nixon delenda est

Read this and this.

I lack the historical perspective to give Rojas' thesis a decent critical evaluation, but I certainly find it difficult to refute on its face. Moreover, I would include in the "useful idiots to the Nixonians" not just Christian conservatives and free marketeers, but also the Democratic Party. After all, abortion has remained legal through several periods of GOP dominance, meaningful reform of the income tax and social security has never been seriously discussed beyond primary season, and every Democratic president from Roosevelt on has waged war on the world, with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter, who is generally remembered as ineffectual among all but the most ardent liberals (god bless your bleeding hearts.)


RW said...

Brian I read this earlier today at work and clicked the links to the articles you provided. I've been trying to formulate what visceral feeling I had reading these articles, but I wonder if - from a time perspcetive - the view is incomplete. I'm only saying that because Richard Nixon has been in my life since I was born - he was VP that year. And he was the President when I came of draft age.

So I'm basing my feeling on what I lived through, and I'm not doubting or casting aspersions on the two guys you linked to. You can't deny Nixonian influence in the Republican Party post-Robert Taft. But I think the largest influence on the "neocon" mindset was President Kennedy. He's the guy the kingpins of the neocons - Wolfowitz and that other older guy I can't remember though he did a prolonged essay about himself on a PBS series re: Islam and the west.

Kennedy was their hero. And any perusal of Kennedy's Inauguration speech can't help but ferret out many points neocons grabbed and took into the market.

Robert Kennedy's come to Jesus moment before his assassination notwithstanding, Democrats who idolize the JFK years as some kind of Camelot are not prone to mention Kennedy's foreign policy had more in common with the second President Bush than the current President in office.

Nixon had his influence. He played the party power game and got the White House - which is all he ever wanted. But the thing is he is so easy to villify that he's still a caricature of himself too much.

Somewhere out there, in this country, is a young man or woman who is going to do the definitive book on the most fascinating American character is our political history. It should surpass Shirer's Rise and Fall in length, and hopefully treat with Nixon head on instead of just the downside - which was large.

Nixon's saga is the most engaging political drama in our entire history. There's a great book out there on it somewhere, but not done yet.

They touched a small aspect, but these two articles aren't it quite yet.

Brian said...

Thanks for the perspective.

Gino said...

i think part of it is that nixonians are largely statists who view state as an end in it self.

when looking for certain folks to fill certain positions, its easy to look toward that cabal, where all the networking takes place.

off topic: i'm not a fan of nixonian policies, but i admire him as a politician. and as a guy who came from very humble beginnings, never went to a prestigious school, but was able to scratch a postion for himself among those who always looked down upon him.

as RW says, there's a book out there...