Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

February 24, 2010

Here's Where I Agree With A Tea Party Sentiment

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 1:51 pm

Have I been too harsh about the Tea Partiers? Okay I have to admit there’s one thing I share with them: a contempt for the Washington establishment and the way they look after their own.

Last weekend on NPR I heard an astonishing defense of the late Al Haig’s corrupt bargain to get unindicted co-conspirator President Richard Nixon a pardon for his crimes by offering then Vice President Gerald Ford the Presidency.

The Haig defender was liberal NPR icon Daniel Schorr, a fixture of the Washington establishment who should know better, but clearly has, in this instance, become a spokesman for the all-too-comfortable DC establishment view that “stability”–for the DC establishment–must be maintained at all costs. Stability is the highest value, even if it means denying the American people the truth a trial might reveal.

Schorr recounted the long forgotten details of the corrupt bargain. Essentially what this meant was that in the last days of August 1974, Haig went to VP Ford on behalf of Nixon who was about to be impeached, convicted, and probably thereafter criminally indicted and said, in so many words, Nixon will resign now, go quietly if you assure him that when you become President you will issue him a pardon exempting him from any prosecution for his many demonstrated crimes.

According to this “insider’s” account by Schorr, Ford temporized and said he couldn’t be sure, but Haig went back to Nixon and basically said he had a yes. Tricked Tricky Dick. Haig performed this manipulation to ease Nixon out without a bruising fight, Senate trial and later criminal trial which the DC establishment, for reasons of “stability” and return to normalcy, and perhaps keeping the lid on things (there was a lot of embarrassing stuff that could have come out in a criminal trial).

Nixon then resigned and several months later Ford pardoned him.

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12 Comments »

  1. Haig leaked like a sieve, of course. He was the primary source for Woodward and Bernstein’s “The Final Days”. Haig and Woodward became close friends when Woodward was the Naval Watch Officer in the 1969 Nixon White House, when Haig was working for the NSC and was spilling info as Kissinger’s beard. In Jim Hougan’s book “Secret Agenda”, the editor of “The Montgomery Times” (where Woodward was farmed out for seasoning by Ben Bradlee, after Woodward’s discharge from the Navy and before he was finally hired by “The Washington Post”) describes Woodward’s uncanny prescience in national affairs: “he would come into the office and predict that there would be a coup in some Central American country and the next day it would happen”. All from Haig. J. Fred Buzhardt’s (Nixon counsel) family blamed Haig’s leaks about him for Buzhardt’s premature death from a heart attack. (By the way the whole Mark Felt thing was a convenient fiction, to forestall further inquiries into W & B’s multiple sources, of which Felt was only one among many). Nevertheless, Haig’s worst crime was his introduction of the word “impact” as a verb at his 1981 Senate confirmation hearings.

    Comment by charlie finch — February 24, 2010 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

  2. I’ve never been sure about this one. On the one hand, I have an aversion to what I refer to as the My Lai syndrome. Someone orders something to occur, or creates the atmosphere in which it *can* occur, and when it blows up in their faces, the little guy gets the short straw and takes the heat for it. Several of the “conspirators” in the Watergate fiasco went to prison, but Nixon just went into exile in San Clemente. Not exactly fair.

    On the other hand, the country didn’t really need several years of long, drawn-out partisan arguments, legal debates, court motions, and other fol-de-role associated with impeaching, prosecuting, and then imprisoning a sitting and/or former President. What with the Viet Nam war, the Civil Rights movement, the Sexual revolution, and all of the rest of the upheaval of the times, the impeachment of a President could have been catastrophic for the country. We’ll never know, because it didn’t happen, but people at the time were concerned, and acting like it clearly wasn’t something to consider is rather superficial. The people making the decisions in 1973 didn’t have the benefit of our hindsight from 37 years later.

    So I have to say, dismissing what Al Haig did as merely a parlor trick is rather superficial in itself. He certainly had good reason to do what he did. You may disagree with the sentiment, and you clearly think Nixon should have been drawn and quartered. That’s a reasonable attitude, in abstract, but you should be able to recognize and acknowledge the practicalities of the situation, and what an impeachment might have done to the country. Even more germane is what Haig *thought* the impeachment might inflict on the country.

    **Remember, before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you do criticize them, they’re a mile away and barefoot!–comedian I can’t remember.

    Comment by DavidN — February 24, 2010 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

  3. Interesting to know in Ron’s view the Tea Party group has “sentiments”; not ideas, positions or principles.
    Sort of the dismissive attitude which stains everything Ron attempts to describe.

    Comment by WRJonas — February 24, 2010 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

  4. “Have I been too harsh about the Tea Partiers? ”

    Let’s look at the four preceding blog posts of Ron’s:

    “Cruel and Ignorant”

    “like whiny babies throwing a tantrum”

    “I had to laugh out loud at the ignoramus who tried to call him a “traitor” but couldn’t spell it, so ended up calling him a “trader”. Ouch! A perfect demonstration of the level of intelligence exhibited by these people. ” [Ed: Calue!]

