6.24.2009

The Nixon Tapes

Watergate/Nixon revisited


The release of more of the Nixon tapes has precipitated a flood of memories about the Watergate hearings in 1973. The hearings were must see TV and since there was no cable at that time, the television networks took turns broadcasting the hearings..ABC one day...NBC the next...CBS the next...Then they repeated the cycle until the hearings ended...

Thinking back on those those days....It was the personalities who stand out in my memories...The Congressmen who were larger than life...defending our government and our constitution....

They gave speeches and spoke extemporaneously off the top of their heads, using words that still resonate in my mind..


"My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution."-Congresswoman Barbara Jordan


Those words affect me in the same way as those spoken by the Gladiator (Russell Crowe) when he once again stands before Commodus to confront him about killing his father....That was the “gotcha” moment in a magnificent movie...

Jordan's words were Nixon's “gotcha” moment.....

The old country lawyer...Senator from North Carolina...Sam Ervin was another one...Ervin not only brought down the corrupt Nixon White House...He also helped to take down the equally corrupt and bigoted Joe McCarthy.


"Divine right went out with the American Revolution and doesn't belong to the White House aides. What meat do they eat that makes them grow so great? "
- Senator Sam Ervin


If Sam Ervin had been in Congress these past few years...The imperial presidency crafted by Bush/Cheney would probably never have gotten as far as it did.

It was an amazing time.

I would urge those who marvel at the eloquence of Barack Obama to go back and read the words of some of the orators who went before... Obama is merely the latest in a long line of amazing public speakers...who once dominated politics......

Orators who put country first before politics...and the will of the people before the desires of the rich and powerful...

With this Congress, public speaking has given way to muted illiterate mumblings on twitter or email, in pursuit of the once mighty dollar...

The Nixon tapes were revealed in a time when bugging a room, let alone the Oval Office, was spy stuff...not real life...Not many of us really thought that such a thing was possible except in science fiction..

Nixon's surprise at being caught by his own handiwork was priceless. The technology was so foreign to us at the time, that Nixon's people didn't even know how to erase the damaging tapes...

hence...”the smoking gun..”

The tapes released yesterday, are good historical listening. About all they do is to reveal Nixon's bigoted tendencies which had already leaked with the other, older tapes...

For instance, this latest one reveals his thoughts on abortion....

He favored abortion and said it should be legal in the instances of rape...or to dispose of a fetus when the couple was interracial...Nixon didn't believe in the mixing of races...

Good thing he didn't get his way....Obama might never have been born....
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