Wednesday, August 31, 2005
All The President's Men
I needed something to read for a recent trip to China, so I purchased All The President's Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. It's a quick read - especially when you've got 15 hours to kill between LAX and Shanghai.
My thoughts on Nixon: He was smart and did great things. He was stupid and did corrupt things. Ultimately, the corrupt things did him in. I feel sorry for the guy, because I know he took a lot of tough breaks and suffered for them, particularly the loss of the presidency in 1960 and the California governorship in 1962. I think those experiences taught him a bad lesson - that the only way to win is to play dirty. And he did. He and his cohorts spied on people, engaged in petty political sabotage, and lied to the public a lot in a lame attempt to cover up their misdeeds. Perhaps those practices were common in American politics at the time. Certainly the Soviet Union engaged in much greater crimes. But, if we are to hold our government to high standards as we should, then we must conclude that Nixon deserved to lose his job.
I think the right glorifies him a bit much just because the left despises him. He certainly worked very hard after his presidency to restore his image and be thought of as an elder statesman. The problem is that beside Watergate, he did plenty of things that conservatives should hate, like price controls. Being hated by liberals is a good start, but not enough in my book.Post a Comment