What can we learn from the Nixon Tapes?

History is interesting. Recently watched this “Doc” released in 2014, which takes a historical view of the life of Nixon, and of course is centered around the private audio tapes (which he had installed) of his phone conversations.

 

So, what can be learned from these facts which cannot be chalked up to “fake news”? Yes, some will say that the private conversations were just snippets and taken out of context. Well, if you listen to the entire piece, feathered in with the events of the times, it is difficult to dismiss the truths about what happens, and how people really think, in the conversations that happen behind closed doors.

 

Here are 5 POTUS attitudinal similarities which are uncannily similar, to today’s political environment:

  1. A supreme hatred and distrust of mainstream media.
  2. An investigation of alleged criminal activity that just won’t go away.
  3. All the “bad stuff” going on, and changes in the way society thinks, is blamed on the commies, leftists, socialists, anything really that questions the greediness of capitalism.
  4. Racist comments, and the blaming of ethnic groups for the problems facing America.
  5. He truly did not see how what he was doing was criminal. Which implies that others (left or right) were behaving this way too. What I call the PED syndrome; if everyone is doing it, it is not illegal.

 

It will be very interesting to see what History has to say about the Trump era, in another 20 years. 

Comments

Tubularsock Added Apr 15, 2018 - 11:46am
Stephen, there is no question that ALL our politicians lack any real moral fiber or any real interest in real improvement to the nation except to keep themselves in office.
 
The entire system is a scam and Trump shows that off best of all because he tweets every fart that goes off in his mind. We don’t have to wait for old telephone tapes to know he’s fucked!
 
The sad part is that the American society is as sick as he is and those “dreams” of this country being a “leader of good” and “a beacon for justice” is long gone.
 
Scum always floats to the top unless you flush in time!
Katharine Otto Added Apr 15, 2018 - 1:07pm
Stephen,
I believe what Nixon did was more important than what he said, as is true with everyone.  His beliefs may have allowed him to justify what he did.
 
He took the US off the gold standard, thereby unilaterally reneging on the Bretton Woods agreement and turning the dollar into fiat currency.  The reason the dollar was designated the international reserve currency was that at the time, was backed by gold.  At the end of WWII, the US had 80% of the world's gold.  But when Johnson's "Great Society" and the Vietnam War started escalating US debt, countries like Britain, France, and Germany got nervous and started redeeming their bonds and dollars for gold.
 
To insure the dollar's viability, Nixon and Henry Kissinger secretly negotiated with the Saudis to create the "petrodollar."  The Saudis, and soon all OPEC nations, agreed to denominate their oil exclusively in US dollars, creating a huge, artificial, international market for dollars.  Those dollars were largely invested in US and London banks and US securities.  It's a big secret how much US debt is held by the Saudis, but they probably have a lot of influence over what the US does in the Middle East.
 
Nixon started the "War on Drugs" and the DEA.  This was billed as a method of stemming heroin addiction in returning Vietnam vets, but insiders claimed it was racially motivated.  By the way, racial discrimination has played a significant role in all mind-altering drug laws at least since the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914, so Nixon wasn't the first.
 
What Trump is doing is more concerning than what he's saying.  AG Jeff Sessions is out of control, for instance, and so is Scott Pruitt.  The attacks on Syria (Afghanistan, and others) have probably been engineered by the military and CIA.  Trump is just a front.
 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 15, 2018 - 3:10pm
Tubular, in a twisted sort of way, what is happening right now is sort of our Watergate. (Trump 'live' all the time- you can't make that stuff up) I believe everything happens for a reason and this is our wake-up call. Bring on Dave Volek's system of governance. 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 15, 2018 - 3:13pm
Thanks so much Katherine for these insights. It all seems to lead back to the money and power of the few elites pulling the strings. 
John Minehan Added Apr 15, 2018 - 7:02pm
RMN was a flawed giant.
 
The EPA, OSHA and the Rehabilitation Act (which subtends the later ADA)were all started on his watch. 
 
He opened up diplomatic relations with the PRC ("Only Nixon Could Go To China"), (eventually) ended the Vietnam War and pursued a policy of easing tensions with the USSR (START, Détente, etc.).   He and the able, brilliant and innovative (and ruthless and self-serving and somewhat amoral) Henry Kissinger had a string of major diplomatic achievements.
 
On the other hand, his successful Presidency (he had a notion of becoming a sort of "FDR of the Right," an idea planted by the brilliant Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of his Domestic Policy Advisors and a Democrat), was cut off by a burglary.
 
RMN was a complex man. 
 
