About This Blog

I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:

· To post questions or comments;

· To follow up on class discussions;

· To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

Syllabus: https://gov124.blogspot.com/2021/01/cases-in-american-political-leadership.html

Statement on viewpoint diversity: https://heterodoxacademy.org/teaching-heterodoxy-syllabus-language/

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Border Closure? Nixon Did it First.

This Washington Post article provides an interesting comparison of President Trump’s threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border and Nixon’s 1969 Operation Intercept. Operation Intercept was a plan created in the fall of 1969, which intended to stop the influx of drugs - like marijuana and heroin - into the United States. However, the near shutdown of the border was really a publicity stunt, intending to prove that the new Nixon administration was serious about the war on crime and the anti-drug campaign. Although Nixon demonstrated how detrimental a border closure can be financially, President Trump has not withdrawn his threat. The decision would be act as a stunt to demonstrate that the president, in his own words, is “not playing games” when it comes to illegal immigration. According to his top aides, Trump is not bluffing this time. It will be fascinating to see if the president goes through with this dramatic order, and how the 2019 economic consequences will compare to 1969’s.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Cold War

What was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics?  (It included Russia, but the two things were not the same.)

Scary Nikita:




Whittaker Chambers on abandoning his life as a Soviet spy: "I wanted my wife to realize clearly one long-term penalty, for herself and for the children, of the step I was taking. I said: `You know, we are leaving the winning world for the losing world.' ... Almost nothing that I have observed, or that has happened to me since, has made me think that I was wrong about that forecast."

Nixon on ABM and SALT

They [the Soviets] deployed more than a hundred intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) while we deployed none; they added several nuclear missile-firing submarines to their Navy while we added none; and they deployed forty new ABMs around Moscow. We knew that even as the debate in Congress over an American ABM was raging, the Soviets had initiated work on more ICBMs and ABMs, as well as major new radar systems in conjunction with their deployment; they were also building additional submarine missiles. I felt that tactically we needed the ABM as a bargaining chip for negotiations with the Soviets: they already had an ABM system, so if we went into negotiations without one we might have to give up something else, perhaps something more vital. In that sense, we had to have it in order to be able to agree to forgo it. I tried to persuade Congress that what the ABM vote represented was really a philosophical turning point in America’s strategic credibility.

From the State Dept:
The administration ultimately won the ABM battle. Congress did not actually pass the bill authorizing spending on defense projects, including the ABM, until November 9. But the Senate effectively approved Safeguard on August 6 [1969], when, by votes of 51–49 and 50–50, it defeated amendments that, if adopted, would have prohibited all funding for the system’s deployment. Vice President Agnew cast the tie-breaking ballot in the latter vote. The next day Nixon wrote a memorandum in which he directed Kissinger, Ehrlichman, and H.R. Haldeman to get “out the true story,” which was that the ABM victory was a result and reflection of the “Nixon Style.” The President urged them to “point out that RN made the decision to tackle ABM head on against the advice of most of his major advisers, including particularly the State Department.”
In his memoirs, Nixon concluded, “I am absolutely convinced that had we lost the ABM battle in the Senate, we would not have been able to negotiate the first nuclear arms control agreement in Moscow in 1972.” (Nixon, RN, page 418)

Kissinger and Brezhnev (Hoff 184)

Dictator Humor:

Soviet Jews:  take your pick on which is the real Nixon

RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, page 876:

I have never had any illusions about the brutally repressive nature of Soviet society.  But I knew that the more public pressure we placed on Soviet leaders, the more intransigent they would become…. I felt that we could accomplish a great deal more on the Jewish emigration issue when we were talking with the Soviets than when we were not.  Although we did not publicly challenge the Soviet contention that these questions involved Soviet internal affairs, both Kissinger and I raised them privately with Brezhnev, Gromyko, and Dobrynin. This approach brought results…. [T]he statistics are proof of undeniable success: from 1968 to 1971 only 15,000 Jews were allowed to emigrate.  In 1972 alone, however, the number jumped to 31,400.  In 1973, the last full year of my presidency, nearly 35,000 were permitted to leave.
One of the emigrants was a young Felix Sater

One of the many "Holy Crap!" moments of the Nixon years:

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Nixon: Foreign Policy Overview

"Nixon had promised as a presidential candidate in 1968 that he had a secret plan to end the war" (Schoen, p. 59).  WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nixon and Foreign Policy

In Foreign Affairs (Schoen 67; reread Matthews 256-257), Nixon deliberately sends a signal to Beijing:
Taking the long view, we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates and threaten its neighbors. There is no place on this small planet for a billion of its potentially most able people to live in angry isolation. But we could go disastrously wrong if, in pursuing this long- range goal, we failed in the short range to read the lessons of history.
Nixon (From In The Arena):

  • "In competing with Moscow, we will at times find it necessary to cooperate with allies and friends who do not live up to our democratic standards."
  • "Geopolitically, we should base our policies toward a country primarily on what its government does outside, not inside its borders."


