Monday, December 13, 2010

795 There He Goes Again

795 There He Goes Again.

The Nixon Library has released a new batch of formerly secret tapes he made while president. They break no new ground -- it's all stuff we'd heard of him saying in the past. But there are some dandy things here to reinforce what we already know.

>>American Jews are aggressive and obnoxious (including Kissinger and William Safire,) but Israeli Jews are not.

>>Irishmen drink too much and always turn mean afterward.

>>Italians don't have "their heads screwed on tight," but are "nice people."

>>Blacks should "inbreed" to improve, but are physically strong and "...some of them are smart."

All this stuff happened in the first few months of 1973, just before the Watergate scandal completely chewed up Nixon and his administration then spat them out.

The Nixon Library is going to make this stuff available on the internet, supposedly before the end of 2012. A feast for the ears, if you can actually understand what's being said. For a smart guy, Nixon was pretty dumb about saying the stuff he said within hearing range of his own secret microphones.

Nixon wasn't the worst anti-Semite or racist, or even the most effective one in American History. But he was the man we loved to hate. And much of that wasn't because of what he said or did or didn't do. It was because he was Richard Nixon. And that's a cautionary tale for today's crowd of politicians.

Many of us loved to hate him because he came off as cold, woodenly stiff and scared. He seemed to connive even when he didn't, was shifty-eyed and a blubberer. These are not admirable qualities in a politician. We loved to hate him because he surrounded himself with people like Haldeman and Ehrlichman and Mitchell and Liddy and scads of other night crawlers. These are not the kind of guys you want controlling a president's policies or politics or legal actions.

If you're in politics, Richard Nixon is your template for how not to appear. What you do out of range of YOUR tapes is your own business.

(Disclaimer: your correspondent voted for this guy in both '68 and '72, even while knowing more or less what was going on with him.)


-- Thanks to all of you who liked the tribute to Ed Koch and to the 59th Street Bridge. Even people who dislike your correspondent and Ed had good things to say. Ed was there for you ... were you there for him?

--We all know there is no Mafia. But there have been some inexplicable rub outs (or is it "rubs out?") in New York and now you can get a six dollar phone app from iTunes to see where and when they were. Paul Castellano, Joey Gallo and a raft of lesser ordinary businessmen come alive on your iPhone. Strange, but not the silliest iPhone app.

--PA highway sign update: For two days they played a radio alert warning about weather conditions and the weather was fine. When we finally got a pretty decent snow, they stopped the message and the flashing lights on the signs. Your tax dollars at work -- again!

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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