Richard Nixon was, well, Dick Nixon.

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_nixon_tapes

WASHINGTON ? With an air of desperation, a hunkered down White House hatched a plan to save Richard Nixon's presidency as the Watergate crisis began to consume it: Demonize the prosecutor in the eyes of lawmakers and the people.

The effort fell flat.

Hardball rhetoric was the order of the day in the Nixon White House, a collection of memos and tape recordings released Tuesday by the Nixon Presidential Library makes clear. This was so whether the president was willing the downfall of a Democratic "pipsqueak," criticizing his own vice president for playing tennis or pressing South Vietnam to accept a peace deal that would leave it open to the communist takeover that followed.

Nixon is heard on a muffled tape recording telling his special counsel that abortion is necessary in some cases ? including instances of multiracial pregnancy.

Speaking to Charles Colson after the January 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, the president said: "I admit, there are times when abortions are necessary, I know that." He gave "a black and a white" as an example.

"Or rape," Colson offered. "Or rape," Nixon agreed.

The records show Nixon seemingly resigned to the likelihood of South Vietnam's eventual collapse even as he strong-armed its president, Nguyen Van Thieu, to accept a settlement that would extricate the U.S. from the massively unpopular war.

He told his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, he'd do anything to get Thieu to accede, "cut off his head if necessary."

Nixon historian Luke A. Nichter said the circumstances surrounding Nixon's acceptance of a flawed peace-deal will probably be what scholars note from the latest disclosures.

"Producing the Vietnam peace agreement took the administration to the emotional brink," he said. "At the very moment of triumph after finally ending combat operations in Southeast Asia, that process caused deep and lasting fissures among the top ranks in the White House."

The tapes and documents also give insights into a well-known characteristic of Nixon and his aides ? a hair-trigger sensitivity to political rivals and quick resort to machinations against them.

A 1972 meeting between Nixon and his chief of staff produced an informal directive to "destroy" the Democratic candidate for vice president, according to scribbled notes released in the new collection.

In a memo three years earlier, Nixon's staff assistant describes placing the movements of the Kennedys under observation in Massachusetts after Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge in an accident that drowned his female companion.

The materials show Nixon as sharp-witted, manipulative and sometimes surprisingly liberal by comparison with mainstream Republicans today.

In one letter, he solidly endorses the Equal Rights Amendment, saying that for 20 years "I have not altered my belief that equal rights for women warrant a constitutional guarantee." The amendment failed.

Yet in a taped conversation with George H.W. Bush, then GOP chairman, he pitched the recruitment of pretty women in particular to run for the party, after two caught his eye in the South Carolina Legislature.

"Let's look for some," he said. "And understand, I don't do it because I'm for women. But I'm doing it because (a) woman might win some place where a man might not."

Watergate was a gathering drumbeat through it all. The peril is palpable in memos that surfaced Tuesday.

A nine-page handwritten note by Nixon domestic policy adviser Kenneth Cole reflects on the unfolding "Saturday night massacre," when Nixon fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox and lost the two top Justice Department officials in October 1973, bringing the nation to the edge of constitutional crisis.

Cox was pressing relentlessly for Nixon's White House tape recordings as he investigated the president's involvement in the Watergate cover-up. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy, William D. Ruckelshaus, balked at Nixon's decision to fire Cox ? and were removed, too.

Cole recommended tearing down the investigator's reputation ? a tactic President Bill Clinton and his aides would try in his own impeachment drama years later, against prosecutor Kenneth Starr.

"Cox wanted to keep this an unending crisis of the body politic," Cole wrote, laying out an argument for Nixon partisans that would be called talking points today.

"Cox threw down the gauntlet ? at a time when we don't need some 4th Branch of gov't telling P to go to hell."

In his shorthand, he called the president "P" and Richardson "ELR." The memo was dated Oct. 21, 1973, the day after the notorious Saturday.

Under the headline "Game Plan," Cole laid out a strategy for the beleaguered Republican president to reach out to conservative Southern Democrats as well as supportive GOP lawmakers to try to dampen sentiment for impeachment.

They would be told Cox had a "pistol to the head of P ? he was extorted."

Nixon aides also would argue that inquiries would ultimately exonerate him and Congress should not do anything rash: "Wait til you see the product ? all will be revealed ? let's wait til then."

He said of Richardson: "ELR wondered how he could be Cox's executioner."

Some 30,000 pages of documents were opened to the public at the National Archives in College Park, Md., and the Nixon library in Yorba Linda, Calif., part of a long unfolding and staggered declassification of papers and tapes from the Nixon years. The archives administers the library.

In addition, the library posted more than 150 hours of tape recordings online. The tapes cover January and February 1973, spanning Nixon's second inauguration, the peace deal with Hanoi, and the trial and conviction of burglars whose break-in at Democratic headquarters at the Watergate complex precipitated the cover-up that wrecked Nixon's presidency. He resigned in August 1974 under threat of being forced out by Congress.

