I can hear it now as he, Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th president of the United States of America, is turning over in his grave: “I want a do-over!”
If he were alive today, I bet this is what he would say about our current presidential situation:
“I cannot believe that I was forced out of office and this numb-nut (note to reader: numb-nut might not have actually used) is still president.
How can this be?
Yes, I famously said that ‘the American people have a right to know if their president is a crook,’ but I was not limiting that statement to just me. I meant it to apply to all presidents.
Granted I took advantage of the so-called ‘southern strategy’ which played on the racism of the bigoted southern white Democrats to lure them to the Republican party to win the 1968 presidential election, but at least I had to run against an even bigger racist, George Wallace. I wasn’t the poster boy for white supremacy as is the current president.
Yes, I was a racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynist, but at least I attempted to hide it behind closed doors and not demonstrate it in clear public view.
Those tapes, those damn tapes! Where is my Mitch McConnell when I needed him? Why was I stuck with Dirksen and Goldwater and their frickin’ integrity?
I should never have let them talk me into leaving the office to which the American people elected me in a real landslide in 1972, not an imaginary one like this numb-nut falsely claims.
The articles of impeachment drawn up against me included obstruction of justice, abuse of power and contempt of Congress. Have you read the Mueller report? What they had against me was a pittance compared to what POTUS Donald Trump has done, and I was forced out, and he remains in office. So unfair – oh, wait, I’m beginning to sound like him.
I have been lying here for some 25 years now, so I have had a lot of time to think. I have concluded that I made some horrible mistakes, many miscalculations and used some abysmal judgment.
I realize, for example, that I was wrong when I told television host David Frost that ‘if a president does it, it is not illegal.’ If a president does something illegal, it is still illegal because no one, not even the president, is above the law. My problem is why I paid such a hefty price, and this guy in the White House now is getting away scot-free with all that he has done?
Article I of the articles of impeachment against me was obstruction of justice.
The House Judiciary Committee stated that ‘On June 17, 1972, and prior to it, agents of the Committee for Re-election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C. to secure political intelligence.
‘Subsequent thereto Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through close subordinates and agents, in the course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to hide the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.’
According to the special counsel report, ‘Trump directed White House Counsel Don McGahn on several occasions to fire Special Counsel Bob Mueller and to use false conflicts of interest by Mueller as an excuse for such firing of the special counsel.
‘Further, when these actions came into public awareness, Trump then repeatedly called for McGahn to deny that these actions took place and even went so far as to tell McGahn to write a letter for the files falsely denying that McGahn had been directed by Trump to fire Mueller.’
So this is not obstructing justice to the same degree as was cited in my first article of impeachment? Really?
Also, according to the Mueller report, ‘Substantial evidence indicates that in repeatedly urging McGahn to dispute that he was ordered to have the special counsel terminated, the president acted to influence McGahn’s account to deflect or prevent scrutiny of the president’s conduct toward the investigation.’ That, of course, was exactly what I had hoped and expected to achieve if it weren’t for those damn tapes.
How about Article II, which was for abuse of power?
For that article the Judiciary Committee stated I ‘repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposes of these agencies.’
In the Mueller report, it states that ‘the president tried to influence the decisions of both Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort with regard to cooperating with investigators…including the dangling of pardons.’ The report also states that ‘the president repeatedly pressured then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse his legally-mandated decision to recuse himself from the investigation’ and for Sessions to limit the scope of the investigation to future elections. The special counsel concluded that these actions by Trump were intended to prevent further investigative scrutiny of the president’s and his campaign’s conduct.’ Sounds like a strong case for abuse of power; even stronger than the case against me if I say so myself and I just did.
The third article of impeachment against me was for contempt of Congress and stated that I ‘failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives on April 11, 1974, May 15, 1974, May 30, 1974, and June 24, 1974, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas.’ Now this one has got to sound familiar to you. This guy has just issued a blanket denial of all subpoenas from Congress. If he has not demonstrated a clear as day contempt of Congress, then my name is not Richard M. Nixon.”
There you have it, the very words of the former president straight from the beyond. Nixon wants a ‘do-over’ even if posthumous and some 45 years too late.