Sunday, February 17, 2008


Happy President's Day A-merry-ca!

On this the day when we celebrate our Presidents, I would like to tell you who my favorite A-merry-can President of all time is, and why. Now admittedly, the pickings are slim, as I have never really been fond of any of A-merry-ca's Presidents. I mean something can be said for Truman and what he did to integrate the Army, and FDR and the New Deal was cool I guess. Lincoln supposedly freed the slaves, but true historians know that there were other reasons for that.

JFK? He was young, he was stylish, and came along at a time when A-merry-ca really needed him. LBJ? I don't think so. The war on poverty didn't work, and well there was a little problem called Vietnam. Bubba? Please!

No folks my favorite President of all time was Ricahrd Milhous Nixon. "Oh come on field you are smoking your native country's national plant again." No, I mean it. Nixon was the first President to embrace a real affirmative action policy by the federal government. He appointed African American Secretaries like Arthur Fletcher (who crafted the "Philadelphia Plan" which tried to force trade unions into hiring minorities into their ranks) over labor. James Farmer over HEW, and Samuel Jackson (not the actor) over HUD. Can you say Mount Rushmore anyone?

Under Nixon the ante was raised for minority business enterprises from eight million dollars to over a billion. He appointed the first African American four star general (Daniel Chappy James), and he pumped millions of dollars into historically black colleges which he supported. He also wiped out tax credits for schools that discriminated against blacks. And I know there might to be a whole family of us in there soon. But let's not downplay the fact that it took Nixon to allow the firs African American (not counting the servants) to spend the night in one of those fancy White House guest rooms (Sammy Davis, Jr.). Oh, and let's not forget, that we were under Nixon's administration when we finally got out of Vietnam.

So Nixon is my guy, and I know some of you had issues with him because of Watergate, but come on. All politricksters lie and steal, my man just got caught. "But field he was a republican". Yeah and? Look folks don't get it twisted, I don't dislike rethuglicans because they are rethuglicans. I dislike them now because this current group of rethuglicans are so fucked up.
It's that simple.

Finally, "tricky Dicky", you weren't perfect. There was Spiro Agnew and Henry Kissinger. And A-merry-ca still remembers how you folded like a cheep suit in that debate with JFK. But until the "O" man can win the highest office, and spend four years showing me otherwise; you are the greatest A-merry-can President of all time.



Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Nixon brought us the initial calls for National Health Care.

Anonymous said...

Not only did he get caught, but he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

PS: Nixon's "Jew Counter" is back to work, this time for the McCain campaign. Small world after all.

Unknown said...

Who knew? Well, besides you, obviously. Thanks for the knowledge, Field. Guess I'll have to go do some research on Tricky Dick now...

Kellybelle said...

Field, you made my morning! LOL, I never thought to look at Nixon like that. Sure, he used the n-word as a verb (Nixon: ``Hubert, you guys going to n***** it up in Chicago?'' Humphrey: ``We sure are, boy, we're going for 100 per cent of the vote.'') but he was who he was and he didn't try to pretend he wasn't.

field negro said...

agentx, I know he was a crook, but show me a politician that isn't.

Yes kellybelle, "tricky Dick" was up front with his[racism and ignorance]. Which is another reason to like him compared to the others.

Jose Vilson said...

Well, I think we need to look at both sides of this argument. As persuasive as this is, his speeches were all about taking back government control and ensuring that protests wouldn't happen as much. As much as he "gave" us, we also have to think about we had to give back for those things to happen.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

That is a bold choice. I don't think many folks know about the things he did beside Watergate.

The interesting thing about that infamous debate with JFK is people who heard it on the radio thought Nixon won hands down. On TV his sweating killed him. It was the begining of the media age in politics.

Anonymous said...

Hey Field,
That man has to be the most ironic figure in American politics. People forget that there is an art to being president. Although I have great issues with his law an order edicts, his Southern Strategy of campaigning during his days, the old devil was the best president of the last half decade. This mofo also started OSHA, opened up China, and understood what alot of people have forgotten. That is government does have role in citizens lives and should do its part to help out. Nobody is talking about a handout, but a real understanding that we all are in this together. I really feel that these new politicians including Jesus himself are so on that personal responsibility kick and up by your bootstraps mentality that they would never dream that government could help people. We are so used to politicians not getting anything done that we accept it without question. So Tricky Dick while he was full of sh*t) on some things had some good points. Even a cynic like me can admit just as much.
Just a little information for the masses that I perused lately.
"Here's where I fail again. I actually think providing Americans with decent healthcare and housing and ending usurious interest rates is more important than having a nice president talking with enthusiasm about hope and faith.

