April 1, 2021

"The FBI had an elegant term for G. Gordon Liddy, and that term was 'super-klutz.' As with so many self-professed paragons of strategy and masculinity..."

"... the man who advertised himself routinely as 'virile, vigorous and potent' was most famous for underperforming. He was brilliant at scheming but lousy at pulling off schemes.... A week after the [Watergate] break-in, Nixon said privately of Liddy: 'He just isn’t well screwed-on, is he?' Liddy may have died Tuesday at 90, but he lives on in any number of characters afflicting our politics with their theatrical machismo or numbskulled shenanigans. There’s a little Liddy in the Republican senators who dressed in safari gear to visit the border last week in armed riverboats. There’s a little Liddy in New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his hatchet men, who aren’t subtle about conducting loyalty tests or smearing opponents. TrumpWorld teemed with little Liddys trying to outdo one another with displays of bravado, running off cliffs like Wile E. Coyotes, rigging political bombs that detonated in their faces. Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Rudolph Giuliani. Absent-minded masterminds, all of them, tripping on their own cloaks, daggering their own shanks..."

From "Little Liddys everywhere: The legacy of a political ‘super-klutz’" by Dan Zak (WaPo).

72 comments:

DavidUW said...

Weird no mention of Biden.
Oh never mind.
Why read that crap?

rehajm said...

He did a long stretch for wiretapping and spying on political opponents. In his memory we should round up those who committed the same offense yet still walk free...

narciso said...

Strzok halper mccabe the more they failed from detroit to orlando the more they rose.

Will Cate said...

Screw this guy. Liddy paid his dues.

Fernandinande said...

Liddy ... lives on in any number of characters afflicting our politics with [whatever]

That's a dopey idea for a column.

rehajm said...

He really got into their heads and stuck there, didn't he?

He's just their biggest threat at the moment. Certainly none of the other Republicans in 'power' are much of a threat to them...

Rusty said...

Yeah. Add the FBI to that list. About a subtle as a brick to the face. But the fix is in.
Rest in peace G. Gordon. Your enemies gather just to be certain you are dead.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Cool an FBI citation. You mean the organization that protected murderer Whitey Bulger but failed to prevent domestic terrorists time after time, including in Denver the other day, despite knowing about and running surveillance on them? That FBI? The one that exonerated Clinton and tried to frame Trump? That FBI? Wait until the woke learn what the FBI did to MLK.

Or has he been unpersoned for writing about his dreams colorblindness.

narciso said...


Try again


https://thefederalist.com/2021/03/30/an-fbi-so-corrupt-it-lets-mass-shooters-rampage-needs-to-go/

rehajm said...

You mean the organization that protected murderer Whitey Bulger

They let Whitey's FBI confidant out of prison recently. I suspect he'll get his FBI job back shortly...

Tregonsee said...

Somewhere around 1980 or so, William F. Buckley pointed out that Liddy was the only Watergate conspirator who never tried to save his skin. As a result, he did some hard time, more than everybody else combined. WFB described him as "Nuts, but nuts with honor."

tim maguire said...

If theatricality is "A little Liddy," then every politician (and most people in general) have a little Liddy in them.

cacimbo said...

Little Dan Zak's everywhere in media: The yipping of a political hack’"

cacimbo said...

I heard Liddy on the radio once. He owned what he had done wrong. For DC that was the ultimate crime.

rhhardin said...

He had a radio show worth listening to.

Sebastian said...

"political ‘super-klutz’"

Talkin' about Hillary?

rehajm said...

Wait and see. King's myth has outlived its usefulness in the more radical corners, I suspect

Those radical corners are now more center pieces...and they're coming to take your stuff...

Leland said...

Maybe, but there is certainly no Joseph Pulitzer in little Dan Zak.

Amadeus 48 said...

Not to mention James Comey. Granted that Liddy was a screw-up, what is Comey?

Sooper-dooper Klutz?

Matt Sablan said...

"Not to mention James Comey. Granted that Liddy was a screw-up, what is Comey?

Sooper-dooper Klutz?"

-- Comey achieved nearly everything he set out to do, as far as I can tell. He knew he'd never be able to get Trump, but he hobbled him and protected Clinton. From reading the released texts and other documents (like the two FBI investigators who decided not to push Clinton's tech guy on an obvious lie), it was clear what Comey's job was. Comey excelled at exactly what he was trying to do.

narciso said...

Morris or connelly?

gilbar said...

Serious Question (This is Not Satire)

our Professor does Not like the Babylon Bee, because she doesn't like satire
So...
WHY does our Professor keep printing things from the WaPo?
Could you BE more satirical, than the WaPo?

I Know, it Used To Be an actual newspaper; but, to quote the immortal SE Hinton
...........That Was THEN, This Is NOW

Bob Boyd said...

Liddy was a character. I read his book Will a long time ago and enjoyed it. He was very funny and entertaining on the radio.

dbp said...

