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/

Saturday, February 27, 2021

The Fall 1968 Campaign on Video

Agnew




Nixon spot foreshadows future "decision" ads.









Wallace




Curtis LeMay (the model for the George C. Scott character in Dr. Strangelove) scares people away from Wallace (Nelson 206)




The Chennault Affair (Nelson 215-216)




Friday, February 26, 2021

Pueblo Update

 James Griffiths at CNN:

A US federal court has awarded $2.3 billion in damages to several crew members of the USS Pueblo and their surviving families, more than 50 years after North Korea seized the American naval vessel and took its crew hostage.
More than 100 crew members and their relatives filed a suit against North Korea in February 2018 in a federal court under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which allows victims to sue state sponsors of terrorism for torture, hostage-taking, personal injury or death.
The award is among the largest sums ever handed out in a state-sponsored terrorism case, the attorneys representing the plaintiffs said in a statement Thursday.
Mark Bravin, the lead attorneys for the victims, called the judgment a "tremendous result."

"I think all of the plaintiffs will be very, very happy," said Bravin, who started working on the case about six years ago."It has been a long process."
The plaintiffs were allowed to sue after former US President Donald Trump named North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism in 2017, reopening the window to litigation against Pyongyang under the 1976 Act. North Korea had been removed from the list in 2008 by then-President George W Bush.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

1968 on Video

 Tet


Nixon Acceptance (skim and sample)



Democratic convention: inside and outside

The Year 1968

For Tuesday, Matthews ch 20, Nelson ch. 6-7

Via Smithsonian: January-August 1968
  • January 17: In his State of the Union Address, LBJ says: "The number of South Vietnamese living in areas under Government protection tonight has grown by more than a million since January of last year."
  • January 23: North Korea seizes the USS Pueblo, claiming the surveillance ship strayed into its waters. One U.S. crewman is killed and 82 others are imprisoned; an 11-month standoff with the United States follows.
  • January 30: North Vietnamese communists launch the Tet Offensive. The assault contradicts the Johnson administration’s claims that the communist forces are weak and the U.S.-backed south is winning the war. Public opinion continues to turn against the war.
  • February 7: After a battle for the Vietnamese village of Ben Tre, an American officer tells Associated Press reporter Peter Arnett, "It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it."February 29: The report of the Kerner Commission, appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to examine the causes of race riots in American cities in previous years, declares the nation is..."moving toward two societies, one black, one white--separate and unequal." Nixon criticizes the commission for its "its tendency to lay the blame for the riots on everyone except the rioters." MOST AMERICANS AGREE WITH NIXON.  FEAR OF CRIME TOPS THE NATIONAL AGENDA.
  • March 5: The government of Czechoslovakia abolishes censorship, underscoring the expansion of freedom during the “Prague Spring” and angering its Communist overlords in the Soviet Union.
  • March 12: Nixon wins 78 percent of the vote in New Hampshire’s GOP primary. Eugene McCarthy, Minnesota’s antiwar senator, takes a shocking 42 percent of the Democratic vote.
  • March 16: New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy enters the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, saying McCarthy’s showing in New Hampshire “has proven how deep are the present divisions within our party and country.” It “is now unmistakably clear that we can change these disastrous, divisive policies only by changing the men who make them."
  • March 31: LBJ announces he is not running for re-election.
  • April 4: Martin Luther King Jr., in Memphis for the sanitation workers’ strike, is fatally shot on the April 4: balcony of the Lorraine Motel. Gunman James Earl Ray, a white supremacist, flees the country. Over the next week, riots in more than 100 cities nationwide leave 39 people dead, more than 2,600 injured and 21,000 arrested.
  • April 11: In the wake of Baltimore riots, Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew summons civil rights leaders...to attack them.
  • April 23: Students take over five buildings on Columbia University’s campus and briefly hold a dean hostage, calling for the university to cut its ties to military research. Before dawn on April 30 administrators call in the police, who respond with about 1,000 officers. More than 700 people are arrested, and 132 students, four faculty and 12 officers are injured. Protests are unpopular, especially among people who have not been to college (who account for most adults in 1968).
  • May 17: Nine antiwar activists -- including Father Daniel Berrigan and Father Philip Berrigan -- enter a Selective Service office in Catonsville, Maryland, remove nearly 400 files and burn them in the parking lot with homemade napalm. The example of the Catonsville Nine (later convicted of destruction of government property and sentenced to jail terms between 24 and 42 months) spurs some 300 similar raids on draft boards over the next four years.
  • June 4: Robert F. Kennedy, gaining momentum in his presidential campaign, wins the California primary—and is assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Gunman Sirhan Sirhan, a Jordanian citizen of Palestinian descent, is captured at the scene. Now 73, he is serving life in prison. No, Kennedy probably would not have won the nomination if he had lived.
  • August 5-8: Republican National Convention formally nominates Nixon for president.
  • August 20: The Soviet Union invades Czechoslovakia, halting the Prague Spring.
  • August 28: At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, police and Illinois National Guardsmen go on a rampage, clubbing and tear-gassing hundreds of antiwar demonstrators, news reporters and bystanders, with much of the violence broadcast on national TV. 
  • Roper sums up public opinion: "The country certainly appeared to sympathize with the police more than the protestors. In a Gallup poll, 56% approved of the police response to anti-war protestors and 31% did not. In a Harris survey, 66% agreed that Daley was right in the way he used police against the demonstrators, against only 20% who disagreed. Just 14% in the same poll agreed that protestors had had their rights to protest taken away; 66% who did not. "
  • The next day, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, perceived as the heir of Johnson’s war policies, wins the nomination, chooses Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine as his running mate.
Nixon Acceptance
  • Law, order and the Supreme Court: 
  • "Let us always respect, as I do, our courts and those who serve on them. But let us also recognize that some of our courts in their decisions have gone too far in weakening the peace forces as against the criminal forces in this country and we must act to restore that balance. Let those who have the responsibility to enforce our laws and our judges who have the responsibility to interpret them be dedicated to the great principles of civil rights. But let them also recognize that the first civil right of every American is to be free from domestic violence, and that right must be guaranteed in this country."
  • "Tonight I see the face of a child" 
  • Bill Gavin reflects on the speech

