Wednesday would have been President Richard M. Nixon's 100th birthday. Coverage of the centennial runs the gambit from hateful to admiring, with many clear-eyed observers falling in between.
Roger Simon, Politico's chief political columnist, is rather unsentimental on Nixon. "How should we look upon Nixon a century after his birth and nearly 39 years after his resignation as president? I vote for 'down,'" Simon writes.
Nixon apologists are still trying to whitewash Watergate, Simon adds. "Spare me talk about China and all the wonderful environmental legislation he passed. The guy was a loon and a danger to our country. And it was only when Republican leaders went to him and told him the House would impeach him and the Senate might remove him from office, opening up the possibility he could be criminally charged and go to prison, that Nixon decided to resign and later was granted a pardon from Gerald Ford, also born 100 years ago this year."
At The Atlantic journalist and author John Aloysius Farrell, who is currently writing a book on Richard Nixon, has a somewhat more upbeat view of the 37th president's legacy. "The life of no president says more about this country. Nixon's accomplishments sing of the finest American attributes - daring, audacity, resilience and grit. His fall is an incantation of the nation's flaws, of meanness, prejudice, avarice and corruption."
Via Politico and The Atlantic.