of the Saigon military to remove VC/NV forces from large areas below the DMZ. The Christmas bombings did not alter that situation. In retrospect, Kimball concludes, the Nixinger case that the war had been won were it not for a last minute failure of will, has been built upon a lengthy series of "ifs," none of which were real alternatives at the time. The final 1975 offensive that ended the war, he argues, was more predetermined by four years of false promises, than it was by Gerald Ford's failure to get Congress to pony up yet one more time. Because he had placed too much faith in his own ability to bluff through with the madman ploy, and because he thought he could cantilever Russia and China into irresistible pressure on Hanoi, Nixon prolonged the war -- and wound up, as he would put it in a post-presidential interview with David Frost, "the last casualty in Vietnam."

...In 1966, Nixon had sharply questioned LBJ's offer to withdraw American troops six months after a cession of hostilities, pointing out that such a commitment would leave him without effective options should the war resume. Seven years later no politician was ready to offer such a criticism of the Paris agreement signed on January 27, 1973, which called for a much earlier cut off date. Dean Rusk had insisted that if the VC were allowed to shoot their way into power, the war had been for nought. Seven years later, the Paris agreement sanctioned the existence of two governments in South Vietnam, and allowed North Vietnamese troops to remain behind to protect territory detached from Saigon's rule. The POWs came home to a lavish welcome at the White House, which, as Senator Aiken had suggested it should years earlier, declared a victory.


Nixon's Vietnam War

Seven years later, the Paris agreement sanctioned the existence of two governments in South Vietnam, and allowed North Vietnamese troops to remain behind to protect territory detached from Saigon's rule.

Whatever his domestic accomplishments were, and, more particularly, for all his promises of a secret plan to end the war in 1968, Nixon kept that war going as long as he could. For four years more, at least.
posted by y2karl at 1:18 PM on June 5, 2005


it's stupidity on stilts pedaling backwards on a unicycle, clanging great, shiny bells and wearing a birthday cake for a hat.

ty webb, thank you from the sub-cockles of my heart for that.
posted by jonmc at 2:03 PM on June 5, 2005


And Nixon was re-elected by a real landslide 60% to 38% for McGovern, and was still called to task for his dirty tricks in the campaign. Bush pulls out 51% and the Republican BrainRust calls it a "decisive victory" and even the parts of the media who helped "bring down" Nixon are polishing Bush's teflon coating. I guess a Five O'Clock shadow really counts for a lot.
posted by wendell at 2:23 PM on June 5, 2005


nj_subgenius:

" ... but dare I say it, we are better off for his having been president for as long as he served. "

No.
Way.
In.
Hell.

He had his good points? Yeah, and Mussolini made the trains run on time.

Nixon was one of the worst people to have leading anything beyond a tea party, let alone a democracy.

The damage he allowed to happen, or actively brought upon this nation and its people, not to mention the innocent people of other countries, is beyond mitigating.

We are still paying for it today.

He's lucky he got out of office with his balls intact, if you ask me.
posted by Relay at 2:37 PM on June 5, 2005


nj_subgenius:
" Now if only we could have a Mark Felt in the contemporary administration...."

I dunno how about these guys

National Security Advisor Richard Clarke
FBI translator Sibel Edmonds
USAF Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski
Army Spc. Joseph Darby
Mining engineer Jack Spedaro
FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
Medicare actuary Richard Foster
CIA Bin Laden expert Michael Scheuer
Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill
Ambassador Joe Wilson
U.S. Army General Eric Shinseki
Secretary of the Army Thomas White

And that's a partial list.

Oh, and as far as America being doomed? Seems like a lot of people are starting to think that: http://billmon.org/archives/001870.html.
posted by Relay at 3:01 PM on June 5, 2005


Wow, thanks for that, Relay; Billmon makes his point beautifully.
posted by mediareport at 3:25 PM on June 5, 2005


The danger tho, is that for people too young or not alive back then--they may believe this shit, especially since it's everywhere--all over the airwaves and on oped pages--we're overwhelmingly getting the GOP revisionists but not any truth.

You have to have more faith in people. A certain portion will always follow what they hear, what's put in front of them. You seem to have this preconceived notion that people are bound to be victims (perhaps part of being so extreme left). No matter listening to the extreme right (stein), or to the extreme left (you) most people will and can ignore the extreme and look to the middle, in other words, the truth.
posted by justgary at 3:44 PM on June 5, 2005


I find the contrasts between Nixon-era america and now interesting. But being born in 1967, I don't have a single memory of anything political until the Carter era, really.