13 kb

Secrecy and the Pentagon Papers

Richard Nixon remembers the Pentagon Papers from UVA's Miller Center on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Ping Pong Diplomacy and Watergate Scandal in Forrest Gump

Before spring break, we discussed Nixon's portrayal in the media and the mention of ping pong diplomacy in the Schoen reading reminded me of this scene in Forrest Gump. There are a lot of great connections to the material we've looked at in class throughout the film but I really enjoyed these two clips of ping pong diplomacy and Forrest's connection to Watergate.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Trump v. Nixon?

I came across this video on the problems that arise from comparing Trump's scandals to Watergate, and why it can sometimes be inaccurate and unproductive to draw these parallels.

One the biggest differences that the video claims distinguishes the two scandals is the media landscapes that surrounded each administration. Before the advent of blogs, push notifications, and Twitter, most Americans received what were essentially the "same news". This draws contrast to today's specialized news channels each designed to appeal to certain political orientations, which in turn present information in a way that will appeal to their viewers. The video notably draws on the rise of Fox News as a tenet of the Trump administration and its ensuing policy priorities – and the ways in which the rise of this specialized right-wing media has transformed American politics.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Hipster Day: Nixon on a Basic Income and Health

Progress Against Poverty Stalled as the War on Poverty Started

Backstory:  The Moynihan Report


The Welfare Shift

For 2018

  • Defense:  15.4%
  • Human Resources: 70.7%
Coda: Nonmarital births

Gary L. Freed, Anup Das, "Nixon or Obama: Who Is the Real Radical Liberal on Health Care?" Pediatrics 136 (August 2015)

Nixon National Health Strategy 19714ACA 20103,6
National Health Insurance PartnershipEmployer-Shared Responsibility
(1) Require employers to provide basic health insurance coverage for their employees, with the minimum requirement being to pay for hospital services, inpatient and outpatient physician services, full maternity care, well-infant care, immunizations, laboratory services, certain other medical expenses, and minimum of $50 000 in catastrophic coverage(1) Employers with at least 50 full-time employees must offer health coverage that is affordable and provides a minimum level of benefits to at least 95% of their employees and dependents. None of their employees can receive a premium tax credit to help pay for coverage on a marketplace; if so, the employer must make a shared responsibility payment
(2) The costs for this would be shared by employers and employees, with a 35% ceiling on employee contribution for the first 2.5 years, and 25% after that(2) Affordable coverage is defined as ≤9.5% of an employee’s annual household income
(3) Keep the range within which benefits can vary narrower than it has been, so competition between insurance companies will be more likely to compete on overall price of contracts(3) A plan provides the minimum level of coverage if it covers at least 60% of the total allowed cost of benefits
(4) Small employers are exempt from the coverage requirement and allow them to purchase insurance through the small business health options program
(4) Require the establishment of special insurance pools in each state that would offer insurance at reasonable group rates to people who did not qualify for other programs: the self-employed or poor-risk individuals
(5) Small employers with up to 25 employees and average annual wages less than $50 000 are eligible to receive a tax credit
MedicaidMedicaid Expansion
(1) Implement the Family Health Insurance Plan to meet the needs of poor families by eliminating the part of Medicaid that covers most welfare families. In its place, develop a new insurance plan that is fully financed and administered by the federal government. This federal health insurance plan would provide insurance to all poor families with children headed by self-employed or unemployed persons whose income is below a certain level. As family income increases, the cost-sharing would increase through a graduated schedule of premium charges, deductibles, and coinsurance payments(1) Provide funding to states to expand their Medicaid programs to cover non–Medicare-eligible individuals younger than 65 with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty line
(2) Guarantee all newly eligible individuals a benchmark insurance package that includes the minimum benefits for plans in the marketplace
(3) Finance the coverage for the newly eligible with federal dollars until 2016, and then gradually decrease the federal contribution to 90% by 2020
(4) Increase Medicaid payments in fee for service and managed care for primary care services to 100% of Medicare payment rates
Nixon Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan 19745
Employee Health Insurance
(1) Require all employers to offer all full-time employees health insurance, with employee contribution at 35% for 3 years, and then 25% subsequently
(2) Use federal subsidies to ease initial burden on employers
(3) Specific deductible, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket limits under this insurance plan
Assisted Health Insurance
(1) Replace state-run Medicaid by implementing a federally administered insurance plan to cover anyone not offered coverage under the Employee Health Insurance or Medicare
(2) Individuals could also get this if they cannot get coverage at reasonable rates from other options