I saw Liddy in person at the University of Idaho back when I was attending WSU, 8 miles away.

I had read Will a few years earlier and his charisma, in-person, lived-up to his bombastic writing style.

He was a bit crazy but he had more personal integrity than any of the major characters around the Watergate scandal and this includes Nixon.

narciso said...

This was a time there were 2,000 terrorists bombings all through the country, one in madison, ostensibly about the war, but nixon was the crazy one?

Skeptical Voter said...

Super Klutz? From the FBI--also known as the Feebs--the King Klutz Klown Circus on the Potomac? It does strike me that Zak is oblivious to the irony of anyone in the FBI calling someone a Klutz.

Gilbert Pinfold said...

Keep this column in mind the next time you see the photo of Biden wearing his Ray-Ban aviators and leather bomber jacket behind the wheel of his yellow Corvette. The look just screams "jackass". At least Liddy did his time and returned to society.

Iman said...

Thanks for the chuckle @ 8:32, narciso!

Wince said...

The FBI had an elegant term for G. Gordon Liddy, and that term was 'super-klutz.' As with so many self-professed paragons of strategy and masculinity...

With respect the FBI, across all those historical iterations mentioned, the word that came to my mind was competition.

Those who would encroach on the FBI's monstrous turf.

Gravel said...

rhhardin said...
He had a radio show worth listening to.


I used to listen to it in my car every day. He took callers; one day, a caller - sounding a little bit stoned - asked "G-Man, does the FBI really have X-files?" To which Liddy responded "They certainly do. They are immediately after the W files, and right before the Y and Z files." Then he went to commercial.

JPS said...

Geez, Zak is really reaching there.

When I heard of Liddy's death I remembered this from Kevin D. Williamson:

"He has at times since then made a mockery of the law: As a convicted felon, he is not allowed to own firearms — 'Mrs. Liddy has an absolutely fascinating collection of firearms,' he told an interviewer, 'some of which she keeps on my side of the bed.'"

wendybar said...

The bombs on the left got away with it. Hillary and Barack belong in Gitmo with the WHOLE Obama administration, but when you have the Intel agencies and the media working with you...you can get away with everything you do....and laugh in our faces

One Eye said...

Liddy would do very well at my old company (rhymes with "help me"). Just talk loud and walk fast and you're golden.

But I do think burning your own flesh would have been frowned on.

narciso said...

yes they made one of thugs in lethal weapon, played by gary busey, do the same trick,

narciso said...

michael cohen was caught dodging taxes like tim geithner, manafort was holding money for podesta and weber, guiliani was relaying information from china and ukraine about our kakistocracy,

Amexpat said...

Liddy was a character. I think Kevin Kline channeled him in "A Fish Called Wanda".

Guildofcannonballs said...

G.G. Liddy hated sloppy cunts, ergo Althouse hates him with what ought be a trademarked reactionary passive-aggressiveness. Some (olden) folks are too sloppy to trademark though.

Iman said...

Keep this column in mind the next time you see the photo of Biden wearing his Ray-Ban aviators and leather bomber jacket behind the wheel of his yellow Corvette. The look just screams "jackass".

Corvette owner/driver: Gold chain, thick of neck, short of dick.

Joe Smith said...

So WaPo throws Cuomo under the bus with a bunch of Republicans?

He really must be screwed.

Earnest Prole said...

Forty years or so ago he turned up at my very left-wing college to give a lecture, and I recall him describing how he would hold his hand over a flame to prove he was indifferent both to pain and to the smell of his own burning flesh.

Michael said...

Please. Rudy Giuliani saved New York. (I was there.) He's not at the height of his powers currently, but on his worst day he's better than Cuomo and deBlasio, who are competing to destroy it.

Gahrie said...

He would have never dared to write this while Liddy was still alive.

Gahrie said...

our Professor does Not like the Babylon Bee, because she doesn't like satire

I disagree. She just doesn't like Rightwing satire. She loves it when it comes from the Left.

WHY does our Professor keep printing things from the WaPo?

Because she is a committed Leftist no matter what she likes to pretend.

Michael K said...

Blogger rhhardin said...
He had a radio show worth listening to.


MY wife read yesterday that his show was second only to Limbaugh in audience. I never heard it as it was all east coast. While in prison, he used his wiretapping skills to convict a corrupt warden. His book, or the movie from it, are good reading. He was blamed for the burglary but I am convinced John Dean was behind it.

~ Gordon Pasha said...

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt, Citizenship in a Republic, 1910.

LA_Bob said...

Liddy was on Whoopi Goldberg's interview show in mid-1990's, I think. It was a good interview. I gained a lot of respect for Whoopi (as an interviewer) and for Liddy.

Nixon (quoted in the article) and Buckley (quoted by Tregonsee at 7:56) had him right, I think.

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

I listened to Liddy's radio show frequently back in the days of Randy Weaver and Waco when he advised aiming for the head of law enforcement jack booted thugs to avoid hitting body armor.

