July 18, 2007

Giuliani ≈ Nixon?

An iffy comparison, but try it on for size:
In his elections, Nixon appealed to conservatives and the country as a culture warrior who was not a moral or religious conservative. "Permissiveness," he told key aides, "is the key theme," and Nixon pressed that theme against hippie protesters, tenured radicals and liberals who bad-mouthed America. This kind of secular, tough-on-crime, tough-on-communism conservatism gathered a "silent majority" that loved Nixon for the enemies he made.

By this standard, Giuliani is a Nixon Republican. He is perhaps the most publicly secular major candidate of either party -- his conflicts with Roman Catholic teaching make him more reticent on religion than either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. But as a prosecutor and mayor of New York, he won conservative respect for making all the right enemies: the ACLU, advocates of blasphemous art, purveyors of racial politics, Islamist mass murderers, mob bosses and the New York Times editorial page.

41 comments:

B said...

. . . he won conservative respect for making all the right enemies: the ACLU, advocates of blasphemous art, purveyors of racial politics, Islamist mass murderers, mob bosses and the New York Times editorial page.

Hmmmm . . . the ACLU? It sometimes does actual good work, so . . . the ACLU really isn't anti-American.

Advocates of blasphemous art? "I know pornography when I see it . . ." Blasphemers will one day meet their maker, so, that's their problem.

But the rest of the list should be recognized as enemies of every American - the writer just got the order wrong.

Gahrie said...

People often overlook just how liberal Nixon was as president.

In foriegn policy, he believed in detente, which conservatives saw as appeasement. He also opened relations with communist China.

In domestic policy he created the EPA, DEA,and OSHA, and instituted federal affirmative action programs. He increased Social Security payments and indexed them to inflation.

desiderio said...

Eureka logre comprender estas opiniones, y la importancia que existan criticos de optros lugares, contra las mascaras en que se esconden los pillines.
Les felicito su claridad en su idioma. Yo apenas hilo el tema en su idioma, pero noto perfectamente su sentido moral.

mi blog: guionistadetakilleitor

ron st.amant said...

I'd agree, somewhat, with the comparisons as both were/are seen as primarily (pardon the pun, Fred Thompson) law and order candidates...

However, Nixon ran (in his victorious campaign) as someone who would end the war (something Giuliani hasn't said). Nixon also had anti-communist bona fides AND decades of foreign policy experience. There really isn't such a thing as having a Nixon-like track record on terrorists, nor does Giuliani have ANY foreign policy experience, certainly nowhere near the level of Nixon. Perhaps the fact that no one in the race, on either side that I can think of, has any experience on that level makes the point less dramatic? I'm not sure.

On a purely domestic policy basis I can see similarities, somewhat.

B said...

desiderio,

mi: 12 years of French, O of Spanish.

I believe that you are talking about the highly mascara-ed critics?

Eli Blake said...

I'm with B,

It's easy to tee off on the ACLU, and conservatives often do so almost without thinking about it any more, but let's face it:

The threats to and erosion of our Constitutional rights are all over and from many angles. If the ACLU wasn't keeping watch then who would be? Keep in mind that we live in a country where just in the past few years we've seen the authorization of secret tribunals with secret evidence, the indefinite detention without charge of a citizen, and the 'no-fly' list with no way to tell if you are on it, no way to get off of it and its misuse in order to restrict the travel of people for political rather than security reasons (i.e. the inclusion of Kerry campaign contributors and Senator Kennedy on the list).

And frankly, neither frontrunner in this campaign is any friend of your Constitutional rights, nor has any President since Carter been one. That's a quarter century of continuous and steady pressure against individual rights and freedoms.

Simon said...

Well, Nixon nominated William Rehnquist, so maybe there's something to be said for that. I seem to remember Ann indicating that she had concluded that Scalia isn't especially interested in federalism (a point I'm hard-pressed to refute), Alito -- who replaced O'Connor, who was interested in federalism, even if I didn't always agree with her approach to it -- has given us reason to think he may not be particularly interested in it (the blood-chilling citation to Garcia earlier this term), and I watched an ACS forum recently whereat someone - I think Dahlia Lithwick - said that Roberts would be very like Rehnquist except Roberts isn't really interested in federalism so much.

