He’s No Richard Nixon
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
Last comment by sebekm 1 year, 5 months ago.

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….President Obama isn’t, that is. That’s what the “mainstream” media and the liberal pundits have been saying over the past few weeks. Naturally, the “loyal opposition” disagrees. In recent days, a number of them have taken to the airways, print media, and online blogs to amplify their views on the matter. I read three very interesting ones over the past 24 hours that I wanted to share here.

One conservative pundit says that - don’t laugh - to compare Obama to Nixon does a disservice to Nixon. Two others explicitly delineate the strong similarities. IMHO - it’s hard not to see the validity of the comparisons - unless one really doesn’t want to.

*In his blog commentary titled “He’s No Nixon” posted this morning at The Weekly Standard online, William Kristol says comparisons between Obama and Nixon are unfair to Nixon:

“I protest. Will no one stand up for Richard Nixon? Richard Nixon was a combat veteran, a staunch and brave anti-Communist, a man who took on the liberal establishment and at times his own party's as well, a leader who often thought for himself and had the courage of his convictions, a president who assembled a first-rate Cabinet and one who—while flawed both in character and in policy judgment—usually tried to confront the real problems and deal with challenges of his times. Richard Nixon led neither the country nor his own administration from behind.”

See: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/he-s-no-nixon_728610.html

*However, in his National Review Online opinion piece posted yesterday titled “Nixon IS A Fair Comparison,” Victor Davis Hanson disagrees, saying that the comparisons are valid, and in many ways Obama’s “sins” are basically in the same vein – if not as egregious - as Nixon’s:

“Nixon’s sins were primarily domestic; no one died. Benghazi goes to the heart of U.S. foreign policy, when an administration knowingly misled the United States, and stuck to a preelection campaign narrative that ensured a facility was endangered, help was not sent, Americans died, and a petty crook would be jailed to take the rap — while officials for weeks peddled an untruth. Unlike “Bush lied, thousands died,” the CIA did not give the president “slam dunk” information, supported by most agencies abroad and both Houses of Congress, but rather had its initial analyses massaged by the White House for overtly campaign purposes.”

“Much of the hatred toward Nixon emanates from the tapes that reveal the private man to be a paranoid and often deceitful character. But while Nixon stormed on about the IRS, and dispatched the odious John Dean to find a way to use tax returns against his enemies, at least after Donald Alexander took over, the agency pushed back, and often in heroic fashion thwarted the destruction of the once independent bureau.”

“So far, in 2013, the IRS seems to have been compliant, almost an extension of Obama-Biden 2012. Will a memo surface of just a single Alexander-like hero who said, “No, the IRS does not determine its tax policies on the basis of politics”? I hope so, but think not.”

“And while Nixon certainly went after the press and ordered phone monitoring of supposed leakers, Obama more often selectively has gone after the press, in a fashion in some sense even more chilling, using the mainstream media to peddle administration tropes, while demonizing dissenters like Fox News (and monitoring a Fox reporter) and talk radio.”

“The Justice Department’s beef with the AP was not just leaks — after all, the Obama administration itself leaked all sorts of classified information that it felt was useful to the reelection effort, from the details of the Stuxnet virus to the drone targeting details, to channeling information to favorite New York Times and Washington Post reporters, who were even given exclusive access to troves of the bin Laden documents. The AP’s problem was that it thought it had been given the unofficial green light to release information that the Obama administration on second thought wanted to release first, and so was considered a sort of “how dare you” double-crosser by the administration.”

See: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/348810/nixon-fair-comparison-victor-davis-hanson

*Finally, Carl Cannon in his article titled “Richard Milhous Obama” posted yesterday at Real Clear Politics online, says that the comparisons between Obama and Nixon - especially when it comes to their treatment of journalists and the media - hit too close to home for liberals to admit:

“Richard Milhous Nixon was thin-skinned, felt persecuted by the opposition party, had a penchant for classifying political adversaries -- and journalists -- as “enemies,” and tried to control his image so fiercely that, ultimately, zealous aides committed illegal acts to further his re-election.”

“But even before that had happened -- and before Nixon himself began directing a coverup -- truth had become a casualty of his administration. This is the parallel between Richard Nixon and Barack Obama.”

“No evidence has been unearthed connecting Obama, or anyone under his direction, to illicit activities. But the absence of criminality isn’t the only test here. Nixon’s “enemies,” at least in his mind, also included vast swaths of the Fourth Estate (journalists and the media). That apparently is how the current president operates, too.”

“Barack Obama often displays contempt for the proper role of news-gatherers and, by extension, for the value of reporting that seeks to be unbiased. Often, officials in his White House or re-election campaign seem uncomprehending of the concept of straight reporting.”

