Thoughts about Richard Nixon

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Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:51 pm

Lacked social skills, flawed character.

Brilliant with politics and policy.

A couple of hundred years in the future, historians may see him as the most interesting person of the 20th century.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Shapley » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:11 pm

I've always admired President Nixon. His domestic policies were a little too liberal for my liking, but he was very adempt at foreign policy.

He inherited an unpopular war, and turned our fortunes around in that conflict. We were winning militarily in Vietnam, but had already lost the PR battle at home. Even so, he successfully ended the conflict while saving face, until the rug was pulled out from under him by a hostile Congress.

He was able to revive his image during his years in retirement, and remained a model of restraint in the face of a smear campaign that continues to this day. We don't have Dick Nixon anymore, but they're still kicking him.

All in all, he was a good man who faced a daunting task. He once said, "The greatest work a man can do is to be a part of something bigger than himself."

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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:31 pm

Shapley wrote:I've always admired President Nixon. His domestic policies were a little too liberal for my liking...
:roll:
Shapley wrote:...but he was very adempt [sic] at foreign policy.
:deal:
Shapley wrote:He inherited an unpopular war, and turned our fortunes around in that conflict. We were winning militarily in Vietnam, but had already lost the PR battle at home. Even so, he successfully ended the conflict while saving face, until the rug was pulled out from under him by a hostile Congress...
I recall things a little differently.
Shapley wrote:He was able to revive his image during his years in retirement, and remained a model of restraint in the face of a smear campaign that continues to this day. We don't have Dick Nixon anymore, but they're still kicking him.
Not so much, not so much, smearing was not required, he's so eminently kickable...
>^..^<
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby BigJon@Work » Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:41 pm

He will probably remain the oddest personality to attain the highest office in the television era. He got elected twice despite his personality quirks.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby dai bread » Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:52 pm

I recall things a little differently.

So do I. Mind you, I've always thought that Nixon was undone by enemies who carefully studied their man and then set him up. His & Kissinger's rapprochement with China would have upset a lot of people.

But it's what his presidency will be remembered for. Until then, China didn't officially exist, not only in the U.S. but in a good deal of the Western world that took its lead from America.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Shapley » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:12 am

Selma wrote:I recall things a little differently.


Now, Why doesn't that surpirse me? :D
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby barfle » Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:43 am

I voted for him twice (but look at the opposition). While Watergate was his most memorable legacy, what disappointed me most about him was his abandonment of conservative principles when he imposed wage and price controls. The despised 55mph national speed limit was also contrary to those who feel liberty is a virtue.

That being said, I admire his guts (or was it timing - look at his opposition) in recovering from a loss in his California gubernatorial bid to end up as POTUS.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby piqaboo » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:00 pm

55 mph speed limit vs ?freedom?

Were there states with NO speedlimit prior to the national 55 mph limit?

In CA, it just lowered what was already present - a speed limit. Not much loss of freedom, just a small tightening of the shackles.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby BigJon@Work » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:24 pm

Not at that time, but not long before, in the 60's, Nevada and some other western states had no limit. The rule was reasonable and safe in the daytime, and some number I don't recall at night. If you've ever driven across those states, you know why that was a good thing. The problem with 55 was that it was not science based, an did very little to achieve its stated goals.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Trumpetmaster » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:26 pm

Wasn't the 55MPH Speed Limit put into place to help reduce gas consumption
due to the early 70's gas crisis.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Shapley » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:54 pm

Trumpetmaster wrote:Wasn't the 55MPH Speed Limit put into place to help reduce gas consumption due to the early 70's gas crisis.


Yes, but it was still a bad idea. It set a bad precedent. Well, not really, that precedent was set long before, but it established that Republican Presidents were no better than Democrat ones when it came to States' rights. After the Johnson administrations' abandonment of any allegiance to that basic principle, the States were in need of new champion. Nixon wasn't the one.

