By Rohn W. Bishop
“Therefore I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in as President, at the hour, in this office. “
– Richard Nixon, August 8, 1974
August 9 will mark the 40th anniversary of the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Facing an impeachment vote in the House of Representatives and a long ugly trial in the Senate, that could have gone either way, President Nixon resigned, ending the “Watergate” scandal.
The press and the Washington glitterati will bask in the glow of the anniversary. There’ll be retrospectives on TV, and they will dig up old media goats like Dan Rather to bloviate about how the news media’s hammering of Nixon ultimately saved the U.S. Constitution.
Watergate made Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein famous, and rich beyond their wildest dreams, and everyone involved made money by writing a book, making a movie, or becoming a TV commentator.
For two generations school children have been taught about “the greatest political scandal of all time,” and most people rate Richard Nixon as one of America’s worst presidents, and a failure.
Why? Because he helped cover up a mysterious burglary that no one to this day fully understands. A burglary that at worse was an underhanded scheme to help him win re-election, a scheme that killed no one.
Many people who only know of Nixon as the disgraced Watergate president often ask me why I like and respect President Nixon. My answer often surprises them, and as we mark the 40th anniversary, it seems appropriate to compare America’s 37th President, with our 44th.
Nixon’s accomplishments are many. A veteran of World War 2, Nixon was elected to congress in 1946. (Also elected to congress that year was future president John Kennedy) As a young congressman from California Dick Nixon earned a reputation as a staunch anti-communist, in fact it was Nixon who rooted out Alger Hiss, a communist spy in the state department. Nixon would then go on to serve in the United States Senate, representing America’s fastest growing state, California.
From 1953-1961, at the height of the Cold War, Nixon would honorably and loyally serve as Dwight Eisenhower’s Vice President, only to have the presidency stolen from him in 1960, by a wealthy and good looking young senator from Massachusetts, John Kennedy,
Following his narrow defeat in 1960, Nixon would endure for eight years as America faltered; first in Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, then as the Soviet Union built an evil wall in Berlin. By 1968 Vietnam raged out of control with over 30,000 casualties and 500,000 soldiers tied down in what appeared to be an endless war, and here at home; assassinations, chaos, riots, and mass revolt reigned on college campuses and in the streets of America. America was coming apart in a way n not seen since the end of the Civil War.
In 1968 Nixon would pull off the greatest American political comeback, to narrowly defeat a truly great if not misguided man in Hubert Humphrey to win the presidency. Then in 1972, he’d be re-elected in the largest land slide in American history.
Nixon would be the first president since Zachary Taylor to take office with both houses of Congress against him, and a hostile media that set out to destroy him. Despite this, Nixon would achieve his biggest goals; he would end the war in Vietnam, bring home our POW’s, and deliver America “a generation of peace,” America’s longest sustained period of peace since the end of World War II. This would allow President Nixon to end the military draft, and create the all volunteer force we have today.
Nixon also laid the ground work for Ronald Reagan’s victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, by establishing an American presence in the Middle East, undercutting Soviet dominance in the region. In 1972 Nixon would visit Red China, stunning the Soviet Union, an important relationship that would help curb Soviet aggression.
Nixon would also calm tensions between the US and USSR by participating in the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT) and sign the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty.
Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir would credit President Nixon for saving Israel during the Yom Kippur War, a decision that hurt him politically, as Democrats couldn’t have cared less about Israel.
In domestic policy it was Nixon who signed Title 9 into law; opening the door to women in collegiate sports, it was Nixon who oversaw the peaceful desegregation of southern schools, and Nixon was an early proponent of lowering the voting age to 18.
President Nixon also signed into law the Mammal Marine Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and created the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA today has far outlived its usefulness, however it was needed at a time that Lake Erie was dead and the Cuyahoga River had caught on fire!
In 1973 President Nixon was able to get the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System built, creating thousands of jobs and making Alaska an oil producing state, unlike today as President Obama has single handily killed off the Keystone Pipeline.
Despite all these accomplishments in office, Democrats, the media, and the American people felt he had to leave office early, because of Watergate. The White House tapes proved Nixon learned about the break in and participated in covering up his administration’s roll. There was hush money, an Attorney General who wouldn’t investigate, and the purposeful destruction of evidence, the famous 18 1/2 minute gap on the tapes, and there was audio evidence that Nixon “thought” about using the IRS to harass political opponents.
No one died, and it was an election Nixon was going to win big anyway, but Nixon had to pay the ultimate price and resign his office early. Hell, the Democrats and the media wanted blood, they wanted Nixon jailed!