“In their Manichean world, there are liberal news organizations (good) and conservative outlets (bad). Some of the news business does work this way -- more than when Nixon was president, for sure -- but what Obama and his political advisers and White House press handlers have done is graft their own hyper-partisanship onto the media.”

“In the Obama administration, it’s not uncommon for a White House press official to scream profanely over the phone at journalists whose stories they dislike, plant questions from friendly media outlets, and deny access to briefings to reporters who ask tough questions. This administration has aggressively used the Justice Department to ferret out news leaks, declared open season on a media organization out of sync with his philosophy (Fox News), and routinely questioned the professionalism of reporters and the patriotism of the opposition political party. That disquieting sound you hear is an echo from the Nixon years.”

“Richard Nixon thought liberals were out to get him. Guess what? Many of them were. Likewise, Barack Obama thinks the Republicans want him to fail in office. Many of them do. But it’s a poor excuse for bad behavior."

See: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/05/20/richard_milhous_obama_118475.html

So – are the comparisons between Obama and Nixon fair or foul? I suspect that here – just as with everything else – the answer will be in the eyes of the beholders. But while Nixon is dead and buried - and no longer has any chance to modify his own political legacy - President Obama (ostensibly) still has more than three and a half years to tackle his problems head-on. He still has a chance to ferret out the corruption in his administration and start to lead from the front – not only in foreign and domestic policy matters but also in the way his administration obeys the law and deals with the press and the American people. Will he do it?

Let’s all hope so.

Latest Activity: May 21, 2013 at 2:35 PM

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up2sumptin commented on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 14:47 PM

Nixon actively used his position as president to cover up illegal acts. I have seen no evidence that Obama has done something similar.

sebekm commented on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 15:13 PM

I'm not saying that - but the similarities in the way the two men dealt with the media, their party, their subordinates and the American people are STRIKING. That's what a lot of the commentary has been focusing on. But consider this:

*Was it "illegal" to put politics first when the news of the Benghazi attacks initially came to the attention of senior Obama administration officials?

*Could lives have been saved if people - at whatever level of the Obama administration - had thought FIRST about how best to respond and not worried about how a "terrorist/al Qaeda attack" would look in the media six weeks before a very close Presidential election?

*Was it "illegal" for conservative groups targeted for "special treatment" by the IRS to be so significantly handicapped in their their ability to compete for Romney votes in the 2012 presidential campaign that it might have swung the election to Obama?

IMHO - could be. They are now investigating several "scandals" to determine the wrongdoing and who knew what when. But I'll point out one other thing: It took more than a year for the full extent of involvement by the "higher-ups" was known in the case of Watergate. We are only several months into the investigation of these three scandals (and those that may branch out from the ongoing investigations). To me, the similarities in personality and the way that Obama and Nixon treat(ed) the media and use(d) their position are glaringly evident. Also - the tone a president sets as he deals with his administration, the opposition, the press and the people sets a tone and example which "All The President's Men" (and women) are wont to follow. Is Barack Obama setting a "Nixonian" tone in some of these areas?

I can see it.

up2sumptin commented on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 15:24 PM

I think only the IRS thing could be considered "illegal", the rest is just bad politics. I'm not minimizing the effect the first two have on the nation, just they cannot be considered illegal as there are no laws on the books to charge anyone. Again, Nixon got in trouble for actively using his office to cover up a crime. A crime which he was aware of after the fact. I have not heard of any evidence linking Obama with any kind of cover up in regards to the IRS. Therefore I do not believe there isn't any credible similarities between Nixon and Obama.

sebekm commented on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 18:22 PM

When people die - perhaps needlessly - it ought to be illegal even if it isn't. I'm not just talking about the President per se - it's HIS administration. He is responsible for everything that his people do or don't do. He is quick to take credit for things that reflect favorably on him. A big selling point for his reelection was that Osama Bin Laden was now DEAD. Did President Obama personally kill him? No. Did he fly one of the choppers for Seal Team Six? No. Did he draw up the plan for the operation? No. Did he do much more than say "yes" when he was told the plan and was asked whether they could proceed? Probably not. But he was out there touting the achievement and HE MADE IT HIS OWN for election purposes.

On the other hand, he has been quick to point fingers and assign blame (and indirectly the responsibility) to everyone else BUT himself when things go wrong. We saw it in the first term with the economy and eveything else he could claim he "inherited" with the BLAME BUSH FIRST policy. Now it's a BLAME THE REPUBLICANS/TEA PARTY FIRST policy. FYI - tomorrow, Lois Lerner - the head of the IRS unit which targeted the Tea Party/conservatives for delays, extra scrutiny, etc., WILL TAKE THE 5TH AMENDMENT when she testifies before a congressional committee. By definition, one takes the 5th Amendment when they believe they are culpable for criminal liability for their actions or lack thereof.

