A reader writes:
Maybe I don't know enough about David Frum, but I honestly didn't get the point of your post about his conversation w/ Perlstein. In fact I just watched the whole thing, and I thought it was really interesting (why else would I sit here watching two blogging heads for 45 minutes while holding out against kicking off the air conditioning season?). I would not say that Perlstein necessarily had the better of the whole thing, and I did think that Frum had a point about Nixon, though he had to backtrack and massively qualify it: his abuses of exec authority were, shall we say, an extension of precedent.
Yes, Perlstein did an excellent job detailing the degree to which Nixon's abuses surpassed those of Johnson and Kennedy, and Frum conceded the point. But Frum is maybe also right that standards changed, and that the abuses and buildup of governmental power through the postwar era led both to Nixon and to the reaction/correction.
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