After the conviction of the burglars, "Watergate begins to take a small but accelerating day-to-day role in policymaking at the White House, a role that reached crisis by April 1973," said Nichter, a Texas A&M University scholar whose Web site http://www.nixontapes.org specializes in the tape recordings.

Also in the files:

_Papers from H.R. Haldeman, Nixon's chief of staff, include notes from his July 25, 1972, meeting with the president. They talked about Sen. Thomas Eagleton of Missouri, the Democratic vice presidential pick, and Spiro Agnew, Nixon's vice president, in the lead-up to the presidential election that year.

"Destroy Egltn ? the pipsqueak that he is," Haldeman wrote in shorthand, reflecting Nixon's wishes. Eagleton was soon gone from the ticket after his treatment for mental illness was disclosed.

The orders on "how to handle Agnew," whom Nixon didn't like: Have him campaign in small Southern states, "not build him up." "No impt duties." "Shldn't have played tennis Sat AM."

_An "exclusively eyes only" memo about a July 1973 meeting between Kissinger and Iran's U.S.-backed dictator, Shah Reza Pahlavi.

Kissinger asked the shah to help arm and defend Pakistan. He said the U.S. was constrained on that front. "If we were to do more, it would create a major domestic problem for us," he said. "The Indians would raise a big uproar. Our intellectuals have a love affair with India. Our policy is to encourage the Chinese to the maximum to put arms into Pakistan. I believe they have done well to date."

More than 2,200 hours of taped conversations have come out since the first release in 1980; many more are still to come. From 1971 to 1973, Nixon secretly recorded 3,700 hours of his phone calls and meetings, Nichter said.





Quick Cliffs (though there is far more so feel free to post)
1) Nixon agreed abortion is ok in some instances. Like when you are having an interracial baby
2)Nixon knew his "peace" plan for Viet Nam was a sellout and basically a surrender to the communists.
3) Nixon was the first Rove. Destroy your enemies. Constitution be damned.
4) Nixon was a Dick.

Nixon was only one of 4 Republicans elected President in the last 50 years. When you consider that two of the others are named Bush, I'm sure the Republican party is damn proud of its accomplishments.
 

Firebot

Golden Member
Jul 10, 2005
1,476
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Who cares about a dead president?

* well apparently both you and Phokus do, posting this almost at the same time.
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
776
126
Originally posted by: Firebot
Who cares about a dead president?

* well apparently both you and Phokus do, posting this almost at the same time.

Clearly one of the most consequential presidents in our nation's history, who greatly altered the public's perception of the office of the presidency is in fact inconsequential.
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
776
126
Also:

The tapes also include a phone call from February 1973 between Nixon and the evangelist Billy Graham, during which Mr. Graham complained that Jewish-American leaders were opposing efforts to promote evangelical Christianity, like Campus Crusade. The two men agreed that the Jewish leaders risked setting off anti-Semitic sentiment.

?What I really think is deep down in this country, there is a lot of anti-Semitism, and all this is going to do is stir it up,? Nixon said.
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
42,591
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Also very interesting is that the Democrats have had only one President since FDR to be elected to a second term.

I'm sure the Democrat party is damn proud of its accomplishments.

 

DonaldC

Senior member
Nov 18, 2001
752
0
0
Originally posted by: Common Courtesy
Also very interesting is that the Democrats have had only one President since FDR to be elected to a second term.

I'm sure the Democrat party is damn proud of its accomplishments.

+1
 

Mr. Lennon

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2004
3,492
1
81
Sad part is that there are people (mostly Republicans) that still share the same views. Pathetic.
 

Harvey

Administrator<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
35,052
30
86
Originally posted by: Firebot

Who cares about a dead president?

Philosopher and author, George Santayana (1863 - 1952) said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." And the eight years of suffering the Bushwhackos brought to this nation are all the proof we need.

Nixon was a DICK and a criminal who abused the Constitutional rights of American citizens and lied to Congress and the American people much as the Bushwhackos did. He was evil as Bush, but unlike Bush, Nixon wasn't stupid. He WAS a manic speed freak, and he might have been as bad as Bush if he had had the power of computers and the Internet. Our good fortune is that he didn't.
 

CallMeJoe

Diamond Member
Jul 30, 2004
6,938
5
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Originally posted by: Common Courtesy
Also very interesting is that the Democrats have had only one President since FDR to be elected to a second term*.
*Not counting Truman or Johnson, both of whom won election as incumbents and declined to run for reelection.


edit: I'm not sure what relevance your post has to the OP, unless you're using President Nixon as an example of the depths the GOP will plumb to win elections...
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
8
0
Originally posted by: CallMeJoe
Originally posted by: Common Courtesy
Also very interesting is that the Democrats have had only one President since FDR to be elected to a second term*.
*Not counting Truman or Johnson, both of whom won election as incumbents and declined to run for reelection.
They wouldn't count because neither of them won two terms.

