April 19, 2011

What would the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing have been like if law professors were blogging back then?



And what about the Bork hearings? And Watergate?! (I assert that Nixon would not have resigned if blogging had been around.)

110 comments:

traditionalguy said...

We give up. Would Andrew Sullivan have been for or against Big Black Clarence from a one room shack with dirt floors in Pin Point, Georgia when he was accused of sexual innuendos made to that poor oppressed victim...little what's her name??

vbspurs said...

Nixon wouldn't have resigned with Fox News around. Of that I am sure.

Can you imagine blogging in the 70s? William F Buckley apopletic about John Chancellor's usage of "blue versus red States"? A Bloggingheads between Jack Germond and Charles Kuralt?

Blogging has come too late to the world.

Henry said...

Who cares about Bork. The real loss was not having Douglas Ginsberg on the Supreme Court.

* * *

Watergate is interesting. Would Mark W. Felt have leaked to a couple of Washington Post reporters if there were bloggers around? Maybe he would have. But maybe he would have leaked to blogging sites regarded as much more partisan and thus been ignored.

traditionalguy said...

Your point is what? That the internet prevents political Old Media from building an edifice of half truths? OK, so how long will Obama's and His Gang of 40 Thieves risk allowing the internet to remain free from their control?

Richard Dolan said...

Glenn R is a fan of counter-factual history, too. Whether the internet/blogging phenom would have changed the course of events if it had been around 40 years ago seems a bit doubtful. It's just a means of communicating, and offers a way for many more to participate in and influence the public conversation. It would certainly have increased the noise level and to the extent the public conversation then was dominated by a particular viewpoint, it would have made that kind of monopoly untenable. But a new way of communicating wouldn't have changed the facts, and spin can only get you so far even if it is repeated often and loudly.

Ann's comment that Watergate (or the borking of Bork) wouldn't have resulted in Nixon's resignation or (perhaps) Bork's rejection if internet/blogging had been around strikes me as a pretty pessimistic view -- to the effect that people are too dim to figure things out. At some point, substance also impacts the outcome of events. Nixon had to go once the cover-up unwound, and the Dems then in control of the Senate perceived Bork's view of the judicial role (correctly) as a threat to their desired outcomes of social-impact litigation. It's hard to see why a technology that radically opened up the public conversation would have changed any of that.

traditionalguy said...

What I want to see is the Watergate hearings and the Thomas hearings in an age of Andrew Breitbart and every one else shooting candid videos of politicos in action.

edutcher said...

Excellent point, Madame.

During the Bork hearings, Teddy Kennedy was free to prattle his "for shaaaame"s and what all without criticism or rebuttal because the Establishment Media had created a closed system.

Today, that kind of echo chamber is dying. The fact that there is a Tea Party is testament to that.

ricpic said...

How much can blogging achieve if the political backbone to stop, for example, "the fundamental transformation of America," is lacking? Clearly not much. The Tea Party didn't need blogging to arise. Movements of resistance to obvious overreach have arisen in the past. But having arisen and elected a passel of Republicans to Congress we find that they STILL lack the cojones to fight back against the marxist and his minions. So the fundamental transformation continues. And blogging is an impotent sideshow.

traditionalguy said...

Ripic...Justs you waits until the new Blog de Trump starts to unload on Obama and His 40 Thieves.

Beldar said...

It's not only law PROFESSORS who blog about legal matters. Some of us who have the same J.D. degree that law professors have, but who practice law instead of teaching it, also have blogs. Some of us also followed the Thomas confirmation hearings closely, but without the internet also lacked easy access to a broad public audience.

I imply no disrespect to law professors by pointing this out, as I'm sure you didn't intend disrespect to lawyer-bloggers in your title, Prof. Althouse.

Ann Althouse said...

@Beldar Thanks. I don't really limit things that much, and think a lot of non-lawprof bloggers would have been very effective if they'd had that raw material. Not just lawyers, but other political bloggers too.

vbspurs said...

It's hard to see why a technology that radically opened up the public conversation would have changed any of that.

Richard, we're talking of the 1970s and the Nixonian Silent Majority. Personally, I can see how blogging would've affected the events of the moment. At the time, conservatives were overshadowed by a youthful, liberal culture by a wide margin. The liberal perception was so strong, that Pauline Kael and her sort were incredulous that Nixon was elected, since no one they knew (read, who mattered) had voted for the guy. That kind of bubble or ivory tower would not have been possible with blogging.

I understand you will say that that doesn't change the facts of the Watergate scandal, and therefore, President Nixon would've resigned anyway.

But the pushback would've been extreme.