The Year 1968

 Via Smithsonian: January-August 1968

  • January 17:  In his State of the Union Address, LBJ says: "The number of South Vietnamese living in areas under Government protection tonight has grown by more than a million since January of last year."
  • January 23: North Korea seizes the USS Pueblo, claiming the surveillance ship strayed into its waters. One U.S. crewman is killed and 82 others are imprisoned; an 11-month standoff with the United States follows.
  • January 30: North Vietnamese communists launch the Tet Offensive. The assault contradicts the Johnson administration’s claims that the communist forces are weak and the U.S.-backed south is winning the war.  Public opinion continues to turn against the war.
  • February 7: After a battle for the Vietnamese village of Ben Tre, an American officer tells Associated Press reporter Peter Arnett, "It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it."
  • February 29: The report of the Kerner Commission, appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to examine the causes of race riots in American cities in previous years, declares the nation is..."moving toward two societies, one black, one white--seperate and unequal."   Nixon criticizes the commission for its "its tendency to lay the blame for the riots on everyone except the rioters."   MOST AMERICANS AGREE WITH NIXON. 
  • March 5: The government of Czechoslovakia abolishes censorship, underscoring the expansion of freedom during the “Prague Spring” and angering its Communist overlords in the Soviet Union.
  • March 12: Nixon wins 78 percent of the vote in New Hampshire’s GOP primary. Eugene McCarthy, Minnesota’s antiwar senator, takes a shocking 42 percent of the Democratic vote.
  • March 16: New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy enters the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, saying McCarthy’s showing in New Hampshire “has proven how deep are the present divisions within our party and country.” It “is now unmistakably clear that we can change these disastrous, divisive policies only by changing the men who make them."
  • March 31: LBJ announces he is not running for re-election.
  • April 4: Martin Luther King Jr., in Memphis for the sanitation workers’ strike, is fatally shot on the April 4: balcony of the Lorraine Motel. Gunman James Earl Ray, a white supremacist, flees the country. Over the next week, riots in more than 100 cities nationwide leave 39 people dead, more than 2,600 injured and 21,000 arrested.
  • April 11: In the wake of Baltimore riots, Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew summons civil rights leaders...to attack them.
  • April 23: Students take over five buildings on Columbia University’s campus and briefly hold a dean hostage, calling for the university to cut its ties to military research. Before dawn on April 30 administrators call in the police, who respond with about 1,000 officers. More than 700 people are arrested, and 132 students, four faculty and 12 officers are injured.  Protests are unpopular, especially among people who have not been to college (who account for most adults in 1968).
  • May 17: Nine antiwar activists -- including Father Daniel Berrigan and Father Philip Berrigan -- enter a Selective Service office in Catonsville, Maryland, remove nearly 400 files and burn them in the parking lot with homemade napalm. The example of the Catonsville Nine (later convicted of destruction of government property and sentenced to jail terms between 24 and 42 months) spurs some 300 similar raids on draft boards over the next four years.
  • June 4: Robert F. Kennedy, gaining momentum in his presidential campaign, wins the California primary—and is assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Gunman Sirhan Sirhan, a Jordanian citizen of Palestinian descent, is captured at the scene. Now 73, he is serving life in prison. No, Kennedy probably would not have won the nomination if he had lived.
  • August 5-8: Republican National Convention formally nominates Nixon for president.
  • August 20: The Soviet Union invades Czechoslovakia, halting the Prague Spring.
  • August 28: At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, police and Illinois National Guardsmen go on a rampage, clubbing and tear-gassing hundreds of antiwar demonstrators, news reporters and bystanders, with much of the violence broadcast on national TV. The next day, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, perceived as the heir of Johnson’s war policies, wins the nomination, chooses Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine as his running mate.
Nixon Acceptance