1968 was a helluva year to turn over presidential power -- the Chicago riots, MLK, RFK, the bodycount in Vietnam (we lost 16,000 that year), the rising counter-culture, the original hippie movement of the mid-60s beginning to metasticize into something more destructive; the 1970s saw a generation gap (drugs, music, culture), credibility gap, rising opposition to being drafted to die in the jungles of SE Asia; America was really going through a lot, yet we still had strong economic fundamentals, as GM, Ford, RCA etc. were still dominant manufacturers and OPEC had yet to seize our oil companies operating in the M.E. by the balls.

Today we have a similarly polarized discourse, but over much more trivial stuff: gay marriage, teaching evolution in schools, medical marijuana, right-to-die, stem-cell research, religiosity in the public square, social security fund going into deficit in ~2042... Oddly, the admin and/or Rep. party is on the wrong side of all these issues, yet the more serious things: real estate asset bubble, the consumer credit bubble, the rising national deficit, inequity in access to affordable, quality health care, the $7.7T debt, the trade deficit with China... our current national trajectory is MUCH more messed up than in 1973 yet there is damn little constructive consensus and much more petty bickering and bullshit.

In mid-1973 we were, compared to now, still doing pretty good, yet felt bad. In 2005 we're doing rather shitty as a nation, yet plenty of us still feel good about it.

I guess the "where are we going and why are we in this handbasket" feeling is a natural evolution from being in the reality-based community. When 20% of your political base believes they'll be physically taken up to heaven in the future, unpleasant realities can be safely ignored.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:47 PM on June 5, 2005


nice smear on amberglow, justgary golf-clap
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:55 PM on June 5, 2005


justgary, if i'm extreme left to you, you really should get out much much more. Nor is Stein extreme right. You should learn to recognize revisionist history and lies and slander when you read them, as well.

The truth does not lie in the middle of anything. The truth can not be found that way, by parsing what both left and right say--it is where it is.
posted by amberglow at 3:58 PM on June 5, 2005


The truth does not lie in the middle of anything.

Are you talking about empirical truth? Then you have a point. If you're talking about the "truth" of how people experience things and how different experiences can give illuminating perspectives on the same historical events, then yes. listening to both the left and the right and everyone else can be very valuable in a search for truth.

As far as Ben Stein goes, he's not so much a conservative as someone so obtusely loyal that he dosen't realize that the ship has sailed. Even conservative pundits like George Will and David Frum don't bother defending Watergate anymore. Stein just has too much personally invseted and it makes him look incredibly foolish.
posted by jonmc at 4:09 PM on June 5, 2005


I was going to say exactly what amberglow ended with.

As a lefty libertarian (more or less), I do find a lot to agree with on the 'extreme' right, that taxes can amount to theft (in a perfect world pure user-fees would be preferable), there is no escape from market forces, goverment handouts can often be part of the problem not part of the solution, relativism is largely a crock of shit, and that, of course, extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:10 PM on June 5, 2005


In mid-1973 we were, compared to now, still doing pretty good, yet felt bad. In 2005 we're doing rather shitty as a nation, yet plenty of us still feel good about it.

These two things are not unconnected. Reagan and his crew sensed the "national malaise" of the Carter years and rode it into the white house, and that is the direct antecedent of what we're living in today.
posted by jonmc at 4:12 PM on June 5, 2005


jonmc: yes. That's the problem being in the reality-based community.

To be fair, the full Susskind "reality-based" quote from that White House functionary was more talking about the power of positive thinking and/or bullshit.

In relation to the economy, the quickest route to depression would be for the admin to admin there are fundamental problems that need addressing. One doesn't PA to a crowded theater, "Folks, we have something of a serious fire in the building next door" even if it is the truth.

If the republicans were actually attempting to fix the underlying problems in the background, rather than just loot the treasury, I'd feel a lot different about the status quo.

Then again, they don't like much of how the federal government has expanded over the past 50 years, so for them kneecapping it with crippling debt burdens (which they happen to own) is quite devious on their part.

One wonders if the american people will wake up in time. 20% of the present electorate are fundies, unreachable with fact or logic, 10% are wealthy enough not to care, and I guess a further 10% are Birchers rooting this crap onward.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:31 PM on June 5, 2005


20% of the present electorate are fundies

And a not insignificant chunk of those fundies (I forget the exact figures) are Democrats. Many of those are from the Black church and other disenfranchised groups. But the religious right has been very shrewd in highlighting the anti-religious excesses of some in the secular left to woo them rightward.

