Time Goes By

I was at the library today doing some work on my laptop and downloading a new version of Norton. The download was taking some time, so I looked over to the shelf to my left and saw the book Nixon, by Stephen Ambrose. I had scanned through this book several years ago, so my interest piqued I grabbed and opened it to a random page. This section caught my eye.

Ambrose was writing about the post-election blues Nixon was facing. Nixon faced problems not related to Watergate that vexed him. The Democrats controlled Congress so he knew he was in for a tough time. While Nixon had managed to place four men on the Supreme Court, a number of issues he felt strongly about such as Miranda v. Arizona (not overturned), prayer in schools (not reinstated), banning of pornography (not banned), and the court’s refusal to allow prior censorship of the Pentagon Papers also had him in a funk. Additionally, the rights of welfare recipients was upheld.

All of this caused Nixon to quiver, especially with Watergate looming.

What I found especially interesting was this comment from Ambrose.

With regard to the fourth estate, Nixon had no cause for complaint. In the 1972 campaign, American newspapers had overwhelmingly endorsed him (753 newspapers endorsed Nixon, to 56 for McGovern). Both the press and the television news had given him magnificent coverage of his trips to Peking and Moscow. In addition, they had supported him on the opening to China, on detente, and on SALT. And they had cooperated in downplaying Watergate.

Yet, Nixon still accused the press of being too liberal and used choice phrases such as “cut them”, “hit them” and such, and instructed his minions to go after the press.

This reminds me, that as far as conservatives go, the more time goes by, the more things stay the same.


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2 thoughts on “Time Goes By

  1. RN was never able to forget the media coverage that he received during the Hiss period, and the 1962 CA gov. race. (etc.) Who can forget the famous line about not “not having Nixon to kick around anymore”. While he did have some favorbable press with detente and his opening to China as president there was always the ‘old days’ that he never was able to forget. In addition RN was convinced–rightly or wrongly–that the press was making a statement in their coverage of the Vietnam war, and thereby creating a climate where political unrest on campuses grew.

    There was always an ‘us vs. them’ bunker mentality that came with RN. It was frustrating on the policy level to move past, but that aspect to the man makes him fascinating to read and learn about.

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