Second Assignment, Spring 2021

 Choose one:

  • Pick any member of the Nixon White House staff (e.g., Haldeman, Buchanan, Moynihan). Why did Nixon pick that person? What was his or her job? In the long run, did the relationship work to the benefit or detriment of either person?
  • Pick one of the major events of 1968 (e.g., Tet, the Vietnam peace talks, the MLK riots, the RFK assassination, the invasion of Czechoslovakia) and explain its impact on the campaign.
  • Compare and contrast the 1968 and 2020 elections.  In what ways did 1968 foreshadow the politics of 2020?  In what significant ways were the elections different?
  • Write on any relevant topic, subject to my approval.
    Sources may include:
    The specifications:
    • Essays should be typed (12-point), double-spaced, and no more than four pages long. I will not read past the fourth page.
    • Please submit all papers in this course as Word documents, not pdfs.
    • Cite your sources. Please use endnotes in the format of Chicago Manual of Style. Endnotes do not count against the page limit. Please do not use footnotes, which take up too much page space.
    • Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you. Return essays to the Sakai dropbox for this class by 11:59 PM, Friday, March 19. Papers will drop one gradepoint for one day’s lateness, a full letter grade after that.

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021

    LBJ's Downfall, Nixon's Comeback

    For Thursday, Nelson, ch. 5

    Vietnam, the draft, and inequality

    It doesn’t look good, Mr. President. It’s no different, you know, than what we’ve seen here and sensed here for some time. I think the odds are we can squeeze through between now and the next several weeks. But it certainly is a weak situation. I’m going to meet tomorrow at 11:00 with Dean Rusk and Mac [Bundy] and others to reappraise it and see what we think can be done, if anything. I really don’t think there’s much we can do in the next several weeks to change the outlook. But neither do I think it’s going to completely collapse in that period.
    Afterwards, though, after the election, we’ve got a real problem on our hands.
    In Asia we face an ambitious and aggressive China, but we have the will and we have the strength to help our Asian friends resist that ambition. Sometimes our folks get a little impatient. Sometimes they rattle their rockets some, and they bluff about their bombs. But we are not about to send American boys 9 or 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.

    From Baskir & Strauss, Chance and Circumstance (Vintage, 1978).



    Rise of counterculture.  Tom Wolfe:
    In 1968, in San Francisco, I came across a curious footnote to the psychedelic movement. At the HaightAshbury Free Clinic there were doctors who were treating diseases no living doctor had ever encountered before, diseases that had disappeared so long ago they had never even picked up Latin names, diseases such as the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush, the scroff, the rot. And how was it that they had now returned? It had to do with the fact that thousands of young men and women had migrated to San Francisco to live communally in what I think history will record as one of the most extraordinary religious experiments of all time.

    The hippies, as they became known, sought nothing less than to sweep aside all codes and restraints of the past and start out from zero

    Time, April 6, 1966: 


    Major Riots
    • 1966: Chicago, Illinois
    • 1967: Tampa, Florida ; Cincinnati, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia ; Newark, Plainfield, and New Brunswick, New Jersey; and Detroit, Michigan.
    • 1968: 110 U.S. cities on April 4, 1968, the night of the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968).

    Democrats:  note that the party does NOT yet choose most delegates in primaries.

