Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Jan 2nd: I finally get around to posting about Gerald @#$% Ford

Okay, apparently many government offices are closed today because of Gerald Ford's funeral. The media are awash with references to how wonderful he was. What a nice guy. An average Joe. So unassuming. So level headed. Such integrity. Such a…

...traitor. One who opened the floodgates to allow the horrific, appalling corruption of the Bush administration to occur, and to flourish unchecked. One who sent the message in no uncertain terms that Republicans are above the law, and they live to rule a nation of their cronies, by their cronies, and for their cronies. One who, in true Republican fashion, chose to swear his allegiance to his party and it’s ongoing quest for absolute power over the welfare of the country he was elected to serve. A criminal on a national scale, disguised as a feed-store clerk.

Oh, I know, the left is happily touting Bob Woodward's paragraphs about how Ford condemned Bush's foreign policy, as if that's a victory. Oh, please! Ford chose to protect the guilty by withholding that opinion until after he was dead. To Gerald Ford, the image of the Republican party was more important than the many thousands of lives lost, the damage done across the globe, and the trashing of our constitution and our reputation in the eyes of the world. That is what is revered as a lifetime of public service? Gerald Ford's deathbed confession is worthless.

Allow me to reproduce some items from usenet and other corners of the web (where links aren’t included, I’ll just give credit right now to the original authors, all can be googled):

From usenet:
Gerald Ford was a TRAITOR.

As far as I'm concerned, Ford's legacy is that of interfering with justice by pardoning Nixon rather than allowing democratic process to deal with him as provided by the Constitution. Thus commenced the dangerous precedent of not requiring accountability of the highest official in the land.

If accountability is not required of the person in the position of the presidency, then it should not be required of anyone. The President is expected to set an example of the highest principles in our nation.

If the President is allowed to get away with "high crimes and misdemeanors," treason, mass murder, violation of international treaties, deceiving the public into sending their children to die in foreign wars and more, then why should anyone else be expected to abide by the law? The law and the Constitution which he has sworn to uphold has been rendered meaningless.

From Gerald Ford, Unsentimentally, By Matthew Rothschild
Sorry, but I refuse to let my tear ducts open over the death of Gerald

There’s something profoundly undemocratic and vaguely medieval about the almost mandatory salutes that we, the people, are supposed to offer when a former President dies.

The niceties of custom all too often reinforce the habits of blind obedience to the unworthy wielders of power.

Say no ill of the dead, we are told.

Hogwash. Let’s look at Gerald Ford’s record.

The first thing he did was to pardon Richard Nixon, even though ten days previously he had said that the special prosecutor should proceed against “any and all individuals” and a year before, he averred that “I do not think the public would stand for it.”

The pardon short-circuited the necessary prosecution of Nixon, which would have served as a salutary check on future inhabitants of the Oval Office.

Instead, the pardon set a precedent for such flagrant lawbreakers as we have in the White House today.

If impeachment of Bush and Cheney may be just a remote possibility, prosecution and incarceration remain inconceivable. And so Bush and Cheney, thanks to Ford, can float comfortably above the law.

On domestic policy, Ford was a standard issue Republican, vetoing social spending bills, cutting food stamps and housing and education programs, infamously denying aid to New York City while all the while boosting Pentagon spending.

And, in a move Bush and Cheney would have applauded, he proposed the nation’s first official secrets act to provide criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of classified material.

On foreign policy, Ford was damnable.

He fronted for Pinochet in Chile, and kept aid flowing to that vicious strongman.

And on December 6, 1975, Ford and Henry Kissinger flew to Jakarta to meet with dictator Suharto and to give him a green light to invade East Timor.

According to a declassified State Department cable, here was part of their conversation.

Suharto to Ford and Kissinger: “We want your understanding if we deem it necessary to take rapid or drastic action.”

Ford: “We will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem you have and the intentions you have.”

Kissinger: “We understand your problem and the need to move quickly, but I am only saying that it would be better if it were done after we returned.”

Ford and Kissinger returned to the United States, and Suharto launched his invasion hours later.

Suharto’s invasion and occupation cost the lives of 200,000 Timorese. But never mind.

We’re not supposed to remember those things.

Just that Gerry Ford was such a nice guy.

All this in only 3 years.
From Alternet: Ford's legacy is Cheney and Rumsfeld
Ford appointed Rumsfeld his chief of staff when he took office after Nixon's resignation in 1974. The next year, when he made the 42-year-old Rumsfeld the youngest secretary of defense in the nation's history, he named 34-year-old Dick Cheney his chief of staff, also the youngest ever.

Those two Ford appointees worked together ever since. The Bush White House assertion of unchecked presidential power stems from the lessons they drew from their experience of working for the weakest president in recent American history. "For Dick and Don," Harold Meyerson wrote in The American Prospect last July, "the frustrations of the Ford years have been compensated for by the abuses of the Bush years."

Ford also named a new head of the CIA -- a former Texas congressman named George H. W. Bush. Thus you could also credit also Ford with launching the Bush dynasty.

It was during Ford's presidency that the last Americans left Vietnam -- that photo of them struggling to get into that chopper on the roof of the Saigon embassy remains our most powerful image of American defeat, and it shadows our current debate about how to get out of Iraq.