Just imagine hundreds of bloggers saying, 'you think he was the first or only president to do that'? Let's recall that then Presidential hopeful John Kennedy had staffers who took Nixon's psychiatric records and were going to use it against him until Kennedy ixnayed it. Nevertheless, it happened.

MadisonMan said...

I'd love to have seen a bloggingheads between James J. Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander.

Chuck66 said...

The free flow of information is incredible now. When I was a little boy, the only sources of alternative news (aka, conservative) were:

Paul Harvey
Readers Digest
National Review
Letters to the editor in newspapers

Julius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julius said...

When Doc Brown built his time machine out of a DeLorean back in 1985, he was about to get in it and head 25 years in the future. Some Libyan terrorists intervened, only temporarily as it turns out, but still...

Doc Brown would be coming out of 1985 and coming into right about now. What would he find different? The big thing would be the Internet and everything that comes along with it: blogging, video-streaming, communication on steroids, powerful and useful portable devices. The second big thing would be that the Cold War ended. Not much else has changed, really.

Do you still have that TT, professor? Maybe Meade can finagle it into a time machine for you. (I hear he's pretty handy.) Then you can go 20 years into the past, bring the Internet as we know it now with you, and find an answer to your question.

lemondog said...

Did blogging effect the outcome for Roberts, Alito, Kagan and Sotomayer?

What outcome if there was no blogging?

vbspurs said...

Paul Harvey
Readers Digest
National Review
Letters to the editor in newspapers


I remember reading Reader's Digest!

I vividly remember watching Peter Jennings on the nightly news as a young girl, and being maddened that I didn't have a conservative news show to turn to. It's fine if liberals have their outlets. But I wanted one which reflected my views, too, and didn't just mock them. The cultural isolation you feel, when you don't have that, is overwhelming. I'm glad my kids will never know that.

David said...

Lithwick looks stunned by the notion, or perhaps just frustrated that she isn't the one talking.

rhhardin said...

I for one would have pointed out that Susan Hoerchner's testimony in support of Hill in fact supported Thomas.

Rumpletweezer said...

Trying to picture Peter Jennings as a young girl...

Sorry, vbspurs, I think I misunderstood.

Matt said...

The mainstream media was rather conservative until the mid to late 1960's.

It became more liberal simply because technology brought the atrocity of war into people's living rooms. Plus the war dragged on with no direct purpose in ways other wars had not. That alone made people in the media question the war.

With regards to Nixon he was pretty easy to dislike. But the media was not hard on him until the cover-up. Bloggers would not have saved Nixon if that is what you are implying. Why would they? Who would want dead weight dragging down an enture party?

rhhardin said...

You could get a letter into the WSJ if you knew a formula.

Pointed, slightly amusing and only three lines was a big plus with the editors. There's always a column inch filler needed.

jimbino said...

"What would the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing have been like if law professors were blogging back then?"

should read

"What would the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing have been like if law professors had been blogging back then?"

Would the person who wrote this have been accepted into law school if her LSAT had had a question challenging her inability to use the past subjunctive in such a contrary-to-fact construction?

Chuck66 said...

Example of what conservatives had to deal with before New Media:

Milw Journal HATED Reagan. They won't even print what President Reagan would say in a speach, but would print parts of the Democrat response. On Memorial Day, they would feature anti-military peace freaks on the front page. Basically giving a big FU to our veterans.
VBSpurs, same here. I was a news junkie as a boy, but hated the news due to its one-sidedness. I'd be watching and would think "this isn't true. Why don't you report about......".

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

OK, so how long will Obama's and His Gang of 40 Thieves risk allowing the internet to remain free from their control?

They're working on that as we speak.

reader_iam said...

I'd love to have seen a bloggingheads between James J. Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander.

I wonder if, assuming the same sort of rough-'n'-tumble in the blogosphere, if James might have uttered the immortant words, "Shana, you ignorant slut!"

Life imitating art, and all of that...

reader_iam said...

Jane, you ignorant slut.

reader_iam said...

"Immortal," not "immortant." Was I unconsciously trying to insert a shadow of "mordant" there? Who knows?

reader_iam said...

Sure sounds bloggerly to me!

LOL.

AllenS said...

Nothing would have changed. Do you think Bush or obama have any interest what blogs say? I remember, and not that long ago, Rush Limbaugh putting down the importance of blogs. For every blog that encouraged Nixon to hold on, there would have been the same number whipping up a hatred of the man. Can you image the outcome of the Viet Nam war if we had nucular weapons then. Wait a minute.

Carol_Herman said...

Can't change history.