    • RN expected to run against LBJ
    • Gene McCarthy
      • Unexpectedly strong vote in NH
      • Kennedy hates him
    • RFK 
      • Cesar Chavez
      • Note how late RFK got in:  MARCH 16
      • Blood feud with LBJ
    • HHH  -- choice of regulars and the D electorate

    Wallace as third-party
    Republicans
    • George Romney – brainwash
    • Rocky back and forth – does not ANNOUNCE until April 30!!
    • Reagan does not announce until just before convention
    • Nixon
      • Enters primaries
      • Courts Thurmond (Nelson, p. 119)
      • Reinvents himself for television
      • Largely avoid the press

    Monday, February 22, 2021

    Time-Machine to 1968

     The New York Times created this interactive article in 2018 chronicling the major events in 1968 with links back to their articles about them. 

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/15/us/1968-history.html 

    I'd definitely recommend checking it out to help create some additional context about the events we are reading about. 

    Sunday, February 21, 2021

    The Run-Up to the 1968 Election

     




    Tet and the New Hampshire Democratic primary:



    April 4, 1968, Indianapolis.  RFK tells an audience that an assassin has killed MLK.  It is a remarkable extemporaneous speech.



    No, Kennedy probably would not have won the nomination if he had lived.


    Wallace takes office, January 14, 1963.  Overt, straight-up, no-dog-whistle racism.




    Nelson 117-118:  RN learns about television

    From Joe McGinniss, The Selling of the President 1968 (paper ed. p. 101):

    "You know what I'd like?" Ailes said later. "As long as we've got this extra spot open.“A good, mean, Wallaceite cab driver. Wouldn't that be great? Some guy to sit there and say, Awright, mac, what about these n------?
    Here is an entire broadcast.  You do not have to watch the whole thing.  Just sample for a few minutes to get a sense of what political TV looked like back then.

     br

    Thursday, February 18, 2021

    Nixon in the Wilderness

    11/22/63

    • Conspiracy theory
    • Impact on elections

    RN: THE LAWYER-STATESMAN

    In 1963 the Nixons moved to New York, far from Nixon's political roots. The Nixon family even established itself in an apartment on Fifth Avenue in the same building as Nixon's old political nemesis, Nelson Rockefeller. The choice seemed a sign of both Nixon's new affluence and his banked fires. In honor of Nixon's arrival, my law firm renamed itself, becoming Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander. Nixon did his part for the firm, meeting with clients and discussing legal strategy. I even recruited him to make an argument to the Supreme Court, which he did with undisputed distinction.
    Nixon argues for Hill in Time v. Hill

    Victor Li:
    Nixon, made two oral arguments before the high court, which was headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren (pictured), a longtime political rival and personal enemy of Nixon’s. Ironically, Warren ended up voting for Nixon’s clients—albeit in a losing effort. Time (Life’s parent company) prevailed. To his chagrin, Warren would eventually deliver the oath of office to Nixon—months before retiring from the Supreme Court and handing a vacancy to his longtime nemesis.
    Abe Fortas also voted for RN's clients. Fortas was an LBJ crony whose nomination to be chief justice would be a significant episode in the politics of 1968.

    In Foreign Affairs (see 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.

    THE COMEBACK KID

    Garment recalls that RN was using the law firm as a political headquarters.
     If diversity was what he wanted, diversity was what he got. When it came to Nixon's speechwriters, his balancing act worked pretty well. One of the first staffers to join the group was Pat Buchanan, who arrived shortly after Nixon settled into the firm's offices at 20 Broad Street. Buchanan joined Rose Woods in the small office adjoining Nixon's and started to do all of the nascent campaign's routine political writing—letters, speeches, articles, memos to possible political allies. He was to become one-third of the presidential speechwriting team.
     Buchanan hailed from a Father Coughlin—style, America First family in Washington, D.C. He had been an editorial writer before joining the campaign and could talk about one subject while simultaneously writing about another, pausing in conversation only to rip pages of perfect copy out of his machine. He was quick-tempered and sometimes a bully but a cheerful and witty one.
    1964 CAMPAIGN


    VIETNAM

     
    Crime and Riots (Nelson 46-47)

    Image result for violent crime by year


    Image result for lyndon johnson approval rating


    “Before this convention we were Goldwater Republicans, Rockefeller Republicans, Scranton Republicans, Lodge Republicans, but now that this convention has met and made its decision, we are Republicans, period, working for Barry Goldwater…And to those few, if there are some, who say that they are going to sit it out or take a walk, or even go on a boat ride, I have an answer in the words of Barry Goldwater in 1960 – ‘Let’s grow up, Republicans, let’s go to work – and we shall win in November!”



