Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Begging your pardon Mr. Ford
Ford was President when I was a kid, so my interest in politics was nil at the time. I remember my dad (an Assemblies of God minister) announcing at the beginning of a church service we normally held on Wednesdays that the evenings service would be interupted so that we could watch the announcement of Nixon that he was resigning. Obviously this was very important to the adults, but as far as I was concerned the big event was not having to sit for the normal amount of time during that meeting!
I don't recall anything Ford did that I was personally aware of during his Presidency. I don't even recall the controversy over the Nixon pardon. My earliest interest in politics came during the Ford/Carter election when my middle school held a mock election and I voted for Carter, because my parents liked him.
Once I became cognizant of politics, (starting in the mid 80's) whenever I considered Ford I thought of him as a moderate, kindly, affable character. I couldn't imagine Ford running an Atwater/Rovian campaign, which came into vogue in Republican circles with the Nixon dirtiness. On a personal level I'm certain Ford would make for interesting conversation over a drink, and we could even invite Shrub along to make for a rolicking good time.
Having said all that, the true intention of this post is to express my belief that Ford's pardon of Nixon, while intended to heal the nation, has lead to further insults upon our constitution by the very same political faction who needed to be taught a lesson about the rule of law in the mid 70's. Republican criminality lead to the Iran Contra scandal of the mid 80's, and to the current state of affairs with a President who doesn't seem to recognize his limitations under our constitution. The example provided by Ford was not one that called future administrations to respect the law.
I am convinced that if Nixon had been called to account for his nefarious activities that future Presidents would have considered that legacy when deciding whether or not shady conduct would be acceptable. I am also convinced that Ford set a lousy precedent which made it easier for Bush 1 to pardon people like Cap Weinberger for their involvement with Iran/Contra.
Maybe the Nixon pardon was the easy way out at the time, but what began as the easy way has morphed into a slippery slope of administrations who thumb their nose at the constitution with seeming impunity. Particularly the faction in control of the executive branch at this time. Many of the same characters who ran the Nixon Whitehouse and even more convicted of felonious conduct in Iran Contra are currently in power. Looking at the pardon in that light, we may consider that Ford was actually selfish. He took the easy way out to the detriment of future generations of Americans.
today, however, we must not allow it to happen again... however and whenever bush's house of cards topples, as it inevitably will, there must be full accountability... our future depends on it...
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