If you were a voter in the mid-1970’s, I’ll bet you never thunk someone would be riding Gerald Ford’s coat-tails thirty years later. Then again, you may have never envisioned the thunking-man’s president sitting in office today (or having another Dick in office). Well Cheney was out and about this last week, providing the American people a timely history lesson. He reminded us that Ford’s pardon of Nixon was pretty unpopular at the time, but the ensuing years gave us perspective… and opinion changed.
Dick can be pretty subtle when he wants to be, eh?
I thought it would be pretty neat to look at some things in history that were unpopular at the time… and still are.
Things like: breaking into a rival political party’s national committee headquarters… having oral sex with a White House Intern… “Whip Inflation Now” buttons… lying under oath in a deposition… bungling the invasion of foreign country…
You get the idea.
I won’t say that today’s controversies (re: Iraq) will turn out more like the invasion of Cuba (than Nixon’s pardon), but I must point out (with all due respect to Dick) that it’s irresponsible for us – the voting public – to subrogate our vital responsibilities of government oversight to the judgment of history. Imagine where this country would be if we had waited thirty years to pass judgment on Joseph McCarthy.
Sidebar comment: Imagine McCarthy’s nerve… condemning his critics by questioning their patriotism and making wild statements that they were helping the Communists. It’s a good thing nothing like that could happen again.
As a general rule, it seems to me that the “history will prove me right” argument is the calling card for someone who knows they can’t justify their actions in the present (albeit with a few notable exceptions). Let’s not forget history can be a fickle mistress. Who’s to say that history won’t judge them more harshly instead of less?