    According to data from the University of Michigan's American National Election Studies, the GOP won an average of 30 percent of the black vote between 1948 and 1960.  From 1964 to  2012, the average was just 5.6 percent.



    Wilderness Years on Video

     NIXON COULD REALLY PLAY THE PIANO:




    In Foreign Affairs (see 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.



    RN:  THE COMEBACK KID

    Garment recalls that RN was using the law firm as a political headquarters.
     If diversity was what he wanted, diversity was what he got. When it came to Nixon's speechwriters, his balancing act worked pretty well. One of the first staffers to join the group was Pat Buchanan, who arrived shortly after Nixon settled into the firm's offices at 20 Broad Street. Buchanan joined Rose Woods in the small office adjoining Nixon's and started to do all of the nascent campaign's routine political writing—letters, speeches, articles, memos to possible political allies. He was to become one-third of the presidential speechwriting team.
     Buchanan hailed from a Father Coughlin—style, America First family in Washington, D.C. He had been an editorial writer before joining the campaign and could talk about one subject while simultaneously writing about another, pausing in conversation only to rip pages of perfect copy out of his machine. He was quick-tempered and sometimes a bully but a cheerful and witty one.

    1964:  Goldwater recites Harry Jaffa line while RN sits next to Barry, Jr.:



    Riots (Nelson 46-47)






    Tuesday, February 16, 2021

    Early 1960s

     For Thursday:

    • Matthews,  ch. 19
    • Nelson, ch. 2
    1960

    • Goldwater 1960: "Let's grow up, conservatives" 
    • What if: an interactive map
    • Popular vote was pretty close in most states
    • Nixon concedes:
      • In our campaigns, no matter how hard fought they may be, no matter how close the election may turn out to be, those who lose accept the verdict, and support those who win. And I would like to add that, having served now in Government for 14 years, a period which began in the House just 14 years ago, almost to the day, which continued with 2 years in the Senate and 8 years as Vice President, as I complete that 14-year period it is indeed a very great honor to me to extend to my colleagues in the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle who have been elected; to extend to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, who have been elected President and Vice President of the United States, my heartfelt best wishes, as all of you work in a cause that is bigger than any man’s ambition, greater than any party. It is the cause of freedom, of justice, and peace for all mankind.


    Image result for 1960 election by county


    Cuba and Cold War

    Kennedy Politics
    California
    Nixon’s opponent in the gubernatorial primary was Joseph Shell—a former USC football star, oil millionaire, and now the conservative minority leader in the California State Assembly. He had no chance of winning, but the third of the vote he would receive was a serious warning to someone of Nixon’s stature. The leading issue was She

     

    ll’s support by the ideologically extreme John Birch Society, whose founder, Robert Welch, had accused Eisenhower of being a “conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy.” Nixon repudiated Welch and the John Birch Society, as expected—but he also repudiated all candidates who would not repudiate the society, including two friends in Congress, John Rousselot and Edgar Hiestand, who represented heavily Republican districts—a move that further cut into his vote. (In his race for governor in 1966, Ronald Reagan would also oppose the John Birch Society, but—with more skill—he would tell other candidates they were on their own.) On one occasion Nixon was shaving just before we went out to dinner. He was in his office’s private bathroom, talking to me through the open door. “I could not look myself in the mirror if I support them,” he told me. I could see his image through the mirror and wondered for a moment if this was a set piece. No, he had no need to impress me. Nixon was reassuring Nixon. Even now I think it was the attack on Eisenhower that so bothered Nixon, though other politicians took it less seriously.

    Vietnam

    11/22/63
    • Conspiracy theory
    • Impact on elections
      • Presidential election
      • Senate race in Texas

    The Counting of the Electoral Votes, 1961

     

     


    On January 6, 1961, after the official counting of the electoral votes in a joint session of Congress, Vice President Richard Nixon announced the election of his 1960 opponent, John F. Kennedy.
    Mr. Speaker, since this is an unprecedented situation, I would like to ask permission to impose upon the time of the Members of this Congress to make a statement which in itself is somewhat unprecedented.

    I promise to be brief. I shall be guided by the 1-minute rule of the House rather than the unlimited time rule that prevails in the Senate.

    This is the first time in 100 years that a candidate for the Presidency announced the result of an election in which he was defeated and announced the victory of his opponent. I do not think we could have a more striking and eloquent example of the stability of our constitutional system and of the proud tradition. of the American people of developing, respecting, and honoring institutions of self-government.

