Hoover Was No Nixon Who Was No George W.


Continuing with the theme below: So we now know that J. Edgar Hoover, usually figured as pure evil in popular culture, is a saint compared to Richard Nixon (and we'll just ignore for the moment the fact that Deep Throat/Mark Felt, Hoover's high-ranking agent who is being pretty fondly remembered these days, helped design the FBI's notorious COINTELPRO).

If it takes Nixon to rehab Hoover, who could possibly transmute Tricky Dick–the guy you wouldn't buy a used car from!–into something golden?

George W. Bush, of course. Here's the Watson and Crick of the Huffington Post, Jerry and Joe Long, thinking thoughts even deeper than the ones Matt Welch excerpted previously:

Compared to George W., Richard Nixon had an all consuming passion for the truth. The Watergate transcripts are basically a desperate attempt by Nixon to keep his lies straight. He was genuinely concerned about what lies he had told to whom; painstakingly repositioning aides and agencies inside his web of plausible deniability lest his actions be found out. Today's misdeeds make the Huston Plan [for illegal surveillance of Nixon's real and perceived enemies] look like an exercise in progressive government. Having to defend something like the Downing Street Memo would've dissolved RN in a puddle of vindictive jowl sweat. Yet the media never dares trouble our unconcerned Caesar for an explanation.

Whole bit here. The Longs' bio notes that they are "satirists," so maybe they're just being funny here. But this worse-than-Nixon meme isn't all that new. Hunter S. Thompson, a guy who made a small fortune ragging on Nixon like no one besides Kissinger ever pulled off, pronounced Dubya worse than Nixon.

I'm not clear exactly on why Bush is more hated than Nixon; I mean, I understand some of the reasons people have for hating him, but worse than Nixon? What does that even mean, exactly? Nixon's economic policies were ruinous; he also fomented racial hate and divisiveness in a way that no one can accuse Bush of. Bush's war–however misguided you think it was (and I do)–is already more successful and, perhaps more important, more out-in-the-open than Nixon's Southeast Asia adventures. I'm no fan of Bush but I just don't understand the utter, near-rabid contempt he inspires in many people.

Then again, I don't understand why more lefties haven't moved to Canada given the last presidential election.