US inflation rate

Wage-Price Controls (Schoen 45-47):  A Rare Admission of Error
What did America reap from its brief fling with economic controls?  The August 15, 1971 decision to impose them was politically necessary and immensely popular in the short run.  But in the long run I believe that it was wrong.  The piper must always be paid, and there was an unquestionably high price for tampering with the orthodox economic mechanisms.

Research Paper

In this assignment, you will write a research paper on any Nixon-related topic of your choice.  Here are some options, but you are free to choose another, as long as it is Nixon-centric.  During the two weeks of April, you will each make a 5-minute Power-Point-free class presentation on your topic.  (You may post graphs or video clips on the class blog.)

  • Analyze a depiction of Nixon in a movie, novel, play, or TV show. What is the literary or political purpose of the portrayal?  Is it accurate, or at least true to Nixon's character?
  • Explain a major Nixon decision in foreign policy or national security.  What military, diplomatic and political considerations went into his choice?   And what do we know now that was not public knowledge at the time?
  • Choose any major figure in Nixon's life (not counting anyone you may have written about in the second assignment).  How did this person  influence Nixon's life and career?  Did this person serve as friend, foe, mentor, foil, punching bag -- or some combination thereof?  What did Nixon gain or lose as a result of the relationship?  In your answer, consider the historical circumstances that allowed this person to have this influence. 


Document your claims. Do not write from the top of your head.
  • Essays should be typed (12-point), double-spaced, and no more than eight pages long. I will not read past the eighth page. As always, please submit papers to the Sakai dropbox as Word documents, not pdfs.
  • Cite your sources with endnotes in Chicago/Turabian style. Endnote pages do not count against the page limit.
  • Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you.
  • Due date is 11:59 PM on April 12. Papers will drop a gradepoint for one day's lateness, a full letter grade after that.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Schizoid Day: Nixon, Race, and Civil Rights

Nixon and the Supreme Court (Schoen 33-36):

William H. RehnquistHarlanOct 22, 197168-26  No.  450CDec 10, 1971
Lewis F. Powell, Jr.BlackOct 22, 197189-1  No.  439CDec 6, 1971
Harry BlackmunFortasApr 15, 197094-0  No.  143CMay 12, 1970
G. Harrold CarswellFortasJan 19, 197045-51  No.  122RApr 8, 1970
Clement Haynsworth, Jr.FortasAug 21, 196945-55  No.  154RNov 21, 1969
Warren Burger3WarrenMay 23, 196974-3  No.  35CJun 9, 1969

In 1971 a corporate lawyer writes a memo to his friend, the head of the US Chamber of Commerce, calling for a conservative counter-establishment.
American business and the enterprise system have been affected as much by the courts as by the executive and legislative branches of government. Under our constitutional system, especially with an activist-minded Supreme Court, the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic and political change.
Other organizations and groups, recognizing this, have been far more astute in exploiting judicial action than American business. Perhaps the most active exploiters of the judicial system have been groups ranging in political orientation from “liberal” to the far left.
The American Civil Liberties Union is one example. It initiates or intervenes in scores of cases each year, and it files briefs amicus curiae in the Supreme Court in a number of cases during each term of that court. Labor unions, civil rights groups and now the public interest law firms are extremely active in the judicial arena. Their success, often at business’ expense, has not been inconsequential.
This is a vast area of opportunity for the Chamber, if it is willing to undertake the role of spokesman for American business and if, in turn, business is willing to provide the funds.
As with respect to scholars and speakers, the Chamber would need a highly competent staff of lawyers. In special situations it should be authorized to engage, to appear as counsel amicus in the Supreme Court, lawyers of national standing and reputation. The greatest care should be exercised in selecting the cases in which to participate, or the suits to institute. But the opportunity merits the necessary effort.