An introvert, thrust into an extrovert's business, people who knew him said he could be very personable and engaging in person but the camera seemed to pick up on all his insecurities and self-doubt.  In that way, he reminded me very much of HRC.
 
As a Quaker he waged war as a President and fought in one himself as a Navy Supply Officer.  A man who showed an early (and apparently unfeigned) support for the Civil Rights Movement as Eisenhower's VP, the tapes capture a casual racism and ant-Semitism that would be unusual in an educated or decent man of his generation.  (It also, tellingly, appeared to include a health dose of self-hatred towards his fellow Irish.)   
 
Eisenhower apparently was conflicted about Nixon, whom he believed to be very able but never warmed to or entirely trusted.
 
When John Kennedy was killed, a White House Staffer said, they would never laugh again.  Daniel Patrick Moynihan said,  "Heavens, Mary. We'll laugh again. It's just that we'll never be young again." 
 
After, RMN resigned it was more like we didn't believe in the country quite so much again.  
    
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 15, 2018 - 7:11pm
John that was definitely the perspective the documentary gave as well. He did do some good things with Russia and China. Funny that warming up to the commies was probably his greatest achievement. 
Dave Volek Added Apr 15, 2018 - 7:21pm
Stephen
 
Nixon was indeed very complex. Why would someone think a burglary at Watergate was going to be of any help electorally? 
 
Thanks for promotion of my book. While I believe my system has merit, I am hoping that it starts the conversation that we need to remove the institution of the political party from democracy. There may be better ideas when we come to this conclusion.
 
But this will all start with taking a look at my book. The 2009 version is still freely available from my website. From my stats counter program and the few people who have read, it takes about 3 hours to read. There is also a TDG essay that can be downloaded, and it takes less than half an hour. The fourth version is available at Amazon and Kobo for about $7. And I heard that Amazon now allows people to download their free reader--on one does not need to buy any Kindle reader. 
 
I am quite clear that I can't start this movement on my own.
 
 
 
 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 15, 2018 - 7:37pm
Dave you are so right. I am retiring from the corporate world in July, and I will commit to giving it a read. 
John Minehan Added Apr 15, 2018 - 7:47pm
I wonder if Nixon's biggest success wasn't containing the friction between the USSR and the US during the 1973 War of Atonement between Israel and the Arabs.  
John Minehan Added Apr 15, 2018 - 7:50pm
These events are little known but important.
Dave Volek Added Apr 15, 2018 - 8:00pm
John
 
International relations are so intriguing, woven with so many layers and connections. It may very well be that the Russians were purposely being friendly with Nixon, keeping him off guard, while they were encouraging Egypt and Syria to start a war so the Russian war-toys can be tested out.
 
Who really knows who is doing what and for what reasons? 
 
Getting a better handle on international relations is, to me, another reason to change our system of government
 
 
 
Dave Volek Added Apr 15, 2018 - 8:05pm
Steven
Thanks for your consideration. 
 
While I think the building of the TDG need only start with people committing about 10 hours a month to project, two demographic groups will dominate the building:
 
1. Retired people who have seen how the world is so screwed up and the TDG offers a solution. 
2. The 20 to 30 years olds who are not able to live the American dream despite their education and hard work. They will understand that the current system no longer works for them (including activism), and the TDG offers a solution. 
Flying Junior Added Apr 16, 2018 - 1:47am
Stephen,
 
I am thinking that the only reason that Nixon really hated the media would have been that his ass was on the line, in-a-sling, so to speak.  Nixon's misdeeds were front-page news.  He just wanted the press off of his back.  There is some similarity between the two men.
 
If Nixon had not been in so much trouble, I doubt that he would have had a huge problem with Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.  If he was a big hero making the news report night after night he would have invited those guys to the White House.
 
Trump's hatred of the media goes much, much deeper.  His whole thing is about promoting a huge lie and somehow portraying the truth told by CBS, NBC, NPR, WaPO, NYT, LAT as completely false.
 
An upside-down reality.  The monster spews, "Fake News!" every time his delicate sensibilities are hurt by another truth.
 
Nixon was actually a decent American.  I see no point in comparing him to the monster. I may address your other points.
Flying Junior Added Apr 16, 2018 - 1:58am
Nixon was a garden variety conservative California republican as far as racial attitudes, antisemitism, & cetera.
 
He did meet with Martin Luther King Jr. as Vice President to Dwight David Eisenhower.  That was a beautiful thing.  Prejudice against Jews was more or less universal among self-proclaimed Protestants of the time.  They referred to Jews in code, calling them, "The chosen people."
 
Again, I must decry your comparison.  There are similarities.  But all that proves is that Trump's thinking is at the very least fifty years behind the times.
 
