Is there KoolAid in the Beltway drinking water?
For my part, I can't help but see Ford in a basically positive light and think he did the country an important service in balancing the ship of state after the trauma and shame of the Nixon years. But I'm curious how much that view is tied to my not having lived (or lived with sufficient awareness -- I was 5 and 6) through the period. Thoughts?
Ford played the classic role of the Republican Moderate: he enabled the wingers, in two ways:
1. Ford "bound the wound" of the Nixon administration without disinfecting it. The result thirty years on? The still-swelling bag of pus that is the Bush administration.
The thirty-year Republican project to replace Constitutional government with authoritarian rule started with Nixon, continued with Reagan [, Bush I got away clean,] and culminates with Bush II. Each time the authoritarian wave washed further up the beach. By not thoroughly repudiating Nixon, Ford enabled the next Republican wave.
2. Ford picked the players. Or do you think it's an accident that Bush's two main henchmen, Cheney and Rumsfeld, were both Chiefs of Staff under Ford?
And say... Has anyone noticed yet how all the Ford coverage about "healing division" is totally playing into today's master narrative of Centrist Moderation? Normally, MyDD and TPM are a lot sharper than this. Must be KoolAid...
NOTE I'm in awe of Josh's achievements at TPM, and I love MyDD. But "the past isn't dead. It isn't even past." And I'm really shocked that events that happened only 30 years ago are beyond the historical horizons of our "best and brightest" young bloggers, both of whom seem to have succumbed to BCW on this point. (I just finished listening to that self-satisfied bitch, Cokie Roberts, on this, and she makes me want to hurl. Even more so on this topic.)