But, but, but.... "You will be better advised to watch what we do instead of what we say"  -- John N. Mitchell (Schoen p. 26)

Nixon desegregates schools

Affirmative Action:  EO 11478

Shelby Steele (CMC P `96!) interviews George Shultz:

And for a "Holy Crap!" moment, read the 1972 GOP platform plank on equal rights for women:

In addition we have:
Required all firms doing business with the Government to have affirmative action plans for the hiring and promotion of women;
Requested Congress to expand the jurisdiction of the Commission on Civil Rights to cover sex discrimination;
Recommended and supported passage of Title IX of the Higher Education Act opposing discrimination against women in educational institutions;
Supported the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 giving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforcement power in sex discrimination cases;
Continued our support of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, our Party being the first national party to back this Amendment.
Other factors beyond outright employer discrimination—the lack of child care facilities, for example—can limit job opportunities for women. For lower and middle income families, the President supported and signed into law a new tax provision which makes many child care expenses deductible for working parents. Part of the President's recent welfare reform proposal would provide comprehensive day care services so that women on welfare can work.
To continue progress for women's rights, we will work toward:
Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment; Appointment of women to highest level positions in the Federal Government, including the Cabinet and Supreme Court;
Equal pay for equal work;
Elimination of discrimination against women at all levels in Federal Government;
Elimination of discrimination against women in the criminal justice system, in sentencing, rehabilitation and prison facilities;
Increased opportunities for the part time employment of women, and expanded training programs for women who want to reenter the labor force;
Elimination of economic discrimination against women in credit, mortgage, insurance, property, rental and finance contracts.
We pledge vigorous enforcement of all Federal statutes and executive orders barring job discrimination on the basis of sex.

RN and DJT

From CNN:
Programming note: CNN Original Series “Tricky Dick” explores Richard Nixon’s political rise and fall, with never-before-seen footage, starting Sunday, March 17, at 9p ET/PT.
Washington (CNN) -- President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about the Russia investigation might seem unprecedented, including his blistering attacks on investigators and pushback against the press. But history presents another strong example. More than 40 years ago, President Richard Nixon grappled with Watergate and hit many of the same points as the scandal unfolded.
In both cases, the President and his White House were enveloped by a sprawling Justice Department investigation. Both times, this led to the departure of senior officials, a slew of criminal charges against people close to the President, and allegations of a cover-up. Nixon and Trump both relished opportunities to proclaim their innocence and go after their opponents.
There are parallels, but there are also some differences. Watergate forced Nixon from office in August 1974 after Republicans in Congress withdrew their support. Trump has maintained the backing of GOP lawmakers and voters alike. Indeed, many Trump supporters have embraced his narrative that he is the victim of a “witch hunt” and the investigation itself is the problem.
As special counsel Robert Mueller nears the end of his investigation and Democrats on Capitol Hill ramp up their own probes, here are a dozen ways Nixon and Trump struck similar tones.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Harvard's Vietnam Protests in 1969


Lessons from the Judiciary Committee of 1974

My friend Lloyd Green writes at The Daily Beast, explaining what House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) can learn from his predecessor, Peter Rodino (D-NJ):
Like the Judiciary Committee’s present document demands, Nixon’s impeachment appeared hyper-partisan as well early on. In 1972, Nixon had scored reelection in a landslide. The most persistent calls for impeachment originated from the American Civil Liberties Union and Democratic firebrands like Robert Drinan, a pro-choice Jesuit priest who taught law at Georgetown, and Elizabeth Holtzman, a freshman congresswoman who represented a neighborhood in Brooklyn that adjoins Nadler’s present district. As Tip O’Neill, the former House Speaker and another Irish pol, reminisced, “Morally, Drinan had a good case. But politically, he damn near blew it.”
Like Nadler, Rodino did not kick off his quest with a wealth of bipartisan support. Rather, a straight party-line vote defined the scope of the committee’s initial subpoena power. Yet Rodino early took steps that made bipartisan impeachment potentially attainable, and helped the country get behind the committee’s work.
For starters, Rodino did not task the impeachment investigation to the committee’s usual attorneys. Instead, he tapped John Doar as lead lawyer. Doar was a Republican and civil rights advocate who had served in both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. In turn, Doar worked seamlessly with Albert Jenner, the Republicans’ counsel of choice, a name partner at a still-prominent Chicago law firm.
 On top of that, Rodino’s committee did the initial heavy lifting behind closed doors, with a committee staff including the likes of Hillary Rodham and William Weld. They gathered facts, and at the outset defined what actually constituted an impeachable offense. Unlike the Clinton impeachment, the committee did not reflexively embrace the judgment of an overtly partisan independent counsel, Ken Starr. They gave thought to the materials and information they released.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Setting and Character