The bottom line is that the President owns the IRS, the DOJ, and the State Department. He is responsible for what they do or don't do. Period. So - IMHO - he needs to get after it and clean up the mess, before he himself gets further tainted.

But regardless any criminal liability or "taint," he President sets the tone of his administration, and when he "criminalizes" the Tea Party and the GOP with the tar and feathers as he has over the past 4+ years, he should not be surprised when his subordinates in his administration do what the IRS has admitted it has done; what the DOJ has admitted it has done; what the State Department has admitted - in drips and drabs, kicking and screaming all the way - what they did or didn't do re: Benghazi.

HMJC commented on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 16:33 PM

At the end of the day criminal act or not, it was and continues to be bad buisness. He is going to spend the rest of his tenure trying to bolster his failed policies as successess and continute to unholster his pointing finger to the closest scapegoat. Am I the only one who finds it interesting that the "change you can believe in" slogon hasn't been used lately? Right now it reads more like"Change whether you like it or not... Truly a pathetic man with no backbone and no inner fortitude. However, this is what you wanted America, might have wanted to read the fine print on this one. Bad times are coming folks and we do not have a LEADER to guide us through this. I hope that you all realize that this has nothing to do with color, it has to do with the person or in his case the lack thereof. Think about it, what descibes him best? what sets him apart, what makes his citizens believe in him and trust him. None of the above. The best thing he could do for this country if he truly loved it is step down. He has lost the faith of all of his people and will accomplish nothing of importance for the next three years. At this point, all politicions cans kiss my third point of contact. I am done, with this mess, done...

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Don't leave, HMJC. We still got tomorrow's Sunday Morning Newscasts, Meet the Press, Face the Nation et al, to see if the 'scandal trifecta' still has its legs. I'm going with NADA OR VERY LITTLE.

Yeah, I'm sticking my neck out a little here. But hey, it's put up or shut up time, no?

The only one close to being a scandal is the one Up2 says above: the IRS thingy. That one, may have some legs...itty bitty ones...but legs nevertheless.

sebekm commented on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 17:25 PM

They all have legs, Jimmy, and they are expanding every day. Watergate took more than a year to unravel, and even if these do not rise (or sink) to the level of Watergate, there is still much we don't know.

*Clearly, the IRS went after Tea Party and conservatives, which severely impeded their ability to marshal their efforts to support conservative candidates (including Romney) and conservative causes in the year leading up to the 2012 Presidential election. Who knew and when did they know? There is STILL much to be revealed.

*The DOJ investigating journalists has now expanded from AP journalists to FNC journalists. The more they dig, the more comes out. The biggest joke is that Obama wants Holder to investigate Holder in this instance. This one ain't going away any time soon either.

*As to Benghazi, see my latest blog (soon to be posted). New whistleblowers with new allegations - according to Roger L. Simon, an American Novelist, screenwriter and political commentator - that supposedly will be "DEVASTATING TO CLINTON AND OBAMA."

Stay tuned.

JimmyMack commented on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 15:13 PM

Hello Sebe. Please see my comment on your latest blog above:...On the Cheap for detail.

I will concede that it has been a rough week for Liberalism, but not a knock out blow by a long shot.

sebekm commented on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 13:10 PM

I wouldn't say it has been rough for "liberalism." I'd call it a good week for DEMOCRACY. In my experience, the arrogance of power generally comes out into the sunshine during a President's SECOND term (presuming he gets one). It happpened with Nixon; it happened with Reagan; and it happened with Dubya. Of course, the press was primed with Nixon and Reagan, but it has eventually caught up with (and caught on to) President Obama and his administration.

Mark my words - the President is going to regret doing the Tammy Wynette dance with Holder, who is starting to make John Ashcroft look good. The common thread in all of these scandals (to a lesser extent BenghaziGate) is the DOJ's active participation in activities which are either illegal, improper or "inappropriate." My hunch is that Obama likes Holder not only because he's "one of us," but also because he share's the President's "lead-from-behind" management style. The problem with this - aside from the view never changing - is that it usually results in the "leaders" winding up waist-deep in manure. That's what we're seeing unfold right now before our very eyes as the layers of these these "scandals" continue to be peeled away.

"15 minutes" have long expired. We're into overtime now - with no end in sight until the truth is revealed.

HMJC commented on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 13:17 PM

What seems to get lost in the sauce here is we continue to go from one blunder to the next. Whether it grows legs or not is irrevelent; when you have so many ponies to ride you would think that would be troublesome in itself. I will agree that some topics do get sensationalized however, for four and a half years the current administation continues to defend pretty much everything it does. Is this because the Republicans refute everything? to some extent maybe but, when you spend most of your time employing the local spin doctor that doesn't sit very well with me. At the end of the day if it smells like poo poo, it's poo poo.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Agreed, HMJC - and it's getting deeper by the day.

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