I find all this troubling. And it seems to me that of all the candidates, Guiliani -- the social liberal but legal conservative -- seems most likely to appoint judges who are interested in federalism, because he has more skin in that game than the other candidates. This is a half-formed germ of a thought, but if he compares to the President who nominated Rehnquist, perhaps we can hope that he would nominate a Justice who has similar interests, if only out of self-interest.

Revenant said...

The threats to and erosion of our Constitutional rights are all over and from many angles. If the ACLU wasn't keeping watch then who would be?

About three zillion other rights-advocacy groups that don't have the ACLU's political baggage -- many of which have much better judgment about which fights are worth picking.

It is far from obvious that having the ACLU on your side in an argument over your rights is a good thing for the rights in question. As an atheist I think an excellent case can be made that the ACLU's quixotic campaigns against the tiniest expressions of religious sentiment have the long-term effect of making BIG violations of church-state separation inevitable. Even if the majority is in the wrong (and I think that, as a point of first-amendment law they are), you can only offend the sensibilities of a supermajority of the population for so long before you get them riled up enough to force their will into law. Every time some jackass lawyer gets Christmas decorations banned from a town square I grit my teeth and wait for the backlash -- which is always worse than the oh-so-terrible sight of (gasp) a decorated pine tree and a neon cross.

Mike said...

No way, no how, was Richard Nixon a conservative.

No way, no how.

Gahrie said...

Eli Blake: The ACLU has only opposed three supreme Court nominations since it was formed. Care to guess who they were?

I'll break the suspense...Rehnquist, Bork and Alito.

While I wouldn't go so far as to call the ACLU anti-American, it was founded by socialists, anarchists and other radicals. It hasn't strayed far from its roots since.

Revenant said...

Oh, one other thing:

the 'no-fly' list with no way to tell if you are on it

Er, there's a very easy way to tell if you're on it: they don't let you fly. Ted Kennedy wasn't on the list -- the name "T. Kennedy" was, but as an alias for a different man. Kennedy had to demonstrate that he wasn't the man in question.

In any case, how is this an example of the ACLU doing good? All the ACLU has done about the no-fly list is collect $200,000 in attorney fees for a lawsuit they settled out of court. The list itself remains in effect, the means by which people end up on it remains unknown, and the contents of the list remain secret. I'm sure the ACLU lawyers in question are enjoying their new Porsche, but how does that help *us*?

Beth said...

They left out "9/11 first responders."

Sloanasaurus said...

Seems like a hit piece to me.

Maybe we can refer to Obama as a Huey Long Democrat.

EnigmatiCore said...

We're making progress when the leading Republican is compared to Nixon rather than to Hitler.

Get ready for Clinton/Obama against Giuliani/Thompson (or Thompson/Giuliani).

Edwards and Romney, the suddenly-I'm-more-progressive-than-anyone against the suddenly-I'm-the-true-conservative, can battle for best hair in a failed candidate.

EnigmatiCore said...

"the writer just got the order wrong."

Maybe the order is in increasing badness, rather than the opposite?

EnigmatiCore said...

Ann, if I can make a suggestion for your readers of an interesting subject, I present this article.

Love Justice Jill Parish's comment:

"The primary fail-safe against the absurd application of criminal law is the wise employment of prosecutorial discretion, a quality that is starkly absent in this case," Parrish wrote in a footnote."

We spend so much time focused in on the heads of the executive branch, maybe we should spend quite a bit more time considering the prosecutors. From the ones out in Utah, to Nifong, to many others, I wonder if we are doing ourselves any favors with our focus merely on 'the top'.

Synova said...

"We're making progress when the leading Republican is compared to Nixon rather than to Hitler."

(I just had to read that again.)

Cedarford said...

Adding to some of Nixon's other policies that were hardly conservative - but bold:

1. Unilaterally ending the arms race for bioweapons.
2. Unilaterally ending American use of chemical warfare agents.
3. Declaring the Federal Government would commit to a War on Cancer, horifying those who said the "genius of the market and private medical research was the only acceptable kind in a "free country". (Still a work in progress).
4. Creation of the Volunteer Military, ending the Draft.
5. Strong support for the Amendment for lowering the
voting age to 18.
6. Strong support for NASA's greatly expanding the unmanned space exploration program.
7. Rejecting all his advisors and deciding to confront the Soviets and bail out Israel in the 1973 War.
8. Managing to finesse the extraction of America from Vietnam in a way that did not give China or the Soviets a great victory.

