Conservatives want to argue that President Obama is the most bitterly partisan and morally bankrupt president of all time. But the current title-holder of Most Bitterly Partisan and Morally Bankrupt President of All Time is Richard Nixon who also was a Republican. Thus conservatives are forced to assert both that Obama sets a new standard and that the old standard wasn't so bad after all. This has been a problem all year since the recent 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-ins basically demands a summer of Nixon-themed seances. But the conundrum truly came to a head with President Obama's decision to cite executive privilege in withholding documents from House Republicans' Fast and Furious investigation. Executive privilege was a thing that Nixon did, too. The best example Wednesday comes from, admittedly, the not-so-prominent blogger Mike Adams at NaturalNews.com who, following the lead of Matt Drudge's amazing Nixon-Obama Photoshop at right, tried to mash the two events together:
The level of outright criminality in the Obama administration is now apparent to almost everyone. In the face of incriminating documents being released regarding the lawbreaking Fast and Furious operation pulled off by Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama has invoked executive order to prevent their release. He followed it by saying, "I am not a crook."
Oh wait, that was Nixon. But it's hard to tell the difference anymore except that Nixon's crimes pale in comparison to the crimes being committed by the Obama administration.
Or more succinctly: "Nixon lied, nobody died. Bush lied, nobody died, but Obama lied, people died," Caring GOP tweets. Obama-as-Nixon momentum has been building for weeks. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week it was "really quite Nixonian" for Obama's campaign to list by name the biggest donors to Mitt Romney's campaign. Conservative talking head and former Nixon staffer Monica Crowley told The Daily Caller's Jamie Weinstein Friday that Obama's not just a socialist, but an "economic fascist," but she goes a little easier on her old boss, who actually imposed wage and price controls. "Unlike President Obama, President Nixon was a capitalist who did not believe in 'remaking' the very character of America," she said. In a letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Tom Bell writes, "They say Richard Nixon broke the law, but not as much as Obama has tried to destroy our Constitution."
Rush Limbaugh, too, has struggled with using Nixon as a measure of Obama's misdeeds while simultaneously insisting Nixon was a pretty OK guy. When Obama issued an executive order last week stopping the deportation of some illegal immigrants, Limbaugh was furious. His tirade was posted on his site under the headline "Obama's Illegal Amnesty Decree is Worse Than Anything Richard Nixon Did."
You know, folks, I hate to keep harping on this, but 40 years ago Richard Nixon was hounded out of office supposedly for his illegal actions. And I'm telling you that whatever Nixon did pales in comparison to just this move today: Obama declaring amnesty for 800,000 illegals based on their "youth" status. With just the stroke of his pen. It's not constitutional.
Catch that? Supposedly for his illegal actions.
But it is now, with the Fast and Furious controversy, that some classic Nixonian lines finally apply to Obama. The fact that Obama cited executive privilege is evidence of a "cover up," House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday. "Obama goes Nixon," American Thinker's Thomas Lifson agreed. Fast and Furious was not really about tracking the gun trade among Mexican drug cartels, Lifson says. "The F&F operation was intended to salt Mexico with US weapons, so as to be able to bring domestic pressure for gun control..." It's time to ask, he says, "What did the president know, and when did he know it? That's the appropriate question." Perhaps the best response of all came from Roger Stone, who tweeted, "When Nixon used a claim of Executive Privilege to cover up a crime libs went nutz." Stone is the former Nixon staffer who famously has Nixon's face tattooed on his back.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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