No.  I have come to terms with my feelings about Nixon.  I will never forgive Trump as long as I live.
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 16, 2018 - 7:46am
Dave I do agree that any meaningful and positive change will be initiated and supported by the old hippies, and the millennials. 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 16, 2018 - 7:48am
Wow, Flying Junior you are saying that he was not as sinister a man as the current POTUS. You may be right.
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 16, 2018 - 7:53am
Junior there is no doubt that he is stirring up a group of people unhappy that they did not get to take part in the American Dream, and looking to blame those responsible. 
Michael B. Added Apr 16, 2018 - 8:27am
Stephen,
I don't think we've learned anything. Watergate made people much more cynical, and confirmed what many already know and accept, perhaps fatalistically, that most politicians are liars, cheats, and scoundrels, and that we generally can expect nothing less from them. many of them also seem to be flattened by the fact that many of the things they say and do are meant strictly for public consumption, but something else entirely different goes on in the back rooms. I like what Winston Churchill had to say about what makes a good politician:
 
"The ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year – and to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen."
 
While many sectors of the public still seemed to be shocked at the fact that politicians have multiple faces and talk out of multiple sides of their mouths (nothing new under the Sun?), the politicians themselves apparently have learned a lot. Outside of occasional "hot mike" incidents, they've discovered that recordings aren't too good for their careers.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Apr 16, 2018 - 9:58am
Was it the one with the trick male member that averted nuclear war? When tension was high and the button could be pressed at any time, a deal was worked out for joint space exploration.
Even A Broken Clock Added Apr 16, 2018 - 11:46am
The difference between Trump and Nixon is this. Nixon was a prototypical Greek tragic figure - full of promise and good actions, but poisoned by his own insecurities into setting into motion the actions that caused his downfall.
 
Donald Trump is, at heart, a thug. While many may disagree with James Comey's actions and self-aggrandizement, his description of the President as a wanna-be crime boss seems to fit his style perfectly. Everything is subordinated to the need for loyalty and acclamation of the genius of the man. All you need to know about the mass of insecurity that is Donald Trump is to look at his hair. Anyone who would construct the charade of his hairdo to hide his male pattern baldness is screaming his insecurity to the world. It is hidden in plain sight.
Doug Plumb Added Apr 16, 2018 - 12:17pm
Nixon wasn't in bed with the globalists and neither is Trump.
 
re "A supreme hatred and distrust of mainstream media."
Good, they are all liars
 
re "An investigation of alleged criminal activity that just won’t go away."
Good, the deep state has been trafficking children and drugs for decades.
 
re "All the “bad stuff” going on, and changes in the way society thinks, is blamed on the commies, leftists, socialists, anything really that questions the greediness of capitalism."
Socialism is evil, capitalism is bad but socialism is evil.
 
re "Racist comments, and the blaming of ethnic groups for the problems facing America."
Multiculturalism is a major existential threat. These people are not coming to the West to assimilate, they are here to take it over and replace the Common law with their statutory laws, and they have been doing it ever since those Irish started printing our money.
 
re"He truly did not see how what he was doing was criminal. Which implies that others (left or right) were behaving this way too. What I call the PED syndrome; if everyone is doing it, it is not illegal."
How is it criminal?
 
Stephen if you went over to Pakistan and wanted to immigrate there they would tell you to go piss up a rope. Why? because they are stupid? Its because they are wise.
 
Doug Plumb Added Apr 16, 2018 - 12:19pm
If you went to Israel and weren't Jewish and wanted to immigrate, what would they tell you? Who is behind this multicultural agenda? Who openly admits to being the force behind it? Why, because its good?
Doug Plumb Added Apr 16, 2018 - 12:22pm
re "Dave I do agree that any meaningful and positive change will be initiated and supported by the old hippies, and the millennials. "
 
Millennials can be lead anywhere ideologically speaking, they have no concept of what the West even is. The old hippies have woken up.
Doug Plumb Added Apr 16, 2018 - 12:24pm
Sr. Rupert Green re "Was it the one with the trick male member that averted nuclear war? When tension was high and the button could be pressed at any time, a deal was worked out for joint space exploration."
 
Why must the nuclear bomb be real? Does it not have the same effect, real or not ? If they were real, would someone really keep thousands of them around? Its it just as powerful if its fake?
Gerrilea Added Apr 16, 2018 - 12:30pm
EABC--- Insecure because of his hair?  No, we used to call that vanity.  He loves himself and if you don't, "you're fired"!  I see him as a petulant little boy. He's used to getting his way.  As for the continual attacks on him by the MSM, they deserve every mean tweet he sends their way.
 