His downside:

1. Personality disorders that eventually forced his resignation. He was unable to get past the hatred he had for his critics - many who were just as flawed in personality but were safe in the MSM - and who had been gunning for Nixon ever since he had helped end Soviet communist influence in critical US sectors. Commmunists who happened to be friends and relatives of NIxon's harshest critics.
2. Wage and price controls.
3. Affirmative Action.
4. Inability to form lasting relationships with elements of Congress that he should have, coupled with a secretive management style.

Giuliani can do a lot worse than being compared to being a Nixon Republican. And as far as faith goes - Nixon was just like all the rest of the Presidential Republican luminaries except Bush II. Personally, they were believers and Christians - Taft, Eisenhower, Goldwater, Reagan, Bush I, Dole - but didn't wear it on their sleeves or grovel to the Fundies like Bush II has. Not even Reagan. He pandered to the Religious Right, but he was never their bootlicker. They were just useful to him.

And Nixon? One of the smartest 4 Presidents along with Jefferson, Madison, and Bill Clinton. Genius and vision sadly misdone by his own flaws. He will be looked on as our Cromwell - a near-great leader, but for his demons. He rehab'd himself pretty well after resigning the Presidency as a prolific writer and advisor to various world leaders, generals, and all Presidents but Jimmy Carter before his death - and proof that the Commies the Left defended were in fact in bed with the Soviets helps.

It takes a Harding, Jimmy Carter, or Bush II to make you appreciate the competent ones like LBJ, Nixon, Bush I, Truman, and Clinton a little more.

Nixon will continue to rise in reputation. Already signs exist the demonization of the Dickster is fading when someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger running for Governor had the balls to explain to audiences he decided to be a Republican after watching Nixon - thinking what Nixon said he wanted to do and why made perfect sense to him. (And when more than a few leaders say Bush has made such a mess overseas that even Nixon would have a hard time fixing it if he was resurrected)

Bea Arthur said...

What's this in here? Spanish spam? It's called "chorizo." Great with eggs for breakfast if you want to wake up your taste buds and clog your arteries. Mayor Bloomberg would not approve. You'll have a heart attack and screw up the City ambulance budget.

Anyway, I love these hatchet jobs. "R. Milhous Giuliani." Newspaper to brain: Giuliani=Nixon. That's all you have to remember.

And who made Michael Gerson the Cardinal? He's going on about how the "nice" Catholic Church (not like the "evil" Catholic Church of child abuse and misogyny) has all these wonderful moral positions that Rudy walked away from. Rudy may not be the best Catholic. I'm not the best Jew. Who cares? God? Whoops! I should spell that "G-d" if I want to start being a good Jew.

And I don't know which is worse as far as your basic blow-dried Southern preacher in a brown polyester suit is concerned: Being a good Catholic, or not being one. "Behold the Man of Sin, Child, ye POPE," says one of those old Protestant primers. A bit like something Hamas puts out today talking about Israel. Anyway, I get the impression that that Rudy isn't going to be on his knees begging forgiveness any time soon. And I frankly think most people won't care.

Giuliani may be a Nixon Republican, but at least he's not a sweaty liar. Remember "Tricky Dick?" Remember, "Would you buy a used car from this man?" Guiliani has absolutely nothing in common with that sad sonofabitch, other than he's tough on crime and "secular."

You've got to hand it to him, though, Nixon knew a lot about crime, especially breaking-and-entering.

Nixon liked to pretend he was a hardass, cursing with the boys and talking tough. Giuliani really IS a hardass.

Now I'm not totally ga-ga over Rudy Giuliani. Despite being so tough and all, he can be a real needy guy sometimes. There also are a lot of things to complain about that are hard to follow for someone outside of NYC. Let's just say his welfare reforms, for example, were not greeted with total joy. And he sure knows how to spend money and sweep it under the rug.

If I had to elect a president for World War III, Rudy would be it. If I had to elect a president for "normal" times, it's Sen. Clinton. And if I had to elect the president from Hell, it would be anybody else.