A better lesson to learn from Bork is the one Reagan learned! Where you just don't go shooting off your ammunition. Bork never treated Reagan well, either!

Proving yet again that most presidents just listen to their staff when it comes to nominating somebody.

Perhaps, it would be better to teach the MISTAKES republicans have made. Seems mistakes don't teach them much, either.

But back in 1908 President Taft tried to run for re-election. And, this pissed off Teddy Roosevelt. Who went after him like he was hunting lions on a safari.

You got Woodrow Wilson IN. And, Roosevelt came in 2nd. The loser Taft, however, went on to become a justice on the supreme court, when the IDIOT Harding got elected to the presidency.

There's no explaining why the republicans are so enamored of jerks.

While McCain just made kissy-face with the senate's other gigolo.

But shopworn ideas have never put the republicans to thinking outside of their own little box.

Winning elections, however? Bork has nothing to do with this!

Andrew Sullivan doesn't either.

No wonder Trump can run ahead on these opportunities.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I like the new tough, biker chic look. It makes me think you could beat the living snot out of Dahlia at any second.

rhhardin said...

Talk of mordents led me to see if any of Thurston Dart's keyboard LPs were on CD yet. A huge oversight.

Yes, there's one.

I bought a copy found on eBay.

Now looking for his clavichord and harpsichord stuff, which is where more mordents are to be found.

reader_iam said...

@rhhardin: Fun!

Fred4Pres said...

Here is Al Franken spoofing the Clarence Thomas hearings.

Freaky.

Fred4Pres said...

Here's the parody transcript.

ken in sc said...

One of the things you almost never see about Watergate is what were the burglars looking for. They were looking for proof that the Democrats were getting funds from Soviet funded communist front organizations. After the Soviet Union fell, it was released that the Soviets were secretly funding the Democrats. Every time someone refers to Watergate, this should be repeated.

shiloh said...

Actually, Thomas and Obama have something in common. Gasp!

Being a minority helped Obama win the Dem primary, plus being a better candidate than Hillary, and helped him get elected, although in 2008, many Dem candidates could have defeated McCain.

And being a minority was the main reason Thomas was confirmed, 52-48, (11) Dems voted to confirm.

But to answer the question, no he would have been toast in the internet age as there were (4) unheard witnesses who were held back by the Judiciary Committee and never heard.

Lillian McEwen ~ breaks her 19-year silence.

Yes Virginia, there are no personal secrets in today's society.

On a related note, when Robert Bork was borked in 1987 was when Dems and Reps started to hate each other. Before, they just despised each other. :-P

Ralph L said...

I assert that Nixon would not have resigned if blogging had been around
People of significance don't have time to read or comment on blogs, and it takes a major event to get the attention of the general public. I'll wager 90% of American adults never read political-oriented blogs.

DC still had the relatively conservative Washington Star in the early 70's, and it failed to save Nixon or itself.

shiloh said...

I assert that Nixon would not have resigned

Then he would have been convicted at his impeachment as Goldwater/Baker et al told him he was toast!

Among Nixon's many problems, he was not likable.

btw, his pick for v-p, Spiro nolo contendere Agnew, also resigned in disgrace!

A certain symmetry.

Quaestor said...

Interesting speculations, Ann. Perhaps Nixon would not have resigned, but would he have been impeached?

Alex said...

shiloh - stop sucking people's balls.

shiloh said...

but would he have been impeached?

He was impeached, unless you are sayin' the House may not have voted for impeachment because of internet persuasion.

Quaestor said...

DC still had the relatively conservative Washington Star in the early 70's, and it failed to save Nixon or itself.

The Star was already failing long before Watergate, in fact it could be argued that the Ervin committee hearings helped it limp along until 1981, well after most metro evening papers folded their tents.

Quaestor said...

The House Judiciary Committee's recommendation is NOT impeachment. Shiloh, your lightness is showing.

shiloh said...

ok, it was just the Judiciary Committee who voted for impeachment, but w/Dems controlling the House 240/192 Nixon saw the writing on the wall.

ie Nixon did not want to be further humiliated!

Alex said...

Nixon did not want to be further humiliated

Which is fuck-all to do with 2011 and the Tea Party prospects of world domination.

Quaestor said...

The Congressional phase of the impeachment process requires only a simple majority, but the Senatorial trial requires a two thirds majority to convict, which meant that at least 11 Republican defectors would be required to convict, assuming that the Democrats voted as a solid caucus.

Nixon's fate was far from sealed. If he would have survived he would have been stronger than ever before, just as Clinton came out of his trial with greater stature than before, or comparatively so if one assumes the Republicans lost stature as a result.

PETER V. BELLA said...