Trump is not Nixon and these comparisons are designed, IMO, to imply he may be forced to resign or is considering it.  As long as he doesn't testify under oath, he'll be re-elected in 2020.
 
I personally blame Nixon for most of the problems we have today.  The Fake War on Drugs did us in, as a society and a nation.  "Opening" China, destroyed our manufacturing sector and the American middle class.  
 
Trump claims he's trying to pick up the pieces left behind by 40+ of our intentional de-industrialization.   Let's see if he can actually do it.
 
Mike Haluska Added Apr 16, 2018 - 3:49pm
Stephen - let's address your points:
 
A supreme hatred and distrust of mainstream media.
duhhhh - you think that there's a good reason?  Do you think the mainstream media isn't just a propaganda arm of the Democrat Party?
 
All the “bad stuff” going on, and changes in the way society thinks, is blamed on the commies, leftists, socialists, anything really that questions the greediness of capitalism.
 
it's OK for the left to condemn capitalism but not OK for the right to condemn socialism???  Did free market capitalism make America the nation it is (highest standard of living, freedom, etc.) or was this accomplished by central planners in Moscow?
 
Racist comments, and the blaming of ethnic groups for the problems facing America.
 
Talk is cheap - the real racists are those that act on their beliefs, like the Democrats who use the Welfare State as a modern day plantation to get votes in return for government goodies.
 
He truly did not see how what he was doing was criminal. Which implies that others (left or right) were behaving this way too. What I call the PED syndrome; if everyone is doing it, it is not illegal.
 
Please - enlighten us.  Exactly what CRIME has President Trump been proven to commit?  Exactly what FREEDOM did you lose since President Trump took office?  If the FBI/DOJ broke into the office and home of Hillary Clinton's lawyer to look for evidence of money laundering through the "Clinton Foundation", you'd be fine with that, right???
 
 
 
Flying Junior Added Apr 16, 2018 - 4:01pm
Mike,
 
There is no evidence of money laundering through the Clinton Foundation.
 
But thanks for tying this in.  Michael Cohen is in court today seeking to block access to his seized files.  I am guessing you don't trust CNN?
 
I enjoy their on-line content.  They were able to answer my question as to whether or not Michael Cohen is under criminal investigation.  Apparently the prosecutors are confident that little of the information that they have seized will violate attorney-client privilege concerning President Trump.  However they have set up a team to review the materials before they are presented in court.
 
https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/13/politics/michael-cohen-hearing-fbi-raid/index.html
 
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, has been "under criminal investigation" for months in New York because of his business dealings, the Justice Department said Friday....
 
In response to Cohen's motion to prevent prosecutors from using evidence collected in Monday's raids of his home and office, the US attorney in New York asserted the raids were authorized by a federal judge to seek evidence of conduct "for which Cohen is under criminal investigation."
 
A court filing did not detail what Cohen is under investigation for.

But the filing contains the first details released by the Justice Department on the searches, which covered Cohen's residence, hotel room, office, safety deposit boxes and two cell phones. Previous search warrants allowed New York federal prosecutors to search multiple email accounts, the filing said. In them, they found that Cohen had done "little to no legal work, and that zero emails were exchanged with President Trump..."
 

Each search warrant specifically describes how records seized that may fall into attorney-client privilege will be filtered out by a team that's walled off from the federal agents who have conducted the investigation, the prosecutors wrote.
 
Once they've reviewed the records, the filter team can give to the investigators communications "between Cohen and persons with whom Cohen undisputedly does not have an attorney-client relationship," likely meaning the records wouldn't be between Cohen and Trump, prosecutors said. The filter team is working from a list of individuals and companies they've compiled regarding people who aren't Cohen's legal clients.
 
I predict a gale-force twitter storm starting early Tuesday morning.
 

Dr. Rupert Green Added Apr 16, 2018 - 8:06pm
@ Doug. What I was alluding to is the wisdom of Tricky Dick to cool nuclear tension by having joint US-Soviet space exploration. Trump could have some joint agricultural project with North Korea.
Flying Junior Added Apr 17, 2018 - 12:39am
That is a good point Dr. Green.  I  think Nixon admired that old Russian bear.  Brezhnev was a formidable opponent.
 
What Nixon did with the historic and precedent-shattering summit with Mao Tse Tung was brilliant.  The world was fascinated.  The  two men became fast friends.  They hung out for the better part of two weeks if I remember correctly.  Nixon ushered in the twenty-first century of global trade.  I think this is this legacy which best defines the Nixon presidency.  He did live long enough to see the fruits of his genius come about.  If I had been there with Bob Dole at his funeral, I probably would have cried as well.
Flying Junior Added Apr 17, 2018 - 1:01am
Stephen,
 
What can we learn, indeed?  Or perhaps more to the point, what have we learned?
 