    In our campaigns, no matter how hard fought they may be, no matter how close the election may turn out to be, those who lose accept the verdict, and support those who win. And I would like to add that, having served now in Government for 14 years, a period which began in the House just 14 years ago, almost to the day, which continued with 2 years in the Senate and 8 years as Vice President, as I complete that 14-year period it is indeed a very great honor to me to extend to my colleagues in the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle who have been elected; to extend to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, who have been elected President and Vice President of the United States, my heartfelt best wishes, as all of you work in a cause that is bigger than any man’s ambition, greater than any party. It is the cause of freedom, of justice, and peace for all mankind.

    It is in that spirit that I now declare that John F. Kennedy has been elected President of the United States, and Lyndon B. Johnson Vice President of the United States.

    Members of the Congress, the purpose for which the joint session of the two Houses of Congress has been called pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution 1, having been accomplished, the Chair declares the joint session dissolved.

    Thursday, February 11, 2021

    Nixon, A "Self-Confessed 'Paranoiac'"

    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/02/09/george-shultz-reagan-nixon-reputation-467804

    I've been meaning to post this POLITICO article about Nixon and George Shultz.  The article, titled "How George Shultz Escaped Two Scandal-Plagued Administrations Unscathed," reveals telling details about Nixon's White House.  Importantly, though, the article mentions Nixon's being a "self-confessed 'paranoiac'" and links a New York Times article from 1977 addressing that confession.  Nixon apparently once "defiantly" said that "'paranoia for peace isn't that bad.'"  His vindictive paranoia often manifested as covert intel-gathering missions about his enemies.  I wouldn't argue that paranoia is very presidential, but Nixon apparently thought otherwise (then again, this is a post-presidency confession).

    Thus far, Matthews hasn't used the word "paranoid" to describe Nixon once.  Nixon did call himself "wary," though, writing that "'I had the wisdom and wariness of someone who had been burned by the power of the Kennedys and their money...'" (quoted in Matthews).  I wonder, then, whether Nixon reverted to such paranoid intel-gathering tactics because he felt at a disadvantage financially, and those tactics stuck. 



    1960


    For Tuesday, Matthews 15-18, Nelson ch. 1.

    Debate transcripts here

    Cold War -- for Nixon, both asset (kitchen debate) and liability (U2) -- keep in mind for 1962 gov race.

     JFK v. Hoffa: "I’m not satisfied when I see men like Jimmy Hoffa – in charge of the largest union in the United States – still free.

    Teamsters backed Nixon in 1968.  Three years later, Nixon commuted Hoffa’s sentence.

    GOP Nomination & campaign

    • Rockefeller -- Compact of Fifth Avenue -- alienates the nascent right-wing
    • Henry Cabot Lodge -- foreign policy expert, reach to moderates.
    • Goldwater
    • Ike -- "If you give me a week..."
    • Nixon's acceptance speech:
      • "That is the great task of the next President of the United States and this will be a difficult task, difficult because at times our next President must tell the people not what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. Why, for example, it may be just as essential to the national interest to build a dam in India as in California."
      • Compare & contrast with 1968 speech
      • Why travel to 50 states?

    The Debates

    • First debate restricted to "internal" matters -- were they?
    • USSR -- obsession with US prestige and overestimates of Sov strength.
    • Nixon's reponse -- me-too and defensive.  WHY???
      • Defending Ike 
      • Lack of ideology
    • Who focused on party?  Look at party id data
    • Appearance

    Why did RN look so bad?
    Why did JFK look so good?

    Dogs that did not bark 
    • Crime
    • Abortion
    • Supreme Court

    The Cuba issue 

    Why did JFK win?
    Economy, time for a change

    But don't focus too much on makeup or commercials. Unemployment rate by month:

    Nov 1, 19606.10%
    Oct 1, 19606.10%
    Sep 1, 19605.50%
    Aug 1, 19605.60%
    Jul 1, 19605.50%
    Jun 1, 19605.40%
    May 1, 19605.10%
    Apr 1, 19605.20%
    Mar 1, 19605.40%
    Feb 1, 19604.80%

    JFK MLK, and the African American vote (see Matthews 120-121)




    1952
    1956
    1960
    1964
    1968
    White
    R
    57
    59
    51
    41
    47
    D
    43
    41
    49
    59
    38
    Nonwhite
    21
    39
    32
    6
    13
    D
    79
    61
    68
    94
    87



    Religion

             1956                     1960

          D            R            D            R

    Prot        37          63          38          62         

    Cath       51          49          78          22





    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.