He also implemented the year-round daylight savings time, another bad idea. He also established the EPA. Not a bad idea, per se, except that it highlighted the fact that he was a fan of broader Federal powers, just as his predecessor had been. As I've said, his domestic policies were too liberal for my blood.

But then, given the positions of his Democrat opponents, he was the conservatives best choice... [sigh].

V/R
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby piqaboo » Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:05 pm

S'far as I remember from reported studies, it did save fuel and it also saved lives. Didnt reduce number of accidents, just made fewer of them fatal. Never saw a study showing the condition of those who lived thru the non-fatal accidents.
Calculated in terms of gross productivity, slower travel times probably had a negative effect for clinical monitors and various sales/tech reps etc.

If oil company employees are hassled abroad, do they go to the US embassy, or the Arizona, Texas, or California etc embassies? Seems the feds might have earned the right to a say on oil consumption.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Shapley » Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:15 pm

If oil company employees are hassled abroad, do they go to the US embassy, or the Arizona, Texas, or California etc embassies? Seems the feds might have earned the right to a say on oil consumption.


The 55 MPH speed limit wasn't an imposition on the oil companies, it was an imposition on individual freedoms.

That being said, the law only applied to Federal highways, or rather Highways that recieve Federal funds, and I have argued that the government has the right to set the rules for use on its' own highways. It could (and probably was) argued that the States had been given the 'priviledge' of setting their own speed limits, and that conditions mandated the revocation of that priviledge. In fact, it was true that States could 'opt out' of the Federal speed limit simply by refusing Federal funding, but none did. (Imagine that.)

The speed limit itself wasn't the issue so much as was the willingness to increase the power of the Federal government 'for the common good'. Limitations on such power exist for a reason, and they should be breached only with very good reason.

V/R
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby GreatCarouser » Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:08 pm

piqaboo wrote:55 mph speed limit vs ?freedom?

Were there states with NO speedlimit prior to the national 55 mph limit?


Montana for sure....maybe Wyoming as well...I'm talking about on the major highways...


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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Shapley » Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:24 pm

GreatCarouser wrote:
piqaboo wrote:55 mph speed limit vs ?freedom?

Were there states with NO speedlimit prior to the national 55 mph limit?


Montana for sure....maybe Wyoming as well...I'm talking about on the major highways...


.


Nevada, if I remember correctly. I believe Nevada was the State that was sued under President Carter for failing to enforce the national speed limit. They began stopping and ticketing speeders, but they established a fine of $5, with no points removed, for speeding on major highways. I believe the ticket was issued for 'waste of natural resources' instead of speeding.

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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Haggis@wk » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:46 am

piqaboo wrote:S'far as I remember from reported studies, it did save fuel and it also saved lives. Didnt reduce number of accidents, just made fewer of them fatal. Never saw a study showing the condition of those who lived thru the non-fatal accidents.
Calculated in terms of gross productivity, slower travel times probably had a negative effect for clinical monitors and various sales/tech reps etc.


The results have been a mixed bag. One study showed that the total savings over the almost 20 years it was in effect was 1%. Of course the difference of 1% of $13-a-barrel-of-oil vs. 1% of $110-a-barrel-of-oil is not an insignificant number! :shock:

As for safety, deaths per million miles of travel have been declining for decades ( 1.5 deaths per 100 million miles of travel in 2005, down from 5.5 fatalities in 1966) while overall vehicle death rates have been relatively constant at 40-45,000 for decades as well.

The leading cause of vehicle deaths, failure to use seat belts, is about the same now as it was during the era of 55MPH. Stupidity kills at 55MPH just as readily as stupidity kills at 65MPH.

If you think about safety improvements and the yearly increase in the number of drivers and cars on the road (not even considering how many illegal aliens are on the road!) then you'd almost have to say that 40K deaths in 2005 has to represent some improvement over 40K deaths in 1966, wouldn't you?