And Johnson most likely would not have won anyway based on the war and his popularity at the time.
 

feralkid

Lifer
Jan 28, 2002
16,466
4,534
136
Originally posted by: Harvey
Originally posted by: Firebot

Who cares about a dead president?

Philosopher and author, George Santayana (1863 - 1952) said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." And the eight years of suffering the Bushwhackos brought to this nation are all the proof we need.

Nixon was a DICK and a criminal who abused the Constitutional rights of American citizens and lied to Congress and the American people much as the Bushwhackos did. He was evil as Bush, but unlike Bush, Nixon wasn't stupid. He WAS a manic speed freak, and he might have been as bad as Bush if he had had the power of computers and the Internet. Our good fortune is that he didn't.

Aroo! Maybe so. But I know a place where the Constitution doesn't mean squat.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
8
0
Originally posted by: techs
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_nixon_tapes

WASHINGTON ? With an air of desperation, a hunkered down White House hatched a plan to save Richard Nixon's presidency as the Watergate crisis began to consume it: Demonize the prosecutor in the eyes of lawmakers and the people.
Bill Clinton must have read his book because that is exactly what he did when it came to Ken Starr.
 

CallMeJoe

Diamond Member
Jul 30, 2004
6,938
5
81
Originally posted by: Harvey
Nixon was a DICK and a criminal who abused the Constitutional rights of American citizens and lied to Congress and the American people much as the Bushwhackos did. He was evil as Bush, but unlike Bush, Nixon wasn't stupid. He WAS a manic speed freak, and he might have been as bad as Bush if he had had the power of computers and the Internet. Our good fortune is that he didn't.
President Nixon was a tragic figure in that he was an extremely intelligent and capable man who was ruined by his paranoia and his vision of the Unitary Executive; he had some truly remarkable accomplishments in foreign policy (obviously excluding his VietNam fiasco), but had a ruinous domestic record.
President Bush lacked both the capability and the accomplishment.
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
776
126
Originally posted by: CallMeJoe
Originally posted by: Common Courtesy
Also very interesting is that the Democrats have had only one President since FDR to be elected to a second term*.
*Not counting Truman or Johnson, both of whom won election as incumbents and declined to run for reelection.


edit: I'm not sure what relevance your post has to the OP, unless you're using President Nixon as an example of the depths the GOP will plumb to win elections...

It really has no relevance to the OP, you're right. It's just a snipe.
 

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,561
4
0
It's easy to see how Nixon was the innovator of the politics of hate and divisiveness that we are so caught up in now.
It's very interesting that Nixons former campaign manager is the "news" director of Fox News.
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,816
83
91
Originally posted by: Harvey
Originally posted by: Firebot

Who cares about a dead president?

Philosopher and author, George Santayana (1863 - 1952) said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." And the eight years of suffering the Bushwhackos brought to this nation are all the proof we need.

Nixon was a DICK and a criminal who abused the Constitutional rights of American citizens and lied to Congress and the American people much as the Bushwhackos did. He was evil as Bush, but unlike Bush, Nixon wasn't stupid. He WAS a manic speed freak, and he might have been as bad as Bush if he had had the power of computers and the Internet. Our good fortune is that he didn't.

he got us out of more wars than Obama, though :eek:
 

Siddhartha

Lifer
Oct 17, 1999
12,502
1
81
Originally posted by: DonaldC
Originally posted by: Common Courtesy
Also very interesting is that the Democrats have had only one President since FDR to be elected to a second term.

I'm sure the Democrat party is damn proud of its accomplishments.

+1

It must be tough to feel that you have to defend Richard Nixon.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
348
126
Originally posted by: Firebot
Who cares about a dead president?

* well apparently both you and Phokus do, posting this almost at the same time.

Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it. You ask who the hell cares.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
348
126
Originally posted by: Common Courtesy
Also very interesting is that the Democrats have had only one President since FDR to be elected to a second term.

I'm sure the Democrat party is damn proud of its accomplishments.

Ya, democrats suck, JFK getting shot, Robert Kennedy getting shot, and handing the South and therefore the White House to the Republicans by passing the Civil Rights bill.

And that darned Al Gore, letting the Bush brothers steal Florida and deny Democrats the White House. They suck.
 

DonaldC

Senior member
Nov 18, 2001
752
0
0
Originally posted by: Siddhartha
Originally posted by: DonaldC
Originally posted by: Common Courtesy
Also very interesting is that the Democrats have had only one President since FDR to be elected to a second term.

I'm sure the Democrat party is damn proud of its accomplishments.

+1

It must be tough to feel that you have to defend Richard Nixon.

No, not tough at all. He did what he did and I am not defending or praising him.