The only takeaway for me is to train oneself to not use coarse language.
 
Whatever lessons we did learn as a nation have been erased by time and ignorance.  Not everyone has forgotten these bitter truths.  But enough people have so completely lost the hard lessons that we were compelled to internalize that it's almost to the point that nothing real has been gained.
 
Mitch McConnell seems to be utterly ignorant of the single most important lesson having to do with Nixon's firing of Special Prosecutor, Archibald Cox.  Democrats and moral republicans who care about the Union have been working to pass legislation to use the power of the U.S. Congress to protect the office of Special Prosecutor, Robert Mueller from the arbitrary power of termination by the monster himself.
 
McConnell glibly tells us all that he just isn't worried about DJT exercising his authority to fire Mueller saying that he really does not think that this is very likely.
 
The downfall of Richard Milhous Nixon was to be a lesson that no president is above the law.  It was his quote that defined his arrogance.  "When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal."
 
Gerrilea Added Apr 17, 2018 - 1:15am
Flying J-- The Cohen raids are a fishing expedition and the fact that the DOJ is speaking with the press about it, tells me all I need to know.
 
4 of the Clinton Foundation board of directors have either been charged or convicted of financial crimes, including bribery & fraud.
 
Clinton Cash
 
 
Flying Junior Added Apr 17, 2018 - 1:59am
Sorry Gerrilea,
 
You will have to do better than Breitbart and some book for sale on Amazon.
 
Cohen is under criminal investigation.  As far as I know it does not have a great deal to do with Trump.  Trump's communications with Cohen, as many as exist will be kept out of open court.  Apparently the two men have not even exchanged emails.
 
Rod Rosenstein was appointed by Trump himself.  I guess he just wasn't loyal enough for our petty tyrant.
 
Relax.  No U.S. House of Representatives will ever impeach the monster.  No U.S. Senate will ever convict him of malfeasance.  Why do not any of the paranoid right believe me?
 
Fishing expedition?  Sounds like a fishing hole worth a camping trip to me.
 
I'm not going to waste much time defending the Clinton Foundation.  But if you continue to post lies I will counter you.
Flying Junior Added Apr 17, 2018 - 2:02am
Do you trust cnn.com?  This might be of help to you.
 
https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/13/politics/michael-cohen-hearing-fbi-raid/index.html
Gerrilea Added Apr 17, 2018 - 7:19am
Flying J---If you believe anything CNN says, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale. 
 
"One source familiar with the matter told CNN..."
 
Unnamed, anonymous sources, YET again. 
 
I do not have a confirmation bias, as you appear to... IF you present ACTUAL evidence, I'll listen and evaluate it's worth.  It doesn't matter what "infotainment outlet" you link to...if there are actual named witnesses with documents we can read...then I might start to believe you that Mueller's directed attack on Cohen isn't an attempt to find anything and everything they can on Trump to undermine the will of We The People.
 
There's this little book, written & published in the 1920's, it's called PROPAGANDA, written by Edward Bernays.
 
Here's a pdf link to the entire book.
 
Take an hour or two and read it.  IF you think you know how this "modern"world works, you know nothing until you've read it and assimilated the information into your psyche.
 
Anyone that I've presented this book to that has honestly read it & understood it, comes back and tells me they can see clearly now the rain is gone, to quote a wonderful song I used to listen to.
 
Good luck titling at your windmills, it doesn't do us any good if we can't agree on the facts of history.
 
Gerrilea Added Apr 17, 2018 - 7:21am
Flying J-- I've posted no lies or misinformation. You just can't accept the truth, not yet anyways.
 