The "Warmth" Memorandum (see also Matthews 282-283)

Nixon's self-awareness


"Kennedy's record in foreign policy, as Kissinger points out over and over again, was an utter disaster"

From the Senate Watergate Committee report (Matthews 280-281)
At about 1 a.m. on Saturday, July 19, 1969, Senator Edward Ken-nedy was involved in an automobile accident at Chappaquiddick, Mass. Later that morning, as news reports of the accident reached the public, Caulfield was directed by Ehrlichman to send Ulasewicz to the scene of the accident as soon as possible. Ulasewicz flew to Boston on the Eastern Airlines shuttle on July 19 and rented a car for the trip to Martha’s Vineyard and Chappaquiddick. Ulasewicz spent 4 days in the area on this first visit and reported back continually to Jack Caulfield in the White House, who passed the information on to Ehrlichman and others as it developed. Ulasewicz spent a good portion of the remaining summer and much of the fall of 1969 at Chappaquiddick trying to dig up politically valuable information from Senator Kennedy’s accident.

Start around 36:00 (audio from 1972)


"I realize that we have an insurmountable wall of opposition and indifference in the media"

Nixon sics Agnew on the media (START AROUND 4:00)

Evan Thomas provides a flashback:
November 1950, when Rep. Richard Nixon, not yet 40 years old, was elected to the U.S. Senate from California, he received an invitation to a Georgetown dinner party. Every Sunday night, columnist Joe Alsop assembled some of his friends, usually high ranking officials at the CIA and State Department, with a few journalists and politicians thrown in, to dine and drink (copiously) at his house at 2720 Dumbarton Ave. Alsop and his pals wanted to take the measure of young Nixon, who was seen as a rising star in the Republican Party. Alsop’s weekly dinner, known in his circle as “the Sunday Night Supper,” was intimidating to Nixon. Alsop’s friends had gone to Harvard or Yale and carried themselves with assurance. Nixon and his wife, Pat, who had little experience in high society, were visibly uncomfortable as they arrived, recalled Tish Alsop, the wife of Joe’s brother and fellow columnist, Stewart Alsop. It did not help that Nixon’s host forgot his name and introduced him as “Russell Nixon.” At dinner, Ambassador Averell Harriman, a crusty old school diplomat who was slightly deaf, loudly announced, “I will not break bread with that man!”
Retribution against the media 

Wartime President

In Anaheim, RN reacts to the San Jose incident (Matthews 288-289):
And now, I turn to an event related to all this, that occurred in San Jose yesterday. You saw it on your television screens, an incident in which you saw 3,000 people inside listening to the speakers and 1,000 demonstrators outside, demonstrators who shouted epithets, but, in addition to that, who hurled bottles and rocks and bricks, broke windows, damaged the President's car, damaged the buses, injured some of the people in those buses.
It was a violent demonstration. And as that demonstration was concluded, there were those that were trying to indicate what it meant.
I want to give you tonight my judgement as to what that demonstration meant.
I say to you tonight, it is time to draw the line. I do not mean a party line. Because, when I speak of a line, I am referring not just to Republicans or Democrats, I am referring to a line between those who understand this problem and deal with it effectively and those who do not.
You recall what happened at the University of Wisconsin, where someone was killed in a lighted building. Listen to what the Wisconsin State Journal said in an editorial. "It isn't just the radicals that set the bomb in the lighted, occupied building who were guilty. The blood is on the hands of anyone who encouraged them, anyone who talked recklessly of revolution, anyone who has chided with mild disparagement the violence of extremism, while hinting that the cause was right all the time."

Everything Converges (start around 4:50)

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Quantifying the Impact of the Clean Air Act

Rachel asked a good question about the impact of the Clean Air Act.

Here are data confirming the answer I gave in class.

