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Monica Crowley Left Cerebral Nixon, Embraced Under-Educated Trump

August 31, 2020

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In today’s New York Times one of those sidenotes of history can be found in the massive well-written and researched article on Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.  Treasury spokeswoman Monica Crowly has an interesting job, especially in the past months of economic disruption due to COVID-19.  But it is her fawning behavior over Donald Trump that has left this blogger shaking his head.

After all, it was Crowley who had the ability to sit as an assistant to former president Richard Nixon and hear him expound on all sorts of points of history, policy, and politics.  She then wrote her own books on Nixon’s views, each which sits on shelves behind me as I write this post.

I wrote with pleasure about her a decade ago but noted even then at the closing “she agitates her way on television”.

A fast-paced and most enjoyable read can be found with Monica Crowley’s “Nixon Off The Record”.  The final years of President Nixon’s life were less stressful as he moved further away from the day he resigned the presidency.  Never-the-less his time was filled with thoughts about international relations, political calculations, and reflections about the meaning of leadership and his role over the decades on the world stage.  As Nixon talked with Crowley there is the sense that he is also speaking to the history books.  After their conversations, she would write the content of what the two discussed.  It was not ‘talking out of school’ as there is every indication that Nixon was aware of who the final audience would be when conveying his thoughts to Crowley.

A huge segment of the book deals with the 1992 election, and as the events unfold we hear Richard Nixon on every move and counter-move as the candidates fight in the primaries, move to the party conventions, and then slug it out on Election Day.  Through it all, we feel his angst at not being in the fray as a candidate, and also not able to stand alongside the party in a more forthright manner and speak to the issues that energized him.  The matter of foreign relations with the former Soviet Union is front and central for the former president.  Crowley captures this well as Nixon works at ways to find his voice on the large stage of international relations.

Nixon prided himself on being well-read, steeped in facts, and invested in the international events in which he had played so many parts from his days as a congressman, senator, vice-president, and then leader of the free world.  As an elder statesman, Cowley had the proximity to learn much.

But all lessons, as we know, do not take.

On social media Crowley misstates that Trump created “one of the strongest economies in history”, not admitting what President Obama had actually put in place as 2017 started.

But most importantly for the purpose of this post, Crowley failed to learn a vitally important lesson from Nixon, though admittingly, it mostly went unsaid by the man himself.  Crowly, however, is not an uneducated woman and should know better. The lesson is that laws and rules are put in place so to guide an ordered process of governing, and government itself.  So it was troubling to read her writing on Twitter the following.

Can’t wait to watch President….accept the Republican nomination tonight from the South Lawn of the whitehouse! A historic moment for a historic President. Honored to be a part of this great moment…

The Hatch Act was not a suggestion!

Monica Crowley is one more example of an otherwise smart and skilled person who entered the Trump orbit and will leave it with a soiled reputation.  To lap at the feet of the Trump administration for morsels when she sat for endless hours of elevated conversation with Richard Nixon must be so humiliating.

And so it goes.

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