Now, if someone would only tell me when WWIII starts.

Revenant said...

Declaring the Federal Government would commit to a War on Cancer, horifying those who said the "genius of the market and private medical research was the only acceptable kind in a "free country". (Still a work in progress).

To echo the local lefties, just how long does a war have to last before we admit that launching it was a bad idea?

The "war on cancer" is older than many of the people in this thread and has thus far yielded up no victories and no cure. We've spent a lot of tax dollars and gotten nothing back. Leaving it to the market would, in hindsight, have been the much more intelligent thing to do, since at least then the money being spent would have been being spent by willing volunteers rather than by the forcibly taxed.

Bruce Hayden said...

The ACLU then is not the ACLU now. I even belonged for awhile, until they started taking positions based on political correctness over civil liberties here in CO. David Bernstein in his book "You can't say that" has an interesting chapter on the group explaining that much of what appears schizoid about the group is really their decentralized nature. Thus, you can have one chapter pushing civil liberties and the one in the next state over picking their cases on the basis of liberal political correctness.

While the parallel was made between Giuliani and Nixon, the parallels should not be missed between Hillary and Nixon. Remember, Hillary helped bring Nixon down. But they share several traits, notably their paranoia and wiliness to destroy their opponents. Both have or had enemies lists and both seem willing to use the levers of government against them.

LoafingOaf said...

And Nixon? One of the smartest 4 Presidents along with Jefferson, Madison, and Bill Clinton.

If Clinton is so brilliant to be listed alongside Jefferson and Madison, why is it that - unlike those two - I can't think of anything brilliant or great that Clinton ever did, said, or wrote. He had 8 long years in the White House, years as an ex-prez, and a very long book, yet there's nothing brilliant to speak of whatsoever.

The reasons people think Clinton is brilliant is because he brown-nosed his way into a Rhodes scholarship, he's got political skills, and Democrats in the media constantly say they're in awe of him at cocktail parties.

No one is going to consider Clinton brilliant when the people who celebrity-worshipped him in his time are dead. Instead of studying any great acts he did in office, they'll study how he was dumb enough to get impeached, how Islamic Jihad grew to a major world threat to the free world on his watch, and why he had Albright remove UN peacekeepers from Rwanda right before one of the history's worst genocides.

Madison and Jefferson will still be studied as brilliant men, and influencing people - worldwide - 200 years from now, because they actually did, said and wrote brilliant things. That's how you know someone is brilliant, not because his shills and fans tell you you should just take their word for it.


He will be looked on as our Cromwell - a near-great leader, but for his demons.

I wasn't aware Nixon rehabbed himself. How does a war criminal and the most crooked president in history do that? Next are you gonna say Saddam Hussein wasn't so bad after all, and maybe Iraq would be better off if they had him back? (Actually, a lot of people do say that....)


He rehab'd himself pretty well after resigning the Presidency as a prolific writer and advisor to various world leaders, generals, and all Presidents but Jimmy Carter before his death


Since when has Jimmy Carter rehabbed himself? When he was kissing the butt of Castro? When he helped North Korea get nukes? When he wrote a book that became a fave of Islamo-fascist anti-semites?

Carter is doing as much to America and the free world as an ex-president as he did as president. Even Alan Dershowitz - a hardcore liberal Democrat who used to be Carter's friend and once campaigned for him - recently referred to Carter as "the Neville Chamberlain of today's war between tyrannical, terrorist regimes and democracies" on his blog, a condemnation that has the ring of truth to me.

Some of you admire presidents way too much. I wish I could. The only one from Nixon's time forward I admire is Ronald Reagan. He did some shady stunts himself, and his policies in the Middle East haunt us, but I feel very secure saying my country and the world are better off because he was president.

I cannot say that about Nixon, Carter, Ford, Clinton, or W. Bush. (I have some mild respect for Bush's father, but he messed up pretty big by not finishing Saddam off. And I used to admire his son's backbone, and I suppose the jury's still out on some of his acts, but backbone doesn't mean much when you're incompetent and surrounded by incompetents.)

Maybe we need to learn from our mistakes as voters and raise our standards, instead of "rehabbing" crappy presidents and feeling satisfied when we're comparing the new crop of candidates to them. America remains a great country because of our system (thank you Jefferson and Madison) and our people, and in spite of the long line of lousy presidents we've had in recent decades.

