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/

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Nixon Forever

James Reston, Jr. at New York Times:
On July 30, 1974, nine days before President Richard Nixon resigned, the House Judiciary Committee added a third article to its impeachment charges against the president. The first two had dealt with obstruction of justice and abuse of power; Article III charged that Nixon had failed to comply with eight congressional subpoenas related to the Watergate investigation.
Now, with President Trump and William Barr, his attorney general, refusing to cooperate with congressional investigations, the Democrats in the House should take yet another lesson from Watergate. They are reportedly already preparing impeachment articles on obstruction of justice; they should add failure to comply with Congress to the list.
Schumer also mentioned Nixon this morning.

Roger Stone at The Spectator:
Image result for roger stone nixonIt’s well known that I have a tattoo of Nixon on my back. It’s not a political statement, but a daily reminder that in life, when you get knocked down, when you strive for something and you fail, when you are disappointed and discouraged, you have an obligation to get up off the canvas and get back in the fight. It’s about resilience and persistence.

‘Until one has been in the deepest valley, one cannot appreciate the majesty of the highest mountain top,’ Nixon said. ‘A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is only finished when he quits.’

After my release on bail, I flashed Nixon’s famous ‘V for Victory’ sign on the courtroom steps. Two years of fake news reports that I would be charged with Russian collusion, conspiracy and treason have neither destroyed my spirit, nor my resolve to fight for exoneration. Like Nixon, I am not a quitter. This November, I will fight for total exoneration in my trial. I am not guilty, and I intend to prove it.

Richard Wolffe at The Guardian:
Nixon was unlucky enough to be president at a time when Republicans and Democrats thought it was an impeachable matter to abuse power.
Reasonable people might disagree about what constitutes an abuse of power. But reasonable lawyers would all agree that a president suggesting, inferring or hinting at an investigation of someone like a political opponent would be just such an abuse of power.
That is, naturally, what Trump was suggesting in the days after Bill Barr covered up Trump’s Russia cover-up, with a simple letter that whitewashed all the dirt from the Mueller report. Trump said publicly that his opponents had done “very, very evil things” and “some treasonous things” that would be “looked at” to prevent them happening again.
This obviously should concern the Republicans who believed that Barack Obama’s attorney general was hopelessly compromised by a tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton, during the 2016 election. It should also concern the Republicans – yes, we’re looking at you Lindsey Graham, chair of the Senate judiciary committee.
It is not just scandal.

Nixon Goes to China

Vin Gupta and former Sen. Tom Daschle at NBC:
It is both the tragedy and irony of contemporary American politics that former President Barack Obama is impugned as a radical leftistfor reprising, in more moderate tones, the legislative health care legacy of a fiscal conservative, President Richard Nixon.

  • From In the Arena: "Politics is battle, and the best way to fire up your troops is to rally them against a visible opponent on the other side of the field.  If a loyal supporter will fight hard for you, he will fight twice as hard against your enemies.”
  • From the farewell to the WH staff:  "Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself."

Psalm 146:3-4

Do not put your trust in princes,
    in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
    on that very day their plans come to nothing.

Cautionary tales.  Life does not come with a soundtrack

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Shadow That Extends to this Day

Enter Clinton at 43:00


See, esp. 1:30

The citation on p. 212 of Schoen

Bush 43, second inaugural:" So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

Triangulation v. Base Politics

Polarization 1994-2017


Center for the National Interest

Josh Rogin at The Washington Post
For Dimitri Simes, the Mueller report is a vindication of himself and the Center for the National Interest, the small think tank that played an outsized role in influencing the Trump campaign’s foreign policy. But even though Simes, president and chief executive of the center, was cleared of wrongdoing, damage was done. Some inside his organization say Simes shares the blame — for overplaying the Washington influence-peddling game and cozying up to Team Trump.
As the Mueller report and various news reports have spelled out, Simes was engaging in activities that are both legal and widespread in Washington: back-channel communications with foreign officials, wielding influence on behalf of corporate interests and privately helping political campaigns while running a “nonpartisan” organization. However, those activities became a focus of federal and congressional investigations and tons of media scrutiny. Simes said he does not think he should be held responsible for any of it.

Simes emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1973 at age 24 in search of intellectual and political freedom, he said, after being twice expelled from college for protesting Russia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. He soon became an informal adviser to President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and a U.S. citizen. In 1994, when Nixon founded what was then called the Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom, he chose Simes to run it.
“He was not a great lover of think tanks,” Simes said of Nixon. “He knew I would not go with the flow.”
The center’s reserve fund, which had been almost $4 million in December 2017, was depleted to just $1.2 million by March of this year, according to internal documents I obtained. Simes told me that when the center split from the Richard Nixon Foundation in 2011, it received money that served as a rainy-day fund — and that this qualified as a rainy day.

Simes said the center’s magazine, the National Interest, is profitable and the think tank has a new high-six-figure donor, so it can survive and even thrive in its mission to promote a realist U.S. foreign policy approach.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

TSL covered Nixon's debate against Voorhis at Bridges

I was sharing my Nixon knowledge with my friends at TSL and realized we probably covered his debate against Jerry Voorhis in Big Bridges in 1946. So we looked through the old TSL archives and sure enough, we did cover it! Here's a preview and recap of the event, which more than 1,500 people  attended according to the article. Unfortunately, neither of the articles are very long or have quotes from either candidate or students. 

Watergate and Public Opinion

From Pew:

How Watergate Changed Public Opinion of Richard Nixon