Election Day 2014

nixon resignsMid-term elections are under way in the United States today and although Joe Biden predicts Democrats will secure 52 Senate seats, most pundits (and polls) disagree.  David Nather, senior policy reporter at POLITICO and the author of Understanding Obamacare, believes Democrats will, regardless of the outcome, have a good deal of soul searching to do before 2016.  So will Republicans if they intend on finding a presidential nominee that satisfies the Tea Party and traditionalists.

The singular object of Republican ire – and many of the conservative Democrats – in this election cycle is Obama and the Affordable Healthcare Act.  Just recently Bill Clinton told the New York Times he had it worse, that partisanship of the 1990s was more oppressive than today, making Obama’s failures seem even greater.

One president is currently getting more attention that Obama, however: Richard M. Nixon.  With two epic book released this autumn about Nixon’s place in history, the only president to resign is again a hot topic.  Rick Perlstein’s The Invisable Bridge, the book he has written on the growth of conservatism in the 1970s, connects Nixon’s failures as president with the rise of Ronald Reagan in a sweeping narrative.  Conversely, John Dean, Nixon’s tarnished White House counsel, tries (for the third time in a publication) to defend the Nixon administration.  The Washington Post’s Robert Kaiser dissects the tropes erected by the journalist and the lawyer, concluding that both have their place in the ongoing, and clearly subjective, memory of Nixon’s tenure. (See also David Greenberg on Dean in the New Republic).

40 years after Watergate – the “gate” to name all other scandals – Nixon remains in the limelight.


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