I was talking with some coworkers when the conversation turned to politics. The subject soon turned to “Wild Bill” Clinton. One of the younger guys asked who we thought was worse: Billy or “Tricky Dicky” Nixon. I was surprised that a comparison was even drawn between the two. So without giving my slant, I want your opinion. I am also curious as to your age to see if the latest generation sees it different.
Tricky Dick, by far. Clinton was simply immoral. Sure, he lied under oath, but all these Republicans swear to protect the Constitution and vote for banning flag desecration. Nixon pushed the Constitution for his own needs and to advance and secure his own power. Far worse in my opinion.
I’m 15, by the way.
Yeah, well, I’m 39 and I agree with Jello.
You can’t tell me Clinton’s the first President of the United States to catch a blow job in the Oval Office.
Well, all right. Nixon didn’t. And Hoover didn’t. And John Quincy Adams probably didn’t. But I’ll bet all the others did.
Nixon’s crime was obstruction of justice. Clinton did that, and perjury, and assorted other things that at least give the appearance of sleeze…after going into office promising the most ethical administration in history. Far as I’m concerned, Slick Willie is worse than Tricky Dick.
(And I think it’s a damn shame Nixon didn’t end up in prison, and I think it’ll be a damn shame if Clinton doesn’t do likewise. Do the crime, do the time.)
Oh, and I’m 36.
I’m about the same age as MysterEcks; we must be the heart-hardened old fogies.
Don’t forget that Pat was not involved in politics or White House dealings, whereas “I’m-not-a-stand-by-your-man-type-woman” Hillary is in it as much (or if not moreso) than Slick Willie. I’m looking forward to all the horror stories that are sure to come out once they leave office, and people aren’t cowering in fear of those Arkansas HillBill(ies).
MysterEcks, don’t forget all of the fund-raising risky schemes they were involved in, not to mention we no longer have a real “standing Army” that is ready to fight tomorrow.
Sorry, folks. I’m not a wacko religious fundamentalist conservative. I have to admit I’m ashamed for having voted for that couple.
…Stanley Resor knew, on a level deeper than words alone could explain, what he was talking about. During the Nixon administration he had so admired his commander in chief that he became a framer of the infamous White House “enemy list.” and put his own son (an anti-war protester) on the list. Then the Watergate crisis struck, and the President, between bouts of talking to paintings of Lincoln and Eisenhower, said, “Do they not realize that I could get on that phone and in an hour and a half 700 million people could be dead?”
Resor did realize something, then. …It astonished him that this man could even be harboring such thoughts over what was, at bottom, nothing more substantial than a bad career decision. During the height of the crisis, the secretary of the army joined General Alexander Haig in a plan to make doubly and triply certain that no branch of the American military would obey a presidential order to launch missles “without prior visual confirmation of mushroom clouds over American soil.” And thus did Stanley Resor become a participant in what was, technically, one of the biggest antiwar protests of all time. Technically, it was also treason, but Nixon left the White House and died two decades later without ever learning the truth.
And the other guy bopped an aide in the oval office. Let’s quit trying to compare these two.
Dr. Charles Pellegino in “Ghosts of the Titanic” (Morrow Press) had just used Stanley Resor quotes on what makes natural leaders in a crisis.
And last election I voted for Dole.
Sure, Clinton got head in the Oval Office. And I still don’t think he lied - he stretched the truth to save his ass, but he didn’t lie and I would have done the same.
Bill is just distasteful. Dick was a power-hungry, homicidal creep.
A president reflects the people. I don’t think either’s behavior is anything more than a reflection of the population each one represented. But oral sex vs. treason? It’s not even an issue in my mind.
I’m 19, by the way, and will be voting for Gore this fall.
Both will end up in the same level of Hell.
Dick was much meaner, Bill was much sleazier. Both disgraced their office.
But as far as office crimes go, I think Dick’s were more evil.
There is no doubt in my mind; Nixon wins hands down. To me there is no comparison. That is why I posted the original thread. I really was shocked that anyone would try to compare them. The coworker mentioned in the OP must not have shown up for history class.