Much spicier!

shiloh said...

Nixon's fate was far from sealed.

Again, Goldwater/Baker et al told him he was toast ergo he resigned.

Nixon was always very good at counting votes, much like LBJ.

Quaestor said...

Actual votes have a strange way of not conforming to putative tallies.

Quaestor said...

Charles Sumner was pretty damned sure he could bowl near illiterate drunkard Andrew Johnson from the White House, since he didn't need a single Democrat vote to convict the president of violation of the Tenure Act, but it didn't work out that way

shiloh said...

Actual votes have a strange way of not conforming to putative tallies.

True, boehner had a hard time counting votes as he failed to deliver the required Rep votes for the Bailout in 2008 and the TP'ers are now giving him further headaches.

btw, Nixon argues he was not admitting guilt when he accepted Ford's pardon, whereas Ford said that was definitely part of the agreement.

Don't we all love meaningless minutia ...

The irony, of course, Nixon would be considered a moderate Dem nowadays and he would have easily won the '72 election regardless, his Ted Kennedy paranoia notwithstanding.

Bob Ellison said...

RE: Nixon-- it's an interesting question of alternative history. I think in the Internet age, Nixon would have been drummed out even more quickly: forced to resign, impeached and convicted, or something similar. The cursing on the tapes alone would have been devastating.

We tend to forget how long Nixon held on through the scandal and everything that came to light because of it. He clung to power for two years, and the leaders of his own party had to tell him to leave. In the Internet age, Nixon's administration would have blown up in a matter of weeks.

I'd like to see a movie made on this alternative history speculation.

Kensington said...

I remember reading the Woodward/Bernstein books Nixon books about twenty years ago when I knew almost nothing about Watergate except that I'd been told throughout my childhood that Nixon was worse than Hitler.

After reading All the President's Men, I still couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. Nixon had almost nothing to do with any of the crimes, and those crimes that had everyone up in arms were just the kind of political chicanery that I assumed went on all the time.

And I was a liberal back then and eager to believe that Nixon was a boogeyman. There just was no "there" there.

Quaestor said...

Nixon argues he was not admitting guilt when he accepted Ford's pardon, whereas Ford said that was definitely part of the agreement.

It is hard for me imagine a situation where acceptance of a pardon is not an admission of guilt.

Quaestor said...

The Wikipedia article on the Mammalia shows a matrix of 18 pictures illustrating the diversity of the class. Check out the representative primates.

wv: amuddici - a set of more than one amuddico.

shiloh said...

Nixon's problem was CREEP's political chicanery was inept and they got caught lol and then the cover-up, whether Nixon knew about the original ineptitude or not.

And of course the tapes.

vbspurs said...

Check out the representative primates.

HeLLooo! That's a great catch, Quaestor.

vbspurs said...

Was I unconsciously trying to insert a shadow of "mordant" there?

I read it more as a Freudian "important immortal" slip, RIA.

vbspurs said...

It occurs to me that we must frustrate the Professor. She blogs about one thing, in this case, how it might've been to have had blogging during the Clarence Thomas hearings, and we immediately start talking about Nixon. Same with the fluids/Marcotte post.

The thing is, one can't predict how threads will turn out, and that's the joy of blogging.

grgeil said...

What if law professors were blogging back when...? What if they were blogging during the child molestation witch hunts and show trials of the late 80s and 90s? I believe bloggers would have tempered the hysteria fanned by the credulous media.

shiloh said...

vbspurs, the Professor mentions Nixon and Watergate, in the video snippet also.

BEK477 said...

Ann,
Nixon would have blogged....

"You may have this presidency after you pry it from my cold dead fingers."

He would have gone Checkers in the bloggosphere. I Dick would have loved TWITTER. So would William F Buckley. The idea on immediate social and political commentary delivered to an audience of informed listeners and readers would have been political cat nip for both Dick and Bill. Imagine Buckley twittering about the Bork hearings to an audience of anti-Kennedy readers.

And Dick would have had a field day with the opportunity of doing play -by - play on Obama's foreign policy gaffs. The MSM would have had to implement the " Mercy Rule" in order to preserve the tattered remains of OBAMA's presidential dignity. PWNED!!Cubed.

vbspurs said...

Yeah, but getting back to the Thomas hearing, can you imagine the blogosphere at the mention of pubes in a Coke? Boggle.

exhelodrvr1 said...

I think the real question is whether or not Nixon have tried the cover-up in a blogging world.

vbspurs said...

BEK77 wrote:

And Dick would have had a field day with the opportunity of doing play -by - play on Obama's foreign policy gaffs.

