I Married A Nixon


In today’s LA Times, David Eisenhower typed up a little something that shows pretty starkly that if one wants to maintain one’s grasp on reality over time, then marrying into the Nixon family might be a mistake.  The piece (of what, I’ll let the reader decide), is a rather boring, phoned-in paean to something called “civility,” which seems disturbingly popular these days.  (Not civility itself, of course, but the word, especially with Democrats, whose unerring and self-defeating civility just cost them the House.)  He longs for that imagined past, wherein both victorious Generals like his father and commie whoremongers like John F. Kennedy were considered Good Americans, despite their differences.  The not-insignificant difference that in the end, Kennedy was rather quickly assassinated, while David’s father lived to play golf for several more years after two terms in office has evidently slipped his mind.   Memory loss of this sort is understandably an adaptive quality for Mr. Julie Nixon, and he’s really letting it show here.  (Those rolling pins do hurt…)   Marvel, if you will:  (There’s more, but I’m sparing Hag readers the dreary task of reading it all….)

On Jan. 17, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered a historic farewell address, followed on Jan. 20 by President John F. Kennedy’s storied inaugural address. These two speeches, delivered by political opponents, offer obvious contrasts in style and political philosophy. But the addresses converged on key points, namely on questions of citizenship in the modern age and on the belief that the American system of self-government can rise to any challenge.

This historical oddity that Eisenhower perceives, however dimly, is that back in the day, nobody thought Social Security was a “Ponzi Scheme,” McCarthy and his demonizing tactics had been vanquished and discredited, and rich people were taxed at a top rate of 91%, even under the Presidency of his Republican dad.  Times have changed a bit, haven’t they?  Further, Eisenhower failed to notice that the same kind of unhinged, violent rhetoric we hear today would soon target Kennedy, figuratively at first, but later kind of literally.  He was a n*gger-loving Communist, he was part of a Papal conspiracy, and on and on.  Furthermore, a substantial chunk of the opposition party doesn’t believe that the current President even is a citizen.  Honestly, David, I’m beginning to suspect that your news consumption, then and now, must rival Sarah Palin’s.

Both speeches continue to fascinate. Fifty years on, Eisenhower’s famous warnings still seem prophetic. He warned that the American democratic process could be undermined by the “unwarranted acquisition of influence … by a military-industrial complex” and that public policy could fall captive to domination by a scientific-technological elite. In 2011, the threat remains, but the military-industrial complex of which he candidly spoke is relatively smaller (in terms of GDP). And since 1961, the political branches, perhaps heeding his warnings, have retained control over the Pentagon and military policy.

Generalissimo Petraeus would be surprised to hear that, as would Dick Cheney; they’d also be pretty disappointed too, as members in good standing of the only Reality-Based Community that matters, the Pentagon.  I don’t know where he gets his figures, since military spending in 1961 by almost every measure took a much smaller bite out of the budget than it does now, and every President, including “Democrats” like Clinton, Carter, and Bush, have supinely deferred to the military brass on matters of both budget and policy ever since.  But do go on, David;  despite your blandness and wooden prose, this is getting as interesting as a rant about family scandals from a drunken uncle at Christmas.

Likewise, Kennedy’s vision of a “peaceful revolution of hope” continues to galvanize efforts to overcome poverty and encourage wise development at home and abroad, as do his memorable words about the social responsibilities inherent in a free and just society. “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor,” Kennedy declared, “it cannot save the few who are rich.”

Alright, that does it.  HOW can any sentient primate be so clueless to imply, even vaguely, that Kennedy’s vision of social justice has somehow prevailed, in a country where the ascendent faction in the house thinks Jesus would have wanted sick children to just die if they have some “preexisting condition” or the other?  Or that unemployment insurance, and essential countercyclical tool the government has routinely used since before World War II to counter downturns, is “unconstitutional?”  More hilariously, just a couple weeks after the Republicans vowed to punish the whole world if they couldn’t get the richest “few” relieved from a 4% tax increase amid crushing deficits, Eisenhower couldn’t manage to Google thoroughly enough to find a quote less snicker-inducing than that?  For Pete’s sake.