LoafingOaf said...

I meant: Carter is doing as much DAMAGE to America and the free world as an ex-president as he did as president.

hdhouse said...

why not. both are/were commited liars. past that, who cares.

Pogo said...

Gosh, if Giuliani ≈ Nixon?, there's just no way the hippies will vote for him now. So good one, WaPo! I guess that makes Hillary McGovern? Say, how did Nixon do against that McGovern guy anyway?

It's useless to make historical comparisons when the only real similarity seems to be a "tough-on-crime" attitude, and I don't see much alike here.

It would be like comparing Hillary to Carter because she's supposedly 'southern'.

More, Nixon was not secular. He once wrote to his parents, that "fundamental Quakers" had "ground into me...all the fundamental ideas in their strictest interpretation. The infallibility of the Bible, the miracles, even the whale story, all these I accepted as facts when I entered college four years ago."

The Friend's precepts helped form Nixon's vision of himself as the lonely, persecuted warrior surrounded by ruthless and evil enemies, and he had to be ruthless against them. More, his religious background propelled the sentinel event in Nixon's life, the Hiss case.

Giuliani has no such background.He and Nixon are Republicans. The comparison ends there.

P. Rich said...

At a sufficiently high level of abstraction, any two people can be made to appear similar. I agree with Sloanasaurus: a hit piece, intended to create a Giuliani:Nixon association in small minds. H R Clinton and Obama are relatively immune from this tactic, of course, because both are so obviously different.

Pogo said...

P.S. Every President from Wilson to FDR to Kennedy had committed the very same "crimes" and dirty tricks Nixon committed (including using the IRS to bully enemies, stealing documents, and illegally taping opponents).

It was only the MSM antipathy toward Nixon which provoked them to use this rather standard presidential modus operandi as a weapon, in their successful effort to overturn an election. The same MSM attacks were used against Bush, including using falsified stories, and to no small effect.

WaPo and NYT, the unelected deciders. And hdhouse, all Presidents are liars. Get over it.

hdhouse said...

Pogo said...
"It was only the MSM antipathy toward Nixon which provoked them to use this rather standard presidential modus operandi as a weapon, in their successful effort to overturn an election. The same MSM attacks were used against Bush, including using falsified stories, and to no small effect."

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, the end product of no moron left behind.

Tell me Pogo, can you read? do you have any idea of real history or do you just hope you get it right.

As said before, just when you think that the last bus has departed to Idiotville, up drives Pogo.

Pogo said...

I can always count on hdhouse for a well-thought-out and documented rebuttal to an argument.

The pattern?
Pogo: Argument
hdhouse: Idiot!

P.S. My source for that claim you quoted is Paul Johnson's A History of the American People, final chapter. It's one of the finest American history books ever written, I think.

Comrade X said...

Hillary is probably the most like Nixon. It's the paranoia & enemies lists, stupid.

We're making progress when the leading Republican is compared to Nixon rather than to Hitler.

If Hillary wins, the chickens will come home to roost on the last 6 years of Hitler blasts. There's already a HitleryClinton.com website.

Cedarford said...

Pogo's right. Historians accept that JFK, LBJ, and FDR did smarmier things in office than Nixon. Truman brushed over the red line now and then with cronyism. Reagan had Contragate, and "Clinton=sleaze if he thinks he can get away with it" was the watchphrase of those days.

The difference was that Leftist MSM and academia had taken on a mission to "payback" Nixon, McCarthy, and J. Edgar Hoover for persecuting their friends and relatives and the great causes of Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs and the Blacklisted Hollywood 10. That Nixon&Co. were right about those folks being Soviet assets never diminished the fury.

If voters are convinced Giuliani is Nixon in terms of genius and vision....then he just might get the vote of Middle America. Hmmmm, effective detente with the Islamoids, extraction from Iraq with honor, ME stability, a range of bold, innovative domestic programs with an 80% success rate?

Sounds good, a bargain. As long as it comes with an effective Rudy "sleaze and inner demons" watch.