You think? Dick Nixon wasn't Dick Cheney. Nixon had a perverse sense of dignity. He could swear like a sailor in those tapes, but never failed to wear a suit and tie inside the Oval Office.

People would argue that the two Presidents who faced the threat of impeachment, Nixon and Clinton, had very different scandals to get them to that point. But I think that Nixon resigned not so much because he was guilty, but because it was proper for him to resign, having brought the Office of President into disrepute. Clinton? You always had the sense he would never EVER resign, even if it was proven he had colluded with Chinese spies.

Nixon might've lurked on Twitter, though. Checking out the #Nixon hashtag obsessively during the day, or maybe setting up a Google alert when his name appeared online like a certain blogger lady I know.

SMGalbraith said...

The bloggers - on the left and the right - would have ripped Nixon apart back in 1972.

Let's remember that Nixon teed off many conservatives with his domestic policies, his opening to China and his detente policy with the Soviet. He was no conservative by any standards, then or now.

Once the tapes were released, bloggers on both sides of the aisle - Reynold's Army of Davids - would have gone over them in great detail.

Nixon couldn't have survived that intense scrutiny.

shiloh said...

Sex being the main bugaboo in puritanical America, a historical study re: president's faithfulness in the 1970's determined only (2) presidents didn't stray ~ shocking! ~ Truman and Ford. Harding reportedly had an illegitimate child before he was elected :-P

Soooo internet gossip may have changed American history. Interesting Reps thought Clinton was dead in the water after his (60) minutes interview re: Jennifer Flowers, but slick Willy rose from the dead while the Reps weren't payin' attention.

Never misunderestimate a slick Willy :)

Of course in France, Canada, Britain etc. I believe it is a "political requirement" for a male politician to have a mistress.

Different strokes for different folks ...

reader_iam said...

What if [the comment poster specifically wrote "they, referring to law profs, but I think that they should be expanded vastly, and I'm not even sure it ought include, automatically, many in the "law prof" category] were blogging during the child molestation witch hunts and show trials of the late 80s and 90s? I believe bloggers would have tempered the hysteria fanned by the credulous media.

Then Dorothy Rabinowitz's reportage might have been paid a great deal more attention, with great deal more respect, than in it was back in the day. Which some of us, back in the day, paid a great deal of attention to and had tremendous respect for, despite being totally outnumbered by too many journalists, politicians, polemicists, activists, political partisans and ever-day unthinking, if not necessarily paranoid but too often so, citizenry--and, ABOVE ALL, the disengaged and not paying attention to much of anything at all.

Dorothy Rabinowitz's reportage with regard to the McMartin case was outstanding and *actually* courageous; fearless in terms of insisting that attention be paid to the facts.

Still, she lost the fight, practically speaking, and that's also a fact.

It's even less likely that someone like her, assuming there are reporters like her, could avoid losing, in the end.

Folks just aren't into all of that, and I'm not referring to the subject matter.

PaulV said...

Dan Rather may have gotten away with his fraud 30 years ago. Nina Totenberg would have had to answer for violating privacy of Hill and the who took Hill aside and told her that her dates were wrong and got her to change the timeline.

reformed trucker said...

"had had" - jimbino

'Nuff said.

reader_iam said...

Dorothy Rabinowitz's reportage with regard to the McMartin case

I'm sorry: Have to make an immediate correction. This should have been "the Amirault case." I DO know the difference; I am conversant with both.

Apologies!

reader_iam said...

The subject of bad actions and bad reportage with regard to the relevant wave of such back in the day, and the ignoring for so many years of what was good reportage, not to mention justice, gets me going.

PaulV said...

Ted Kennedy & his Massachusetts buddies would not have gotten away with the coverup in Chappaquiddickf bloggers were around

reader_iam said...

Ted Kennedy & his Massachusetts buddies would not have gotten away with the coverup in Chappaquiddickf bloggers were around

Alas, I'm not so sure. Alas, that would still depend.

On that "it depends" I would not want to rely, not now and not any more than I would then or did later.

So

David R. Graham said...

"I assert that Nixon would not have resigned if blogging had been around."

Concur.

Also, I want to offer my thanks to you and Meade for being who you are and doing what you do. You see persons and other creatures, not things and its. Your courage is unsurpassed. You recall in my mind the gallant S2 (Intel) and S3 (Operations) achievements of Stuart and Sheridan, who shaped thereby the destiny of armies and nations. I am grateful you are being who you are.

reformed trucker said...