To help the country heal and move past Watergate, President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon, thus ending the left’s dream of an imprisoned Nixon.
Fast forward 40 years to 2014 and compare President Barak Obama’s administration with that of Nixon’s, and decide for yourself who’s more deserving of impeachment.
A president’s most fundamental duty is to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” but Obama doesn’t even pretend to execute the laws faithfully. Rather, he enforces laws for which he approves, and declines to execute the laws whenever it’s politically convenient to do so, (E.g.: Obama-care mandates, immigration laws, marriage laws, and drug laws.) Thus violating his oath of office and abusing his powers
President Obama lied about the attack on the American consultant in Benghazi, Libya. The President, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and National Security Advisor Susan Rice all repeatedly said an anti-Islamic You Tube video sparked a spontaneous uprising in Libya that resulted in the murders, even though Obama knew that the attack was a well-planned military assault by al Qaeda on the anniversary of September 11.
President Obama lied when he claimed, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health plan, you can keep it!”
Scores of veterans have died waiting for medical care at Obama’s VA hospitals.
Obama’s justice department harassed conservative media outlets during the 2012 presidential election cycle.
Obama’s NSA was caught spying on foreign leaders, Americans, and the Associated Press.
Obama’s IRS was illegally harassing political opponents, and then obstructed justice by destroying two years of email evidence. Allegations very similar to those against Nixon.
The Obama administration has refused to release Justice Department documents relating to the “Fast and Furious” gun running program that left Border Patrol agent Brian Terry dead, forcing congress to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress; a first for a sitting member of the cabinet.
Russia invaded Ukraine, as Obama sat back and did nothing, even though America has a treaty with Ukraine to defend them.
Terrorists are on the comeback. Boko Haram has kidnapped hundreds of Christian girls from Nigeria, and Hamas has kidnapped three teenage boys from Israel. Isis is taking control of Syria and Iraq, as Obama dithers and allows a decade of American sacrifice to be frittered away.
Worst of all these terrorists have been helped by Obama, as he empties out the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and replenishes our enemies.
Obama has presided over 5 1/2 years of a sick economy; enrollment in the food stamp program — officially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — has soared by 70% in the years since Obama took office, the workforce participation rate is the lowest it’s been since the Carter Administration, and Obama has single handily doubled our national debt. It took 43 Presidents to run our debt up to $9.7 trillion, at the end of Obama’s eight years our nation’s debt will stand at $22 trillion– an impeachable offense on its own, while at the same time the Obama family flips off the taxpayers and racks up $44,351,777.12 on travel expenses.
The Supreme Court no longer seems amused by Obama’s claims of constitutional superiority, as they drop kicked his attempt to unilaterally declare the Senate in recess so he could appoint members to the National Labor Relations Board, without Senate approval.
Obama’s refusal to enforce our border and immigration laws has led to a humanitarian crisis at our southern borders, as some 100,000 lice infected and sick illegal alien children invade southern towns and villages, with no plan to stop it from our president. In fact he seems to be encouraging the invasion. And who’ll pay for all these illegals? You and I, the hardworking middle class Obama claims to be looking out for. We’re the ones getting screwed!
Everywhere you look you see failure in the Obama presidency, and our constitution is hanging by a thread. It’s time Americans save our constitution and reclaim this once great nation, to defend the sacrifices made by previous generations, and to preserve this great republic for the next generation. We must stand up to this “imperial” president and say, “no more!”
We should impeach Barack Obama!
But we won’t.
Unfortunately for future generations, this president’s behavior is tolerated by an American public paralyzed by white guilt and political correctness, and the same liberal media and Democrat Party that found Nixon’s abuses of executive power so abhorrent, now defend and excuse Obama.
If Barack Obama’s lawlessness, reckless spending, disregard for the other co-equal branches of government, perversion of the constitution, weakening of America, while allowing an invasion of our southern border, are not impeachable offenses, then no president is impeachable, and there are no longer limits to presidential power!
It’s time American’s be consistent, and to be consistent we must do one of two things. Either we impeach Barak Obama, or we should place Richard Nixon on Mount Rushmore! You decide.
At least Nixon had domestic and foreign policy successes.
Looking at the chaos both here and abroad, America could really use “Nixon Now,” more than ever!
Rohn W. Bishop is a monthly contributor to “The Scene”.
Bishop served on the Waupun City Council and is currently Treasurer for the Republican Party of Fond du Lac County, and has twice served on the Republican Party of Wisconsin Convention Rules Committee.
Compare-Contrast: Nixon / Obama
By Rohn W. Bishop