*************
Loafing oaf - The inclusion of Nixon and Clinton in the list of the brightest few is from scholars that rated the quickness of mind, broadness of knowledge, vision of various Presidents. And those excluded from the top 4 or five can still be enormously intelligent - like Lincoln, Eisenhower, Hoover, Adams, and Wilson - but not quite at the level of the top tier.

Clinton is on the list because of his academic reputation, his broad knowledge, and effective vision..

Of the current candidates, Hillary and Romney are considered the smartest. By far. Whether that brightness translates into a substantial Presidency remains to be seen if either is elected.

peter hoh said...

Andrew Sullivan has been comparing Hillary to Nixon.

start here.

nick danger said...

hdhouse could be replaced by a tiny shell script.

B said...

I would just like to take a moment to say that I like much about Fred Thompson - his stated views are closer to mine than any other candidate at this point - but does anyone else question his "fire in the belly" for the job? I just have this unsettled feeling . . .

Richard Fagin said...

We really need to stop insulting Nixon's memory by having Hillary compared to him. Nixon just fired Elliott Richardson, not all 93 sitting U.S. Attorney's 'cuz his wife told him to. Kind of like asking Rush to stop using the word "feminazis" because REAL Nazis are truly insulted.

I am not aware of any plan by Giuliani to implement wage and price controls, either, if the comparison to Nixon were to continue.

Theo Boehm said...

Nick: That's a point I've tried to make about a lot of alleged people on the Internet, but, sadly, not many have seemed interested. I guess you have to be something of a propellerhead and/or an AI freak to be intrigued.

chickenlittle said...

peter hoh said:

"Andrew Sullivan has been comparing Hillary to Nixon."

He's been pumping Obama lately too (figuratively at least)

hdhouse said...

Yo Pogo:

Johnson's history books are to fact as My Pet Goat is to....gosh fill in the blank.

I don't do what you say. You wrote:

Pogo: Argument
hdhouse: Idiot!

Unfortunately the sequence is:

Pogo: Utter nonsense
hdhouse: laughter

Yes you are an idiot if you think Johnson passes for fact. You are so predictably silly as to make the gods weep in shame.

Pogo said...

Re; "Johnson's history books are to fact as..."

hdhouse is to empty rhetoric.
Fish. Barrel.


Really, house, is that meant to be some sort of criticism? Johnson has a massive output of well-researched history. His depth and breadth of knowledge, from literature to art to politics, is simply inspiring.

He exposes Howard Zinn's work as that of an irredeemable ideologue.

LoafingOaf said...

Clinton is on the list [of most brilliant presidents in American history] because of his academic reputation, his broad knowledge, and effective vision..

I wasn't aware there was an official list ranking the brilliance of presidents that we're all obligated to accept.

I understand Clinton has the reputation of being brilliant. I heard more than a few Democrat pundits feeling sorry for him that he wasn't president on 9/11 and thus denied the chance to combine his brilliance with "great events." (I guess they don't realize that if Clinton had still been president on 9/11 he'd have been run out of the White House in short order and Democrats might not have won another election for a generation.)

Reputations aren't always true. Until I see some examples of his brilliance in his actions, accomplishments, and words, I'm not gonna accept it. What vision are you talking about? Hiring pollsters to tell him what to believe? Come on, dude.

The only time I ever hear Clinton quoted is in mockery of his blatant B.S. when he's squirming on a hook. Being a top BSer is a form of intelligence, but is that all it takes to rank with Jefferson as "brilliant"?

Of the current candidates, Hillary and Romney are considered the smartest. By far.

Why?

I don't know most of the candidates too well yet, but if I went by speeches alone, Obama is the smartest Democrat and Giulliani the smartest Republican. But did they even write their speeches? Maybe they're just good at delivering them. I have no idea.

Hillary's book was garbage, btw. And as brilliant as she is, she needed three ghost-writers.

You guys are political junkies and you probably wanna believe some of these politicians of our era are brilliant people to justify your high interest in politicians. I don't think we get many (or any) brilliant people in national politics anymore. Brilliant Americans of our time are people like...well, Steve Jobs seems brilliant to me. Macintosh, IPod, vision, creativity, accomplishment, influence. Changed the world! To him I'm in awe.

Revenant said...

Of the current candidates, Hillary and Romney are considered the smartest. By far.

By who?