 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 17, 2018 - 7:58am
So true Michael about recordings! Is the definition of a politician not someone who agrees with everyone on the surface, but behind closed doors their true thoughts and values are expressed? The thing is Nixon never really thought that what he was saying was all that bad, which is the scary part. 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 17, 2018 - 8:00am
Dr Rupert, the fact that nuclear war was averted and diplomatic channels opened up, was a positive aspect of the Nixon years for sure.
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 17, 2018 - 8:04am
Even, interesting that you point out Trump's emotional insecurities as a difference. He certainly is afraid of getting old as you point out with his hairdo.  
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 17, 2018 - 8:09am
Doug, thanks for your comments, you make some valid points. I do not think it is that the old hippies are waking up, as much as they now finally have some time and energy to "get back to where they once belonged". 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 17, 2018 - 8:14am
Gerrilea, appreciate your thoughts. I did NOT write this as a forewarning of impeachment. Actually it was a random thing that I happened to catch this(actually PVRed) it on HBO. I was blown away by what Nixon and his associates were saying. Always suspected that this was their attitude behind closed doors, but to hear what they said on tape, oh my! Much better that the tape of Trump talking about pussys! 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 17, 2018 - 8:26am
Hello Mike, thanks for addressing the points in my posts. I did try and be as on the fence as possible and just calling them as I see them, after watching the entire doc. Let me say this. Whether it be a more socialistic approach or a more capitalistic approach to the economy of today and most importantly the future, let us shed the labels of bad or good, but rather look to a solution, which takes the best aspects of both. Peace brother!
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 17, 2018 - 8:35am
Flying J, I think that you have nailed the main takeaway at least by politicians, in not using coarse language, even if that is how they truly feel. Back in this time, I was in my early teens, and listened to my father and his friends talk in the same way, with the same attitude as Nixon did on the tapes. Expressing the same prejudices, kicking hippies asses and all that. My father, a man brought up in rural NB, Canada, with limited education, talking the same way as the President of the free world. Imagine that!
Dave Volek Added Apr 17, 2018 - 11:19am
I'm going to bring back this Churchill quote brought to this thread by Michael B:
 
"The ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year – and to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen."
 
 It is easy for us to armchair quarterback the political parties, their leaders, their elected officials, and their candidates and say they shouldn't do this. But the fact is that if they don't play this game, they can be described in one adjective: "unelected".
 
Anyone who aspires to a career in politics will be forced into compromises of various kinds. The successful politicians somehow seem to know which compromises aren't likely to make it to public attention and which compromises are dangerous. Yet this is still a judgement call, which means mistakes are made. Then the skill to ride out a scandal is also important for the public is forgiving of a few scandals.
 
If any of us here on WB believes he or she can do better---and become and stay elected--this indeed is only wishful thinking and not grounded in much reality.
 
It's time to change the system.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mike Haluska Added Apr 17, 2018 - 1:28pm
Stephen - your claim:
 
"There is no evidence of money laundering through the Clinton Foundation."
 
is preposterous on its own.  But let's assume for a minute no "money laundering" in the "Cali Cartel tradition", then explain the following:
 
What the hell is the Secretary of State (and her husband the former President of the United States) doing going around soliciting "donations" from nations, corporations, banks and billionaires while she is supposedly conducting foreign affairs for the United States???  Federal law states that even the mere appearance of impropriety (e.g. $160 million "contribution" days after Uranium One deal) is a felony offense.  You're going to stand there straight-faced and tell me that Russia/Putin "donated" $160 million??? 
 
And if all these deposits into the Clinton Foundation were truly "donations", why did everyone pull their funding the day after Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election???  You are aware the Clinton Foundation is shut down and under investigation, right?  She even promised President Obama to dismantle the Clinton Foundation as a prerequisite to becoming Secretary of State!!!
 
Dr. Rupert Green Added Apr 17, 2018 - 1:48pm
I PASTED THIS ON MY FACEBOOK. CAPS WAS NOT ABOUT ME SHOUTING. 
 





Michael Jacobs He CANNOT function (and never will) within the realms of the Constitution. He thinks being president is a trial-and-error position.
 





GREEN: Did the Saul of Tarsus persecuted Christians ever believe he would become Paul, the foundation of the Christian church? The learned do not state absolute truth, and this is even truer for those embracing religion. In fact, religion is about belief. Hence, if you stated you do not believe President Trump can be constrained by the Constitution, that would be a better statement, albeit a false one. But because you did not assert a fact, you would be correct in your belief. Still, Nixon offers another lesson to President Trump; No man is above the law. 
 
OUR CONSTITUTION HAS BEEN WORKING WELL IN CONSTRAINING TRUMP. THE DAY HE FIRES Muller IS A SIGNAL TO ALL AMERICANS THAT THEY CAN BREAK THE LAW AT WILL. THAT WOULD THREATEN OUR DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES THROUGH THE NATIONWIDE REVOLTS RESULTING IN ANARCHY. POLITICAL LEADERS KNOW THAT AND TRUMP WOULD QUICKLY BECOME A PRESIDENTAL COLLATERAL FOOTNOTE TO SAVE THE UNION.
Flying Junior Added Apr 17, 2018 - 1:50pm
I said that Mike, not Stephen.  I am in some hot water with Gerrilea as well.
 
