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    Today I mentioned that little news story that seeped out over the weekend, the one about Richard Nixon committing treason to win the presidency in 1968. I was telling a 20 something at work how it has just come out that Nixon sabotaged the Paris Peace Talks by telling the South Vietnamese government if they'd hold off negotiating seriously until after the election, he'd give them a better deal.

      Johnson had gotten the North Vietnamese to the point where he was ready to call a halt to bombing in exchange for their making some serious offers. Tricky Dick cut the ground out from under him.

       The war went on for years, an additional 22,000 Americans died, not to mention all the Vietnamese casualties (and Laos and Cambodia). Nixon sold out his country to win the White House, and if not for Watergate, would have served out 2 terms with no consequences. If you want to know where things started going seriously wrong with our political system, that has to be one of the tipping points. It's certainly been the model for Republicans ever since.

           But that's not what really bothers me.

       The reaction of the person I was telling this to? "That's why I don't get involved in politics."

       You know, it's that kind of reaction that makes me begin to think that maybe this coming generation is really going to deserve what happens to them.

Poll

That reaction:

3%2 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes
1%1 votes
7%4 votes
3%2 votes
71%38 votes
3%2 votes
5%3 votes

| 53 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar (24+ / 0-)

    Because nothing matters, and what if it did?

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:25:28 PM PDT

  •  I feel ya. But we both know it's not (8+ / 0-)

    their fault the previous generations fell down on the job and bought into Reaganism and all the accompanying anti-worker, New Deal-destroying propaganda that is largely responsible for the mess we have now.

    Yes, yes I know Reagan wasn't the start of it, but he sure as hell put the pedal to the metal.

    And yes, I know there are lots of good young people busting their asses doing great work. It's just too bad we've set up such a crappy situation where there aren't more of them. Same goes for the adults.

    If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

    by Oaktown Girl on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:38:44 PM PDT

    •  Republicans never learn though (8+ / 0-)

      They lied us into the last war too, to further their political agendas.

      There is more than one US President who is guilty of treason, and one of them is still alive, and could be tried for his crimes.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:42:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Republicans never learn - I thought it was the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, cynndara

        rest of us with the memory shortages, because there are not enough admitted Repulic Party members to elect a dog catcher by themselves (and I gave up voting after I got out of prison, because I live in Utah and didn't want the other side to be able to point to my vote and use it to recruit even more Republics.)

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:16:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who believed them? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar

        Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Individually, you and I weren't fooled.  But the majority of the American voters seem to fall into the "idiot" category exemplified by this young man.  As long as they refuse to educate themselves about issues and vote intelligently, the Republicrats can drag them wherever they wish with lies and propaganda, and the rest of us are dragged with them.

        Although to be honest, my impression from living and working with both low-information and low-interest voters is that they have concluded that the game is rigged, they haven't got a voice or a vote that matters, so why waste their limited time on it?  It's a grim world, and everyone has to conserve their energy for the battles they have a shot at winning.

  •  Story Broke Around 2008 But It's Been Known (8+ / 0-)

    probably since the 70's that Nixon was engaging in this activity during the campaign.

    Reagan's team certainly would have known about it as they too negotiated with the enemy Iran to hold their American hostages to help steal their 1st election.

    Republicans have to steal the White House most of the time.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:45:33 PM PDT

  •  rachel maddow talked about this tonight (7+ / 0-)

    and used it as a prelude/analogy to how the history of our entry into the iraq war should be viewed. her point was that everyone involved in the vietnam event are dead, but not so with bush/cheney/others.

  •  Just another conspiracy theory... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oaktown Girl

    Everyone knows that there is no such thing as conspiracies!

  •  I'm 27 and I've volunteered hundreds of hours (4+ / 0-)

    and I don't deserve it.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:57:07 PM PDT

    •  No one does. n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, xaxnar, 3goldens

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:05:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just for sake of contrast, a differing view... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      is here. Make of it what you will:

      The pathetic attempts of Americans to pretend they’re good people and don’t deserve what’s happening to them are just that, pathetic.  Yeah, some of them are good, but not enough.  It’s just that simple.

      Take some goddamn responsibility.

      Until Americans get that they are responsible, they will not also get that they can change things.  If Americans are powerless, if it’s “not their fault” that also means they can’t fix it.

      If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

      by Oaktown Girl on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:16:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  fuck him. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:28:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There you go! (0+ / 0-)

          Like I said, make of it what you will.

          If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

          by Oaktown Girl on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:31:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well the argument he's making is ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

            if you're trying to pin the blame on me.  He said the Patriot Act etc. was the fall of the American republic (hyperbole much?), and that was passed when I was in high school.  What was I supposed to do to prevent it?

            ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

            by James Allen on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:51:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I hope you're not talking to me when (0+ / 0-)

              you say "you're trying to pin the blame on me". I just linked the piece as an example of a starkly contrasting opinion to what you said. I wasn't endorsing it. I think it makes for an interesting discussion, that's all.

              If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

              by Oaktown Girl on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:05:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Bless you for your efforts (0+ / 0-)

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 03:48:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just read a story on Alternet (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, greengemini, 3goldens

    this weekend about Nixon's treason in sabotaging the Paris Peace talks.Shocking New Evidence Reveals Depths of 'Treason' and 'Treachery' of Watergate and Iran-Contra by Robert Parry. Parry is a guy who knows where a lot of secrets have been buried.