Where did I pick up this odd idea? From the Democratic Party, which from Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson had it as a central thesis. Which is why we have a minimum wage, Medicare, Social Security and some modicum of control over banks and investment firms. Social Security once symbolized real hope to Americans. Now Obama symbolizes hope and, according to him, everything about Social Security is "on the table."

Sadly, for anyone under 35 there has hardly been a measure passed in their lifetime that would give much credibility to "policies." But it is possible. Consider what that evil man Richard Nixon did. He proposed a healthcare plan to the left of either Obama or Clinton. This plan included a provision in which any American could sign up for Medicaid paying on a sliding income scale. He indexed Social Security for inflation, created the Environmental Protection Agency and OSHA as well as the first real federal affirmative action program. If a guy as bad as Nixon could do all that, shouldn't we expect a bit more from the sainted Barack Obama?"

Anonymous said...

Field. Not sure if I agree he was the best president, but Nixon did achieve some good things as you point out. But like another president who comes to mind and who due to his inability to just say no opened the door to this current fascist regime, he blew it, so to speak, over something that was really very petty.

On the other hand, Nixon was probably the inspiration for Karl Rove. He won many early elections by claiming just a few days before the elections that he had proof that his opponents were communists. And like the Swift Boat strategy, it works.

Nixon also, you may remember, got reelected with his "secret plan" to end the war. Which was also so much bilge water.

Anonymous said...

In the debate between Nixon and JFk it did look like Nixon won it. But, JFK looked and sounded better. Now, if you notice the same argument can be made about Hillary and Obama. She does way better in debates but he is the better speaker. And plus, he looks way more attractive to the voters on Tv.

I think Hillary will win Wisconsin by a good percent. And Obama will go on to do good in the finale two debates and win the Dem nomination. But since Obama is up against a Clinton he might not make it any further past Wisconsin.

Joel said...

Nixon? I agree that his administration did have some positives for African-Americans and he actually was fairly liberal on domestic policy when in office, but he also campaigned on a "law and order" platform in order to stoke anger against uppity black protesters in the late 60s and a lot of the social change and affirmitive action-related govt programs were more or less inevitable at the time.

I still have a hard time saying there's EVER been a better president than FDR. The crippled bastard was just a pure leader who brought the country out of a depression and through the worst war in history. Plus he truly did modernize the country in a way that profoundly helped poor blacks (and whites) up to today.

field negro said...

ANON 10:218AM. I co-sign with you, the irony is rich isn;t it?

gwpreister, I can't argue with you on Nixon being the inspiration for Rove et al., and thus being just as bad for A-merry-can politics.
Hey I told you that this was a tough choice for me. It's not like I have much to choose from.

Joel, it would be hard for me to put up a good argument against FDR. I suppose I could go 1 and 1a with him and "tricky Dick." :)

Anonymous said...

I like your argument Field. But remember, Nixon is the president most responsible for the explosion of America's prison industrial complex. He ran as the "law and order" candidate. And his platform eschewed rehabilitation in prison.

Anonymous said...

As some others have pointed out, Nixon went to China, and that counts for something. He could have been great but he had Vietnam around his neck too and he, like other almost great presidents, was his own greatest enemy, even if he forgot to put himself on his official list.
It didn't matter that he was a crook and a liar, that is normal for pols everywhere, and he only denied he was a crook.
However, compared to Bush the man was a presidential genius, although due to his fascist tendencies and actions he would never make it as one of my favorites.
Yet, Field, you are right, the title was his for the losing.
And I say, he lost it.
He also claimed he was not a quitter, but he did quit.

Anonymous said...

Nixon also signed more landmark environmental legislation into law than any other president. Of course, that was before the GOP ceded conservation issues to the Dems - something that happended under Reagan's watch, I think. Point is, for all the reasons ennumerated here, Nixon couldn't win the nomination of either party today. This is less of a comment on him than on the society as a whole - how far right-ward we've drifted in the intervening decades.

God save us from great presidents, though. Congress is supposed to run the damn country. I'd vote for the crazy bastard Paul if he were the GOP nominee (or ran as an independent), because he alone seems to understand this basic fact.

Christopher said...

John F. Kennedy. Nuff said!

And his wife, the beautiful, sylish and smart, Jacqueline Kennedy, wasn't too shabby either.

What a stark contrast to the current country-simple Hillbillies currently living in the White House.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi FN,

Okay those are some genuinely good things he did but...we need some balance.