"Sex being the main bugaboo in puritanical America" - shiloh

Said the historical revisionist. Seriously? I have hundreds of volumes of Puritan writings in my library, and I can assure you they enjoyed sex, alcohol, and the arts. I would bet two bits to a pinch of coon sh!t you've never read the Puritans.

shiloh said...

By "puritanical America" I mean today's America ie the god fearing, evangelical Christian right which controls the Rep party. ~ Sorry for any misunderstanding ...

ie the folk who truly frown on adultery/breaking marriage vows ~ sorry Newt/Donald/Rudy/Vitters/Ensign/Sanford/Craig/Foley etc.

but, but, but forgiveness is a virtue!

reader_iam said...

I see we're still hung up on the definition of "puritanical" as applying to only one side of things, and, more to the point, religion must always be brought into it as a necessary condition of defining what puritanical means. And people wonder why I get tired and cranky.

---

Wait. Actually, I don't think they do.

Unemployment said...

Professor,
I am a 25 year old man who was in your class in the last few years. I am wondering if you could introduce me to this Dahlia woman. I think she is the woman of my dream. Not only is she beautiful, but she is very intelligent and has an extremely pleasant voice that makes her sound so sweet!
Thanks!

Revenant said...

True, boehner had a hard time counting votes as he failed to deliver the required Rep votes for the Bailout in 2008

I do believe that's the first time I've heard a Republican minority leader accused of "failing to deliver the required votes" for a Democratic bill.

But, yes, I guess when Republicans vote against a bill 133 to 65, while Democrats are voting for it 140 to 95... well, I guess you COULD say the Republican minority leader "failed to deliver the required votes".

Chuck66 said...

Irony over Democrat hatred of Nixon, is that Nixon was a very liberal Quaker.

-Signed Amtrak into law
-created the EPA
-Tried price controls
-Kissed up to China
-Golda Mier credited Nixon with saving Israel in 1973 (today that is strickly a Republican position, but back then Democrats supported the Jewish state more so than they do now)
-And other big gov't central planning

shiloh said...

One of the main republican memes the past 30/40 years ~ Reps are the party of god and Dems are the party of heathens.

The Rep strategy being if you say something often enough, some folk might eventually believe it, no matter how untrue it may be.

ie the Rep hierarchy truly believed in 1992 Clinton's extra-curricular activity made him a non-starter becoming president and that would have been true if he was running for the Rep nomination, but he was on the other team who are not so hung up on adultery.

Not sayin' this is a good or bad thing, just a fact in terms of forgiveness re: presidential attributes.

>

Revenant, Boehner thought he had the votes, but didn't. Oops! Part of the story being Gingrich had a lot of influence on some Rep congress folk and persuaded them to vote no. Why or how he had influence, I have no idea, but supposedly he "sabotaged" the vote.

>

Nixon also signed Title IX ~ Education Amendments of 1972.

Revenant said...

Nixon would have survived Watergate if the internet had been around back in the day. There are two reasons.

The first reason is that he would have won in 1960. There's no way Kennedy could have survived in the internet age -- between the mistresses, the drugs, and the mob ties, his candidacy would have been sunk before he ever won the nomination in the first place. Given that Kennedy himself only beat Nixon by a whisker, the second-best Democratic candidate would pretty definitely have lost.

But if we suppose that the internet only came on the scene later on, during the Nixon administration... he still would have survived. The reason is simple: the Watergate affair would have blown up too quickly.

What killed Nixon was the cover-up -- the slow and hamfisted attempt to counteract a slow and plodding news media investigation. In the blogosphere era it would have gone something like this:

June 17, 1972: The burglars get busted.

June 19: It comes out that one of the burglars was a White House aid with ties to Mitchell. He denies involvement.

June 20: The entire coast-to-coast left blogosphere goes apeshit over the story.

June... oh, let's call it 22nd: The major nightly newscasts lead with the story.

June 25th or so: Nixon throws Mitchell under the bus, and announces that he has accepted Mitchell's resignation. Behind the scenes Mitchell is promised a pardon, if it comes to that.

The story gradually dies off over the next few months.

shiloh said...

Revenant, you forgot about John Dean, who spilled the beans.

The truth is out there!

Revenant said...

Revenant, Boehner thought he had the votes, but didn't.

Oh, I know he thought he had the votes and didn't.

I just thought it was amusing to say he "failed to deliver" -- as if he worked for the Democratic majority instead of, for example, the Republican minority that overwhelmingly hated the bill.

Why or how he had influence, I have no idea, but supposedly he "sabotaged" the vote.

I don't think you need to resort to conspiracy theories to figure out why Republicans would be against bailing out an industry that (a) is incredibly unpopular with their base and (b) mostly contributes to Democrats.

reader_iam said...

