Obsessed with a Ghost
Here are a couple of quotes I’d like the reader to examine and consider:
"Never forget, the press is the enemy, the press is the enemy. The establishment is the enemy, the professors are the enemy, the professors are the enemy. Write that on a blackboard 100 times."
“You know goddammed well he was tapping his political enemies."
They certainly have a familiar ring, don’t they? In fact, if I didn’t know better, and if I hadn’t done my research, I’d guess those were a couple of new Tweets from our Entrepreneur-in-Chief. Of course they’re not. The first is from a Guardian story written in 2008 and the second is from an online publication named SFGate and was written by Christopher Matthews (yes, the Hardball guy) in 1997. Both stories were about tapes “just released” by the Nixon Presidential Library and the quotes date back to 1971. Both reflect Richard Nixon’s obsession with the Kennedys --- Jack & Bobby --- and his fear that Teddy might rise up to “steal” his 1972 re-election campaign. Forty-six years later we know how that story went --- Watergate break-in, Nixon re-elected in a landslide, the criminal President resigns. Nixon’s obsession with the Kennedy ghosts led to his unraveling --- to “fixing” the 1972 election and besmirching the office of the President of the United States. The parallels between Nixon’s paranoia about the Kennedys, as well as his illegal actions, raise a number of striking parallels to the current resident of Mar-a-Lago.
For whatever reason (and I won’t go down the “racist” rabbit hole) Donald Trump cannot stop obsessing about Barack Obama. First it was the birth certificate and now it’s wire-tapping. Taking a page from Nixon’s “Bobby Kennedy” playbook, the (so-called) President is insisting that his predecessor had him “bugged” during the election campaign of 2016. Without a shred of evidence, Trump and hand puppet Sean Spicer have even tried to implicate British intelligence in this bizarre accusation, creating a rift with our closest ally. Like Nixon, the man’s hubris is greater than any rationality he may have and he is incapable of ever admitting he is wrong or has made a mistake. In those Nixon tapes “we hear him railing against Kennedy's brother Robert, convinced that his phones had been bugged by the attorney general.” (SFGate) Nixon, of course, never had any evidence that RFK bugged him but, like Trump, he just knew it.
In the same fashion, the quote above about "the press" is almost a carbon copy of Trump’s hammering at the ”fake news” that is reported by credible newspapers every day. Remember, in 1962, after losing the Gubernatorial election in California (convinced the Kennedy’s had a hand in that, too), Nixon told the press “You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.” (BrainyQuote) Would that it had been true! Nixon, of course, resurrected his career in 1968 and defeated the hideously inept Hubert Humphrey by a narrow margin. Nonetheless, Nixon remained obsessed with Kennedys, just as Trump seems fixated on Obama.
And, since we’ve brought up Watergate and how that had to do with “fixing” an election --- let’s not forget that the 2016 election was also interfered with, and this time by a foreign power! Whether we get the real dirt as to whether there was any definite connection between Trump’s people and the Russians and/or Wikileaks, we should certainly be hoping the government’s investigative agencies and appropriate Congressional committees delve into Lt. General Michael Flynn’s activities, as well as Paul Manafort’s and other notable Trump associates. The actions of James Comey are difficult to understand, no matter how we scrutinize them, but he may well reveal some new nuggets in the coming weeks, too.
To complete the Nixon/Trump parallel, I’d like to offer a few more RMN quotes that seem particularly relevant at this time.
#1. Regarding Trump’s supporters, here’s what Tricky Dick said about his own:
It means something," he said, "to people who are concerned about repression and credibility and all that b- - - - - -! But the average guy is chewing his pretzel. He's interested in jobs. He's interested in war and peace and defense and patriotism, and that's about it." (bold emphasis, mine)
If you watched and listened to Trump at his Nashville rally this week (before releasing his draconian budget proposal) you saw Nixon’s words in action as our current demagogue threw red meat to his base.
#2. As regards the Donald’s disdain for the courts --- particularly in their knocking down his travel ban --- check out this Nixon quote:
Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the manner in which the president personally exercises his assigned executive powers is not subject to questioning by another branch of government.
Apparently that’s where Trump's bootlicking nebbish, Stephen Miller, got his notion that:
“We have a judiciary that has taken far too much power and become in many cases a supreme branch of government. Our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”
It’s a bit scary to consider, isn’t it? We have a President whose closest role model, as we look into it, seems to be the one known criminal to have sat in the Oval Office as President --- and he, too, did not believe the courts had power over him.
Finally, #3. It’s another $3 million dollars in taxpayer money being spent at Mar-a-Lago this weekend, where the man who criticized Obama for playing golf is, once again, at his resort. It’s too bad he isn’t like Nixon on this one --- the Trickster said:
“By the time you get dressed, drive out there, play 18 holes and come home, you've blown seven hours. There are better things you can do with your time.”
Maybe somebody can run that one out to our Golfer-in-Chief before his tee time in Florida.