Richard Nixon was also responsible for the modern day War on Drugs; which has wreaked havoc on some parts of African America.

Nixon also coined the term Hispanic. His goal was that if all of the people whose ancestors were from Spanish speaking countries were lumped together in on group eventually they would out number African Americans and usurp the burgeoning political power of African Americans.

As you know his plan is even now coming to fruition in certain parts of the U.S. and in a few years will be fully realized.

And finally let’s not forget that it was during the Nixon admin that the modern day Southern Strategy was born.

So all in all Nixon was a real contradiction and mixed bag (of tricks).

Christopher Chambers said...

The problem is that Nixon was the fertilizer for the cesspot that was the Reagan Administration and Reagan's people (a lot of them) cut their teeth within Nixon's reign, as Deux cents imparts. It was thus Reagan in turn who birthed this current crop. I therefore say that we need to send a Terminator back in time and kill Nixon (stealthily) sometime in October 1963, before JFK...or after the 1964 election if we have to sacrifice JFK...

field negro said...

"Richard Nixon was also responsible for the modern day War on Drugs; which has wreaked havoc on some parts of African America"

mes deux cents, I agree with that to a point; but the disparity in sentencing and the racial "imbalance with the war on drugs was brought on by the fake ass cowboy from California.

The Hispanic thing I must confess that I didn't know about. ( I learn so much from blogging)

Nixon also signed more landmark environmental legislation into law than any other president"

Dave I almost forgot about that.

-D said...

AND he pushed national health care.

AND he created the EPA.

AND he went to China.

It's funny to look at it now, but Republican mainstream back then was actually more LIBERAL than mainstream Democrat now.

Food for thought, thanks Field.

Can't forgive him for letting Kissinger loose on us, though.

Anonymous said...

There's a new scandal about Obama coming out. The Clinton camp is accusing Obama of plagarizing some speech. The Clintons are getting really desperate.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Sorry, Field, but what I remember about Tricky Dick is that he used that "Southern Strategy" to take out Humphrey in the '68 election, and riling those Dixiecrats the way he did is the same shyt Ronnie Raygun pulled twelve years later, with that "States' Rights" nonsense.

I consider what he did for Blacks was his inept way of Reparations; nothing more and nothing less.

Christopher said...

Isn't Tricky Dick responsible for unhooking our monetary system from the gold standard?

Gee, that's worked out well.

An economy based on promisary notes based on future promises that don't yet exist.

No wonder we have a $9 trillion dollar debt. If the U.S. monetary system was tied to a commodity like gold, George Bush wouldn't had the funding to pay for the Iraq war.

Anonymous said...

Tricky Dick was a prosecutor in the McCarthy House Unamerican Activities Committee's work.... that right there removes him from "best" anything in my book.....

Anonymous said...

Nixon as everyone points out was a mixed bag. Another entrant into this list of best presidents has to be Eisenhower, his cajones in standing up to the thugs like Wallace and Fabus, and building our transportation network(even though the road building got out of hand). FDR would be my #1 though.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Kennedy didn't even get his shot to be the best President - his own government took him out before he could do so.

Nixon - as everyone said, he's a mixed bag; and as someone upthread also stated, he turned Kissinger loose and we've been paying the price in foreign policy ever since.

I will give him some props on the foreign policy, though; but his paranoia is what took him out. If he was a brave soul, he would have allowed himself to be impeached, but I think he was told if he stuck around, he'd be convicted, so he fled.

That Southern Strategy just sticks in my craw, and to use racial inflamation to get the White House is, and always will be, pure stank.

Which is why the Borg Queen has pissed me off to the height of pissivity.

Bob said...

Nixon also had a universal health care plan in the wings. But I still don't like him. Like Clinton not being able to keep zipped up, Nixon was toppled by his own own poor choices. He would've stomped McGovern even if hadn't bothered to campaign at all.

Gunfighter said...

While I would never call Nixon a favorite of mine, I certainly respect a lot of what he did.

Additionally, I would say that a man like Richard Nixon would find no home in today's Republican party.

Anonymous said...

Hey Field,

Nixon also set the gold standard for the Federal - Tribal relationship. He had Erlichman and Haldeman move Indian issues into the Whitehouse (which means out of the BIA, buried in the DOI, along with minerals and animals -- the "natural history" wing of the museum, not the human cultures wing).

We skins are fond of TD, and the litmus test for every candidate since is "will you rise to the level set by Nixon?"