The Rep strategy being if you say something often enough, some folk might eventually believe it, no matter how untrue it may be.

Oh, give me a freakin' break.

I mean, seriously. If I were to replace just three letters in that grand statement, would it still ring true to you who grandly proferred it so sweepingly? Look:

The Dem strategy being if you say something often enough, some folk might eventually believe it, no matter how untrue it may be.

For some of us, it sounds all too similar--and more important, rather too much all of a piece.

Revenant said...

Revenant, you forgot about John Dean, who spilled the beans.

I didn't forget him. You just forgot when he talked and what he talked about.

Dean talked to the Congressional investigators in June of 1973. His big revelation: that he told Nixon about the cover-up starting in January of 1973. Re-read my scenario for hints as to why that wouldn't have happened. :)

Revenant said...

The Rep strategy being if you say something often enough, some folk might eventually believe it, no matter how untrue it may be.

I find it amusing that you would say the above -- regarding the "Republicans are the party of god" meme -- and then turn right around and concede that Republicans really do think adultery is a big deal and Democrats don't.

Are we to draw the conclusion that while Republicans think adultery is very bad, they think this for secular reasons? :)

shiloh said...

reader

Only 26% of Iowa Republicans believe Obama was born in U.S.

Revenant said...

Only 26% of Iowa Republicans believe Obama was born in U.S.

... and?

shiloh said...

... and?

Goodnight! :)

btw Rev, hypothetical history is just that, hypothetical.

woulda, coulda, shoulda ~ what if ...

Revenant said...

btw Rev, hypothetical history is just that, hypothetical.

My goodness, I totally hadn't realized that. I am a wiser man than I was a mere sixty seconds ago.

reader_iam said...

I think Rev pretty much got it right in his 10:56 comment...

(though I do think that somewhat depends on whether you're defining blogs in terms of 12-13 years ago,9-10 years ago, 5-7 years ago, 1-4 years ago--but let's put that aside, for the moment; for my part, that's the great variable no one can actually pin down)

... regardless, I think he nailed it closer than most.

bgates said...

The Rep strategy being if you say something often enough, some folk might eventually believe it, no matter how untrue it may be.

"Actually, I'm cutting more than I'm spending so that it will be a net spending cut."

"If you like your plan, you can keep your plan."

"As president, I will end the war in Iraq. We will have our troops home in 16 months"

"Last point, Guantanamo. That’s easy. Close down Guantanamo.”

Luther said...

"but because it was proper for him to resign"

I think this a great point. And yet another signal of the decline of this nation, as when people had dignity, and acted on it.

Harry Phartz said...

Taking a trip down memory lane here... if I had to give a specific example of what would have been different had the internet been as developed as today - I would point to the press conference activity that took place in the corridors of the Capitol, during the weekend of rebuttal testimony that was heard. A press conference was called to announce the findings of a polygraph examiner who claimed to have interviewed Anita Hill. He stated five questions, her answers, and confirmed that in his expert opinion she was telling the truth. Not one reporter asked to see all of the questions or her responses to the calibration questions. Today, with the collective knowledge of the blogosphere, manipulative crap like that could not be disseminated unchallenged.

I lived in Savannah a decade ago and used to drive through Pinpoint on the way to a favorite hiking preserve. It is a dump. Absolutely nothing, save for the fact that Clarence Thomas grew up there.

When Thomas spoke to the Savannah Bar Association in 2001 I missed it due to an emergency court appearance in Atlanta. My wife attended and told me that you could hear a pin drop when Thomas recounted the support and the kindness of the people of Savannah. He stopped for a moment and wept. Not everyone in the audience understood what he was referring to, and that was the support of the community (particularly the local legal community) in helping Thomas take custody of his grandnephew, whom he and his wife raised after his niece became incompetent (whether it was drugs or alcohol, I never heard.) A pretty humble and decent fellow, and had his ordeal before the Senate happened when the internet was mature, it would not have been possible to misrepresent him as Sens. Kennedy and Metzenbaum did so viciously.

At the time of the hearings I was a student at the University of Wisconsin Law School and I took classes part time, primarily during the evening. I recall arriving at the law school building one evening the week of the hearings and as I stopped in the student lounge area there was protest poetry in support of Anita Hill taped up all over the walls, windows and vending machines. One of the great benefits of the evening schedule was that you got to miss the vast majority of the students who were there during the day.

reader_iam said...

Shiloh: If you think you're more aware of what polls say about the state in which I currently reside, or any number of other states in which I take an interest, then you've been asleep for a very, very, very long time.

Also, that was a deflection, that comment of yours.

