Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Rest in Peace, Bring Your Own Shovel... 

Okay, first of all, let me say this: Gerald Ford was the last Republican President that I actually liked. He was socially liberal and fiscally conservative; he just might have been elected to office in 1976 had he not made one major mistake.

And that mistake is the thing that the idiot pundits are now touting as his strong suit: Pardoning Nixon. In retrospect, big mistake. Had Ford had any balls (and/or not sold out to become president) he would have demanded a Congressional Investigation of Watergate, let the chips fall where they would have, and to hell with the consequences. By pardoning Nixon, he did not heal the country. Rather, he swept the truth under the rug. He buried the truth, just as he did as a member of the Warren Commission. And, by his direct inaction, he created the situation under which we're stuck with this damn Imperial Presidency today.

So, Rest in Peace, Gerald Ford. You were one of the few good ones. Except that you sold your soul at the wrong time, and then did not repent during the next thirty-odd years. During any time between 1980 and late 2006, you could have told the truth. Given that you gave a half-assed truth in a 2004 interview only upon the caveat that it not be revealed until you died, I have to knock you down quite a few pegs on the Good Leader board.

Honestly -- once you failed to be elected as president in 1976, you had nothing to lose. If you had any honor at all, you would have spilled everything you knew; if not during the 80s, then at least post 9/11, in an era that, clearly, things you hated were happening.

You were the last Republican President in this country to do no intentional harm; but, by your silence for the last thirty years, you have perhaps done more harm than good.

Forgiving Nixon was your first mistake. Not telling us what you knew before you died was your second and, despite all the pious soundbites of this weekend, your greatest mistake.

The truth is buried with you today -- many truths are buried with you today. And, in that, you fail your country in death, even as you mostly served it in life.

Requiscat en pace, President Ford. Even as you leave the rest of us no peace by your passing.

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