Okay, I cannot deny that Trump reopened the investigation into the foundation.  But it had already been closed down a couple of years ago for lack of evidence.  I thought that the rub was influence peddling during her four-year tenure.  I see the crazies are still beating the dead horse about her lost potential as a corrupt president.
 
To each his or her own.
 
Bill Clinton decided to close the Clinton Global Initiative.  It accomplished much and even more of what he set about to do in 2005.  The Foundation itself will continue,  It's not really worth arguing about.  I regret responding in a juvenile way.
 
Someday I may post about the accomplishments of the Clinton Foundation.  But I'm not sure what would be the point of that on the Writer Beat.
George N Romey Added Apr 17, 2018 - 1:54pm
I remember back in 1974 as a teenager all the adults around me saying the only difference between Nixon and other politicians is that he got caught.  Seems as though not much as changed in nearly 45 years.
Dave Volek Added Apr 17, 2018 - 2:24pm
George
 
I think many politicians have to eventually take political risks. The wiser ones know which risks are worthwhile, balancing the potential reward with the chance of getting caught. 
 
I always wondered why Nixon ordered the Watergate break-in. It seems there was very little reward for this endeavor.
 
 
Dave Volek Added Apr 17, 2018 - 2:25pm
FJ
It would be interesting to hear something "neutral" about the Clinton Foundation on WB.
 
John Minehan Added Apr 17, 2018 - 2:26pm
"I always wondered why Nixon ordered the Watergate break-in. It seems there was very little reward for this endeavor."
 
Insecurity.  He had no confidence in what would be a landslide victory.
  
John Minehan Added Apr 17, 2018 - 2:29pm
Actually, it is fairly easy to predict the future in general terms.  It is much harder to get the timing fairly correct . . . .
Mike Haluska Added Apr 17, 2018 - 2:58pm
John -
 
President Nixon never ordered the Watergate break-in.  He got in trouble for trying to cover it up.  
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 17, 2018 - 9:33pm
Dave I could not agree more. The system is tilted toward the elite, the politicians are just puppet masters. 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 17, 2018 - 9:37pm
Mike even if I did not make the Clinton foundation reference, what does that possibly matter in the big picture, even if it were all true. This is millions, the real worry is those extracting BILLIONS, by keeping the common folk fighting with one another. 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 17, 2018 - 9:42pm
Dr Rupert let us all hope that no man is above the law, regardless of money, power, or just being a bully and lying as a matter of course. 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 17, 2018 - 9:45pm
So true George. I think if the tapes could have been released within that year, people would have been better able to put them in context and learn. 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 17, 2018 - 9:48pm
True John, people seem to get lulled into a false sense of security, thinking the human species has evolved and then, history repeats. 
Michael B. Added Apr 17, 2018 - 9:59pm
Stephen, I agree with John Minehan's appraisal of Tricky Dick - "A flawed giant." Obviously he was an asshole, but he had his accomplishments, too. A couple of years ago, I read a book called Family of Secrets, about the Bush dynasty, and among the things that it claimed was that Nixon was downed by many of his fellow Republicans. The chapter that deals with it begins with a quote supposedly from King Henry II, which resulted in the murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury:
 
"Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?"
 
Nixon himself makes an interesting statement about how he learned about the Watergate burglary, with the most interesting clause in bold:
 
"It sounded preposterous. Cubans in surgical gloves bugging the DNC! I dismissed it as some sort of prank...The whole thing made so little sense. Why, I wondered. Why then? Why in such a blundering way...Anyone who knew anything about politics would know that a national committee headquarters was a useless place to go for inside information on a presidential campaign. The whole thing was so senseless and bungled that it almost looked like some kind of setup."
 
As Tricky Dick was ALL ABOUT backroom politics and short-circuiting and/or subverting the usual mechanisms of Presidential leadership, he would be an authority on such things, lol.
 
Michael B. Added Apr 17, 2018 - 10:05pm
Also, although LBJ was just as crude, if not cruder, than the Nix, at least he was funny, lol! Nixon, on the other hand, always comes off as the mean, uptight prude that he was.
Gerrilea Added Apr 18, 2018 - 1:34am
Flying J--  I'd love to hear your thoughts on Edward Bernays book AND the C G Initiative.  I've read the horrors they created in Haiti maybe there's some saving grace that I missed.  I was willing to give Trump a chance and see what happens...well, so far, same crap, different day...except bringing us ever closer to total worldwide nuclear destruction.
 
Stephen H-- Trump cannot be Nixon, Trump has too much hubris.  Nixon never thought he'd get caught and set into motion policies, both foreign and domestic, that have brought this nation to it's knees.
 