Ford did leave one positive legacy, as Meyerson reminds us: his supreme court appointee, John Paul Stevens. Few remember it today, but when the Court majority appointed Bush president in December, 2000, Stevens wrote a blistering dissent, damning the other Republican appointees for their blatant partisanship. And this year Stevens wrote the majority opinion in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld declaring that the military tribunals at Guantanamo violated the Geneva Convention.

But we wouldn't need Stevens if we didn't have Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush -- that's the legacy of Gerald Ford.
From Ford, Nixon Sustained Friendship for Decades:
"Anytime you want me to do anything, under any circumstances, you give me a call, Mr. President," [Ford] told Nixon during that May 1, 1973, conversation. "We'll stand by you morning, noon and night."

Ford: "I looked upon him as my personal friend. And I always treasured our relationship. And I had no hesitancy about granting the pardon, because I felt that we had this relationship and that I didn't want to see my real friend have the stigma," Ford said in the interview.
Meaning, of course, that he believed it was okay to violate the law and shit on the things our nation holds most dear, as long as he and his cronies could get off the hook. Vile, contemptible pigs, each and every one of them.

Here's more:

I Can't Forgive Ford
The standard set by Ford remains. Republicans get a pass. Democrats get held to a standard Nixon did not. I'm one of the people against impeaching Mr. Bush, with the caveat that we must follow the investigations to come wherever they may lead. But it does raise the question: If Clinton got impeached, and Nixon got pardoned by Ford, what is fitting for Mr. Bush? The scales have not been set right since Ford's actions robbed this country of a just and much needed trial. If we throw in the actions of Henry Kissinger, who did much of Nixon's foreign policy handywork, you could have had the political crimes of the 20th century. President Gerald R. Ford robbed us all of that justice. It follows us still.
NIXON PARDON: For Friendship, Not Country
The pardon had absolutely nothing to do with this country. It was strictly personal.
Furthermore, in the article Cheney hails Nixon pardon at Ford's state funeral, sick-sicko-sickest-of-all-psycho-greedy-evil-diabolical-hellspawn-dick-cheney says things that are beyond belief (in other words, cherished right-wing dogma).
Ford, the 38th president who died on Tuesday at age 93, steered the United States through "a crisis that could have turned to catastrophe," said Cheney, chief of staff in Ford's White House 30 years ago and an honorary pallbearer at the ceremony in the U.S. Capitol rotunda.
What he meant by crisis was, a crisis for him and his cronies, who were spared ever being held accountable for their crimes. He continued,
"In politics it can take a generation or more for a matter to settle, for tempers to cool," Cheney said. "We will never know what further unravelings, what greater malevolence might have come in that time of furies turned loose and hearts turned cold. But we do know this: America was spared the worst and this was the doing of an American president."
Again, replace the word "America" with "me and my corrupt cronies who regard all the rest of you with utter contempt." Vile prick.

And just to top it off, how about this: With all that lofty rhetoric about "sparing America the worst", saving us from some national crises, etc., what did they do? Of course: They went ahead and unleashed that "worst", that "crisis" upon the country anyway, to punish us for wanting them to obey the law!

And they call themselves morally superior. I swear, I've seen dogs lick up things that have been excreted and regurgitated that have more integrity than the American conservative right. Nixon burns in hell, and Ford will join his friend there.


pissed off patricia said...

I have no love for Ford but I did watch some of the ceremonies today. My liberal, tree hugging, bleeding heart felt sorry for Ms Ford. She's an old lady and the stress of the past week has to have taken a lot out of her.

As for his pardon of Nixon, I agree with you. It was the beginning of what we are seeing now as the end.

nunya said...

I didn't even go there. You ever wonder how many pardons the next president will be obligated to do for this criminal administration?

The Future Was Yesterday said...

No argument with your rant, from these quarters, and I'm from Michigan. I had occasion to meet Mrs. (Betty) Ford several times, and simply put: She is a jewel!

A substantial part of her alcoholism and drug abuse was brought on by her Husband's decisions re Nixon, and Nixon's own family. Julie Nixon used to call her at all hours and days to say "My Father is dying (phlebitis). Make your Husband pardon him!" Those closest to Mrs. Ford said she was the every day social drinker, until she went in the white house.

Those same sources also say that she set her foot down, and hard, to build the clinic that bears her name, i.e. "If you don't build that clinic Gerald, you are in deep shit!!" Hell hath no fury....:) Now, friends in Michigan tell me she's getting calls, letters, faxes, blaming her for this asshole we have now. Pop was right. The stress of all of this....and she's still sober and drug free! She gets my vote - along with a huge hug - any minute of any day!!

Anonymous said...

Great post. No arguments here. I'm sure he will be canonized like that asshat Reagan was.

azgoddess said...

ex-pres ford was as corrupt as they all were...and he knew it!!

thanks for the re-cap!

SheaNC said...

patricia: yes, many are saying that she was actually pretty cool.

nunya: I hate the end-of-term presidential pardons. Are they lining up consulting jobs?

future: yup, she's getting lots of kudos now.

hillcountrygal: thanks :)

azgoddess: you're welcome :)

Professor Zero said...

Great post.