But the bottom line was that 55MPH did the same thing to Americans that prohibition did; make them criminals. Just as my grandfather found prohibition something of an annoyance, but not a barrier in those 13 years, most driving Americans felt the same about 55MPH.

In 1976 or 77 some college kids pulled a prank in Maryland, just outside of Wash DC. They all drove abreast on all the lanes of the I-495 beltway at 55MPH. When the highway patrol finally pulled them over it wasn't to arrest them but to protect them from the enraged drivers in the massive traffic jam they had caused by "driving the speed limit."

Several years later I heard one of those then students now lawyer say that he had received death threats for years after that prank.

The MRHYN and I got married in 1974 and drove from Florida to my assignment in Maryland just as the 55MPH signs were going up. I recall drivers honking their horns at the highway workers and I don’t think it was an act of support, “Honk if you love 55,” kind of thing.

Thank gawd they repealed that horrible law!!!!
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby analog » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:49 pm

Giant Communist Robot wrote:Lacked social skills, flawed character.

Brilliant with politics and policy.

A couple of hundred years in the future, historians may see him as the most interesting person of the 20th century.


I'm in the Flawed camp.

Book Review

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Nixon: A Psychobiography. By Vamik D. Volkan, Norman Itzkowitz, and Andrew W. Dod. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. xiv, 190 pp. $27.50, isbn 0-231-10854-0.)
Not surprisingly, Richard M. Nixon has inspired more psychological studies than any other United States president. "Only with psychological insight," argue Vamik D. Volkan, Norman Itzkowitz, and Andrew W. Dod, "can we grasp why a powerful president would destroy himself when there was no need to do so." Richard Nixon: A Psychobiography discusses Nixon's biography, the "three faces" of his personality, and his postpresidential "resurrection." The authors select specific incidents to illustrate Nixon's "psychic truth" and patterns of behavior. 1
Volkan, Itzkowitz, and Dod use developmental theory to study the unfolding of Nixon's personality. They seek to avoid reductionism that stresses "one factor, one germ, in the development of an adult's mind." The authors found Nixon to be narcissistic, exhibiting both exaggerated self-love and hungry dependency. The grandiose Nixon centralized decision making in the White House and undertook bold initiatives. To overcome the gap between his grandiose self and devalued self, Nixon played peacemaker, quoting Abraham Lincoln on the need for domestic tranquility while pursuing détente with the Communist powers overseas. Unable to maintain those "healing activities," Nixon submitted to "an internal image of a brutal father, which caused him to punish himself" and wreck his administration.


http://www.historycooperative.org/cgi-b ... r_115.html

The poor guy. He meant well.

I don't buy that last line though.
I believe instead he was lashing out at his supposed enemies, way over-reacting, the narcissist's response to even mild criticism, and his yes-men didn't rein him in..

I do remember the '65 Chrysler I had at the time with a gas tank about 26 gallons. I well recall the shock first time a $10 bill wouldn't fill it up.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby barfle » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:32 pm

Shapley wrote:it established that Republican Presidents were no better than Democrat ones when it came to States' rights.

Sheesh. Lincoln pretty well did that one in.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby barfle » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:36 pm

Shapley wrote:In fact, it was true that States could 'opt out' of the Federal speed limit simply by refusing Federal funding, but none did. (Imagine that.)

I always considered it bribery.

Shapley wrote:The speed limit itself wasn't the issue so much as was the willingness to increase the power of the Federal government 'for the common good'. Limitations on such power exist for a reason, and they should be breached only with very good reason.

The speed limit itself was a pain for those who could travel at a rate beyond it. Politically, it was a reason (without Watergate) why Nixon didn't deserve the votes I cast for him.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Shapley » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:37 pm

barfle wrote:
Shapley wrote:it established that Republican Presidents were no better than Democrat ones when it came to States' rights.

Sheesh. Lincoln pretty well did that one in.


Valid point.
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