Taking us off the gold standard was a betrayal of us all.  The War on Drugs was and still is a racist plan to keep blacks "in their place".  "Opening" China destroyed the middle class and gave rise to Walmart, destroying what was left.
 
Dr. Green-- Trump controls the DOJ as the POTUS.  He has full constitutional authority to fire anyone in that department except Supreme Court Judges, whom are appointed for life. 
 
Dave V-- Going into politics takes money & backing of one of the parties.  There is one huge exception Jesse Ventura.
 
 
Flying Junior Added Apr 18, 2018 - 2:39am
Gerrilea,
 
I can hardly resist your friendly challenge.  I took a look at the first chapter and had to wonder when I would have the time to read the entire book.
 
My initial impression is that this a classic treatise from very nearly one hundred years ago.
 
While I do not doubt that I have been consuming propaganda with much gusto for the last thirteen years that I have been on-line, before that, I considered most of my news sources to be factual.  I still do for the most part.  Friends have challenged the universal credibility of such sources as the NYT and the BBC.  I cannot challenge their conclusions.  I trust many sources still today including the LAT, PBS and CBS.  My education taught me that propaganda was employed by less scrupulous governments to control their peoples.  In other words to condition the people to accept a less than favorable and fair-minded system of governance and by extension national and international policies and relationships.
 
I can agree with you that propaganda is in play in the U.S. of the twenty-first century.  I may take the time to read more.  But I really have higher priorities.  I have professional obligations and personal commitments.
 
I have to believe that reporting can have a bias and yet remain essentially factual.  I can trust a source such as U.S.A. Today or the Christian Science Monitor.  At the same time I trust the Southern Poverty Law Center.  I have learned that at times even the American Heritage Society can be a useful and truthful source of information and quality reporting.  Some even tell me that the KATO institute can be trusted occasionally.
 
I would probably trust KAOS about as much as I would KATO.
 
More than ever we need to judge and also withhold judgment as we seek confirmation.  False narratives have never been stronger in the U.S. and worldwide media than they are today.  It used to be just Granma and Pravda that were known to be post WWII sources of propaganda.  The Voice of American was propaganda of course.  But it was propaganda for our side.
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 18, 2018 - 7:56am
Michael, reminds me of the mob wanting to get rid of Hoffa after he had outlived his usefulness. 
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 18, 2018 - 8:00am
Gerrilea, all valid points, however I might question your war on drugs rationale. I think back in the 30's it was more for keeping Blacks and Mexicans under control. In the 60's when white hippies started outwardly using pot, it was seen as rebellious behavior and attributed to the leftist plot. And of course big business jumped on board. (Pharma, Liquor, tobacco....)
Doug Plumb Added Apr 18, 2018 - 4:32pm
re "The thing is Nixon never really thought that what he was saying was all that bad, which is the scary part. "
 
Was it truth or not? What does bad/good have to do with it? We find truth first then establish reasoning and ethics. We cannot say those words are bad, what if they are true? Are we required to believe that no closed group would ever want to see us harmed? If I see muslims carrying rockets into an Islamic society am I to assume they are fake and being used for a stage or a play, otherwise be a hater?
Gerrilea Added Apr 19, 2018 - 1:25am
Flying J-- Thanks and briefly. I used to trust the same sources you did, I was a C-Span junkie for years and if PBS said it, it was gospel. Not anymore, I keep hearing Ed Bernays in the background telling them how and what to say.
 
Here's someone you might enjoy, James Corbett, he's Canadian and lives in Japan with his wife and two new children.
 
Stephen H--  The outlawing of drugs in the '20 & '30's was a marriage of the progress movement & Christian moral doctrine.  Both believed they could control, mold and manipulate society to attain their "utopia".   They created the FBI (BOI, Bureau Of Investigations originally) to morally police the US and to enforce "federal law". They failed miserably with Prohibition but succeeded in so many other areas, like prostitution, drug use, gun control, etc. 
 
Cocaine used to be in Coke-a-Cola & the propaganda around how Cannabis was linked to "lower class crimes" and violence rationalized it's banning in 1937.  And "lower class" would be immigrants (Chinese or Mexican) AND blacks.  Cannabis was sold over the counter at Pharmacies for decades but banning it was a "useful" tool aimed at controlling society. 
 
Nixon made it a national priority and its never been the same since.  This "national priority" has given rise to the destruction of our liberties and our society.  It's given rise to the Prison Industrial Complex and the New American Police State, Inc.
 
AND Guiding this whole process is Edward Bernays', "Propaganda", In My Humble Opinion.
 

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