[Update: I’ve been invited to participate in a group discussion about Gerald Ford on today’s “World Have Your Say” BBC radio program. The program begins at 1:00 pm EST, but the Ford segment probably won’t begin until about 1:45 EST and should last only about 15 minutes.
Update update: Well, I only got to say about three words. Such is show biz.]
The official maha Gerald Ford obituary is posted at Crooks and Liars. What I didn’t write at Crooks and Liars was the first question that popped into my head after I learned Mr. Ford had died: Will Ford get as good a funeral as Reagan?
It’s true that Ford was never hero-worshipped as Reagan was, but in my mind that makes him the better man.
For better or worse — well, OK, worse — you could argue that Ford played as big a role in shaping the current Republican Party as Reagan. One, Ford pardoned Nixon, thus avoiding further investigations into Watergate. Two, Gerald Ford appointed George H.W. Bush to be Director of the
FBI CIA, Donald Rumsfeld to be Secretary of Defense, and Dick Cheney as his Chief of Staff.
I’m actually sad for him that he lived long enough to see how those last two appointees turned out. My impression of Ford was that he was a decent guy who was doing the best he could. Although there are plenty of knowledgeable folks who disagree with me on that point.
Other points I left out of the obit: I didn’t mention that as a
senator congressman, Ford had led the attempt to impeach William O. Douglas. Also, I had no sooner posted the C&L obit than commenters brought up the bleeping Warren Report. Siteowner (I assume that was John Amato) deleted these comments. But how big a conspiracy nerd does one have to be to still give a bleep about the bleeping Warren Report? Puh-leeze.
As I suggested in the obit, this might be a good time to re-evaluate the long-term effects of the Nixon pardon, since the pardoning of a former president and vice president may become issues for the next president. Comment away.
Update: This also might be a good time to reflect on how extreme the Republican Party has become. Ford’s Wikipedia biography says, “Ford described his philosophy as ‘a moderate in domestic affairs, an internationalist in foreign affairs, and a conservative in fiscal policy.'” Pretty much the opposite of The Creature in the Oval Office now. See Taegan Goddard for more.