And “wise development at home and abroad?”  Has the guy not read about Baghdad, Fallujah, and Kandahar?  Or more locally, Detroit, Cleveland, New Orleans, St. Louis?  These days, we do un-development.  We’re #1 in that, anyway.

The historical blinders required to see these two historical moments as both similar and different as they are, but for what amounts to the opposite of the real reasons, must have come in handy all these years for a guy who, before he needed reading glasses, thought it would be a good idea to marry Julie Nixon.  Days before President Nixon resigned, poor David was overruled by his bride, and glumly acquiesced to the “Loyal Nixies” Quixotic attempt to “continue the fight,” and look how that turned out.  Double-crossed and outsmarted by is sleazeball father-in-law, he’d been rightly consigned to history’s dustbin, but evidently not by the LA Times, who have  now trotted him out of deserved obscurity to comment, pathetically, on the SOTU this evening.  I guess Jonah Goldberg was busy.

UPDATE: As commenter Retzilian notes, ol’ David is the Grandson, not son, of Ike and Mamie. CHNN regrets the error, but reserves the right to make more in the future.


  1. mikeinportc says:

    ” #1 in Un-development.” :)
    American Exceptionalism! Yeah baby!

    “There’s more, but I’m sparing Hag readers the dreary task of reading it all….”

    Thank you . Ditto the SOTU. I can’t watch those things. Too many cringe moments. ( & I might have to spring for a new TV every January. ;) )

    A smaller bite? Lol! Remember the late ’90s , David ? The Pentagon %GDP went from ~ 7.4% to ~4.7%.( & has gone up greatly ever since) That had GOPers & blue dogs talking treason, & spitballs, even though the absolute $# went up tremendously. If the “bite” was actually smaller now, we’d be hearing about it incessantly.

    OT, the Palestinians apparently have their LieberFOXbama faction too. They’re angry…….. at Al Jazeera. Lol! For making it up. Their particular beloved politicritters couldn’t be that sleazy/weak/duplicitous/dishonest , so A-J must be making it up. :) )))))


    Sarah,Joe,Michelle,Barack, et al, you have friends in Palestine . Come on down! ( & help shoot the messenger )

    So for all the West Bank Beltway Bubble Wannabes, here’s to ya ;)


    • cocktailhag says:

      I didn’t watch SOTU, either, except for a few minutes, and when Obama compared the federal budget to a family budget, I bailed. Thanks for checking out those figures; I guess the LA Times couldn’t be bothered.
      That’s pretty funny about the PA scandal…. Notice how no one ever protests FOX?

  2. mikeinportc says:

    Checking figures? Nah. I just remember* them . ( & what happened to the national economy at the same time . Shockingly, the good economic #s are inversely proportional to the Pentagon %GDP. ;) )

    * I’m told I have a problem that way, especially in regard to plant names, usually by those frustrated in their attempts to play Stump-the-Chump . :)

  3. mikeinportc says:

    Notice how no one ever protests FOX?”

    New FOX slogan? :
    ” All the Lies That’s Not Fit to Print”* ( even in the NYT)

    Go ahead Roger, feel free to steal it. :)

    * I know it’s not grammatically correct , but it’s audiencally[:)] correct .

  4. retzilian says:

    David Eisenhower is Dwight’s grandson, not son. Just a little correction. I heard him and Julie on the radio a few weeks ago. They are plugging a book. They sounded nice enough, albeit sanitized and fake.

    • cocktailhag says:

      She ain’t nice, sister. Have you read much about the library disputes? Funny, I thought the article referred to Ike as his dad, which I thought he was, but I may be mistaken.

  5. cocktailhag says:

    You’re right, you hussy. Thank God for the Google.