Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hitchens on Ford

Here's some more grist for the mill of my previous post on Paul Constant's article about the death of Gerald Ford: Christopher Hitchens on the same.


mrjumbo said...

This is a more thoughtful piece on Ford, which is nice to see. It shows him up as at best an unremarkable President, at worst a clumsy bumbler (like how many others?).

Not to let him off the hook, but I have to assume he was mostly flying by the seat of his pants, certainly at first. Of course he didn't come into the office completely clueless, but who would have wanted to inherit the mess he waded into?

Not too unlike GWB, in fact, when he received the startling news that the country was under attack, and got the deer-in-headlight look of a guy who's just realized this job isn't just about doing whatever you want.

So Ford made the obvious move (from his perspective) of clearing the biggest steaming pile of mess off his desk in the first month: Close the chapter on Watergate instead of working it over further. Right or wrong, he chose to ignore the past and focus on what was next. Anyone does that at their own peril, but he probably assessed his own abilities and decided he needed to spend time figuring out what to do next.

And, as this piece makes more clear, he seems to have guessed wrong in many cases. For no good reason, I'll assume he was well-intentioned rather than sinister, but that doesn't especially excuse a sitting President from being an oaf. O.K., an oaf who got the office mostly by stumbling into it, but the other 250,000,000 of us (then) need better.

Nuff said about that. Dead and buried. I still don't see why they had to hang him.

mrjumbo said...

Speaking of achievement, The Onion is running a special report on "Six Years of George W. Bush: A Celebration of Courage." Not sure how long it will take up their main page, but right now every article is about the U.S. President. Have a look and get edified:

They mention something about a long national nightmare too!

Andrew Shields said...

One thing conspiracy theorists often forget is that the people doing the bad things are often not sinister conspirators, but instead well-intentioned but incompetent fools.

Andrew Shields said...

At the Onion, I like "Voice Of God Revealed To Be Cheney On Intercom." Reminds me of that long joke about the boy asking his father about why we are at war in Iraq, and it finally comes down to the boy saying, "So we are at war in Iraq because our President hears voices?"