All, I'm saying amounts to this: being on the morally "right" side won't win a war unless you have a good grasp of military strategy. Same goes for politics, and that's all my devils advocacy and questioning of left wing posters has ever been about.
posted by jonmc at 4:36 PM on June 5, 2005


One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time.

Bobby Kennedy
posted by Relay at 5:03 PM on June 5, 2005


And a not insignificant chunk of those fundies

Self-identified evangelicals skewed strongest to Bush in 2004 among all demographics, at 78% voting for the clownshow.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:16 PM on June 5, 2005


One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time.

I don't like politics I don't like communists
I don't like games and fun I don't like anyone
Well I'm against it I'm against it

I don't like Jesus freaks I don't like circus geeks
I don't like summer and spring I don't like anything
I don't like sex and drugs I don't like waterbugs
I don't care about poverty All I care about is me

I don't like playing ping pong I don't like the Viet Cong
I don't like Burger King I don't like anything
And I'm against it


Can you blame 'em?

Self-identified evangelicals skewed strongest to Bush in 2004 among all demographics, at 78% voting for the clownshow.

Because of the shrewd campaigning by the right that I mentioned in my comment.
posted by jonmc at 5:19 PM on June 5, 2005


One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time.

They have a good man behind them.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:04 PM on June 5, 2005


"justgary, if i'm extreme left to you, you really should get out much much more. Nor is Stein extreme right." justgary, from what I have read from both men I would say for most of the world, (outside the USA), amberglow would be just a shade left of centre, to centre. And Stein would be mild right. (in Canada Stein would be to the right of Ghengis Khan).

"The truth does not lie in the middle of anything. The truth can not be found that way, by parsing what both left and right say--it is where it is." I can't say it better so I will repeat it for effect.
posted by arse_hat at 7:31 PM on June 5, 2005


One particularly apt criticism of Nixon during the whole Watergate affair comes from Hunter S. Thompson writing for Rolling Stone. It's in The Great Shark Hunt. To paraphrase, Hunter describes Nixon's legal grounds for not turning over his tapes was essentially a rehash of the Divine Right of Kings, and the really offensive part of this is not only that Nixon honestly believed that the flunkies he appointed to the court would agree with him, but that he was actually right that the president was above the law.

Such open contempt for the rule of law is inexcusable, even if Nixon accomplished more than any other president in the latter half of the 20th century (which I believe he did).
posted by [expletive deleted] at 7:32 PM on June 5, 2005


Here's some truth, without quote marks around the word: "Nixon: Did they get the Brookings Institute raided last night? No? Get it done. I want it done. I want the Brookings Institute's safe cleaned out and have it cleaned out in a way that it makes somebody else responsible."

This is not just the normal lying, cheating, and minor corruption (although Nixon had a particular flair for that: iirc, on the occasion of a candlelight vigil on the White House lawn, he brought up the possibility of using low-flying helicopters to blow out all the candles.) This is planning murder, arson, and of course burglary. In addition, there was a lot of financial corruption, and the use of the entire machinery of government -- the FBI, the IRS, you name it -- to go after those Nixon thought of as his political opponents. (Nixon, from the tapes: "Please get me the names of the Jews. You know, the big Jewish contributors of the Democrats. Could we please investigate some of those c---suckers?")

This is not just "what all politicians do". This was different: a completely lawless White House whose corruption went way beyond normal.

Just saying.

posted by amberglow at 7:38 PM on June 5, 2005


This is not just "what all politicians do". This was different: a completely lawless White House whose corruption went way beyond normal.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Until we come to the present day, where Bush II makes Nixon seem like My Little Pony.
posted by mk1gti at 9:26 PM on June 5, 2005


Everyone in the government above Felt was a crook. Nixon's first attorney general, John Mitchell, was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. His replacement, Richard Kleindienst, was convicted of perjury. Patrick Gray, the acting director of the FBI, gave evidence to the White House while the FBI was investigating White House employees, and destroyed evidence at the White House's request.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:49 PM on June 5, 2005


mk1gti writes "Until we come to the present day, where Bush II makes Nixon seem like My Little Pony."

You mean, "My Pet Goat"?
posted by orthogonality at 11:06 PM on June 5, 2005


"We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws."

Hunter S Thompson
posted by Relay at 12:51 AM on June 6, 2005


Man, it wouldn't suprise me if someone was holding a microphone to Nixon's grave, you know, just in case.