Let’s see. Nixon was involved in the cover up of a major crime (the break in at the Watergate), which had been done, if not with his knowledge, but by his closest aides directions, in order to get elected. And that’s only ONE of the things. His followers edited tapes (Rose Mary Woods’ stretch for 18 minutes) to hide his complicancy.
Clinton was forced to answer questions about his personal sexual life under oath, not because of a criminal complaint, but because of a fishing expedition for a civil suit that had been filed shortly before the deadline. And he thwarted that effort.
hmmmmm. yep. Nixon.
39 yo chiming in for (or would that be against?) Nixon. I think, as time goes by, people forget the enormity of what Nixon did. Watergate was but one aspect - the aforementioned enemies list, the “dirty tricks”, using the FBI as his private intimidation squad, extorting campaign contributions from wealthy contributors with threats of interfering with their business (being a Red Sox fan, I hate all that is George Steinbrenner, but his felony conviction - perjury?- was a result of being squeezed for contributions, and then lying about it out fear of backlash against his shipbuilding company in the form of cancelled fedweal contracts)…
Then again, I’m a liberal Massachusetts Kennedy Democrat - how’s that for triple redundancy?
Nixon, hands down. What he was doing was essentially an administrative coup d’etat. Then he covered it up. Most people focus on the coverup aspect and forget that he was acting like a cheap dictator, and consistently breaking the law.
What Clinton did with Lewinsky was not illegal. Then he lied to cover it up. Most sane prosecutors wouldn’t even have bothered persuing the issue, especially since it had nothing to do with the case being investigated.
So the difference is criminal acts and a coverup and illicit sex and a coverup. Nixon was responsible for breaking the law before he started covering things up; Clinton did not. It may be distasteful, but distasteful isn’t illegal.
I’m old enough to remember the former as a college student and trying to explain the latter to my children.
Dirty Tricks vs. Dirty Dancing. Clinton’s actions were reprehensible, but they started as personal failings. Nixon set up a plan to screw the opposition, then lied, stonewalled and covered up to protect himeself (he had no problem throwing people overboard when it got too hot.) After all these years, I still have to say Nixon’s The One.
Whose crimes were worse? Nixon’s.
Who’s more hateful for not having the character to own up to the fact that he’d done something wrong? Clinton.
Not to turn this into a GD, but did Nixon ever admit to doing something wrong? As I recall, he never did. I remember he resigned because his presidency “had become ineffective” and to save the country “pain and suffering” or words to that effect, and he waffled in Clintonesque fashion with David Frost, but I don’t recall him ever issuing a mea culpa. Perhaps my hatred for the man caused me to blank that out so I could continue with my disdain.
FTR I think Clinton was both stupid (it would have blown over in about 2 weeks if he had told the truth at the outset), and spineless. For a man who professed admiration for “Profiles In Courage”, he showed none.
I too am amazed that people even make this comparison. Nixon’s transgressions were far, far worse, and far greater in number.
Clinton lied to cover up an affair, for crying out loud.
Nixon lied to cover up a break in, the purpose of which was to undermine the democratic process. Furthermore, he used the FBI, CIA and IRS as his personal goon squads to go after his political opponents. He openly discussed in the White House, for pity’s sake the idea of setting up a slush fund to buy the silence of his co-conspirators. He suborned perjury to cover up his crimes. (Nixon’s advice: “Tell 'em you can’t remember. They can’t get you for perjury if you just say you can’t remember.”) Nixon destroyed evidence. He erased incriminating tapes. Nixon got a full Presidential pardon from Gerald Ford, his former vice president, after he (Nixon) left office. Was there a deal for the pardon? What do you think?
Nixon’s own party utterly abandoned him. They saw clearly that his conduct was indefensible. If he had not resigned, Nixon would have been booted from office in an overwhelming bipartisan vote.
Clinton, on the other hand, while obviously no saint, was just as obviously the target of a politically motivated witch hunt.
My age: 37. (I also suspect that voters who are not old enough to remember Nixon are subject to being swayed by political propaganda into believing that anything Clinton has done even remotely approaches Nixon’s crimes.)