Wednesday, December 27, 2006


History Forgives

By Maura Reynolds', staff writer at the L.A. Times, reckoning—and her remuneration is not doubted here—“History forgives pardon that overshadowed Ford.” She immediately improves upon this pompous nonsense by correcting that

Gerald R. Ford left office a defeated incumbent vilified for his pardon of President Nixon. But in hindsight, his short, tough presidency has been viewed kindly by historians.

Emphasis supplied. Which historians, is all too clear, given the present climate of Scholarly Apology that has sunk its teeth into academe following the ascent of the likewise dutifully hagiographied Ronald Reagan. Presumably, “History” also forgives the fact that this tenacious tendency never let go.

“[H]igh marks from presidential scholars” our Ford had earned,

And the pardon is now seen by many as a wise decision that helped the nation move beyond Watergate.

Either that or it was a deal.

Yet how lucky the people enjoying such “wise decision making” beyond the boundaries of its ill-considered consent!

Nixon, his time come, was positively demonized for his (relatively trivial) outrage; he had lied to the American People. He had lied, moreover, on TV; the American People were informed that they, by miscarriage of democracy, had been governed and represented by—yes, I’m afraid so, Virginia...

—Satan.

Yet the whole prissy affair was, it seems, quickly cleared up, once the foul-mouthed liar had been extricated from power. In other words, Gerald Ford’s “pardon”—a roundly anti-democratic move under the circumstances—was tantamount, or at least comparable to, Monty Python’s immortal phrase

“And now for something completely different....”

It is regrettable that Reynolds’ “historians” failed to formulate the question in the manner of the present commentator:

Who was Gerald R. Ford, an unelected official, someone who literally had had greatness thrust upon them on account of an “untested constitutional amendment,” to “pardon” any crime, however petty, within the domain of electoral politics?

And lo, the people were not stupid. They fully understood at the time that they had been Monty Pythoned, yet

In the end, historians say, the pardon helped the country recover from Watergate, but it cost Ford the presidency.

Emphasis supplied. I am reminded of my solicitations to my Congressional representative for impeachment of our present democratically elected leader on the grounds of lying on TV. He/she said: “I’ve already seen this country torn apart once by impeachment proceedings...,” at which point he/she appeared to swoon and faint, as if the sheer gore of Clinton’s indiscretion had been too much for him/her.

The message is clear:

Get over it, Freak-Nation! It’s over; he’s gone. Now, about that Suharto fellow....