Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Taylor Marsh On The Biggest Ford Legacy

Gerald R. Ford was the 38th President of the United States for a little over two years and, while much will be made today of the dignity and healing he's said to have brought to the country after the Watergate scandal, Taylor Marsh weighs in with another view on Ford's largest historical impact.

"Many remember former President Gerald R. Ford very fondly," writes Taylor. "I have only one memory, which colors all others. He is the man who pardoned Richard M. Nixon, and sent this country down a path of denial, obfuscation and political fantasy."

"Nixon's pardon was supposed to be for the good of the country. I can tell you, after watching every second of the Watergate hearings, I surely didn't feel like it did anyone any good, except of course the politicians who cover for one another and try to keep reality from We the People."

Taylor makes the case that we're still paying the price for the Ford administration today, in George W. Bush as a president who believes he is above the law and just a sliver away from legitimately being America's version of a dictator.
"The full impeachment and removal of Richard M. Nixon might have healed this country, not just put a political bandage on the disgrace that was his presidency. Instead, all Mr. Ford's pardon did was prove to men coming up next, like Mr. Reagan and Mr. Bush, that the president is above the law and in an orbit all his own.

"We'll never know what might have been, but former President Ford made a decision that taught a generation something antithetical to the American way. He taught my generation and the ones before mine that if you were powerful enough you could get away with anything.
Further, she points out that our country still suffers from the hangover of allowing a criminal president to get away with his crimes, because Nixon's political offspring have been allowed to flourish for decades and continue to scar our nation to this day.
"To give you some perspective, the first vote I ever cast was for Richard M. Nixon. My political show begins with that vote. It's also the reason I can say, without apologizing, that I wanted President Nixon punished for what he did to this country, our soldiers and to the first generation of 18 year old voters, myself included, and why I will never forgive Gerald Ford's betrayal of my trust. That betrayal, which was built on Nixon's, haunts American politics to this day through the villains of Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld, regardless of his resignation. We still haven't cleansed ourselves of these ruthless, dishonest and anti-American, anti democratic brutes. Ford's pardon of Richard M. Nixon is the overriding reason why."
You can read the rest of this excellent post here.