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Hats Off To President Jerry Ford

September 9, 2006

I was too busy on Friday (September 8th)  to write the post that I had intended, but still want to salute a brave politician for a correct decision.

Watergate not only destroyed the Presidency of Richard Nixon but also cut a wide swath through the American mindset of what our government was all about.  After President Nixon resigned there was a battle cry from many that he should be tried for his criminal behavior.

I have long thought that while on principle that idea made sense the reality of the situation demanded that the national bloodletting be stopped.  It was a political suicide, but yet President Ford was determined to put the country before every other consideration, and so on September 8, 1974 Ford gave a Presidential pardon to Richard Nixon.

President Ford would run for election in 1976 and lose by a slim margin, and by every conceivable way to analyse the race the pardon cost him the victory.  We rarely ever hear about such bold moves by politicians for all the right reasons, but Gerald Ford made one that still can be thought of as an honorable decision.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2006 5:14 PM

    I think the main reason for the use of the pardon was to insure that the nation was not continually tied in knots over Nixon and Watergate. The government had ground to a halt by the time RN exited the White House. A choice had to be made about the future course. The world, friend and foe alike, was looking to see if we could right the ship of state.

    As I stated ‘on principle” RN should have been made to account for his actions. I think Scott Jensen and others in Wisconsin need to be held accountable. But Jensen and Company have not brought state government to a halt and there is no clamor one way or the other from the public. While I find that sad it is also the truth.

    The public meltdown over RN had to end.

  2. Kerr Mudgeon permalink
    September 9, 2006 12:48 PM

    Honorable decision, poo! I can think of no greater abuse of the executive pardon than to apply it to another executive in advance of any charges being laid or verdicts rendered. Besides, the pardon is intended to rectify past errors or to reward a former criminal for exemplary conduct since. No reasonable condition existed for pardoning Nixon other than political expediency.

    Isn’t there a double standard here? Dekerivers stands for Nixon’s pardon but also for throwing the book at the recently convicted Wisconsin legislators for abusing the public trust. Can’t have it both ways.

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