    “lack of any concern about suffering families”

    “are you just too cruel to care?”

    “A Grade School Lesson for Tea Partiers”

    ” go to the family of that [fallen] cop and jeer” [Ed: and here’s a Ron-ultimatum. Twofer!]

    “Tell the family the cop died to preserve the purity of Tea Party values.”

    “unless it’s too late and you’re already brainwashed, which is my impression.”

    “Not just the ones who drove the Toyotas but the ones struck down by the killing machines the anti-regulation, anti-government ideology let loose on the highways.”

    “Now the Violence of Town Hall/Tea Party Rhetoric Has Infected Previously Sane Republicans”

    “Tell it to the dead man’s family Scott. See if they laugh. Oklahoma City must have been a big yuk for these guys.” [Ed: This was Friday. On Tuesday he said this: “Scott Brown, who deserves respect for his independence,”]

    “[Stack] was anti government as intrinsically evil. Just like the extremists in the Town Hall/Tea Party movement.”

    “It’s just a matter of time before this kind of window-smashing, gun toting, government-is evil rhetoric turns into more violence against fellow citizens. ”

    “Oh yeah, do you want to take away veterans benefits too? That’s a federal government socialized medicine program, right?”

    “I’d just like to know how many are really true to the anti-government principles and how many are just freeloading fakers.”

    These are just the rank insults. This isn’t even counting the pathetically numerous strawmen.

    And this is just his bile against the Tea Party. His rants towards anonymous commenting are just as plentiful.

    And similarly, both anonymous commenting and Tea Party support happen right on this website. Which Ron studiously ignores.

    Comment by Jack — February 24, 2010 @ 3:12 pm | Reply

  5. PARDON DICK: VAGUE HAIG TO BORED FORD

    Comment by charlie finch — February 24, 2010 @ 3:34 pm | Reply

  6. I sort of wonder if Rosenbaum isn’t trying to get Mr. Simon to fire him for some reason.

    Perhaps Rosenbaum wants to move on to another project but can’t because of some sort of contract provision that wouldn’t be an impediment if Simon fired him.

    Or perhaps it’s just so that Rosenbaum can then complain about the “unfairness” of us eeeeeeeeeeeeeevil Conservative Neanderthals.

    Either way, it’s something to consider when Rosenbaum posts his next vitriolic screed.

    Comment by ConservativeWanderer — February 24, 2010 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

  7. Schorr has lived to an astonishing age but continues to splash around in the tank for the Democratic Party. He is a regular on Nancy Pelosi Radio (NPR) still faithfully parroting the party line whenever the day’s developments permit.

    Comment by Banjo — February 24, 2010 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

  8. Switch and bait? Well, that’s new one (to me). 💡

    How’s the hangover, Ron? 😉

    Comment by Delia — February 24, 2010 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  9. By the way James McCord is still alive at 86. Since the publication of his book in 1974 (a book full of odd Biblical allusions, cul-de-sacs, etc and which I have never been able to locate), McCord has remained silent and there has been no effort, as far as I know, to find him. He is the key to Watergate, as he was definitely a double agent (CIA and CRP). Nixon had the distinction of being both a) set up and b) guilty.

    Comment by charlie finch — February 24, 2010 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

  10. correction, should be PARDON,DICK:VAGUE HAIG TO BORED FORD

    Comment by charlie finch — February 24, 2010 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

  11. Actually, Al Haig earned his Place In Heaven for his Watergate efforts.

    There was a conspiracy (no other word will do) afoot to nail both Nixon and Agnew at the same time. (The name H Rodham was prominent in all this.)

    This would have made Speaker of the House Carl Albert (D OK) the President. Albert was a darend good man in his day but by that time his case of alcoholism was so far advanced that Doctors wonered if he could survive detoxification. And said that if he did he would be severely impaired and not live very long. That is exactly what did happen to the unfortunate Gentleman From Oklahoma.

    What having a helpless and manipulated drunk in the White House at that time would have done is not pleasant to contemplate.

    Haig got Agnew to resign, cop a plea and get off light. And had Gerald Ford lined up to replace him as Ford would be easily confirmed. This of course doomed Nixon as there were few would would object to his being replaced.

    Haig’s moves saved the country. Who arranged the pardon? Don’t know and don’t care. It too though was the right thing to do.

    GEneral Haig, Sir, you done right well. God Bless You!

    Comment by Dave — February 24, 2010 @ 10:55 pm | Reply

  12. Ron, Look at your phone bill. Look at the myriad taxes which make up 40% of your phone bill. Someone thought up this torture and still allows Verizon to cold call your residence seven times a day. And yet, with thousands upon thousands upon thousands of similar taxes, we are running trillion dollar deficits and dependent on a Chinese government that just sentenced Liu Xao Bi to 11 years hard labor for getting people to sing what is essentially a copy of the Declaration of Independence. The Democrats and many Republicans think this is all Dandy and want to do more of it. The Tea Partiers are obnoxious and ignorant. They are also RIGHT!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by charlie finch — February 25, 2010 @ 11:11 am | Reply


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