In no way did it respond, substantively, to my "replace just three letters" comment. If it makes you feel better, I'd say the same thing if you were on the other so clearly defined side from your so clearly defined side.

If you don't know that I already have, then all I can say is: LOL! And thanks for proving my point (as others have, before you) ...

vbspurs said...

Revenant wrote:

the second-best Democratic candidate would pretty definitely have lost.

You mean, Lyndon Johnson? I think Nixon would've won versus anyone in the world in 1960, had we lived in the internet age. My God, Kennedy wouldn't even have gotten into the Senate with the private stuff he had going on (not just the skirt-chasing, but the bad health and pill-popping).

Incidentally, I am enjoying the HECK out of the Kennedys mini-series. I don't know what Caroline and Maria had to complain about -- JFK is very favourably portrayed.

vbspurs said...

I think Rev pretty much got it right in his 10:56 comment...

Totally agree.

And, hypothetical history notwithstanding, it's still great to see someone actually attempt a view of how a past event would've occured had there been an internet.

Chip S. said...

Never mind the internet. Would Nixon have resigned if Barry Goldwater hadn't been shagging Ben Bradlee's girlfriend's mother at the time?

reader_iam said...

I see now that I should clarify further. I DON'T agree with the part about John Kennedy not winning in '60 (including that part of Rev's timeline). This would explain my [admittedly understated: that's just my style] "pretty much" phraseology.

I do agree with this:

But if we suppose that the internet only came on the scene later on, during the Nixon administration... he still would have survived. The reason is simple: the Watergate affair would have blown up too quickly.

What killed Nixon was the cover-up -- the slow and hamfisted attempt to counteract a slow and plodding news media investigation. In the blogosphere era it would have gone something like this:

June 17, 1972: The burglars get busted.

June 19: It comes out that one of the burglars was a White House aid with ties to Mitchell. He denies involvement.

June 20: The entire coast-to-coast left blogosphere goes apeshit over the story.

June... oh, let's call it 22nd: The major nightly newscasts lead with the story.

June 25th or so: Nixon throws Mitchell under the bus, and announces that he has accepted Mitchell's resignation. Behind the scenes Mitchell is promised a pardon, if it comes to that.

The story gradually dies off over the next few months.

Kensington said...

Kind of off-topic, but I hope you'll indulge. I mentioned earlier in the thread reading All The President's Men 20 years ago and failing to appreciate what all the anti-Nixon fuss was about.

Something else just popped into my head, and it's in a similar vein.

About 20 years ago a Chicago theater company did a show based on the Chicago Seven trial. It was highly acclaimed, and a damned exciting show for a dumb young liberal such as I was. Based on the play, you'd come away thinking that the trial was a sham and a travesty of injustice, the purely political prosecution of a bunch of innocent free spirits.

I was so impressed by the play that I sought out the actual trial transcripts and read them.

That's when I realized that the defendants were guilty as charged and that the play was a completely dishonest misrepresentation of the facts.

And it was another moment in my political evolution when I realized that the Left lies a lot.

I just felt compelled to post this. Thank you for your indulgence.

David R. Graham said...

@Chuck66 That itemization of Nixon deeds omits affirmative action.

David R. Graham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David R. Graham said...

A blogsphere would have fact-checked/interest-checked WaPo, Bradlee, Bernstein, Woodward, Ervin, Dean, Ellsberg, NYT, FBI and thereby arrested the several stampedes that occurred to the detriment of all.

Revenant said...

I DON'T agree with the part about John Kennedy not winning in '60

You don't think so?

Kennedy barely took Illinois and Texas -- Nixon needed another 9000 Illinois votes and 46,000 in Texas. Voter fraud notwithstanding, I have a hard time believing Kennedy wouldn't have lost at least that many votes if his dirty laundry had gotten a more public airing.

But who knows? I think it worked out pretty well for America in the end, anyway.

Chuck66 said...

Interesting point...on if Watergate would have blown up right away, Nixon would not have had time for the coverup, and things would have worked out fine for him.

Something similiar with the Swiftboats Veterans. They held a press conference in...was it March of 2004 (against Kerry). Media for the most part refused to cover it, but those that did called them "Nixon operatives" (for real, I remember reading that in the papers).

If they would have gotten the publicity they sought, the whole thing would have blown over by the fall election. But instead, they were ignored by the leftwing MSM. So insteadm, a book came out in August of 2008 and the whole thing was in the news throughout the fall. If the MSM would have giving them attention up front, things would have died out by the fall campaign. Instead their message was big news in weeks leading up to the election of 2008.

Message.....don't try to bury bad news, hoping it will disappear.