Statistic: Volume of sulfur dioxide emissions in the U.S. from 1970 to 2016 (in 1,000 tons) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista />

Find more statistics at Statista

Also from Statista:

Trump, Nixon and Antitrust

The Justice Department, meanwhile, went to court in an effort to stop A. T. & T.’s acquisition of Time Warner, which owns CNN. Time Warner saw the deal as essential to its survival at a time when the media business is increasingly dominated by giant competitors such as Google and Facebook. Murdoch understood this impulse: in 2014, 21st Century Fox had tried, unsuccessfully, to buy Time Warner. For him, opposing his rivals’ deal was a matter of shrewd business. Trump also opposed the deal, but many people suspected that his objection was a matter of petty retaliation against CNN. Although Presidents have traditionally avoided expressing opinions about legal matters pending before the judicial branch, Trump has bluntly criticized the plan. The day after the Justice Department filed suit to stop it, he declared the proposed merger “not good for the country.” Trump also claimed that he was “not going to get involved,” and the Justice Department has repeatedly assured the public that he hasn’t done so.
However, in the late summer of 2017, a few months before the Justice Department filed suit, Trump ordered Gary Cohn, then the director of the National Economic Council, to pressure the Justice Department to intervene. According to a well-informed source, Trump called Cohn into the Oval Office along with John Kelly, who had just become the chief of staff, and said in exasperation to Kelly, “I’ve been telling Cohn to get this lawsuit filed and nothing’s happened! I’ve mentioned it fifty times. And nothing’s happened. I want to make sure it’s filed. I want that deal blocked!
Richard G. Kleindienst, the former United States Attorney General, pleaded guilty today to a minor criminal offense growing from his testimony before the Senate in 1972 during an investigation of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation case.
Mr. Kleindienst, who was Acting Attorney General at the time, thus became the first Cabinet‐level officer to be convicted in matters related to the Watergate scandals. He is also the first former Attorney General ever to be convicted of misconduct perpetrated while serving in the office.
He appeared today before Chief Judge George L. Hart Jr. in United States District Court on a technical charge of refusing to testify before Congress.
Standing soldier‐straight before the bench, he listened as clerk read the charge in a criminal information filed against him by the Watergate special prosecutor, Leon Jawdrski. that, after calling him a vulgar name, had ordered him to drop any plans to appeal a key item in the antitrust case.
The White House later confirmed that such an order had been issued and Mr. Kleindienst confirmed it again today.
Washington Post, 12/1/97: 
The best way to intimidate the nation's three major television networks, President Richard M. Nixon concluded in 1971, was to keep the constant threat of an antitrust suit hanging over them. 
"If the threat of screwing them is going to help us more with their programming than doing it, then keep the threat," Nixon told a White House aide in a tape-recorded Oval Office conversation recently transcribed for the first time. "Don't screw them now. [Otherwise] they'll figure that we're done

Nixon in Power

Nixon on leaders

Nixon and Haldeman

 Pat Moynihan:

RN had a pretty darn good record on Native Americans.

RN and the Environment:

What triggered the movement?

Nixon policy

Sunday, March 3, 2019

John Dean on Michael Cohen

While my testimony was eventually corroborated by secret recordings of our conversations made by Mr. Nixon, before that it was other witnesses who made the difference. I was surprised by the number of people who surfaced to support my account. The same, I suspect, will happen for Michael Cohen. The Mafia’s code of omertà has no force in public service. I have heard no one other than Roger Stone say he will go to jail for Donald Trump.
Dean refers to the Cohen comment that Becky mentioned on Thursday:
He thanked the members, and again accepted responsibility for his bad behavior. He then told the legislators, “Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power, and this is why I agreed to appear before you today.” This was the most troubling — actually, chilling — thing he said in his five hours before the committee.
Since Mr. Cohen’s warning came in his closing words, there was no opportunity for committee members to ask follow-up questions. So I double-checked with his lawyer, Lanny Davis, if I had understood Mr. Cohen’s testimony correctly. Mr. Davis responded, “He was referring to Trump’s authoritarian mind-set, and lack of respect for democracy and democratic institutions.”
Indeed, what is most similar about my and Mr. Cohen’s testimony is that we both challenged authoritarian presidents of the United States by revealing their lies and abuses of power. Mr. Trump is the first authoritarian president since Mr. Nixon, and neither he nor his supporters will play fair. Mr. Cohen will be dealing with these people the rest of his life.
In fact, all Americans are affected by the growing authoritarianism that made Mr. Trump president. These people who facilitated his rise will remain long after Mr. Trump is gone. We need to pay more attention.