Lest we are quick to judge Mr. Obama by this Nixon comparison perhaps we need to remind ourselves (those who were around during the Nixon years), and educate those who only know the man from history books, that Nixon was once a beloved President with a long political career that served both this nation and his personal prestige quite well. In an article by David O. Stewart in The Blog section of The Huffington Post dated November 09, 2011 Mr. Stewart, over a year ago cited the many comparisons of Richard M. Nixon to the current Barack H. Obama. Stewart was quick to use the positive aspects of Mr. Nixon’s presidential years for his piece. He reminisced about Nixon’s environmental concerns by pushing forward the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the imposition of wage and price controls, citing that these actions of a so-called conservative were a lot more radically socialist than anything laid out by Mr. Obama, a president the right froths over for his leftist leanings. Somehow Mr. Stewart found Nixon’s successful China policy comparative to Mr. Obama’s “successes” in his war against Al Qaeda and the Libyan Revolt (it should be noted this was before the atrocity of Benghazi).
Stewart’s article goes on to rally the troops around the Nixonian Obama for his embracing some of his opponents policy demands such as authorizing more offshore drilling (of course he fails to mention that this only included drilling in waters so deep that the cost and danger to workers makes it too inefficient for speculators), and Mr. Obama’s going back on his campaign promise by keeping Guantanamo open as a terrorist detention center. Stewart also endeavors to remind his readership that like Nixon, Mr. Obama is a master at using “populist-tinged, us-versus-them appeals.” To this I must agree with Stewart. Both, Nixon then and Obama now, are masters at this bit of subterfuge. Both men have desired to have their cake and eat it too.
Mr. Stewart ended his piece without delving into the last few years of the Nixon presidency and comparing those with our current president. I can appreciate why since he wrote it during the first term of Obama but all the tell-tale signs should have been also apparent to him which should have led him to at least speculate what the second term of such a president might be if he shared so much in common with Mr. Nixon.
There are those of us out there that have gazed into that crystal ball and have seen what the future for this current beloved president will be if he continues down this path of Nixon-style politicking. Like Nixon our current president, fresh in his second term, is still beloved by a majority of voters, just as Mr. Nixon was after his landslide victory for his second term. However, for those closer to President Obama the shady underpinnings that destroyed the Nixon presidency and image are beginning to rear their ugly heads. Like Nixon, this president is isolating himself more and more from media scrutiny, holding fewer and fewer press conferences, operating more and more independently from congressional jurisdiction and creating a thicker wall of supremacy around him and his hand-picked advisors. For those around during the last two years of the Nixon administration this kind of behavior is all too familiar. Journalists and writers around in the 1970’s, particularly men like Bob Woodward, the journalist, along with Carl Bernstein helped bring down the Nixon presidency with their Watergate expositions, is currently out there ringing the warning bell.
David O. Stewart predicted that people would enter their voting booths in the November elections “with cool calculation than with passionate ideology.” I suppose he was referring to the 2016 elections and this second term of Obama will have to play itself out. Question is, will it play out like Nixon’s.
[Image courtesy of SodaHead.com]