Liddy was a bit of a clown but he didn't rat out his comrades and always stayed true to himself.

Go easy, bro

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Seems to me that Dan Zak slagging someone over stuff that happened 20 years before he was even born is displaying a whole lotta Liddy.

narciso said...

He gave her the idea for the film with ted danson, well no good deed

Immanuel Rant said...

My freshman classes' vice President (ex head of AIM, I was led to believe, and arrested for running guns to the American Indians; after release he went to college) was a cellmate of G. Gordon.

Said he was a hoot.

Jupiter said...

Dan Zak huh.

Tom T. said...

My grandmother once had her picture taken with Liddy. Maybe at an airport? Anyway, she found him completely charming.

tcrosse said...

He once called John Dean the title role of Der Rosenkavalier. It's a trouser role sung by a woman.

William said...

He had a code and lived by it. Whatever his deficits in other areas, he had integrity. His loyalty and integrity were especially impressive when you consider the cause and the people that he was showing loyalty to.

MattJ said...

Given what we've seen the last few years, how can anyone take at face value the story of Watergate promulgated by the Washington Post, the New York Times, and their supporters?

narciso said...

clearly not, mark felt was in the shadows, like stefan halper, feeding woodward and bernstein, it took stanley pottinger to figure out he was the leaker, he went on to be hack novelist, his son was trump's asian nsc expert,

n.n said...

how can anyone take at face value the story of Watergate promulgated by the Washington Post

You can't. WaPo abused the position and unearned reputation of the Fourth Estate to entrap Nixon, and as he became a progressive liability, abandoned, he blinked. Trump was the stronger man, backed by his family, backed by the People, and managed to survive the JournoListic and political gauntlet manufactured to abort his administration and him.

Jim at said...

Sounds like this Dan Zak character is jealous.

Unknown said...

While recruiting a woman to help carry out one of his schemes, Liddy tried to convince her that no one could force him to reveal her identity or anything else against his will. To convince her, he held his hand over a flaming cigarette lighter. His hand was badly burned. The woman turned down the job.

That is a wacky job interview.

Richard Dolan said...

The writer has no interest in Liddy -- it's just another excuse to write the same old stuff. He could have surprised everyone by focusing, say, on Biden's silly machismo -- that 'take him behind the barn' stuff, e.g. But it's the WaPo so never any surprises.

Bill said...

The same FBI who couldn't stop 9/11, Boston Marathon Bombing, and of course who could forget the Russia Hoax...

rsbsail said...

Super Klutz? As opposed to James Comey? Or John Brennan?

Roy Lofquist said...

He did a pretty good talk show considering he had to use surplus East German equipment in the studio.

Earnest Prole said...

To convince her, he held his hand over a flaming cigarette lighter. His hand was badly burned.

Some people just have a thing for pain, and it makes me wonder how well Liddy’s pushbroom mustache paired with leather chaps.

stephen cooper said...

I will always remember Biden for his gamma male threats which never scared anyone, but which always made us feel sorry for him.

History will remember him as a braggart clown, not a Falstaff, not even a friend of Falstaff's ---- not Shakespearean at all, just a disgusting poltroon of a clown, full of harsh mumbled threats and a cowardly cold heart.

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stephen cooper said...

that was in reply to Richard Dolan at 3:17 pm

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M Jordan said...

Conservatives are inherently uncool. Obama was merely cool but cool gets you everything in the progressive world. AOC oozes it. Matt Gaetz tries to ooze it but it comes out as oil. I always enjoyed the line from Jesus Christ Superstar, “One thing I’ll say for him, Jesus is cool.” Jesus may have been the only cool conservative in history. And yes, he was conservative and yes, he was cool.

Lurker21 said...

When I was a kid I was surprised and troubled by all the columnists who thought they were smarter than the president. Older and wiser, I realize that it's not that hard to be smarter than a president or other politician. But it's stupid to come out and say so publicly, because whoever you are, somebody smarter than you is going to read your column or comment and laugh at you.

So there are plenty of "Little Liddys," but the record of the media isn't that much better: "Gunga Dan" Rather, "Worse than Watergate" Bernstein, "Deathbed Confession" Woodward, "Mostly Peaceful Protests" Velshi, "I've Got Trump's Taxes" Maddow, "Giant Swab, Fat Tire Biker, Fredo" Cuomo, "Olive Garden Vanderbilt" Cooper, "Softball" Stephanopoulos, "Only One Side to Everything" Holt, "Brian" Stelter, and the ones who voted themselves the Pulitzer for repeating every rumor to come out of the and all the rest. Plenty of comedy there.

Sure, Roger Stone is a "Little Liddy," but before Nixon and Liddy, the media thought "dirty tricks" were cute, especially when used against Nixon. Remember "political prankster" Dick Tuck. It was "all in fun" in those days.

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