Richard Nixon, Superstar. The most widely read post at this blog is one where I make the case that Richard Nixon is the worst president in US History.
What I could have added to that brief summary of the Nixon Administration is the damage he did to his own political party. Had Nixon not tarnished the GOP brand the Republican Party might have served as a counter balance to what would become the implementation of an extremist Democratic Party agenda. Had Nixon spread competent leadership and integrity our cities might not have fallen into ruin. Our schools might still educate. Traditional American values might still be respected.
Disgusted with a corrupt and incompetent president, the 1974 midterm elections resulted in a Democratic tsunami. They held the majority of House seats going into the election, with 242, They would pick up 49 additional seats on November 4 of that year.
Among the 49 were Henry Waxman, who is serving his final term forty years later. Tom Harkin, who would move up to the Senate in 1985 and will retire this year. Max Baucus, our current ambassador to China who would move up to the Senate in 1978 and remained there until he was appointed to his current position in 2014. Also, Patrick Leahy was elected to the Senate that night. Waxman won by a landslide but the other three luminaries in the making won tight races aided by anti-Nixon sentiment.
One of the most reassuring facets of this past Tuesday's election is that honesty and integrity still matter to most Americans. Obama's administrative record was on the ballot but so too was his malignant personality, widespread corruption and ongoing abuses of power. Hobby Lobby was on the ballot. So too was Lois Lerner. As in 1974, America voted against the crook.
How's this for a stunning Before and After?
In my lifetime places like New York and Vermont were once red states. More than anyone else, Richard Nixon turned them blue. As we speak, there are no deep blue states. There are only red states and purple states. Two thirds of the state chambers will be controlled by Republicans and the other third are vulnerable in 2016. Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois all elected Republican governors three days ago. Can anyone see a trend here?
Nixon was the gift that kept on giving. Does anyone think Jimmy Carter would have won in 1976 had he followed a sterling performance by the Nixon Administration? Nixon's resignation in 1974 might have stopped the bleeding but the patient was wounded and weary, He still has not fully recovered.
I can't see Obama resigning. The conspiracy theories I used to dismiss outright, that he would create some chaos to extend his two terms now seem possible. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party continues its slide. Remember when Barack Obama said we were just days away from fundamentally transforming America? Who knew how ironically prophetic that prediction would turn out to be?