    Read about the so-called X Envelope that contained all the dope on what LBJ called Nixon's treason, much of it marked "Top Secret."  Johnson gave the envelope to his National Security Advisor Walt Rostow to take out of the White House. It was later given to the LBJ Presidential Library with instructions that it was not to be made public for 50 years from June 26, 1973. That, of course, didn't happen as it was opened in 1994. This envelopes and its contents were the real reason Nixon formed the burglars team - to find what Johnson had on him. They initially thought that the goods on their treason were being kept at the Brookings Institution, whose safe Nixon wanted cracked, and which was the first burglary target.

    I recommend the link highly. Next time you hear someone say Nixon wasn't really all that bad, you can hit them with this.

    Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

    by figbash on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:08:46 PM PDT

  •  There is hope (5+ / 0-)

    My 23-year-old niece was a field coordinator for Obama For America and worked 14-16+ hour days, seven days/week, for the last three months before election day.  

    Now she can't find a job, even with her BA degree.

    Her 25-year-old brother, my nephew, is politically active and aware and is working in a pet food store because it's the only job he can find, even with his BA degree.

    Don't write off the twenty-somethings.  It's waaaaay to soon for that yet.  The fact that so many of them can't find a decent job is that much more reason to think that they're taking notice and seeing who's the problem in this economy.

    To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

    by Eyesbright on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:11:16 PM PDT

  •  I've encountered that attitude of the 20-something (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, xaxnar, greengemini

    in older folks as well.  My best friend is in her 70s and if not for me, she'd be clueless about what's going on politically these days.  Of my two older sisters (late 60s/early 70s), the one closest to me in age is becoming more politically aware all the time.  She's like a sponge---she soaks up information about what is going on these days.  The other one is a true Republican wife----whatever her authoritarian, Democrat-hating husband tells her, she rarely questions.  My more politically-aware sister and I drive her crazy because we talk politics all the time in front of her.  She doesn't like her safe, comfortable world, where she's not required to think for herself, to be disturbed.  I guess all politics is personal and for some folks, they'd rather be ignorant and happy than aware and committed to working to hold politicians accountable and demanding that they pay attention to the needs of their constituents.  Makes me wonder sometimes what those who fought for suffrage rights for women would want to say to these people, as well as what those who fought and died for the right for people to vote would also want to say to those with the "leave me alone" attitude.

    "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

    by 3goldens on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:18:45 PM PDT

  •  Same thing happened in '80 with Iran. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    Mindfulness is the first necessity of sanity and survival and the first casualty of Consumer Culture.

    by Words In Action on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:42:14 PM PDT

  •  Because politics is full (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Musial, xaxnar

    of stories like this. Massive betrayals.

    And precious few people care enough to do more than the same old thing about it, the same old thing that is allowing the economy, the income divide and the climate to get worse.

    I wish the kid would get involved, but I get it. We have so totally effed things up for him, and now we want him to help fix it...?

    Mindfulness is the first necessity of sanity and survival and the first casualty of Consumer Culture.

    by Words In Action on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:46:39 PM PDT

  •  he was being polite (0+ / 0-)

    It's rarely okay to talk about politics at work. That's rule #1.

    He probably didn't understand why you were talking about politics in the first place, and in the second place he probably didn't understand why you were jabbering about something that happened 45 years ago as if it would somehow be interesting to him.

    You seem remarkably self-absorbed.

    And this part -- "maybe this coming generation is really going to deserve what happens to them" -- well there you're just being an asshole. Stop that.

    •  It's personal for me (0+ / 0-)

      I saw people protesting, friends worried about going off to war to fight for Nixon. The bombings of Cambodia in secret, the mining in Haiphong Harbor that had people freaking out over how China and Russia might respond. I saw a top Republican from the House who happened to be a friend of my parents blurt out "Nixon was a jerk" during a get together at their home.

      And right now the news is playing the video of George W. Bush from ten years ago, giving Iraq the ultimatum before sending in the troops. They've gone from prolonging wars to starting them, with no consequences.

      Maybe I am self-absorbed. Maybe I should just shut up, say nothing, and let these people blithely accept that they're screwed, that there's nothing they can do, that it has nothing to do with them what gets done in their name - and they shouldn't even waste time thinking about it.

      But in that case, I'd deserve what's going to happen to me even more than they're going to pay the price for their lack of  knowledge and understanding. I'm not saying I want to see it happen, but people who make the choice not to know about something that's of some importance to understanding the world they live in are accepting the consequences of that choice.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 04:10:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just for the record, as I noted in my... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges, Troubadour

    ...diary posted Sunday, the Nixon story didn't just become known. The sabotaging was briefly reported in 1968 and '69, and more fully in books that came out a few years later. The tapes confirming it were released in 2008. The BBC and truth-out piece you link missed the boat.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:04:40 PM PDT

    •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think they've missed the boat so much as the ship sailed, sunk, and everybody pretended it never happened.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 04:12:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To be fair to the kid, his (her?) reaction (0+ / 0-)

    probably reflects a sense of futility as well as ignorance. Because no matter how hard you try, or fight, or canvas, or volunteer, the truth is in the long run the political class of all stripes are made up of vicious, backstabbing mercenary opportunists.

    Sure, people may start out altruistic or optimistic, and they may get involved for good and wholesome reasons. But you don't float to the top, nationally, stitching together all these competing interests by being a nice guy with a firm handshake and warm smile. You make deals with devils, all the while thinking "I'm the one best qualified to be In Charge". The hubris!

    The best choice we have at our level is, "which devil am I willing to live with to get what I want? Whose foibles am I willing to overlook?" But either way, a son-of-a-bitch is in charge.

    The internet is ruled by cat people. Dog people are busy playing outside.

    by Canis Aureus on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 05:12:17 AM PDT

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