FADE IN.

EXT. NIXON'S GRAVESITE -- NIGHT

A HAND holds a MICROPHONE a few inches off the grass, right under the shiny BLACK GRAVESTONE

OS VOICE
"Mr Nixon. Sir?"

A beat.

OS VOICE
"Excuse us, sir. Mark Felt confessed he really was
Deep Throat. Do you have any comment on that?"

Another beat.

OS VOICE
"Sir?"

MUFFLED SOUND.

NIXON'S GROWL is barely audible.
"Aaaaargh... that damn cocksucking Jew.
I told Bob a thousand times, the Jews would end up
destroying me. Most Jews are disloyal. Traitors.
Like the Rosenbergs.
Cronkite -- a Jew. Ellsberg -- Jew.
Bernstein, that bitch Katie Graham, Roosevelt. All Jews.
Bob? Bob, is that you?"

OS VOICE, shaken.
"No Mr President, Sir, I'm from CBS Ne--

NIXON
"Aaaaaargh... Fuckin' commie CBS... out to get me.
Where's Bob?

OS VOICE
"He's dead, Sir"

NIXON
"The Jews must have killed him, too. Stab in the back.
Cocksuckers. Jesus Christ it's hot down here. Do you have
a glass of water or something?"

OS VOICE
"No Sir, I am sorry. It's very late"

NIXON
"Fuck you. Bob? Bob? Did they at least throw Felt in jail?"

OS VOICE
"Not yet, sir. He is very old now. 91".

NIXON
"God damn. Get me the White House, now. Let's put the heat
on that cocksucker. Who's President now?"

OS VOICE
"Mr Bush is the President, sir".

NIXON
"That wimp? Isn't he a bit old now for that shit, too?"

OS VOICE
"Sir, George Bush senior was President in the early Nineties.
His son is President now. Donald Rumsfeld is Defense Secretary".

NIXON, BARKING
"WHAT? SAY THAT AGAIN???
WHAT THE HEL-- AAAAAAAAARGH"
(inaudible)

Muffled sizzling sounds. The horrible screams of the damned.

FADE OUT

posted by matteo at 1:38 AM on June 6, 2005 [1 favorite]


matteo : >

and digby calls it: ...I have once again misunderestimated Republicans. I had thought they had cast all their considerable historical revisionist desires totally into Saint Ronald. As the obsessive object of their fear and love had done with Lenin, I had assumed the Reagan cult would serve as the Republican historical example of perfect leadership and humanity. I was wrong. Being the great winners of ideological struggle apparently entitles them to raise all Republican leaders to the status of gods. In fact, there is no Republican leader on earth, from Joe McCarthy to Richard Nixon, who has not been entirely misunderstood until now. They have all not only been great warriors and leaders of men, they are also, each in their way, Jesus-like in their transcendent love for their fellow man and devotion to peace. All of them. Even the paranoid drunks and crooks. ... Perhaps this is something necessarily present in the totalitarian mindset. The movement is infallible and all leaders of the cause must, therefore, be perfect. ...
posted by amberglow at 7:22 AM on June 6, 2005


I see where Stein is coming from. I understand his perspective and from that very limited perspective, he makes sense. Since we don't live in isolation, I don't think it's at all a valid perspective at the very least because of it's narrow focus.
One can argue Lincoln was evil for example because he suspended Habeus Corpus, created the standard of federal over states rights, etc. etc. Humans are not at all simple and Nixon did indeed have his good points and did do some good. In some men, like Lincoln, the good they do far outweighs the evil. I can't respect Stein's position however since it's obvious that Nixon was not one of those men.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:31 AM on June 6, 2005


Yeah, and I can see where Lavrenty Beria is coming from.
posted by Relay at 10:24 AM on June 6, 2005


Think of how the U.S. might have turned out if persons and institutions back then saw or read about Nixon and his staff and persons involved executed for treason against their own country for acts commited in influencing an election. Look at how things are now . . .

Well worth thinking.

I wonder if Canada has a death penalty for treason.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:03 PM on June 6, 2005


Unfair to Stein analogy Relay, Beria was an anti-semite. Stein is a
...um...semite.

And to be fair to Beria, he was at the forefront of liberalisation after Stalin's death (he released over a million of political prisoners from labour camps, signed a decree banning the use of torture in Soviet prisons, etc).
Damn libruls.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:24 PM on June 7, 2005


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