Tuesday, 8 June 2010



No short-haired, yellow-bellied son of Tricky Dicky gonna Mother Hubbard soft-soap me with just a pocketful of hope, money for dope, money for rope. John Winston Lennon. From a popular 'seventies ballad of political intrigue.

Even those familiar with the rise and fall of Tricky Dicky will benefit from this succinct and cogent  analysis of his  melodramatic and  unhappy presidency.

Written and presented by Cambridge don and would-be luvvy, David Reynolds, it veers constantly towards the arch and histrionic but manages to maintain course.

Despite his humble origins, Nixon was always a horrible bastard, conniving and ambitious in the worst way, he made his name persecuting liberals in the McCarthy Witchhunts which so dignified post-war American public discourse, was fucked-over by rich, spoiled, pretty boy, Kennedy, in the 1960 presidential election, returning, triumphant, in 1968.

On the world stage he garnered probably justified praise for his visit to the Chink Empire, now, ironically, Uncle Sam's lender of last resort, won a second term, despite the opposition of hippy and yippy and trippy youth, inelegantly extracted US WarCorp from Indo China and presided over an economy unremarkable by our fevered standards. But his paranoid, bullying, backstabbing dishonesty eventually did for him and despite having thrown all his aides to the wolves, despite all his Right Thing For The Country equivocation, he had to go, leaving the White House in one of those Marine Corp helicopters they used to throw VietCong suspects from, Nixon cut a shabby figure, pissed and unrepentant.

His presidency had   a strange quirky parallel with the premiership of our own,  unlamented Tony Blair, peacemaker emeritus, in that as Blair was upstaged by a brooding and unpleasant Gordon Brown, Nixon was outmanouvred-for-glory by the stunted, grunting piggy, Henry Kissinger, later Thatcher acolyte and  confidante and go-fer of Lord Conrad Black, now of Florida State Prison, then proprietor of the Daily Filth-O-Graph; a horrid little turd, Kissinger but typical of the lowlifes with whom poor, barmy Nixon surrounded himself.

I don't know that  Nixon was much worse than any of his successors, although I have a soft spot for Jimmy Carter. In many ways he was probably better than most of them,  the odious Clintons, the race-card poseur, Obama, the bought and paid for Reagan and his mad witch, Nancy, and the unspeakable Bushes.  Jesus, what a crew of grotesques. But Nixon  got caught. This brief story of how and why he got caught is well worth looking-out for. On the various BBC platforms. Or is it portals?


Anonymous said...

a horrid little turd, Kissinger" How dare you speak of a Nobel peace prize winner in that way?

call me ishmael said...

It was that American satirist, forget his name, said he gave uo satire when that happened, Kissinger and the Peace Prize.

Anonymous said...

Tom Lehrer in 1973.

mongoose said...

Nixon was the first one I remember. They tried to explain it to us at school when he resigned. It all seemed very dramatic and almost honourable in a mad sort of way. And then about two minutes after stepping up to the plate, Ford gave him immunity from prosecution. And, clang, the penny dropped. They look after their own, the bastards.

Dick the Prick said...

The Oliver Stone film is very good though. Anthony Hopkins may be a penis but the boy can act.

call me ishmael said...

At least in Nixon's time the youth rioted, were beaten and jailed, some shot dead. Now they are precoccupied with I-things and moronshit, texting, facebooking, like busy little epsilons, their retarded parents lovinemtobits. Who will riot here, as, tasered and docile, we, allinittogether, eat shit?

Always tend to think of Stone as a Hollywood version of Diane Abbot, an insider pretending to be an outsider and don't, therefore, watch his films as eagerly as maybe I should, haven't seen that one but I am sure the Nixon character is a dream ro play, even for Sir Anthony, who specialises, usually, in more serious roles, like cannibals.